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Homemade Keto Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

This is a delicious and easy to make Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce that is low in carbs and that you’ll want to put on your plate with everything…. turkey, chicken, and pork!

spoonful of Keto Cranberry Sauce

Well, I am pleased to introduce you to our Keto/Low Carb Cranberry Sauce. While experimenting on making Low Carb Recipes it was one of the ones that I was wondering how we could make it, knowing that cranberry sauce is typically full of sugar.

Cranberries on their own are so tart so you have to add a sugar substitute to sweeten it up. 

I was so pleased with the results and have served it to a lot of friends that said it was better than any cranberry sauce they have ever had….mission accomplished!

It’s also fun to make as the cranberries start to pop, it sounds like popcorn popping. Get your kids to help you make it, they’ll have a blast!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce vs Canned

In contrast to a low carb, homemade one, canned cranberry sauce is much higher in carbs, 11 carbs per oz. which is much higher.

The jellied kind in a can is even worse, it’s 28 carbs in ¼ cup.

So you can see that the whole berry version is better than the jellied type but of course, learning to make your own is much lower in carbs and also much better tasting too. 

Are Cranberries Keto-Friendly?

If you are wondering if cranberries are good for a Keto diet, yes they are. For 1 oz of cranberries, there are 3 carbs, which is very low compared to most fruits.  

Cranberries can be eaten raw but they are quite bitter/tart. So for most people, it may not be very palatable.

Also, you don’t want to eat them dried because in contrast they are covered in sugar and high in carbs like all other dried fruits. So cooking them to make Keto cranberry sauce is the best way to eat them.

Is Cranberry Sauce Low Carb/Keto?  

Normally cranberry sauce is not low carb, in fact, it’s full of sugar and as a result high in calories.

Normally when it was served with a meal, such as a roast turkey dinner, I always skipped eating it because there were so many other more delicious things that I would rather eat than cranberry sauce. 

However, we decided that we needed to make a cranberry sauce that would be low carb to be able to have another side dish with some of our meals. After all, there are lots of people that love and want to eat it but can’t on a low carb/Keto diet.

Well, I’m happy to say that now we have a recipe for sugar-free cranberry sauce that is delicious and you can eat it now, guilt-free.  

What Ingredients are in this Recipe?

Keto Cranberry Sauce Recipe ingredients

Cranberries – Fresh canberries are the base of cranberry sauce, which by themselves can be quite tart or bitter.

Orange Zest – Orange Zest is made from finely grating the outside peel of the orange. It adds such refreshing taste to the cranberry sauce and to me is the best ingredient because it stands out in flavor.

Sweetener (Powdered Swerve – This is a sugar substitute that I am so happy to be able to use in recipes. It converts 1 to 1 in recipes, meaning it measures the same as sugar so it’s easy to put in replacement of sugar for a low carb sweetness and its great for a low carb or Keto diet   

Water – The added water mixed with the swerve makes the Keto cranberry sauce saucy.

What is the Best Sweetener for Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

The problem with store-bought cranberry sauce is that in order to make the very tart cranberries palatable you have to add some sort of sweetener and as we know sugar is the usual sweetener for so many things.

It’s so good to have options instead of sugar. When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I thought that I would never see certain foods again.

However, now I know that there are other options and it has opened up my world again to have some of the foods that I once liked, but instead done up in a more healthy, but still delicious way.

The sugar substitute that we chose to use for this cranberry sauce recipe is powdered swerve because the powdered version not only taste-wise is equal measurements as sugar, but mixed with the water it makes a nice saucy base. It dissolves easily when cooked.

The granular version tastes the same as the powdered version of Swerve, but it doesn’t dissolve as easily. You can certainly use it in your cranberry sauce but your sauce may end up not being quite as smooth as the powdered one.

Swerve and Monk fruit both offer the best sweeteners in our opinion for this cranberry sauce, as well as many of our other recipes.

How to Make Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce – Step by Step

It’s so easy to make. 

Take one bag of cranberries, which is 12 oz, and put them in a saucepan. 

making low carb Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Next, add 1 ¼ cup of powdered Swerve, sweetener. The powdered version is better than the granulated because it dissolves better and adds to the saucy texture.

mixing keto Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Grate the outer rind of an orange, which is called orange zest, at least 2 heaping tablespoons. and add it to your mixture

Pour in 1 cup of water.

Cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring at the same time, and cook until the cranberries start to pop.

Turn heat to medium-low and continue to cook and stir until you reach the thickness that you want to achieve.

Some of the cranberries will cook down to mush and some will stay a little more whole. That gives it a good texture.

If you find it needs a little more sweetness, add a little more Swerve. If you want to taste a little more orange flavor, add another tablespoon of orange zest. 

Take it off the burner and let cool.

big bowl of keto Cranberry Sauce Recipe

How do You Make Cranberry Sauce Less Tart?

When you add the Powdered Swerve it sweetens up your cranberries. Just the same way sugar sweetens canned cranberry sauce. Also, the orange zest adds a little sweetness to your low carb cranberry sauce.

If you taste it during the cooking process and you find that for your taste buds you like it a little sweeter then feel free while it’s still cooking to add a little more swerve.

It won’t hurt your sauce at all to add more during the cooking process or even after it’s done. Just make sure that you blend it well.

Variations on Low Carb Cranberry Sauce 

eating low carb Cranberry Sauce Recipe

I love nuts in so many foods, so I had the idea of adding walnuts or pecans to this cranberry sauce recipe. The nuts and cranberries are such a good combination!

You could grind them up and make them into small chopped pieces. Either mix them into your low carb cranberry sauce or just garnish them on top and serve.

If you prefer the taste of lemon to orange, you can always substitute lemon zest for orange zest. Use the same portion size.

You could also add Vanilla extract or orange extract which gives it another shot of flavor!

Other Diets this Recipe is Good for:

Being sugar-free, this cranberry sauce recipe is obviously good for Keto and just general low carb eating, but there are also a bunch of other diets it’s great for too:

Vegetarian and Vegan – With just cranberries, orange zest, powdered Swerve and water it’s a good choice for a vegan way of eating.

Nut-Free – This recipe is nut-free. Only for those who want to garnish it with nuts, it then becomes not nut-free. But the basic delicious recipe does not call for nuts. 

Gluten-Free – For our gluten-free readers, this easy and delicious cranberry sauce is also gluten-free. It makes us happy to make things that are gluten-free because there are so many delicious things that you can’t indulge in, but thankfully this is not one of them.

And since you don’t have to count your carbs like some people you can have a larger quantity with your turkey, chicken or pork dinner.

Dairy-Free – There is certainly no dairy at all in our low carb cranberry sauce.

What to Serve with your Low Carb Cranberry Sauce

Keto Cranberry Sauce with orange zest

As you would expect, cranberry sauce is very popular served with meat, chicken, pork tenderloin, but it goes especially well with a baked turkey. They go hand in hand and make a perfect combination. I know I put it on my plate with turkey every time!

Have you ever seen a turkey dinner with all the fixings, and missing cranberry sauce?? I don’t think so!  

But you can also eat chicken with your cranberry sauce and it can be equally a good match.

Another delicious choice of meat that goes well with cranberry sauce is pork, so try serving up some nice pork chops or a pork roast with some cranberry sauce on the side!

Can you Make Cranberry Sauce Ahead of Time?

What’s nice about this sugar-free cranberry sauce is that you definitely can make it ahead of time and then serve it when you’re ready.  If you’re going to be eating it within a few days of making it, you can keep it in your refrigerator.

If it’s going to be longer than that, no problem. Just make it when you have time, stick it in your freezer and then take it out a day or so before you’re ready to serve it. 

Storing Cranberry Sauce

This “easy to make” cranberry sauce recipe is also easy to store once it’s made. An airtight container or jar is a must!  I have kept it in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for 2 weeks and it’s as fresh as day one.

Can you Freeze Leftover Canned Cranberry Sauce?

bowl of low carb Cranberry Sauce

Happily, YES you can for sure freeze Homemade Keto cranberry sauce. It is so easy and quick to make and you can make it in a big batch, as much as you would like to make.

Then when you are done you can freeze it in portions that you know you will eat at one meal or a couple of meals at a time.

You don’t want to thaw out a big container of it when you will only eat a small portion of it. 

The best thing to do is to freeze it in ½ cup or 1 cup servings and take out the appropriate amount. Freeze it in small airtight containers and place a piece of freezer tape over the top to secure the top of the container even more. 

You can also place your containers of low carb cranberry sauce in a freezer zip bag too if you want another layer of protection, depending on how long you plan to freeze it. The write on the bag the date that it was placed into the freezer. 

More Keto Side Dish Recipes

If you’re in the mood for some other Low Carb Side Dishes to go along with your meal then try our:

They all are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will be a hit at your next party!

homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe
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Keto Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Homemade Keto Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

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  • Author: Leigh Oskwarek
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings (1/4 cup per serving) 1x
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An easy to make Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce and delicious to serve especially with turkey, chicken, and pork


  • 1 bag whole Cranberries
  • 1 ¼ cup Powdered Swerve
  • 1 cup of Water
  • 2 tbsp Orange Zest


  1. The first thing you need to do is put the fresh cranberries in a saucepan.
  2. Add 1 cup of water
  3. Next, add 1 ¼ cups of Powdered Swerve
  4. Take an orange and make orange zest take a grater to the outward peel and grate 2 tablespoons into your saucepan.
  5. Place on stove on medium and boil until the cranberry sauce gets thicker and saucy and the cranberries begin to pop. Turn down to low and keep stirring until most of the cranberries pop and sauce gets to desired thickness.


3.6 NET Carbs for ¼ cup

Other important things to keep in mind about this recipe… If you prefer you can add lemon zest instead of orange zest or you can put both together for a real citrus flavor.

When your cranberries are cooking and they start to pop be careful that they don’t burn you if they spatter out of the pan.

If you like nuts you can garnish on top with some finely chopped walnuts or pecans.

Place your unused portion into airtight containers and freeze for a year. That way you will have delicious Cranberry Sauce all year long, especially since you usually can’t find fresh cranberries in the stores year-round.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Cuisine: American
Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star