Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce with Maple Syrup and Fresh Apples

This easy homemade cranberry sauce recipe is perfect for the upcoming holidays! You can bring it to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for a healthy spin on a traditional side dish, or you can keep a batch in your refrigerator for a festive snack all season long. Keep reading to see how to make the best naturally sweetened cranberry sauce with maple syrup and crisp, crunchy apples!

Naturally sweetened cranberry sauce with maple syrup

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Cranberry sauce is definitely my favorite holiday side dish, but having it only twice a year at Thanksgiving and Christmas just isn’t enough for me. In fact, from the time fresh cranberries hit my local grocery store shelves, I make at least one batch of cranberry sauce every week while they’re in season.

I just can’t seem to get enough of this sweet and tart snack!

But I guess you can do that when the cranberry sauce is naturally sweetened, right? Maple syrup is a much healthier sweetener than refined sugar, so we can all indulge guilt-free knowing that this cranberry sauce is made with whole plant ingredients.

My homemade cranberry sauce recipe is:

  • Whole food, plant-based
  • Vegan
  • Refined sugar-free
  • Naturally sweetened with maple syrup
  • 100% delicious!

And the best part is that you get a nice crunch with every bite from the apple peels! I like a little bit of texture in my cranberry sauce, so adding in those apples really takes the recipe to the next level.

How to Make Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce with Maple Syrup and Fresh Apples

Easy homemade cranberry sauce

Sweet, tart, and just a little bit crunchy, this naturally sweetened cranberry sauce comes together in less than 15 minutes for a quick holiday side dish. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients

  • (1) 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • 3 gala apples, chopped into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (more to taste)

Instructions

  1. Rinse the cranberries well. Drain them and pick through the berries, discarding any that are squishy or look questionable.
  2. Add the cranberries, chopped apples, and water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll know the cranberries and apples are done when the cranberries have popped and the apples are soft enough to mash with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Remove from heat and use a potato masher to mash the cranberries and apples into a sauce.
  4. Add the maple syrup and stir well to combine. Start with 3 tablespoons, taste, and add more as needed.
  5. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a serving bowl and serve at room temperature or cold. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes about 3 cups of cranberry sauce.

If you like your cranberry sauce to be smooth like apple sauce, you can put it in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

If you don’t have maple syrup, you can use agave syrup or honey to naturally sweeten the cranberry sauce. Just keep in mind that honey is not vegan.

You can place the cranberry sauce in the freezer to chill it faster. Just stir it every five minutes until it’s nice and cold.

You can make this cranberry sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge before your big event. The flavor will still be perfect.

Naturally sweetened cranberry sauce

Final Thoughts on this Homemade Cranberry Sauce

This is definitely my favorite naturally sweetened homemade cranberry sauce, and I just know you’ll love it as much as I do!

When you try it, please let me know how it turned out for you by leaving a comment below!

Looking for More Plant-Based Holiday Recipes? Check These Out:

Printable Recipe for Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

Here’s a printable version of the naturally sweetened cranberry sauce recipe that you can print and keep for easy reference:

Naturally sweetened cranberry sauce with maple syrup

Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce with Maple Syrup and Fresh Apples

Summer Sebastian
Sweet, tart, and just a little bit crunchy, this naturally sweetened cranberry sauce
comes together in less than 15 minutes for a quick holiday side dish. Whole food, plant-based, vegan, refined sugar-free.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 48 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 12-oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 3 gala apples, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (more to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the cranberries well. Drain them and pick through the berries, discarding any that are squishy or look questionable.
  • Add the cranberries, chopped apples, and water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You'll know the cranberries and apples are done when the cranberries have popped and the apples are soft enough to mash with the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Remove from heat and use a potato masher to mash the cranberries and apples into a sauce.
  • Add the maple syrup and stir well to combine. Start with 3 tablespoons, taste, and add more as needed.
  • Transfer the cranberry sauce to a serving bowl and serve at room temperature or cold. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week.

Notes

This recipe makes about 3 cups of cranberry sauce.
If you like your cranberry sauce to be smooth like apple sauce, you can put it in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
If you don’t have maple syrup, you can use agave syrup or honey to naturally sweeten the cranberry sauce. Just keep in mind that honey is not vegan.
You can place the cranberry sauce in the freezer to chill it faster. Just stir it every five minutes until it’s nice and cold.
You can make this cranberry sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge before your big event. The flavor will still be perfect.
The calorie count for this recipe is approximate and should only be used for informational purposes.
Keyword cranberry sauce, plant-based, quick, vegan
XO, Summer

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Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce with Maple Syrup and Fresh Apples

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