easy homemade cranberry sauce


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This is the best homemade cranberry sauce with no sugar! It’s absolutely perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner. It’s so easy to make and can be made ahead of time. Then, it can be stored in the refrigerator so it is ready to go on Thanksgiving day! I love making this cranberry sauce the night before or even a few days before so the flavors have time to develop. Also, I added orange zest and mandarin oranges to this sauce and they perfectly complement the cranberries. It is perfectly balanced and so good! You don’t want to miss this cranberry sauce for your Thanksgiving holiday as I know this will become a tradition around your Thanksgiving table.

How To Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients for homemade cranberry sauce

To make this easy homemade cranberry sauce, start by zesting an orange. After that, add the fresh cranberries, drained mandarin oranges, salt, water, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, orange zest, vanilla extract, and sweetener of choice to a saucepan.

cranberry sauce with orange

Let the ingredients in the saucepan simmer and mash the cranberries once they start to crack.

Cranberry sauce recipe

Then, let the sauce sit in the refrigerator overnight and enjoy!

homemade cranberry sauce

Notes & Tips For Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

What Do You Eat Cranberry Sauce With?

Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving tradition. Usually, it is eaten with turkey and it works well with chicken, ham, and pork. Also, think of it as a jam that can be spread on toast, muffins, greek yogurt, and bread. It’s even delicious warmed up over ice cream or enjoyed as a cranberry tart!

How To Sweeten Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Some sweetener options that work well are brown sugar, regular sugar, honey, maple syrup, or your sugar-free sweetener of choice! Feel free to use any of these to sweeten your cranberry sauce.

Does Cranberry Sauce Have A Lot Of Sugar?

Most store-bought cranberry sauces have a lot of sugar! However, this homemade cranberry sauce can be made sugar-free.

Can Cranberry Sauce Be Made Ahead Of Time?

Yes, the great thing about this homemade cranberry sauce is that it can be made ahead of time! We love making it a few days before Thanksgiving or whenever we want to enjoy it so it is ready to go. It is best to refrigerate cranberry sauce overnight or for at least 2 hours before serving.

How Long Does Homemade Cranberry Sauce Last?

Homemade cranberry orange sauce will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to store it in an air-tight container.

Can Homemade Cranberry Sauce Be Frozen?

Yes, homemade cranberry sauce can be frozen. It will last up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.

Is Cranberry Sauce Gluten-Free?

Yes, this cranberry sauce is naturally gluten-free.

Is Cranberry Sauce Vegan?

Yes, this cranberry sauce recipe is vegan.

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Helpful Tools & Ingredients For Cranberry Sauce

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5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Shawna Course: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





This is the best homemade cranberry sauce with no sugar! It’s absolutely perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner. Also, it’s so easy to make and can be made ahead of time.

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  • 1 bag fresh cranberries (12 oz)

  • 1 small can no sugar added mandarin oranges (11 oz)

  • 1/8 TSP salt

  • 1/4 CUP water

  • 1 TSP cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 – 1 ½ TSP orange zest

  • 1 TSP vanilla extract

  • 1/3 – 1/2 CUP golden monk fruit, brown sugar, or sweetener of choice


  • To make this easy homemade cranberry sauce, zest the orange. Make sure to avoid the white part, which is the pith, as it is bitter. Then, drain the no sugar added mandarin oranges.
  • Add the fresh cranberries, drained mandarin oranges with no sugar added, salt, water, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, orange zest, vanilla extract, and sweetener of choice to a saucepan. To sweeten this recipe you can use golden monk fruit, regular monk fruit, brown sugar, regular sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
  • Let the ingredients simmer in the saucepan over low heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. After that, the cranberries will start to crack. Mash them with a potato masher until the desired consistency is achieved and let them simmer for 3-5 more minutes or leave them whole.
  • Let the sauce cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving. We like to refrigerate the sauce overnight. This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of cranberry sauce. Enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • The recipe makes 6 servings and the WW points are per serving.
  • WW Points™: 0 points  *if you use a sugar-free sweetener
  • To see your WW Points™ in the WW app for this recipe click here! Or, please manually add the ingredients to the recipe builder.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently. It could vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

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Nutrition Facts

6 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories53
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 0g 0%
    • Saturated Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 53mg 3%
  • Total Carbohydrate 10.6g 4%
    • Dietary Fiber 2.7g 8%
    • Sugars 6.8g
  • Protein 0.3g 0%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


    1. This is a delicious, easy and healthy recipe for cranberry sauce! It’s now my go-to recipe when I have fresh cranberries. I only had a larger can of mandarin oranges, so used the entire can….no problems with the end result! The leftovers were used in my morning oatmeal. Thank you!

      • Hi Kathy, thank you so much for letting us know! We are so glad the cranberry sauce turned out great, it makes us so happy to hear! 🙂 I love the idea of putting some in oatmeal that sounds delicious! Thank you for the support!