Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe (Low Sugar)

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce is a healthy recipe that has hints of pineapple and citrus. It has no sugar and is optionally sweetened with honey.
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Side Dish Recipes » Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe (Low Sugar)

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.

Now I have a whole list of re-invented, healthier recipes for the holidays, most of which call for real food ingredients, little prep, and a lot less sugar.

Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

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. I shouldn’t have worried, because unrefined natural sweeteners (honey) and delicious applesauce 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.

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

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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


4 cups


  • 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 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.


Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 /2 cup)
Calories 98 Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.1g0%
Sodium 2mg0%
Carbohydrates 21.2g7%
Fiber 3.7g15%
Sugar 14.9g17%
Protein 0.3g1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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.

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.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


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