Just 3 ingredients make this healthy, sweetener-free homemade cranberry sauce recipe. The perfect compliment to your holiday feast. Paleo, Whole30 approved, and vegan.
Last updated on November 5, 2019.
Yay or nay on the homemade cranberry sauce? I am for sure a yay!
I used to be anti homemade cranberry sauce though. You know the kind that comes in a can that is like one big solid thing of cranberry jello? That was my jam. It was a must that my mom had to buy that kind or my sister and I would throw a fit.
And not the chunky kind with pieces of whole cranberries. No, the full on jello kind. I know it’s not jello per say, but it practically should be.
Pretty sure that stuff is just sugar with some cranberry flavoring. Wherever we were going on Thanksgiving, the house had to have some, or we would bring our own.
My poor mother though. She is a veggie lover and raised us eating our veggies and healthy meals. But she also wanted us to be happy and splurged on things like fruit loops, fluff for peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, canned cranberry sauce for holidays, and many other things.
Moms are legit the best!
So this is dedicated to my momma. This homemade cranberry sauce is actually her recipe! I’m pretty sure she didn’t make it for a few years since we thought it was so weird.
I’m so glad my taste buds have evolved over time and I have moved away from processed foods. Because this sauce is so good. I made it a few years ago for friendsgiving and my friend requested it again the next year!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe
It’s just 3 ingredients! Can I get a heck yes?! No artificial sweeteners, thickeners, or weird additives. Fresh fruit adds some sweetness to balance out the tartness from the cranberries and it cooks down into a thick chutney consistency. It will be your new favorite holiday side dish!
Here is what you need:
First start off by prepping your fruit by dicing the pineapple and apple. Add the cranberries and pineapple to a medium size sauce pan and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broken down.
Next add the apple and cook for another 15-20 minutes until sauce is thick and apple is softened. The consistency will be a like thick chutney.
If you want to add any add-in or sweeteners (see below for suggestions), now is the time. Stir to incorporate and let cool. Serve it up with your favorite holiday dishes and enjoy!
For reference, pictures below are after 10 minutes and after 20 minutes of just the cranberries and pineapple.
Substitutions or Additions
I love this recipe as is. It is definitely on the tart side though and I know not everyone loves super tart things. There are quite a few ways to adjust the recipe to your liking.
To make it sweeter, add one these (the recipe will no longer be Whole30 if you add maple syrup, honey, or sugar):
- maple syrup
- date paste – homemade or store bought
- coconut sugar or white sugar
- fruit juice – apple juice or orange juice would be great!
To change up the flavors some, add some of these:
- orange juice and zest – mentioned above, but both would be a great addition
- spices – a few of you guys have added cinnamon and say it’s a great addition! I also think cloves, nutmeg, or cardamon would be good.
- vanilla extract
- lemon juice – this will add to the tartness so I would balance it out with something sweet
How long does Homemade Cranberry Sauce Last?
You might not believe me when I say this, but this recipe will keep for up to a couple months in the fridge. We never have it that long as we use it in a bunch of different things (oatmeal, on rice cakes, in yogurt…) if we have leftovers, but it does. Just make sure it is in a tightly sealed glass jar (I love these weck jars!).
For those of you that don’t like the idea of keeping fresh food in your fridge that long, it will also freeze well. Store in a tightly sealed container or glass jar (just leave some room for it to expand), and then defrost when you are craving a taste of the holidays.
More Healthy Holiday Side Dishes
Kale Salad with Butternut Squash & Pomegranates
Green Beans with Mushrooms and Bacon
Honey Rosemary Roasted Cashews
Roasted Red Pepper and Squash Soup
Ginger & Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranates
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
- 4 cups whole cranberries (400 grams)
- 2 cups diced pineapple (300 grams)*
- 1 small apple, finely diced (about 150 grams)
- Add cranberries and pineapple to a medium sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until broken down. Be careful that it doesn't burn.
- Add apple and cook for another 15-20 minutes until softened and combined. Consistency should be a thick chutney.
- Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.
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