quick and easy cranberry sauce

I'm going to jump right in to the spoiler alert: this sugar-free cranberry sauce is zero points on all WW plans. It's a dish you can hurry up and make from scratch that isn't going to seem “diet”. I mean, it's still cranberries – we aren't making miracles here and turning them into chocolate – but it works as a sauce for stuffing or even as a jelly for bread and rolls.

Quick and Easy Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce

Sugar-free doesn't have to mean taste-free! Nobody has to know this is zero points, just show up with cranberry sauce and a loaf of French bread in hand… maybe a little Feta or Brie, too, and you'll be Grandma's favorite again.

The consistency of your cranberry sauce is up to you. In the recipe (and the printable version), there are instructions to make the cranberry sauce smoother if you'd like more of an applesauce consistency. If you like your cranberry sauce chunky, that's easy to do with this recipe as well.

What's the difference between cranberry sauce and jelly?

When I first told my Mom I wanted to make this recipe, she wasn't sure if I meant I wanted to make cranberry sauce or cranberry jelly. To her, the cranberry jelly was the gelatinous blob that is sliced and served at Thanksgiving. She had never seen it any other way, so I wanted to look up the difference between cranberry sauce and jelly.

I looked for the answer and found there are so many variations: jellied cranberry sauce, cranberry orange sauce, cranberry relish, cranberry jelly, and even cranberry chutney (which has apples in it – yum!).

Cranberry sauce can be served either as a gooey liquid or as a solid jelly. The jellied version is solid enough to retain the shape of the container in which it's placed whereas the sauce version is much more fluid. The difference between the fluid sauce and the jelly versions comes down to pectin. (Source)

So the answer is: cranberry sauce and jelly are almost the same thing, the name changes when the consistency does. You can add oranges, apples, and other fruit to make your homemade cranberry sauce unique. I added pears to mine!

healthy cranberry sauce recipe

Quick and Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cheat your way to the best make and take cranberry sauce ever! Make it in less than 30 minutes, start to finish. Oh, and this recipe does not include any refined sugar. Instead, it gets its sweetness naturally from the pears and maple syrup. 

We used sugar-free syrup to save 12 points, but by all means if you’ve got the points, feel free to use them! 🙂 All other ingredients in this recipe are fruits and spices, so they’re zero points on all WW plans.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes, plus 15-20 minutes to cool

Serves: 6

Ingredients for Cranberry Sauce

12 oz. fresh cranberries
2 medium ripe pears, peeled and diced
2 t. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
¼ cup sugar-free maple syrup (1 Point vs 12 Points for regular)
¾ c. water
Sea salt, to taste

Serves well with: Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

how to make cranberry sauce fast

How to Make Cranberry Sauce

Add cranberries, pear, ginger, sugar-free syrup, and water to a medium saucepan, cooking over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until the mixture starts to boil and the cranberries burst open. This will take about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. While cooking, mash the cranberries and pears with a wooden spoon. Season with a pinch of sea salt, then stir to combine. 

Remove the cranberry sauce from the heat and allow to cool. If the sauce is too thick, add a teaspoon of water at a time until it’s the correct consistency. If you like your cranberry sauce a little sweeter, you can add a little Stevia, too. 

Once cranberry sauce is cooled, for a smoother consistency, you can blend half of it in a food processor, then add it back to the other half before serving.

Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool for 15-20 minutes before checking the consistency. Add a little water if the sauce is too thick. Taste and add more maple syrup for a sweeter sauce, if desired. 


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