Finding a healthy cranberry sauce can be tough. Most versions are sweetened with a TON of sugar. But I don’t think that’s necessary at all, and this paleo cranberry sauce recipe proves it! Sweetened only with dates and oranges, my cranberry orange sauce is sweet, tart, and citrus-y, all at the same time. I don’t know about your holiday tables, but fresh cranberry sauce is a must on mine and I’m so glad there are better options out there than the one I grew up with: canned and jiggly, featuring a whole lot of corn syrup. Give this easy cranberry sauce recipe a try – it will add vibrant color and flavor to your holiday table.
And before you go thinking it’s going to take forever to make, this simple cranberry sauce recipe really couldn’t be any easier! All you need is about 10 minutes and a few simple ingredients: fresh cranberries, dates, orange juice + zest, and some cinnamon and cloves.
Because we wanted this homemade cranberry sauce to be sweetened naturally, we’re using date paste. (That means this is whole30 cranberry sauce, too!)
How To Make Cranberry Sauce
If you want to make the best cranberry sauce recipe, then you have come to the right spot! Here’s how to make this healthy cranberry sauce:
- Make date paste. This easy paste is made by soaking the dates in hot water for a few minutes, until the outer peel easily slides off. Then, mash with the back of a knife until it forms a paste.
- Cook the cranberry orange sauce. Add the water, cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, cinnamon, and cloves into a small pot and simmer until the cranberries start to burst.
- Cool the fresh cranberry sauce. Once simmered, allow it to cool down, then serve and enjoy!
As you can imagine, cooking this cranberry orange sauce recipe has an amazing aroma – it will make your entire house smell so fresh and bright!
What Can I Add To Cranberry Sauce?
If you’re in the mood to add some other flavors to this paleo cranberry sauce, you totally can! This fresh cranberry sauce is so versatile and can be switched up depending on preferences and seasonal availability.
- Apples – Dice up some fresh apples and toss them into the sauce when it’s simmering. It will add some more texture and sweetness.
- Pineapple – This cranberry-orange sauce is incredible with some chopped pineapple too. Pineapples are sweet, almost citrus-y, and a great combination with the other flavors in this paleo cranberry sauce.
- Nuts – Using some crushed pecans, walnuts, or even some almonds will give it a crunch, and it adds flavor too.
Is Fresh Cranberry Sauce Healthy?
Yes, this homemade cranberry sauce recipe is healthy! It’s not full of processed or unhealthy ingredients like the versions you might find at the store.
Here are some of the nutrients you’ll find in this simple cranberry sauce:
- Cranberries – Cranberries are loaded with fiber, rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, copper, manganese, and vitamin K.
- Dates – Dates provide valuable nutrients like fiber, potassium, B6, iron, and they have lots of antioxidants. We’re using them as a natural sweetener.
- Orange Zest & Juice – Oranges and their juice offer a lot to you, such as calcium, vitamin B6, riboflavin, copper, magnesium, thiamin, and more.
- Cinnamon – This super spice has some great qualities like calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and potassium.
- Cloves – Most people don’t realize cloves are good for you, with vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber.
How Do You Store Paleo Cranberry Sauce?
Store the healthy cranberry sauce for 5-7 days in the fridge. (And unlike sugar-free keto cranberry sauce, it won’t crystallize.)
You can serve it cold or enjoy it at room temperature, whichever you prefer.
Can You Freeze Whole30 Cranberry Sauce?
Yes, you can freeze this whole30 cranberry sauce recipe. After it cools, pour it into plastic freezer bags or an airtight container.
TIP: If using bags, make sure to get all the air out of them and don’t fill it too full, because they expand as they freeze.
Thaw in the fridge by placing the sauce in the refrigerator the night before serving.
More Paleo Holiday Recipes
Looking for more paleo holiday sides? Check out these favorites – I’ve got your holiday table covered:
- Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole – Sweet potato casserole gets an upgrade with bacon. You know everyone loves this one!
- Cinnamon Mashed Sweet Potatoes – If sweet potato casserole seems like too much work, these are way easier.
- Maple Butternut Squash & Brussels Sprouts – Perfect side dish for all your holiday meals, I love the combination of sweet, savory, salty and vegetables!
- Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts – I have not met a brussels sprout I didn’t like. This one is simply seasoned with garlic.
- Slow Cooker Garlic Herb Potatoes – Save space in your oven and use your slow cooker for this one.
- Sauteed Green Beans – A healthy spin on a classic favorite. Green beans are always a great holiday vegetable.
Healthy Paleo Cranberry Sauce Recipe:
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Easy Healthy Paleo Cranberry Sauce Recipe
This whole30 paleo cranberry sauce recipe is tart, sweet, and naturally sweetened! See how to make healthy cranberry sauce in just 10 minutes. Fresh cranberry orange sauce will brighten any holiday table.
Recipe VideoClick or tap on the image below to play the video and learn how to make this recipe!
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- 8 ounces Fresh cranberries
- 10 medium Deglet dates (pitted)
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1 medium Orange (zested + 1 tablespoon juice)
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 3 whole Cloves (or pinch of ground clove)
- 1 pinch Sea salt
More TIPS about this paleo recipe in the post above!
Soak the dates in hot water for 5-10 minutes, or until the skin easily peels off. Mash the insides with the back of a knife until smooth.
Place the cranberries, water, orange zest and juice, cinnamon, clove, salt, and date paste into a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the cranberries burst and the mixture starts to thicken. Remove and let cool before serving.
Video Showing How To Make Paleo Cranberry Sauce:
Don't miss the VIDEO above - it's the easiest way to learn how to make Paleo Cranberry Sauce!
Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols (though the latter are rarely seen on this site), because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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It’s alittle sour, any suggestions?
Could I purée up the whole date or make a paste? It seems pretty tedious to peel them.
When do you add the date paste? Maybe I missed it in the recipe steps? Before, during or after cooking the cranberries and oranges? This recipe sounds great, as my sister does not eat any sugar but I want to serve cranberry sauce with our Thanksgiving meal.
My kids and I love this recipe! I use a 12 oz bag of cranberries since that’s what Aldi sells, also skip the zest and juice the whole orange and use all of the juice. I put everything in my Instant Pot for 6 minutes, let The pressure release naturally, and blend it up in my Vitamix. This cranberry sauce pairs perfectly with turkey!
How many servings is this recipe for?
I am excited to make this! Could I add crushed pineapple to it? If so, how much would you suggest and in what step should I add it? Thanks!
Hi Sarah, I haven’t tried that, but I’m sure you could. I would just add it with the other ingredients and let it cook with it.
I was wondering what the difference is between the dates your recipe requests and the dates at my grocery store ? I think they are called medjuul dates.. Thank you
Hi Kat, Deglet dates have a more mild and delicate flavor, but you could use either. You might have more noticeable “date flavor” if you use medjool dates.