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I make this fresh, homemade low carb keto cranberry sauce recipe for Thanksgiving every year. And every single year, everyone at the table — including the extended family that isn’t even trying to eat healthy — eagerly gobbles it up. That’s because this healthy sugar-free cranberry sauce tastes exactly like the traditional sugary version, so everyone at your Thanksgiving or Christmas gathering can enjoy it.
While cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving ordeal for most, who says roasted turkey gets to have all the fame? It’s surprisingly delicious on chicken breast or even meatballs, too.
So, what’s the difference between a sugar free cranberry sauce recipe and regular cranberry sauce? The sweetener! Besti Powdered Monk Fruit Allulose Blend is my top choice because it blends perfectly into the sauce, keeps longer without crystallizing, has no aftertaste, and contains 0g net carbs!
Why You’ll Love This Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- Sweet & tart flavor
- Customizable texture – more runny, more jelly-like, or in between
- Only 4 ingredients and 2 steps
- Done in 10 minutes
- Just 4g net carbs and 32 calories per generous serving (1/4 cup)
- Naturally gluten-free and keto
Ingredients You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for keto jellied cranberry sauce, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Cranberries – Fresh cranberries taste best, but frozen cranberries will work as well. Cranberries actually have a small amount of natural sugar, which helps the sauce thicken and gel a little, just like you’d expect from a traditional cranberry sauce. If you have extra cranberries left over, use them to make sugar-free dried cranberries.
- Besti Powdered Monk Fruit Allulose Blend – This works best because it dissolves completely and won’t crystallize. If you’ll be using your sugar-free cranberry sauce right away, powdered erythritol or other powdered sugar substitutes can work (see my sweetener conversion chart for amounts), but Besti is the only one to use if you want to avoid your sauce becoming crunchy after storage — and it tastes the closest to real sugar.
- Water – Helps to thin the sauce so everything blends evenly.
- Orange Zest – Add as much or as little as you like, depending on how much you like orange. If you can’t get a fresh orange, then a little orange extract (to taste) is the next best option.
- Vanilla Extract – Use a high quality vanilla extract for the best flavor.
How To Make Keto Cranberry Sauce Without Sugar
This section shows how to make low carb cranberry sauce, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Simmer. Mix cranberries, water, powdered Besti, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer, until the cranberries pop and a sauce forms.
- Finish. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled. (Sugar-free cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.)
TIP: You can adjust the consistency by adjusting the cook time.
Cook the sauce for less time for a texture similar to preserves with some whole berries intact (as pictured), or cook it for longer to get a jelly-like sauce more similar to canned versions.
Low Carb Cranberry Sauce Variations
If you’re looking for a healthier cranberry sauce with different flavors, there are plenty of options available. Check out some of these other delicious variations:
- Keto maple cranberry sauce – Use 1/2 cup keto maple syrup instead of the sweetener.
- Add warm spices – Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, and 1/8 tsp salt to your healthy cranberry sauce before cooking on the stovetop.
- Orange ginger cranberry sauce – Add 1/8 tsp of grated ginger and double the orange zest.
- Hot and spicy cranberry sauce – Add jalapenos or chipotles in adobo before simmering.
- Apple cranberry sauce – Use 1 cup unsweetened applesauce instead of water. (This option is healthy but not keto friendly! You can use apple extract instead for a keto version.)
- Add red wine – Instead of using water to simmer the sauce, use 3/4 cup of red wine. Red wine adds a depth of flavor that’s irresistible. You could even add in some walnuts for a little crunch as well.
- Store: Sugar free jellied cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. To store, let it cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 1-2 weeks. (Fun fact: The allulose in Besti is a natural preservative, so this keto cranberry sauce will keep for longer than regular versions!)
- Freeze: If you want to keep this homemade sugar free cranberry sauce for a longer period of time, place it in a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Healthy & Keto Thanksgiving Recipes
Fortunately, this healthy homemade cranberry sauce is quick and easy to whip up. It doesn’t take time or effort away from whatever other dishes I’m experimenting with. And, it means you can make it in just ten minutes, leaving you more time to focus on other Thanksgiving recipes:
- Turkey – My easy roasted Thanksgiving turkey is juicy and flavorful, but you can’t go wrong with a spatchcock turkey with juicy meat and crispy skin. If you want an easier way to make turkey for a smaller gathering, try slow cooker turkey breast or turkey legs instead. And, don’t forget to top your turkey with low carb keto gravy!
- Potato Swaps – If you’re looking for some low carb options to potatoes, make low carb sweet potato casserole or mashed cauliflower… or make conventional roasted potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes if you’re just reducing sugar but not carbs.
- Sides – Many Thanksgiving sides are packed with carbs, but not my cauliflower stuffing, cauliflower mac and cheese, keto green bean casserole, roasted green beans (shown in the photo!), or kale brussel sprout salad.
- Desserts – You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without dessert! If you’re watching your carbs, you can still have a serving of low carb pumpkin pie, sugar-free pecan pie, low carb apple pie, or keto pumpkin cheesecake.
Tools To Make Healthy Cranberry Sauce
- Medium Saucepan – This is the cookware set I prefer to use. It is stainless steel and dishwasher safe.
- Utensil Set – High heat safe and BPA free, this cooking utensil set is the perfect choice when making this low carb cranberry sauce. Unlike wooden spoons, it won’t stain from the cranberries (which is what happened to the spoon in the pictures above!).
Sugar-Free Keto Cranberry Sauce
Sugar-Free Keto Cranberry Sauce (4 Ingredients!)
This healthy, keto, sugar-free cranberry sauce needs just 4 ingredients + 10 minutes! Made with fresh cranberries, it's sweet, delicious, and better than store bought.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Combine the cranberries, water, Besti, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the cranberries pop and a sauce forms.
Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
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Serving size: 1/4 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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I am so happy I found this recipe! So easy to make and crazy delicious.
This cranberry sauce tastes wonderful! There’s just the right amount of tartness and sweetness. It’s easy and fun to make (I like listening to the popping). My family enjoyed it. We went through 2 double batches!
I have 2 Cookbooks from Wholesome Yum and love them both. Made this recipe for Thanksgiving and will be making it again for Christmas. It is so good.
Love this recipe! So does my husband which is more important as he loves cranberry sauce but is diabetic so we are trying to reduce sugar. Thanks so much!
Absolutely delicious! I love it in my sugar free, lemon lime drinks. Wonderful on toast too🌸
Made this for Thanksgiving this year and it was so good. Fresh cranberries make a better sauce. I remember my grandmother crushing them with a grinder that attached to her counter. But because you were not really allowed in the kitchen when she was cooking, I didn’t know what she did. This was a very close copy.
Delicious! You would never guess this is sugar free. None of our guests did!
Journa Liz Ramirez0
This sugar-free keto cranberry sauce recipe is so amazing! It was easy to make and it was so delicious and healthy. My family loves it so much. Highly recommended!
I love the orange flavor from the Zest in this keto cranberry sauce. Yum!
This looks so easy to make and so delicious!
It was so good- and SO easy! I love it. (Full disclosure, I didn’t add the vanilla extract at the end.) I plan to make more before the fresh cranberry’s go away and freeze it to use with chicken and fish.
Made this for Thanksgiving. It is very easy to make and so delicious.
Thank you for sharing.
Absolutely wonderful.. made this with 3/4c monk fruit and Well I should have doubled the recipe everyone loved it.. even me and I never eat the jelly cranberry stuff
Delicious. I have made it the last two years.
This is so good
YUMMMM! I just made this for Thanksgiving dinner and it’s just delicious! It was my first time making homemade cranberry sauce. I usually buy the store-bought jellied kind but now that I’m eating keto-friendly only, I tried this. Now I wonder why I didn’t make homemade sooner!!!
First time cook for me. Dang, i might never have another kind! Didn’t add the orange, as I forgot but the rest I did as suggested. Might try it with home processed cranberry juice rather than water, since i keep that on hand and all. Sure am going to enjoy this with my Thanksgiving meal. Thank you !!
It’s delicious! And super easy
Even though this is sugar-free, it’s still perfectly sweet & so tasty! Thank you for sharing this!
Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this recipe! I love cranberry sauce, but always hated the amount of sugar in it, and this is just what I needed.
How much is a serving, or how many will this serve?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi DeDe, This makes 6 1/4 cup servings. You can adjust the servings if you need more.
Hi, next to allulose, it says see notes, but there aren’t any notes about sweetener. It just says, “RECIPE NOTES Serving size: 1/4 cup.”
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Sarah, Sorry about that! There are no notes, I removed the “see notes” part. But you can check the post above for notes about the sweetener if you have questions around that.
This cranberry sauce is fabulous! It is sweet and tart at the same time. For more tartness, leave out the vanilla.
What can I use instead of Besti?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Carole, Besti Powdered Monk Fruit Allulose Blend is my top choice because it blends perfectly into the sauce, keeps longer without crystallizing. Depending on which sweetener you choose, you may need to adjust the amount of sweetener needed in the recipe. Check out this Keto Sweetener Guide to help you determine the best option for you.
Have not made yet, but will be making Thanksgiving—Thank you for the recipe
Did not disappoint! So pleased to get this recipe. One question- the Besti seemed to accumulate on the top after a night in fridge making a crusty patch – should I use less sweetener, a bit more water or what. Still so good!
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Glad you liked it! Any accumulation should go away if you just reheat it again, it shouldn’t be actual crystallization like erythritol would do (which is tough to get rid of).
Do you squeeze the orange juice into the cranberry sauce, or do you just throw the orange away?
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Squeezing the orange juice into the sauce would add a lot of sugar so I don’t, but my kids usually eat the orange itself after I add the zest to the sauce. You can add some orange juice into the sauce if you like, though.
Oh my goodness! This was amazing! I simmered the sauce as in the directions, and added Besti. I skipped the extra flavorings, and orange zest. The Besti was perfect! I will definitely make this often. YUM!
I use this recipe every year! Even my non-keto/low carb family prefers this cranberry sauce over several others we’ve tried!
Have made this cranberry recipe and loved it was a hit with whole family in fact going to make this year again and family said not to bother getting canned stuff I did have a little crystallize in there I liked the crunch. Would probably be good as topping for sugar free ice cream or just by its self worked for me. Thanks for this recipe made turkey day for me I enjoy the cranberry sauce with my meal
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Renee, I’m glad you liked it! You shouldn’t have any crunch or crystallization if you use Besti, but other brands may crystallize.
Can’t wait to try this! I like to take a whole Clementine slice it very thin and add it for a special citrus flavor.
Very tasty! I actually reduced the sugar and added more zest. At the end, I did add a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg as you suggested. Also an easier way to zest your orange is to buy a smaller zester with a handle and put the orange on a solid surface. Then zest it by moving the orange around.
Wonderful recipe. I made this last night to go with our salmon. Both my husband and I loved it. I like to add star anise when I can. However I couldn’t find any at the store so I used a teaspoon of Sambuca.
So glad I found your sugar free recipe. I made it Thanksgiving day and the family really enjoyed it. I did cut down my Monk granular sugar to 3/4c. & didn’t have orange zest on hand. I might even try 1/2c next time. Thank you.
I have just made this. I am in Australia where we can only buy dried (always sweetened) cranberries and unsweetened frozen ones for a few weeks a year near Christmas, from only one store in my small town so they go pretty quickly. The first time I made this recipe I used granulated erithrytol (possibly with a minute amount of stevia or monkfuit), deliciously jammy initially but rocky by the next morning. I have just found powdered truvia and used it this time but the sauce is very tart. I feel there are two possible reasons for this: 1. The cranberries are picked and frozen before they are properly ripe. OR 2. Powdered sweetener is not as compact as granular so a cupful or powdered contains less sweetener. I now have a jar of deliciously fruity, but very sour cranberry sauce. Should I reheat it and add more sweetener. I did not use vanilla because I hate vanilla everything.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Jane, If you have access to monk fruit sweetener, that would be best for this recipe. I know being in Australia, finding quality ingredients can sometimes be difficult. I recommend adding more powdered sweetener to help with the tartness, hopefully.
Do you know if this could be used in a gelatin salad recipe? I have made this gelatin salad recipe every Thanksgiving for many years, and the family demands it. It calls for canned whole berry cranberry sauce, but I now eat Keto and do not want all the sugar and carbs from the canned version.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Patty, I have never made gelatin salad but that sounds like it would work for you.
Had no idea cranberry sauce was so easy to make. This recipe is delicious and perfect for my diabetic husband! Highly recommend.
If I use stevia how much should I use?
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Sharon, Stevia is about 150 to 300 times sweeter than sugar so this makes it hard to substitute but I have a Sweetener Conversion Chart that you can check out for the conversion.
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