Maple Cranberry Sauce

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This delicious Maple Cranberry Sauce recipe is quick and easy to make in about 10 minutes, it’s naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and easy to customize with any of your favorite add-ins.

Maple Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Anyone else trying to cut down on refined sugar for Thanksgiving this year?

Bookmark this simple maple cranberry sauce recipe!

It’s naturally sweetened with real maple syrup (or you’re welcome to sub in honey, coconut sugar, or any other favorite natural sweeteners).  It’s ready to go in 10 minutes from start to finish, and also easy to make ahead of time and reheat on Thanksgiving, if you’d prefer.  It’s flavor is brightened up with the zest and juice of a fresh orange, plus I’ve also included lots of ideas below for other fun ingredients that you can add in.  And it’s just as festive and colorful and delicious as always!

Who wants some? 

Fresh Cranberries | Maple Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Ingredients:

To make this maple cranberry sauce recipe, you will need:

  • Fresh (or frozen) cranberries: Rinsed and picked over (just discard any wilty ones).
  • Maple syrup: Or honey, cane sugar, or any other natural sweeteners that you prefer.
  • An orange: We will use both the zest and juice of a fresh orange.
  • Water: For the base of the cranberry sauce.

Plus, see below for various other ingredients that you can add in to mix things up.  (I’m especially partial to a big pinch of ground ginger.)

How To Make Cranberry Sauce On The Stovetop

How To Make Cranberry Sauce:

To make this homemade cranberry sauce recipe, simply:

  1. Combine your ingredients in a saucepan.  Cranberries, maple syrup, orange zest, orange juice and water.
  2. Simmer.  Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, or until all of the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened and reached your desired consistency.  (<– Heads up, it will also thicken a bit more as it cools.)
  3. Serve warm or chill.  Then you can serve the sauce at whatever temperature you’d like!  I really love it warm off the stove, but we always ate it chilled growing up.  So whatever floats your boat.  :)

Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce

Possible Variations:

There are so many fun ways that you can customize a batch of cranberry sauce!  For example, I love to:

  • Add some spices. Feel free to add in a generous pinch (anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) of either ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, or any other warming spices that you might love.
  • Add a splash of bourbon.  Or brandy, or port wine, or Cointreau, or whatever else might sound delicious.
  • Add in extra fruit: Mix your cranberries with other fresh (or frozen) berries, apples, plums, grapes, or pomegranate arils for a different twist.

Maple Cranberry Sauce in Jar

How To Store Cranberry Sauce:

To store cranberry sauce, transfer it to a sealed container and either:

  • Refrigerate it: for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze it: for up to 3 months.
  • Can it: for up to 1 year, using safe water-bath preserving techniques.

Maple Cranberry Sauce Recipe | Sugar-Free, Vegan and Gluten-Free

More Cranberry Recipes:

Love cranberries?  Be sure to check out these other favorite cranberry recipes!

And of course, if you are looking for more T-Day recipes, be sure to check out our full list of Thanksgiving recipes here!  Enjoy, everyone!

Maple Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Maple Cranberry Sauce

  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This delicious Maple Cranberry Sauce recipe is quick and easy to make in about 10 minutes.  See notes above for possible variations and ingredients that you can also add in.



  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed and picked over
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup, or more to taste
  • 1/3 cup water
  • juice and zest of one fresh orange (about 1/4 cup juice)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir to combine.
  2. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reached your desired consistency.  (Keep in mind that it will also thicken a bit more as it cools.)
  3. Taste and add extra maple syrup, if needed.
  4. Serve warm.  Or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Maple Sweetened Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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4 comments on “Maple Cranberry Sauce”

  1. Love this – people need recipes that don’t involve that cranberry goop in a jar!

  2. This sounds delish. Love real maple syrup & cranberries. Sounds like a great combo!!!

  3. 5 stars
    This was great! I added a cinnamon stick and a dash of nutmeg, and stirred the orange juice and zest in at the end instead of letting it simmer with the cranberries. So good – maple syrup is a great way to sweeten this!

  4. Tangerines are better than oranges IMO. Small tart thin skinned are best. A bit more zest never hurts here. Costco’s organic maple syrup is money.