Try This Cranberry Sauce With No Added Sugar for a Guilt Free Turkey Day

Try This Cranberry Sauce With No Added Sugar for a Guilt Free Turkey Day

The year is 1621. The Pilgrims and the Native Americans sit down for the first Thanksgiving feast—a cornucopia of foods including corn, wheat, turkey, deer, fish, and sugar-free cranberry sauce.

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Wait, what? Just kidding! There’s no record of cranberry sauce at the first Thanksgiving, and even if there was, it probably wasn’t sugar-free. Cranberries do, however, grow natively in the marshes of Northeast, and since that’s pretty close to Plymouth Rock, we can safely assume that our fore-bearers would approve of this addition to the menu.


Cranberry Nutrition

Not only is this colorful, tart, sweet treat make a great addition to your holiday table, cranberries are also chock full of vitamins and antioxidants. A half cup of cranberries only has 23 calories, 6g carbs, almost 2g fiber, and about 2g of natural sugars.

However, straight cranberries are far from sweet, which is why most cranberry sauce, juice, jelly, and dried cranberries load up on added sugar to offset the tartness of the fruit. Not low-carb. Not keto-friendly.


How To Make Cranberry Sauce Low-Carb

This added sugar free cranberry recipe calls for orange juice and stevia (a non-nutrive sweetener) to calm the pucker on these suckers. Most traditional cranberry sauce recipes include a cup or more of refined sugar, and store-bought cranberry sauce can easily have 12g added sugar in just a quarter cup.

So you might think that the 1/4 tsp. of stevia here may not sound like very much. But remember that stevia is a mind blowing 200-300 times sweeter than sugar. Now you can enjoy this low-carb take on a holiday classic with all the taste and far fewer calories.


Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

What To Serve With Cranberry Sauce

This added sugar-free cranberry sauce can be more than just a turkey topping on your Thanksgiving table! Here are some tasty options for cranberry sauce, leftover or made fresh:

  • Glaze a protein of your choice and grill up that sweet and sour goodness (even tofu works!).
  • Combine your added sugar-free cranberry sauce to olive oil and vinegar for a tangy vinaigrette dressing.
  • Top whole grain crackers with cream cheese and cranberry sauce for a twist on a classic canape.
  • Add it as a novel flavor to a refreshing mocktail.
  • Top your yogurt or oatmeal with a dollop of cranberry sauce (A perfect option for the morning after Thanksgiving!)

The possibilities are endless!

no sugar added cranberry sauce
4.67 from 3 votes

No Added Sugar Cranberry Sauce

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cranberry sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 43 kcal


  • 6 cups fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup orange juice fresh squeezed from one navel orange
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ tsp powdered stevia divided use


  1. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add cranberries, orange juice, zest and

  2. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Cranberries should be soft and saucy.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts and a pinch of the stevia (don’t use the entire ¼ tsp just yet). 

  4. Stir well and taste, add a touch more stevia until you reach the desired sweetness.

  5. Allow to cool and refrigerate in airtight container for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes

The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
No Added Sugar Cranberry Sauce
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 43 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 1mg0%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce

Photography by Anguel Dimov, AB Creative