It’s time to ditch the canned stuff! This homemade Healthy Cranberry Sauce is made with fresh cranberries and orange juice and sweetened naturally with only maple syrup. Ready in 10 minutes, it’s the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu!
A must for your Thanksgiving line up
But that’s only because when anyone hears “cranberry sauce,” their mind immediately goes to the canned stuff. You know, the kind that holds the shape of the can, even when it’s been sliced and plated on the table.
What these people don’t realize is that canned cranberry sauce is not the only way! You can make it from scratch, and the homemade versions taste worlds better than that sugary, jellied canned kind.
Take it from me, someone who didn’t know it could be homemade. As soon as I tried my hand at making my own, I developed a love for the dish that may even surpass my love for Thanksgiving gravy. It’s light, fruity, and extremely flavorful, and it’s a dish that I actually look forward to now!
This healthy cranberry sauce is made with just five ingredients and is naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It’s the perfect combo of tart meets sweet, bursting with fresh cranberry flavor.
So if you’re up for the easy, 10 minute task, give cranberry sauce a second chance and try making your own! I promise, it’s sure to become a staple for your Thanksgiving dinner.
What’s in homemade cranberry sauce
This recipe uses only 5 ingredients, which is one of the reasons why it’s a must this holiday season! You can’t go wrong with a simple, to the point recipe, especially when there are so many different dishes to be made.
- Cranberries: Grab a container or bag of fresh cranberries. You’ll need at least 12 oz.
- Maple syrup: Next up, maple syrup will be used to give the sauce its naturally sweetened flavor. We’ll use 1/2 cup.
- Orange: A large orange will be used to add juice and zest!
- Vanilla: Add 1 tsp of vanilla for that classic slight flavor.
- Thyme: Finally, we will use 1 tbsp of thyme for seasoning.
Tools needed to make this cranberry recipe
You’ll only need a couple different kitchen items to create this recipe! It keeps it simple and keeps clean up to a minimum, which we all love.
- Sauce pot
- Stirring utensil
- Fork or potato masher
- Measuring cups: 1 tsp, 1/ tbsp, and 1/2 cup.
How to make healthy cranberry sauce
All you need to make your own cranberry sauce is one pot and about ten minutes.
To start, add all of your ingredients to a sauce pot and heat it over medium heat until it reaches a boil.
Then, reduce the heat and allow the cranberries to burst. This should take about ten minutes.
Once the berries burst, smash them with a fork or potato masher.
Turn the heat back on and heat the ingredients until they reach a thick consistency.
Finally, allow the ingredients to cool, and enjoy!
How to serve up cranberry sauce
The best thing about perfecting my own homemade cranberry sauce recipe has definitely been learning all of the great ways to use it. You don’t have to eat it alone; there are so many foods that are even better with a dollop of cranberry sauce on top! Enjoy it…
- Mixed into oatmeal
- Mixed into yogurt
- On top of pancakes/waffles
- On toast (sort of like jelly)
- As a spread on a turkey sandwich
There are so many good options. Just get creative and see what works!
A healthier cranberry option
Store bought cranberry sauce is typically made with cranberries, high fructose corn syrup, water, and corn syrup.
I’ve cut both corn syrups and replaced them with a natural sweetener: maple syrup! I’ve also added orange juice and orange zest, which provides some sweetness and helps cut the tartness of the cranberries.
My secret ingredient in this cranberry sauce is fresh thyme. The addition of the more savory herbs pairs perfectly with the sweet and tart flavors of typical cranberry sauce. It’s the magic combination!
Can cranberry sauce be made ahead of time?
Yes! This cranberry sauce can be prepared up to three days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Feel free to serve at room temperature, or warm up slightly on the stove.
It also freezes well if you have any leftovers!
More delicious holiday desserts
Need some more dishes to accompany the cranberry sauce for the Thanksgiving dessert lineup? Here are some of my favorites! Guests will be so excited to see any of these dishes on the table.
- Healthy Apple Cobbler
- No-Bake Pumpkin Bites
- Healthy White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Pecan Pie Brownies
- Healthy Paleo Pumpkin Pie
- 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 large orange, juice and zest
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- Add all ingredients to saucepan and heat over medium heat until boiling
- Reduce heat and allow cranberries to burst .This should take about ten minutes
- Once burst, smash cranberries with fork or potato masher
- Heat until sauce has thickened
- Once thickened, allow to cool
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