For years now, we have simply plopped down one of those blobs of canned Cranberry Sauce on our Holiday Table and called it good. Well, NO MORE! This year I actually made a homemade Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce and it's a whole lot easier than you think!
Not only does it taste OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD.....you get to listen to the little cranberries POP when you cook them!
I know - it doesn't take much to entertain a food blogger.
Fresh cranberries, sweet cherries, a few dates, a cinnamon stick, some spices, and a little orange juice and zest - and you have the simplest holiday recipe ever.
And it tastes SO GOOD compared to that blob of jelly in a can. And did I mention it's sugar-free???
I looked at a few traditional recipes on the big, wide, interweb and good lord the amount of sugar they use in their recipes! I could feel my insulin spike just reading about it!
This recipe uses NO refined sugar, but rather the natural sweetness from the dates, the cherries, and the orange juice. It's got plenty of natural sweetness this way but yet has just enough tartness leftover for a little pucker.
My wife said it was so good it could be used for pie filling! Lol, maybe in another recipe.
So are your Holiday Plans set in stone yet? Got room for a homemade sugar-free Cranberry Sauce that everyone will be sure to love? It only takes about 15 minutes to whip up a batch...so why not?
But....you will have to soak some dates....so be prepared for that. Whoops...looks like I'm getting ahead of myself.... so let's quit yammerin' and go make some Cranberry Sauce...
Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce
As I was saying, you're gonna need a handful of dates. I like the Medjool Dates, so grab about 6 of them and toss them in some hot water for about an hour or so to let them soften. The longer the better. And if they have the pit, be sure and remove them eventually.
Next, rinse a 12oz bag of fresh cranberries, in case there's any bog left on them, and toss them into a large pan.
Next, I added about 1 cup of frozen Dark Sweet Cherries. I buy the Private Select brand from our local Fred Meyer (Kroger).
Next, use a zester tool to collect about 1 tablespoon of Orange Zest. I chose an organic orange just for this purpose. We'll also need about 1 cup of orange juice, so feel free to squeeze the juice from this orange as well, but we'll probably need to add a little store-bought orange juice too.
Here is a really cool zester I found on Amazon. It makes the really long strips of zest and I'm truly thinking of ordering one for myself. And as always, as an Amazon Associate, I do earn from qualifying purchases but at no extra cost to you.
Add the zest to the pot with the cranberries and cherries but save the cup of orange juice for later.
Now we just add a few spices, the entire list of which is down below in the recipe box but feel free to tweak them or add your own.
So we have the cranberries, cherries, orange zest, and spices in the pan. All that's left now is the orange juice and the soaked dates. I added the dates and juice to my blender and pureed it until it was super smooth, then added that into my pan.
Bring the heat up to med-high and you will soon hear the little cranberries pop as they split. Again, I thought it was kind of fun to watch. Just don't put your face down too close...one might pop out at ya. 😉
One they begin poppin' and rockin', turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and let that go about 10 minutes. It will look a little thin but trust me it will thicken up as it cools.
After 10 minutes or so you can remove the pan from the heat and taste for any adjustments. A pinch of salt may be all it needs, or if you like your Cranberry Sauce a little bit sweeter, you could maybe add another pureed date or a few more cherries - up to you.
Super easy, super tasty, homemade Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce - just in time for the Holiday Table.
Be sure and comment to let me know how it went and in the meantime, I'll be here working on at least one more Holiday Recipe before the big day.
Can you believe it's almost here? Yikes! See ya soon!Print
Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce Recipe with Sweet Cherries
- Prep Time: 1 hr
- Cook Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 34 minute
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: Holiday, Sauce
- Method: Stovetop, Blender
- Cuisine: American, Vegan
Why open a blob of canned jellied Cranberry Sauce when you can make your own? This Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce has no refined sugar, tastes delicious, and is a lot easier to make than you think!
- 12 oz cranberries
- 1 cup frozen dark sweet cherries
- 6 medjool dates
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 Tbs orange zest
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp allspice
- Simply cover your dates with hot water and allow them to soak until softened, at least an hour or so.
- Rinse and drain your cranberries and then add them to a large soup pan
- Add the dark cherries, orange zest, and spices
- Finally, blend the dates with the 1 cup of orange juice until smooth and pour into the pan
- Adjust the heat to med-high until the cranberries begin to pop, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionaly.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Adjust seasoning to taste. If you like it sweeter you can add a few more cherries or blend another date.
Keywords: sugar-free cranberry sauce
This sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it!
Does the cinnamon get grated? I’ve never used a cinnamon stick before. ?
No, you simply drop the stick into the pan while it's cooking, and then fish it out before you serve it up. You can use powdered cinnamon as well if you want, maybe start with 1/4 tsp
I've made my own cranberry sauce for years, but it calls for a lot of granulated sugar. I like that this recipe gets its sweetness from the natural sugar of the dates and cherries, so I plan to try it this year. One question: Can it be made ahead and frozen?
I haven't tried it yet but I don't see why not.
It freezes beautifully. I do it often.
Wow! Finally a recipe that doesn't call for a ton of sugar. I always feel bad dumping all that sugar in but then rationalize that is only once a year. I am going to give this a try along with your stuffing recipe. Thank you!
We are spending Thanksgiving with family. I plan to make this at home and take it with me. Your timing is perfect!
Any chance this could be converted for the Instant Pot? I love making cranberry sauce in the IP. Simple and less mess!
Only takes like 10 minutes on the stove.....
????????????Yay for sugar free and the Orange and cherries? Fabulous. Going to make it for sure!
I have a tendency to buy fresh cranberries and freeze them. Do you think the frozen cranberries would work, as long as I defrost them first?
I make a similar recipe and have used frozen cranberries. No worries. It’ll work well.
So excited to try this recipe. We love cranberry sauce & a no sugar version is what I've been looking for. 🙂
I also freeze mine and just thaw them out and use them like they are fresh. You are cooking them anyway.
Chuck I can’t have orange juice. What would you recommend? The juice from the dates? Or just water? Thanks.
Maybe try Apple Cider?
ooooooh, I like the apple cider idea. I just don't like orange flavor.
What can you combine it with, since it's traditionally combined with meat? Do you have good tips?
Using dark cherries in this recipe I see genius. I left out the dates(tried a different recipe before and was not a fan) and I substituted a few more cherries. It was wonderful! I will blend up the cherries next time and will bring it to Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you for all your great recipes!
I made this yesterday and loved it! If I wanted the cranberries to be a little chunkier, would I cook it for less time? Thank you for this recipe!
Can I used canned cherries instead of frozen?
Don't screw it up as I did by leaving the pits in the dates. I assumed they were pitted but they were not!
This was delicious. Followed the recipe exactly, and it was petfect
I finally made this today and it is delicious. Thank you, Chuck.
How many days approximately will this last in the fridge? I'd like to make it ahead. Thanks.
Tangy and tasty! Thank you for a great no-sugar recipe!
This is it. Look no further for a cranberry sauce recipe. We whipped this up for Thanksgiving, and it had absolute rave reviews. It was, honestly, the star of the show this year.
Cherries make this a winner! Great combination of flavors!
This cranberry recipe looks fabulous!
One question: are the dates drained after soaking? Or is the soak water blended in?
This recipe looks great can't wait to try this Thank you for the great ideas for sugar free cranberry sauce.