Low-Sugar Cranberry Sauce with Apple

This Thanksgiving, try my homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice, apples and a hint of spice! It’s easy to make, has less sugar than store-bought products and tastes so much better! 

a white bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice on a rustic white table with a blue napkin in the background

Tick tock, Thanksgiving is in less than a week away! What are your plans this year? Are you hosting or in charge of bringing a dish?

This will be my very first Thanksgiving in the US and I can’t wait. We’ve celebrated a few times before in France, just for fun, but it’s not the same.

It’s not the real thing! This year, we will be in Philly with my husband’s family and they’ve planned a big family reunion. I don’t know much of the details but apparently, there will be plenty of people so I’m guessing…plenty of holiday FOOD! Woohoo.

overhead shot of homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice in a white bowl with a blue napkin on the side

Making Homemade Cranberry Sauce is easy and it’s 10x healthier than store-bought sauces!

Cranberry sauce is a staple on any Thanksgiving table – and a lot of Christmas tables for that matter. In Australia, for Christmas, we had a big turkey as well and of course, homemade cranberry sauce to go with it.

Now, there’s cranberry sauce and there’s homemade cranberry sauce. The canned stuff has seriously nothing to do with the homemade sauce.

Seriously, it’s like night and day. And dare I say, this homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice and zest, apples and a hint of allspice is 10x better.

The good news is that homemade cranberry sauce is super simple to make and you can control the amount of sugar that goes into it.

Obviously, the canned sauce is mostly made of…sugar – yikes!). If you like your cranberry sauce a bit tart, follow the recipe to a T. If you like it a bit sweeter, add 3/4 cup to 1 cup of sugar.

To keep the sugar content to a minimum, I added natural sourced of sweetness like orange juice and apples, and it makes the sauce even more delicious!

close-up of a white bowl filled with homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice and apples

P.S: I’m currently aboard the Trans-Canada train until Saturday morning, without internet connexion, so I won’t be able to answer your comments before then. This post was scheduled before I left and automagically posted this morning 🙂

If you tried this Homemade Cranberry Sauce, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

Try this low-sugar cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving. Sweetened with orange juice, apple and brown sugar, it's so much better than the canned stuff! | Find this recipe on NotEnoughCinnamon.com #holidays #thanksgiving
5 from 1 vote

Low-Sugar Cranberry Sauce with Apple

This Thanksgiving, try my homemade cranberry sauce with orange juice, apples and a hint of spice! It's easy to make, has less sugar than store-bought products and tastes so much better! 

Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword clean eating, cranberry sauce with orange juice, from scratch, healthy holidays, healthy Thanksgiving recipes, homemade cranberry sauce, light Thanksgiving sides
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 32 tablespoons (2 heaping cups
Calories 19 kcal


  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar – up to 1 cup (see notes)
  • 13 oz fresh cranberries - 370g - 3.5 cups - you can also use thawed frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 heaping cup Granny Smith apple peeled and chopped very thinly (about 1/2 apple)
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 strip of orange peel
  • a pinch of salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper


  1. In a medium pot, combine orange juice and coconut sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved.

  2. Add cranberries, apple, allspice, and the orange peel. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until cranberries have busted and the sauce has thickened a bit. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.
  3. If not using immediately, transfer in an airtight container once cooled and store in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

This cranberry sauce is a bit tart. If you don't like your cranberry sauce tart, use 3/4 cup to 1 cup of sugar.

Nutrition Facts
Low-Sugar Cranberry Sauce with Apple
Amount Per Serving (1 tablespoon)
Calories 19
% Daily Value*
Sodium 5mg0%
Potassium 29mg1%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Sugar 3g3%
Vitamin A 25IU1%
Vitamin C 6.1mg7%
Calcium 2mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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posted in
Clean Eating Dairy Free Fall Recipes Gluten free Holidays Paleo Paleo/Primal Primal Recipes Refined Sugar Free Sauces Under 300 cal Vegan Vegetarian Winter Recipes
  1. I like the idea of a more tart cranberry sauce. Of course my husband would like it sweeter. So I figure he can add sugar to his portion…

    Hope you have a wonderful time celebrating Thanksgiving with Solal’s family!

  2. This sounds absolutely delicious! I have a large bag of cranberries in my freezer. I would like to make it and preserve it in jars. Do you have an ideas how best to preserve? Should I cook it up and out it in sterilized jars and seal, or should I seal it in a water bath?
    I think either would work, but it d hate to over cook it.

    1. Hi Bea! I would cook it and seal it in sterilized jars but I’m definitely not an expert in canning so I’m not positive. Sorry I can’t help you more! 🙂

  3. it looks delicious. i would try to make one someday so if my neighbours coming to my house, they have something to eat with a pasta

  4. This sauce looks delightful! I love, that you left the cranberries chunky and I like mine on the tart side as well! This is the perfect recipe for me.

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