This refined sugar free cranberry sauce is so flavourful, and yet so easy to make for your Thanksgiving dinner and holiday recipes. A tasty side made with just 5 ingredients that adds a pop of sweetness to your family meal!
If you are planning your Thanksgiving and holiday recipes and love sides as much as my family does (I think more than the mains!), then you may also like to see my sweet potato casserole and cheesy cauliflower mash. Both so tasty and easy to make!
For those using maple syrup, this cranberry sauce is vegan, gluten free and low histamine, and a vegetarian recipe if using honey.
Perhaps you may like to use it for my festive turkey cranberry cream cheese sandwich!
⭐ Why this holiday recipe is so good
Cranberry sauce is the pop of sweetness you need on your plate for Thanksgiving and holiday dinners, but don't get it out of a can! Fresh homemade cranberry sauce is super easy to do and tastes so much better. You will love this spiced version because:
- It's fresh and light - no gloopy from a can texture here!
- Quick and easy - just a few steps and it only takes 15 minutes to make on the stove top.
- Hints of spice go so well with the fresh fruit - adjust the spice to your preference, and have it as spicy as you like, or just a little hum of heat if you prefer.
- Refined sugar free - this cranberry sauce uses maple syrup (or honey) instead of regular white sugar.
Make sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients and their quantities!
This is a very simple recipe that only requires five ingredients. You will need:
- Cranberries - the main ingredient, go for as fresh as you can (the berries shouldn't have wrinkles) if using fresh. You can also use frozen cranberries.
- Maple syrup - used instead of refined sugar. It gives a lovely rich sweetness to the cranberry sauce. Adjust the amount of maple syrup to your preferred sweetness.
- Ginger and cardamom - for a kick of spice that you can adjust to taste preference.
- Cinnamon - this is optional for my low histamine readers.
🍯 A note on sugar vs maple syrup or honey
There is much debate over whether maple syrup (or honey) is better to use than refined sugar. Both obviously contain sugar, although the maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than sugar.
Personally I use both sugar and maple syrup, but I know some of my readers prefer not to use white sugar. I also like the richer flavour that maple syrup brings to this cranberry sauce.
🔪 Step by step instructions
One of the easiest Thanksgiving recipes you can add to your table I think. Just a couple of steps to follow, this recipe is made on the stove top so saving valuable oven space for your other holiday recipes!
Add all the ingredients to a pan, including the water. Give it a stir so the spices combine with the fruit.
Bring the cranberries to a boil, then reduce the heat to a light simmer. Stir occasionally and use the back of a spoon to press any cranberries that haven't broken down. Add a touch more water if the sauce feels too dry.
📋 Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can use frozen cranberries. You may want to add a touch of water to the pan when you first heat them through.
No, you can leave out if you prefer just fruit.
Cranberry sauce goes so well with fresh cheese, so enjoy on a cracker or breads!
🍽 More tasty holiday recipes
Find lots of fun and tasty holiday recipes, including sides to go along with this cranberry sauce such as my ginger Brussels sprouts and honey roasted vegetables. Some recent recipes:
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!
Refined Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce
- Wooden spoon
- 2 cups cranberries
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (more if you prefer it sweeter)
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon ginger powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon optional if low histamine
- ¼ cup water
- Add all the ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a very light simmer, and cook for 8-10 minutes. The cranberries will pop, but you can help them along with the back of a spoon. Stir occasionally.
- Allow the sauce to cool, then enjoy!
- Adjust the amount of maple syrup to taste preference for sweetness. You may wish to add another tbsp.
- Note - cinnamon isn't always tolerated on a low histamine diet, so leave out unless you know you tolerate well.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
- ginger, which scores 1.
- cardamom scores 0, but has a note that some varieties may not be well tolerated.
- cinnamon scores 0 on the SIGHI list, but other lists rate it as higher.
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