This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosures here.
Look no further for the best keto cranberry sauce to please any crowd! This healthy cranberry sauce is the perfect low carb addition to any holiday table. With only 4 ingredients, it comes together in just 10 minutes.
Cranberry sauce is a must-have side dish on any holiday dinner table. Its fresh tangy flavor is the perfect balance to all of the traditional rich Thanksgiving and Christmas foods.
But you’re probably wondering how to make a low carb, sugar free, keto version to enjoy on Thanksgiving and Christmas, right? And are cranberries keto to begin with?
Don’t worry, because I’ve got you (and your holiday dinner!) covered with this crowd-pleasing keto cranberry sauce recipe.
Staying keto during holidays and special events can be challenging, but any time we can make a low carb and sugar free version of a recipe, it makes sticking to your diet a little easier. There’s no need to sacrifice your health goals when it’s so easy to make delicious recipes with reduced sugar and carbs.
And since I love cranberry sauce, of course I had to share my keto cranberry sauce recipe with my keto cranberry loving readers! This low carb cranberry sauce is the perfect way to enjoy that tangy fresh flavor without tossing your low carb diet out the window.
Are Cranberries Keto Friendly?
Cranberries have 12.2 grams of carbs per cup, with 4.6 grams of those coming from fiber. Of course, that’s still a bit high for the keto diet (even though cranberries are one of the lowest carb fruits), but luckily we don’t sit down to eat a full cup of this super tart berry at once.
That means it’s very easy to fit a small portion size of cranberries or sugar free cranberry sauce into your keto eating plan.
Is Canned Cranberry Sauce Healthy?
Commercially made canned cranberry sauce is full of sugar, making it a pretty unhealthy choice.
Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce contains 28g of carbs in a ¼ cup serving, with 22g coming from sugar.
Not only that, two of the four ingredients are high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup! And while there is a lot of controversy over whether high fructose corn syrup is worse than table sugar, even the American Diabetes Association (who typically recommends a higher carb diet which makes blood sugar control more difficult) recommends eating less foods with added sugar.
The American Heart Association also recommends limiting added sugars, stating that: “It’s important to be aware of how much sugar you consume because our bodies don’t need sugar to function properly. Added sugars contribute zero nutrients but many added calories that can lead to extra pounds or even obesity, thereby reducing heart health.”
That’s why making your own low carb cranberry sauce is the perfect solution to that holiday cranberry craving!
Can You Use Frozen or Fresh Cranberries To Make Keto Cranberry Sauce?
Yes, you can use either frozen or fresh cranberries in most keto cranberry sauce recipes.
Frozen cranberries are available all year-round in the frozen fruit section of the grocery store. Like most frozen fruit, they’re picked at their peak and then flash frozen. That means they’re usually less expensive, since the grocery store doesn’t have to worry about them going bad before they can be sold.
Fresh cranberries, on the other hand, are only available in the grocery store for a couple of months around the holidays.
Go ahead and use whichever you have available — your low carb cranberry sauce will be delicious either way!
How Do You Make Cranberry Sauce From Scratch?
The good news is that it’s incredibly quick and easy to make cranberry sauce from scratch. You can have this impressive and super tasty homemade condiment ready for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table in no time at all.
Simply add fresh or frozen cranberries, sweetener, and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Next you’ll reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove your cranberry sauce from the heat and allow it to cool.
The great part about making a homemade cranberry sauce recipe is that you can cook the cranberries as much or as little as you want. If you prefer whole berries in your sauce, just reduce the cooking time. Prefer your cranberry sauce to be smoother? You can even puree it in the blender once it’s finished cooking.
Not only is homemade cranberry sauce way more delicious than the store bought kind, you can fancy it up any way you want!
Here are some optional additions that will make any cranberry sauce taste even more delicious:
- ⅛ tsp Cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Orange zest from 1 orange (if you have non-keto eaters in the house who’ll eat the rest of the orange for you!), or 1 packet of True Lemon crystallized lemon (keto tip: these packets are also great if you don’t like drinking plain water — just make sure you don’t accidentally buy the lemonade version, which is primarily sweetened with cane sugar).
How To Make Sugar Free Cranberry Sauce?
Luckily it’s just as easy to make keto cranberry sauce. We just need to switch out the sugar for a low carb and keto friendly sweetener.
So what’s the best sweetener to use in low carb cranberry sauce? Allulose!
What is allulose? It’s a naturally occurring non-caloric sweetener called a rare sugar. And since it’s hardly fermented in the gut, it may be a good choice for those that experience digestive upset from erythritol.
Erythritol and Swerve can recrystallize as they cool, leaving an unpleasant texture in your cranberry sauce. Even powdered erythritol and Swerve have this problem — it’s just slightly less noticeable.
Allulose doesn’t recrystallize as it cools, plus it has a neutral, non-cooling flavor that tastes almost identical to regular table sugar.
What about stevia glycerite? I find that non-keto eaters often dislike the flavor of stevia, but can’t tell the difference between the clean, neutral flavor of allulose and sugar.
And since I’m typically making cranberry sauce to share as a holiday side dish, I like to make it taste as close to the real thing as possible.
Can You Make Keto Cranberry Sauce Ahead Of Time?
Keto cranberry sauce can be made ahead of time — in fact, I highly recommend it! I like to cook my cranberry sauce a day in advance and then store it in a mason jar in the fridge. This gives the flavors time to come together and meld, making the flavor even better.
So go ahead and make this keto cranberry sauce in advance of your big holiday dinner to save time on the big day!
Can You Freeze Homemade Cranberry Sauce?
Homemade cranberry sauce freezes very well in an airtight container. I recommend defrosting your cranberry sauce overnight in the refrigerator.
The Kitchn has a fantastic trick for freezing condiments into smaller portions, and I highly recommend it:
You simply put the cranberry sauce in a sturdy ziplock bag and lay it flat, evening the cranberry sauce out in the bag. Next, “score” grid lines in the cranberry sauce with a skewer or the back of a butter knife. Slide the bag into the freezer and allow it to freeze flat. Anytime you need a single portion of cranberry sauce, just break off one square (bonus — it will defrost super fast!).
More Keto Cranberry Recipes:
More Keto Recipes For The Holidays:
Keto Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- 10 oz Frozen or Fresh Cranberries, unsweetened 283.5g
- 2/3 Cup Allulose 128g
- 1/4 Cup Water 56.7g
- 1 Pinch Salt
- In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, allulose, water, and salt.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until most of the cranberries have burst.
- Remove the cranberry sauce from the heat and allow to cool completely.
- Store the cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days, or in the freezer for up to two months.
- ⅛ tsp Cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Orange zest from 1 orange (if you have non-keto eaters in the house who’ll eat the rest of the orange for you!), or 1 packet of True Lemon crystallized lemon (keto tip: these are also great if you don’t like drinking plain water — just make sure you don’t accidentally buy the lemonade version, which is primarily sweetened with cane sugar).
Nutrition facts have been calculated using Cronometer, with the carbs from all erythritol and allulose sweeteners subtracted because I do not personally have to bolus insulin for Swerve, erythritol, or allulose as a Type 1 (autoimmune) Diabetic. All Bake It Keto recipes have been tried and used successfully, but results may vary from person to person. All information provided regarding nutrition on the Website is intended to be used for informational purposes only. I am not a nutritionist. Consult your medical professional before using any recipe if you have concerns about how you may individually react to the use of any particular recipe or ingredient. By voluntarily creating and using any recipe provided here, you assume the risk of any potential injury that may result. Please see my full disclosures at https://www.bakeitketo.com/disclosures-privacy-policy/.