Healthy Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I’ve always thought that homemade versions of classic recipes taste much better than store-bought versions, and cranberry sauce is a perfect example of this. Although I loved the canned jellied cranberry sauce that we always ate on Thanksgiving when I was young, after I tried making cranberry sauce from scratch one year, I was hooked.

Most homemade cranberry sauce recipes call for a lot of sugar … enough that I’d classify cranberry sauce a dessert and not a side dish. For those who haven’t tried them, plain cranberries are very tart, so I wasn’t sure how much it would be possible to reduce the sugar and still have an enjoyable sauce, but unrefined natural sweeteners (honey) and delicious fruits filled in the gaps.

healthy cranberry sauce recipe

This recipe still has more natural sugars than we normally eat, but is a much healthier option than the ones that actually contain refined sugar and is a delicious treat for Thanksgiving dinner.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, also check out my healthy versions of green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, butternut squash soup, and root vegetable stuffing.

You can also download and print my entire Thanksgiving menu and shopping list here if you are cooking this year and want an easier solution.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce is a healthy recipe that has hints of pineapple and citrus. It has no sugar and is optionally sweetened with honey.
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4.37 from 19 votes

Sugarless Cranberry Sauce Recipe

A homemade alternative to store-bought cranberry sauce with delicious hints of pineapple and orange to complement the flavor!
Course Side
Cuisine Thanksgiving
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Calories 98kcal
Author Katie Wells


  • 24 oz fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice or orange juice
  • ½ cup no sugar added applesauce
  • ½ cup water
  • juice and zest of one orange
  • 3-4 TBSP  honey or to taste optional


  • Put cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce and water in a sauce pan and and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to medium heat and stir constantly until the cranberries start to explode (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Reduce to a simmer and add the juice and zest to the cranberry mixture.
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes and remove from heat.
  • Cool completely and store in fridge at least 4 hours but preferably overnight before serving.


This is not as sweet as store-bought versions! Taste at the end of cooking. It is naturally sweet from the fruit juice and applesauce but you can add more honey or stevia to taste if needed.


Serving: 1/2 cup | Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.2g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 2mg | Fiber: 3.7g | Sugar: 14.9g

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Do you eat cranberry sauce? What foods do you always have at Thanksgiving? Share below!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce is a healthy recipe that has hints of pineapple and citrus. It has no sugar and is optionally sweetened with honey.

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