Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberry Sauce in Crystal Bowl
skhoward/Getty Images
Total Time: 15 min
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Servings: 8 servings

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

82 calories
0g fat
22g carbs
0g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 servings
Amount per serving  
Calories 82
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 74mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 19g  
Includes 17g Added Sugars 34%
Protein 0g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 43mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Cranberry sauce is a must at Thanksgiving, but it can be loaded with sugar. This sugar-free cranberry sauce recipe replaces the sugar with honey, a natural sweetener. As a bonus, it is one of the simplest homemade cranberry sauce recipes you can find that can be made in 15 minutes. The end result has the thickness of pudding.

This sugar-free cranberry sauce is for the purist—there are no spices, no orange peel, nothing extra. There are just four simple ingredients—whole cranberries, honey, water and salt. Of course, if you prefer a hint of citrus you can add a little lemon or orange zest. If you want something even more jazzed up, try a cranberry chutney.

You can use this naturally sweetened cranberry sauce not only with turkey, but also over yogurt or ricotta cheese for breakfast or a snack, or to accompany cheeses and nuts as a dessert.


  • 1 (12-ounce bag) cranberries (fresh or frozen, no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Put cranberries in a pot on the stove, and pick through to remove soft and/or brown ones.

  2. Add honey, water, and salt. Stir, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

  3. Stir frequently. The cranberries will pop, and then release their "gel"—the sauce will come together like magic. Cook until the sauce is the consistency you want, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Substitutions and Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes

If you don't have honey on hand or prefer not to use it, you can use maple syrup as the natural sweetener. Alternatively, you can eliminate the water and use one cup of Da Vinci's Simple Syrup instead.

For a Thanksgiving buffet that is not overflowing with carbohydrates, follow some of these tips:

  • StuffingDouble up on the veggies and use half of the bread amount called for in the recipe.
  • GravyInstead of using flour to thicken your homemade gravy, you can try cornstarch, arrowroot, reduced cream, sour cream and vegetable gums like xanthan gum and guar gum.
  • Sweet Potato CasseroleSweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and have a lower glycemic index than regular white potatoes. Including this traditional dish is a healthy choice.
  • Gluten-Free Pumpkin RollWhat would Thanksgiving dinner be without a pumpkin dessert? This version features almond meal instead of flour.

Rate this Recipe

You've already rated this recipe. Thanks for your rating!
Was this page helpful?