This Healthy Paleo Cranberry Sauce is simple to make, delicious, and sweetened with maple syrup to keep it refined sugar-free. Orange zest and warm spices give this cranberry sauce incredible flavor, and it’s done in 15 minutes.
Are you a cranberry sauce fan on Thanksgiving? Cranberry sauce fans tend to be a pretty decisive group, and in my house at least, it’s always the same people scooping cranberry sauce onto their plates year after year.
Those who like cranberry sauce on their Thanksgiving plates also tend to be divided within themselves, favoring either fresh, chunky cranberry sauce, or the ridged stuff from the can. Which camp do you fall into? Personally, I’m all about the fresh stuff. I like my cranberry sauce tart, lightly sweetened, chunky, and full of flavor.
Cranberry sauce is not my favorite thing on Thanksgiving, though. I usually just take a little bit, and use it here and there to accent some bites. But, it’s so quick and easy to make that I always try to take 15 minutes to whip a quick batch together for our table, especially being in the “fresh cranberry sauce all the way” camp. I don’t want our table to end up with the canned stuff on it. There’s something a little too odd to me about cranberry sauce in a can shape. I just can’t get down with it, especially when it’s so easy to make it yourself.
So, what’s in this healthy cranberry sauce?!
- Cranberries. Fresh or frozen both work well here – whichever is more accessible to you!
- Orange. One fresh orange, any variety. We’ll be using the zest as well as the juice, so I recommend opting for organic if you can.
- Maple Syrup. Honey can also be used, but I prefer the maple flavor here.
- Spices. We use cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. You can adjust amounts, or spices used if you prefer something different. I find this combination to give fabulous flavor, though.
This cranberry sauce is also incredibly customizable to your tastes. Like a sweeter cranberry sauce? Add a bit more maple syrup. Like it more tart? Scale the sweetness down. Want more cinnamon? Give it a taste and adjust as necessary.
When you’re making cranberry sauce in your kitchen, it’s all in your control and you can make it just how you like it. This year’s version is my kitchen is definitely one of my favorites. In the past, I’ve used granulated or brown sugar, but this year I decided to make this cranberry sauce refined sugar-free by sweetening with maple syrup.
This recipe uses just 1/2 cup of maple syrup, and my family finds the cranberry sauce to be plenty sweet for our tastes. Orange zest and juice help brighten up the recipe, but the spices are what really shine. I love fall spices so much, and the warmth they give this recipe is incredible! If you like the spices to be a bit milder, start with using half the recommended amounts and scale up as desired.
This healthier paleo cranberry sauce recipe will look beautiful on your Thanksgiving table! Be sure to snatch up the leftovers too, because I have some delicious recipes coming at you to use your leftover cranberry sauce. Enjoy!
For the rest of your Thanksgiving Menu:
- Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole with Gluten-Free Pecan Crumble
- Autumn Harvest Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Vegan Broccoli Gratin
- 20 Gluten-Free Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts
This Paleo Cranberry Sauce is simple to make, delicious, and sweetened with maple syrup to keep it refined sugar-free. Orange zest and warm spices give this cranberry sauce incredible flavor, and it’s done in 15 minutes.
- 12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
- Zest of 1 orange
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- Empty cranberries into a saucepan. Add maple syrup, orange juice, orange zest, and spices to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, about 5 more minutes. If you like your cranberry sauce very chunky, remove from heat now. If you like a smoother sauce, cook down over medium heat for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely before serving.
- This can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week, so it’s easy to make ahead of time.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
Keywords: cranberry sauce, refined sugar free, thanksgiving