Naturally sweetened cranberry sauce with maple syrup
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Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce with Maple Syrup and Fresh Apples

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 Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry sauce, plant-based, quick, vegan
Servings: 12
Calories: 48kcal
Author: Summer Sebastian


  • 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)


  • 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.


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.