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cranberry sauce in white bowl decorated with orange slices, cranberries and thyme

Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice | 4 Ingredients + naturally sweetened

  • Author: Bianca
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 big cups 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


For this super delicious cranberry sauce with orange juice you will only need 4 ingredients. It’s ready in 20 minutes and naturally sweetened with orange juice and dates!


  • 10.5 ounces (300 g) fresh or frozen cranberries*
  • 1/2 cup (115 ml) fresh-squeezed orange juice (about 1 large orange)*
  • 1/4 cup (70 ml) date syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional add-ins: ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, chopped mint leaves or thyme.


If you use fresh cranberries, give them a rinse under running water.

Add all the ingredients to a medium pan or pot over high heat. Bring slowly to a boil. Have a lid nearby as the cranberries will pop once they heat up. When they start to pop, reduce the heat to medium and let simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent the cranberries sticking to the pan. Let it simmer for about 5-7 minutes.

When almost all of the cranberry have popped and the sauce is a bit thicker, take the pan from the heat.  

With a fork you can mash the cranberries that are still whole. But you can also decide to keep the cranberries whole for extra texture. Serve warm or let cool.

You can keep any leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  • Cranberries: if you use frozen cranberries let the mixture simmer a bit longer. They will release more liquid so it’s important to give it time to let the liquid evaporate.
  • Orange Juice: I prefer fresh orange juice, but store bought will work as well
  • Sweetener: date syrup can be replaced with maple syrup or coconut sugar

Keywords: cranberries, Thanksgiving, holiday, side, sauce, refined sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan