The Best Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

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Holiday feasts are all about the joy of sharing great food, and what’s a festive table without a bowl of delicious cranberry sauce? But let’s face it – traditional cranberry sauce is often loaded with sugar. That’s where “The Best Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce” comes in to save your holiday spread!

This recipe is a game-changer for anyone following a low-carb or keto diet, or simply looking to cut down on sugar without sacrificing flavor. Made with fresh cranberries and infused with a hint of orange and warm spices, this sauce brings all the classic holiday flavors you love. It’s tangy, slightly sweet, and has that perfect jelly-like consistency we all crave. Plus, it’s so easy to make, you might find yourself whipping it up for more than just the holidays. Whether you’re drizzling it over a juicy turkey or adding a spoonful to your morning yogurt, this cranberry sauce is sure to be a hit!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Keto-Friendly: Perfect for low-carb diets without compromising taste.
  • Easy to Make: Only a few simple steps and you’ve got a sauce that’s holiday-ready.
  • Versatile Use: Great not just for turkey, but also for adding a zing to other dishes.
  • Healthier Option: With no added sugar, it’s a guilt-free addition to your meal.
  • Flavorful Twist: The orange and spice blend adds a unique, delicious twist to the traditional sauce.
Cranberry Sauce: Keto or No-Go?

Ever wonder if cranberry sauce fits into a keto diet? Typically, it’s a mix of cranberries and a whole lot of sugar, which isn’t great for keto. But, good news! Swap out the sugar for a low-carb sweetener, and you’re in business. Our Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce recipe does just that – all the festive flavor, none of the carb worry.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Heads up: For exact measurements, see the recipe card below.

Crafting this sugar-free cranberry sauce is a breeze, and it all starts with a handful of simple yet impactful ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cranberries: The star of the show, fresh cranberries bring the essential tart flavor.
  • Granulated Low-Carb Sweetener: Gives the sweetness without the carbs, perfect for a keto-friendly sauce. Allulose works best but other sweetener options will work too.
  • Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon adds a warm, aromatic depth to the sauce.
  • Salt: Enhances all the flavors in the sauce. Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt are best.
  • Cloves: A little goes a long way with ground cloves, adding a subtle spiciness.
  • Orange: The zest and juice infuse a bright, citrusy note, perfectly complementing the cranberries. Make sure to use organic.
  • Orange Juice: Brings a fresh and tangy sweetness, balancing the tartness of the cranberries.
The Best Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce recipe with orange and warming spices.
Can I make this sauce without orange?

Absolutely! If you prefer not to use orange, you can replace the orange zest and juice with lemon for a different citrus twist or just skip the citrus altogether for a more traditional cranberry flavor.

What if I don’t have fresh cranberries?

No problem! Frozen cranberries work just as well in this recipe. They bring the same tartness and color to your sauce.

Is there a substitute for the low-carb sweetener?

Yes! If you’re not strictly keto, you can use the same amount of coconut sugar or honey. Just be aware this will change the carb content.

Can I add different spices?

Definitely! Feel free to experiment with spices like nutmeg or a hint of ginger for a personalized touch.

Any tips for a smoother cranberry sauce?

For a smoother texture, you can blend the cooked sauce. This gives it a more jelly-like consistency, which some people prefer.

How To Make Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

Combine Ingredients. In a medium pot, mix the cranberries, low-carb sweetener, cinnamon, sea salt, and ground cloves. Include the orange zest and orange juice, stirring them into the pot.

Frozen cranberries in a saucepan.
Ingredients for cranberry sauce in a saucepan.

Simmer. Heat the mixture over medium heat, bringing it to a simmer. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the sauce thickens and the cranberries break down, stirring occasionally.

Cool and Serve. Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, remove it from the heat. Transfer the sauce to a bowl to cool down. It can be served warm or stored in the refrigerator for later use.

Cranberries, sweetener and spices before boiling.
Prepared spices cranberry sauce with orange.

Tips for Best Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

Making this sugar-free cranberry sauce is straightforward, but a few tips can enhance your results:

  • Consistency is Key: Keep an eye on the sauce as it simmers. The longer it cooks, the thicker it will become. Stop cooking when it reaches your preferred consistency, keeping in mind it will thicken more as it cools.
  • Sweetness to Taste: Adjust the amount of low-carb sweetener based on your preference. Start with the recipe amount and add more if needed after tasting.
  • Spice it Up: Feel free to experiment with the spices. A pinch more cinnamon or cloves can add an extra layer of warmth and flavor.
  • Orange Zest: When adding orange zest, use only the orange part of the peel, not the white pith underneath, to avoid bitterness.

Storage Instructions

How long will cranberry sauce last?

This sugar-free cranberry sauce can be stored in a lidded container in the fridge for up to one week.

Can I freeze cranberry sauce?

Yes! This sugar-free sauce also freezes really well. Simply spoon in a freezer safe container. To serve, place it in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove top for a few minutes. Add a dash of water if needed for consistency.

How to Serve Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

Here are creative and low-carb serving suggestions for your sugar-free cranberry sauce:

  • With Roasted Meats: Pair it with Roasted Turkey, chicken, or Roast Pork. The tartness of the cranberry sauce complements the a variety of meats, making it perfect for holiday dinners or a family Sunday roast.
  • In a Low-Carb Sandwich or Wrap: Spread it on low-carb bread or lettuce wraps along with deli meats, cheese, and leafy greens for a refreshing and unique sandwich experience. Try these Cranberry Brie Toasts made with our Quick Keto Bread.
  • As a Topping for Low-Carb Pancakes or Waffles: Use the cranberry sauce as a tangy, fruity topping on keto-friendly pancakes or waffles for a delightful breakfast twist.
  • As a Dressing for Salads: Whisk it with some olive oil and vinegar to create a zesty salad dressing. It’s especially good with salads featuring mixed greens, nuts, and cheese.
  • As a Dip for Cheese and Cold Cuts: Serve it as part of a charcuterie board. The tartness of the cranberry sauce balances well with the richness of the cheese and meats.
  • In Yogurt or Cottage Cheese: Mix it into a bowl of low-carb yogurt or cottage cheese for a quick, easy, and healthy snack or dessert.
  • With Grilled Vegetables: Drizzle it over grilled vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or eggplant for a touch of sweetness.
  • As a Glaze for Grilled Fish: Use it as a glaze for grilled fish like salmon or trout, adding a delightful sweet and tangy flavor to the seafood.
The Best Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce recipe with orange and warming spices.

Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

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Get ready for the holidays with The Best Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce! This low-carb, zesty orange and spiced sauce pairs perfectly with festive meals, and it's keto-friendly. Easy to make and wonderfully tangy, it's a guilt-free addition to your table.
Servings2 cups
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Print Pin Rate


  • 3 ½ cups fresh cranberries (or frozen)
  • cup granulated low-carb sweetener (like Allulose or Swerve)
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • tsp ground cloves
  • 1 organic orange (zested)
  • 3 tbsp fresh orange juice


  • Place the cranberries in a medium pot and heat over a medium heat. Add the sweetener, cinnamon, salt, cloves, orange zest and orange juice.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are broken down and the sauce is thick.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Recipe Video


Calories: 27kcalNet Carbs: 5.2gCarbohydrates: 6.9gProtein: 0.3gFat: 0.1gSodium: 20mgMagnesium: 4mgPotassium: 49mgFiber: 1.7gSugar: 3.2g


  • Serving Size: ¼ cup (60 ml).
  • Storage: To store, place in a lidded container and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. This sauce also freezes really well, simply spoon in a freezer safe container and reheat on the stove top for a few minutes.
  • Spice it Up: Feel free to experiment with the spices. A pinch more cinnamon or cloves can add an extra layer of warmth and flavor.
  • Orange Zest: When adding orange zest, use only the orange part of the peel, not the white pith underneath, to avoid bitterness.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve with Roast Turkey, Low-Carb Gravy, and Brussels Sprouts or Cauliflower Mash for the perfect low-carb feast!

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