Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is fairly easy to make and you can get it out of the way ahead of your holiday get-together. Plus you can do more with it than just serve it as a side. Spread it on an English muffin, add it to oatmeal or use it as a condiment in a sandwich.

I've been making homemade cranberry sauce so long that my teenager doesn't recognize the gelatinous cylindrical glob my husband’s family plops in a bowl and serves.  I grew up on canned cranberry sauce and it's perfectly fine, but homemade cranberry sauce is a little luxury that makes the holiday extra special. 

One perk of making your own is that you have some control over the amount of sugar in it. Having a diabetic in the household, I try to reduce sugar and carbs wherever possible. Cranberries have 9 net carbs per cup so there’s still carbs but by reducing the sugar in the recipe, a few tablespoons of cranberry sauce on your holiday plate becomes a not-quite-so-bad indulgence. 

The holidays are tough for anyone counting calories or carbs.  I tinker with recipes so everyone in the family can enjoy a little bit of everything without going overboard or feeling denied.  You can have your holiday without breaking the scale or the glucose meter.  You just need to tweak your recipes and plan accordingly.

If you’ve never made homemade cranberry sauce before, give it a try.  It’s kind of fun to cook as the cranberries “pop” as they cook down.  Just make sure you’re prepared for that, lower the heat when that starts and keep a safe distance from the saucepan.  Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Yield: 2 Cups
Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Cup No-Calorie Sweetener that measures the same as sugar (You can also use regular Sugar)
  • ½ Cup Water
  • 3 Cup Fresh Cranberries
  • ½ Cup Sugar-Free/Reduced-Sugar Orange Marmalade (You can also use regular Orange Marmalade)
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick


  1. Empty your bag of cranberries into a colander and rinse them off.
  2. In a Swiss Diamond Saucepan, combine cornstarch, no calorie sweetener or sugar (if using) and water.
  3. Stir over medium heat until the sweetener and cornstarch dissolve.
  4. Stir in cranberries, orange marmalade and cinnamon stick and bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly.
  5. Cranberries will begin to “pop” as they cook down, reduce heat and simmer for approx. 30 minutes, stirring often. Be sure to keep a safe distance from the saucepan.
  6. Once cranberries have cooked down, the mixture will thicken. Remove from heat and place in a serving bowl or mold.
  7. Once cooled, remove cinnamon stick, cover and chill overnight. You can make this one or two days before your holiday meal.