Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Last Updated on November 5, 2021 by Anne-Marie

This sugar free cranberry sauce recipe is ideal for those on keto, low carb or paleo diets.

Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce in a white bowl shaped like a turkey.

Why this recipe works

Make a batch of Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving if you’re avoiding extra sugar in your daily routine.

It’s also a keto cranberry sauce that’ll also work for those on low carb or paleo diets.

It’s naturally gluten and dairy free, of course, thus making it an ideal cranberry side dish for just about all your holiday guests.

Plus, it tastes just as good as any other cranberry side you’d make – even those with real sugar and fruit juices!

Best of all, you can make this homemade cranberry sauce a day or two ahead of time. Giving you just one less thing to worry about Thanksgiving morning.

Overhead shot of a white turkey shaped bowl of Cranberry Sauce and a colorful napkin.

Why make a sugar free cranberry sauce?

I originally created this no sugar cranberry sauce, because I wanted to cut back on sugar and calories during the holidays.

I know cranberries are tart, but when I came across a recipe where you made a simple sugar syrup before adding the cranberries, I had enough.

Too. Much. Flippin’. Sugar. There had to be a better way!

So, I decided to try out my two favorite natural, no calorie sweeteners in my homemade recipe.

The easiest way to do it was to make two batches of this sugar free recipe – one with Swerve Sweetener and one with powdered monk fruit sweetener.

Both sweeteners are perfect for low carb, keto diets. They're also gluten free.

We always use a great deal of cranberry sauce, especially for Thanksgiving leftovers like Spicy Cranberry Hummus and Turkey Cranberry Crescent Braid. So making such a big amount of this easy to make sauce wasn’t a big deal.

Plus, I wanted to see if there was a difference in taste, so I could share the results with you all.

A white turkey shaped bowl of Cranberry Sauce.

How to make cranberry sauce without sugar

Now, could I have made a made a recipe for sugar free cranberry sauce with stevia?

Sure! I like stevia a lot. But some people find that stevia has a bitter aftertaste, which is why I prefer Swerve and powdered monk fruit sweeteners when it comes to baking and cooking with a no calorie sweetener.

The first pot of cranberry sauce without sugar was made with Swerve.

Swerve Sweetener is a natural, great tasting, no calorie sweetener that measures cup-for-cup just like sugar.

I love using Swerve so much in my cooking and baking that I told everyone about it and used to send bags of it to Sweden when my sister lived there.

While I’ve been seeing Swerve Sweetener in some stores, it’s easier to find Swerve sweetener online.

They make three kinds of sugar substitutes: granular, powdered, and brown. All are terrific so stock up!

A white turkey shaped bowl of Cranberry Sauce, a colorful napkin, and a silver serving spoon.

My second batch of low carb cranberry sauce was made with powdered monk fruit sweetener.

Powdered monk fruit sweetener is also a natural, no calorie sweetener that measures like sugar and has no bitter aftertaste. You can find it at your grocery store or you can buy it online.

There are many brands and all have slightly different ingredients. So check labels and online reviews to find what works best for your needs.

Did using a no calorie sweetener work better than sugar?

I was nervous about using sugar substitutes in this fresh cranberries sauce since I thought that sugar helped thicken it during the cooking process.

Not to worry because it thickened up very nicely with both the Swerve and powdered monk fruit. Phew!

How did it taste?

As far as taste, both recipes were fantastic! I had no idea either that no calorie sweeteners were used instead of regular sugar.

Check out the Best Gluten Free Thanksgiving Desserts Recipes and the Best Keto Thanksgiving Recipes for more delicious recipes for your holiday table.

Overhead shot of a white turkey shaped bowl of Cranberry Sauce and a silver serving spoon.

Check out these leftover recipes

I’m a big believer in making sure that there’s plenty of cranberry sauce for leftovers.

Cranberry sauce can be used:

in yogurt parfaits

on top of your morning oatmeal

in this Turkey Cranberry Crescent Braid Recipe

as an oatmeal pancake or gluten free crepes topping

in muffins or like how I made these filled gluten free cupcakes


Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Turkey shaped dish of sugar free cranberry sauce

Make a batch of no sugar cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. This keto cranberry sauce is ideal for those on low carb or paleo diets, too.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener (granular) or powdered monk fruit sweetener
  • 1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener, brown
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest (about 1 orange)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch salt


  1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
  2. Lower heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have popped and sauce thickens about 10 to 15 minutes. Use the back of your spoon to help pop cranberries.
  3. Remove from heat and pour into a serving dish. Place in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve. (Can be made 24-48 hours in advance. Keep refrigerated.)

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/4 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 59Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 20mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally published on November 22, 2013 and November 22, 2016. Updated with new pictures and information.

7 thoughts on “Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  1. Tammy K Morris

    This recipe was a disappointment to say the least…the sauce looked good when made the day before our holiday meal but when I went to get me a good spoonful it was harder than a hockey puck…unconsumable unless you would want to have it for an “everlasting” sucker or hockey puck.

    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      Sorry that this happened, Tammy. Did you use Swerve, monk fruit sweetener, or another brand of keto-friendly sweetener? Did you make sure to use 1 1/2 cup of water and 4 cups of cranberries? I’ve made Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce every year at Thanksgiving with stellar results. The only issue I had is refrigerating the sauce does form crystals after a few days.

    1. Lyn

      I made this for Thanksgiving and my family liked it! It did get a little crunchy the next day, but we didn’t mind it much. The flavor is great without the orange zest. We left it out since we were trying to get close to the canned stuff we grew up with!


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