This fresh cranberry sauce recipe is sooo simple to make AND low in sugar. Yes, buying canned cranberry sauce is easier BUT it’s loaded with sugar. Like 22g of added sugar per serving from a lot of high fructose corn syrup + corn syrup. Our lower sugar cranberry sauce has less than 13g, which could be even lower if you omit the honey or maple syrup completely!. Cranberry sauce is a staple at Thanksgiving (or any other similar meal) so we set out to create a simple, healthy recipe that you can make at home. Some sugar is necessary because cranberries are naturally very tart so sugar is needed to balance that out. Hence why we use fresh orange juice, which contains natural sugar, and a touch of honey or real maple syrup! This fresh cranberry sauce recipe will blow your mind with how easy and delicious it is!
- Fresh cranberries – these are obviously the main ingredient here so you want to make sure you’re picking good ones! Look for plump, whole cranberries that are bright in color. It’s important to pick out any mushy, discolored berries.
- Fresh OJ – per usual, we recommend fresh orange juice because it’s the most nutrient-dense option but if you prefer to buy it, be sure to get 100% orange juice! Pro tip – if you look at the ingredients label, it should literally just say orange juice. That’s it. Apple juice would be a good alternative!
- Orange zest – this is easy to get if you’re juicing fresh OJ! If you don’t have any fresh oranges or don’t love the flavor of orange, you can omit this.
- Honey or maple syrup – like we mentioned above, cranberries are super tart so we like to add some sweetness to balance that out. If you buy maple syrup, be sure to buy REAL maple syrup! Look at the ingredients label again – it should just say maple syrup, not a form of corn syrup, caramel coloring, etc.
- Spices – a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg give this fresh cranberry sauce recipe a hint of warmth and ~fall vibes~. But if you’re not into that, you can leave these out!
It’s super easy! All you do is boil fresh cranberries, orange juice, water, honey or maple syrup, and a pinch of cinnamon together. The cranberries will pop and once it cools, you’ll have cranberry sauce!
You can control the amount of sugar you add to homemade cranberry sauce, whereas store-bought cranberry sauce is loaded with added sugar like high fructose corn syrup and regular corn syrup.
After the mixture comes to a boil, you reduce the heat to a simmer and let the ingredients cook for 15-20 minutes. The cranberries will slowly pop and once most of them have popped, your cranberry sauce is done! If you like chunky cranberry sauce, you can leave as-is but if you prefer smoother cranberry sauce, you can mash the berries to the consistency of your liking.
Yes! It should last in the fridge for ~2 weeks (so if you’re in charge of Thanksgiving dinner, make this a few days in advance to save some time and stress on the day of!) or freezer for ~2 months!
Other recipes you may enjoy
If you like making recipes from scratch, check out these other recipes:
- Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Creamy Date Caramel Dip
- Protein Hot Chocolate Recipe
- Creamy Tomato Sauce (without cream!)
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Fresh Cranberry Sauce Recipe (Low Sugar!)
Cranberry sauce is a staple at Thanksgiving (or any other similar meal) and we set out to create a simple recipe that you can make at home, without most of that added sugar. Some sugar is necessary because cranberries are naturally very tart so some sugar is needed to balance that out. Hence why we use fresh orange juice, which contains natural sugar, and a touch of honey or real maple syrup! This fresh cranberry sauce recipe will blow your mind with how easy and delicious it is!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: Sides
- Cuisine: American
- 12oz (343g) fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup (178g) fresh orange juice (or apple juice)
- 1/4 cup (85g) honey or real maple syrup
- 2 tsp (7g) orange zest, optional (~1/2 an orange)
- 1/8 tsp (1g) cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of nutmeg, optional
- Rinse cranberries and pick out any mushy/bad berries.
- Mix all ingredients, including cranberries, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer (low-medium heat).
- Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cranberries will start to pop and cook down into a sauce.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
- The sauce will thicken on its own! This will happen as it cools.
- We think this fresh cranberry sauce is better the next day so we usually make it ahead of time.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze in freezer for up to 2 months.
- Serving Size: 1/4 cup
- Calories: 66
- Sugar: 13
- Sodium: 1
- Fat: 0
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 16
- Fiber: 2
- Protein: 0
- Cholesterol: 0
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