This cranberry sauce is a really simple recipe, and perfect for your Thanksgiving, Christmas or holiday celebrations. It combines cranberries, sugar, cherries and a touch of optional cinnamon for a sweet but slightly tart side-dish. Perfect as an alcohol-free and citrus-free cranberry sauce that is vegan, gluten-free and low histamine.
Planning your holiday meals? Perhaps you may also like to see my sweet potato casserole and roasted potatoes with zucchini. Both easy to make and the perfect accompaniment for your mains!
And for lunch my cranberry turkey and cream cheese sandwich feels very festive and you can use this fresh sauce to make it!
⭐ Why this recipe is so good
- Pop of sweetness. The hit of sweetness that you need on your plate for your Thanksgiving or holiday meals!
- Citrus free and alcohol free. Many cranberry sauces have both, but this has none of them!
- Easy to make. Homemade cranberry sauce is very simple to do, and is made on the stove top.
🍒 Citrus free cranberry sauce (and alcohol free too!)
This citrus free cranberry sauce leaves out some of the more traditional ingredients so it is suitable for a low histamine diet. So we swap out orange juice for some cherries, which gives a lovely sweetness. Using frozen is fine, as they aren't in season during the holiday period.
We leave out port too, which is sometimes used in supposedly 'high-end' sauces. So it's an alcohol free cranberry sauce too.
- Cranberries - I tend to use fresh cranberries, but have also made this sauce with frozen and it worked out great.
- Cherries - personally I use frozen as fresh aren't usually available during the holidays, and if they are they don't tend to have the best taste.
- Brown sugar - for sweetness, as cranberries are naturally very tart.
- Cinnamon - gives a lovely flavour, but is optional if you are on a low histamine diet, as cinnamon is debated in terms of histamine levels.
Make sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients and their quantities!
🔪 Step by step instructions
Cranberry sauce is very easy to make, and so much better than the store-bought version. It takes just a few steps:
In a pan, bring the water to a boil and pour in the sugar. Give it a stir to dissolve the sugar.
Add the cranberries and cherries to the pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a light simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens. Add a touch of water if you prefer a thinner consistency.
Sprinkle on the cinnamon, if using, and stir to combine. Set aside to cool, and then enjoy with your meal!
💭 Recipe tips and notes
- Stir the cranberries fairly frequently so they burst and break down. You can also use the back of a wooden spoon to help them along.
- Add a little water if required to thin the sauce.
- The cinnamon is optional, but gives a nice hint of spice.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, I have used frozen cranberries (and cherries) a number of times and they work perfectly!
Yes, it saves valuable oven space by being made on the stove top!
No, it is optional and my low histamine readers may prefer to leave it out due to the debated nature of the histamine level of cinnamon. You can add a tiny pinch of cardamom instead if you would like a hint of spice.
🍽 More tasty holiday recipes
Find so many ideas to share with friends and family on my Thanksgiving recipes page, including my easy turkey rissoles, pesto Brussels sprouts and my honey roasted vegetables. Some recent recipes to enjoy:
I’m always in the kitchen, so come join me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to be the first to hear of new recipes. And please do leave a star rating if you tried the recipe!
Cranberry Sauce (Alcohol and Citrus Free)
- 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup brown sugar more to taste
- ½ cup cherries optional, fresh or frozen
- pinch cinnamon optional
- In a pan, bring the water to a boil and pour in the sugar. Give it a stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the cranberries and cherries to the pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a light simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens. Add a touch of water if you prefer a thinner consistency.
- Sprinkle on the cinnamon, if using, and stir to combine. Set aside to cool, and then enjoy with your meal!
- Stir very frequently so the cranberries burst and become a thick sauce.
- Add a touch of water if you wish to thin the sauce.
- The cinnamon is optional, so include only if you are able to tolerate.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
- cinnamon, which scores 0 but is rated higher on other lists.
Carrie Kellenberger says
This not only looks lovely, but it also looks very tasty. I always learn something new with your posts. I've already mentioned I had no idea that people put alcohol in their cranberry sauce! I love the idea of adding cherries to cut the tart citrusy flavor a bit.
Thank you! I don't get putting port in cranberry sauce either, I definitely prefer a fruity taste without it.