Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce in Crystal Bowl
skhoward/Getty Images
Total Time 15 min
Prep 5 min, Cook 10 min
Yield 8 servings (82 calories each)

Cranberry sauce is a must at Thanksgiving, but it can be loaded with sugar. This sugar-free cranberry sauce recipe replaces the sugar with honey, a natural sweetener. As a bonus, it is one of the simplest homemade cranberry sauce recipes you can find that can be made in 15 minutes. The end result has the thickness of pudding.

This sugar-free cranberry sauce is for the purist—there are no spices, no orange peel, nothing extra. There are just four simple ingredients—whole cranberries, honey, water and salt. Of course, if you prefer a hint of citrus you can add a little lemon or orange zest. If you want something even more jazzed up, try a cranberry chutney.

You can use this naturally sweetened cranberry sauce not only with turkey, but also over yogurt or ricotta cheese for breakfast or a snack, or to accompany cheeses and nuts as a dessert.

Ingredients

  • One 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen (no sugar added) cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup honey 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

  1. Put cranberries in a pot on the stove, and pick through to remove soft and/or brown ones.
  2. Add honey, water and salt. Stir, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Stir frequently. The cranberries will pop, and then release their "gel"—the sauce will come together like magic. Cook until the sauce is the consistency you want, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Substitutions and Healthier Thanksgiving Recipes

If you don't have honey on hand or prefer not to use it, you can use maple syrup as the natural sweetener.

Alternatively, you can eliminate the water and use one cup of Da Vinci's Simple Syrup instead.

For a Thanksgiving buffet that is not overflowing with carbohydrates, follow some of these tips:

  • StuffingDouble up on the veggies and use half of the bread amount called for in the recipe.
  • GravyInstead of using flour to thicken your homemade gravy, you can try cornstarch, arrowroot, reduced cream, sour cream and vegetable gums like xanthan gum and guar gum.
  • Sweet potato casseroleSweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and have a lower glycemic index than regular white potatoes. Including this traditional dish is a healthy choice.
  • Gluten-Free Pumpkin PieWhat would Thanksgiving dinner be without pumpkin pie for dessert? This version features a pecan nut crust, cutting down on the carbs. 

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