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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
- 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
- Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
- 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.
- 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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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.
Can I use agave? And if I can how much would I use
If you use agave the cranberry sauce recipe won’t be sugar-free or keto. But if you don’t mind that, I’d use 1 to 1 1/4 cup of agave since it tends to be sweeter than sugar.
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.
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.
This sounds delicious. I’m making my cranberry sauce with Swerve too!
Love your photo and the sugar free cranberry sauce. I haven’t had the opportunity to try Swerve yet, so will have to look into it.