Homemade Cranberry Sauce

4.40 from 48 votes

This easy healthy cranberry sauce has been a Thanksgiving table tradition for years. Once you taste fresh cranberry sauce you will never buy the canned stuff again!

cranberry sauce in a white bowl
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This healthy cranberry sauce is a traditional favorite every year at our Thanksgiving table.

Cranberries are so delicious and a baking favorite of mine during the holiday season.

From cranberry eggnog bread, to cranberry cream cheese muffins, cranberry blueberry crisp, cranberry orange muffins, cranberry apple crisp, to cranberry white chocolate chip cookies.

Fresh cranberries are tart, and add so much sweet tart delicious flavor to holiday treats!

Holidays just aren’t the same without delicious fresh cranberry recipes.

cranberries, salt, and maple syrup in bowls

Healthy Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

  • fresh cranberries
  • pure maple syrup: to make this sauce healthier we are using real maple syrup to sweeten in place of granulated sugar
  • salt: just a little bit to make all of the flavors pop

Tip for buying fresh cranberries

The cranberries should be bright red and firm to the touch. Try to avoid mushy darker colored cranberries, as this means they are starting to turn bad.

cranberry sauce ingredients in the sauce pan

How to make cranberry sauce

Step 1: add the fresh cranberries, maple syrup, and salt to a medium sized sauce pan.

bubbling cranberry sauce

Step 2: Heat the pan over medium high heat until the cranberry mixture starts to boil.

Step 3: Once the cranberries begin to boil, turn the heat to low and stir the cranberry sauce often for 10 – 15 minutes.

As the cranberries cook, they will start to soften and burst. Use the bottom of a spoon to mash the cranberries as you go.

healthy cranberry sauce in the sauce pan

Step 4: Once the cranberry sauce is finished cooking, transfer it to a covered container and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

This healthy cranberry sauce is perfectly thick, sweet and tangy. It really could not be any easier to make.

This is a great recipe to make the day before Thanksgiving and store in the fridge until it’s time for Thanksgiving dinner. I do this every year to save on time.

Now that I’ve made my own cranberry sauce, I can’t imagine Thanksgiving without it!

cranberry sauce in a white bowl

It’s one of my favorite parts of the holidays.

More Thanksgiving Recipes

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cranberry sauce in a white bowl
4.40 from 48 votes

Healthy Cranberry Sauce

By: Joy Shull
This fresh healthy cranberry sauce is the perfect recipe for Thanksgiving. The best easy cranberry sauce.
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 9


  • 3 ½ cups fresh cranberries
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • Scant ½ teaspoon sea salt


  • Add the fresh cranberries, pure maple syrup, and salt to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil
  • After it boils, turn it down to low and cook 10-15 minutes, until thick, stirring frequently and smashing the bubbling cranberries with a spoon. The cranberries will begin to burst the longer they boil.
  • Refrigerate the cranberry sauce until cold and serve chilled



Calories: 90kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 0.2g, Fat: 0.1g, Saturated Fat: 0.003g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Sodium: 3mg, Potassium: 91mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 23IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 0.1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Wondering how long this will last in the fridge? Dinner is Saturday and I’m doing prep work through the week.

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing! I will be using this recipe for now on in place of the tradutuonal refined sugar recipe. Although I may take it down to 1/2 a cup of maple syrup next time. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. This was so easy to make, and it does taste good. I put a little orange peel in it, because that’s how our family likes it. I’ve never cooked with whole cranberries before, and it was fun to hear them pop in the syrup. It turned out thick and sweet/tart, so I’ll probably be making it again. I don’t have a nonstick pot, so was worried that my stainless steel pot would be hard to clean, but the residue washed right out. Thank you for this recipe.