Cranberry sauce is incredibly easy to make at home - it's ready in just 30 minutes. This keto version is sweetened with stevia and flavored with vanilla extract.
If you've never tried making homemade cranberry sauce, you're in for a pleasant surprise. It's a truly easy recipe to make - it requires just three ingredients and is ready in about 10 minutes.
This particular version is sweetened with stevia. The tartness of the fruit does vome through, so I recommend tasting it when it's done and adding more sweetener if you want it sweeter.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty sauce. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Water: You'll need ¼ cup of water for this recipe. Some recipes call for orange juice, but water is just fine.
Sugar-free sweetener: Either powdered erythritol or stevia. I usually use stevia glycerite, which nearly eliminates the bitter aftertaste typical to other stevia products. If you opt for a granulated sweetener, please make sure to use a powdered version, to prevent crystals from forming.
Vanilla extract: Try to use the real thing - pure vanilla extract - and not the artificially flavored stuff.
Fresh cranberries: I use a standard 12-oz bag.
How to make keto cranberry sauce
It's so easy! There's really no reason to use canned sauce. The recipe card below provides the full instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is to add the water, sweetener and vanilla in a medium saucepan.
2. The next step is to add the cranberries. Heat the mixture over medium heat, bringing it to a simmer, then lower the heat to medium-low.
3. Simmer until the cranberries are soft and starting to burst, about 10 minutes. Chill to allow the sauce to thicken.
Should I serve this sauce hot or cold?
This sauce is typically served at room temperature. Cooling it, even just slightly, allows it to thicken, so its texture improves as it cools.
There's one exception though. Although I do serve this keto cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, as tradition dictates, personally I'm not a fan of eating it with turkey. My favorite way to enjoy it? I like to pour it while still warm over cool, creamy full-fat Greek yogurt. So good!
Will the sauce thicken if I use stevia?
I used to think that you absolutely needed powdered sugar for it to thicken, but you actually don't. The sauce will thicken very nicely - as you can see in the video below - thanks to the natural pectin released by the fruit as they cook.
Variations and substitutions
Here are a few ideas for changing up this recipe:
- You can use frozen cranberries if you can't get fresh ones.
- Orange zest, added to the water mixture, greatly enhances the flavor of the sauce. And since we're trying to keep this cranberry sauce keto, it's a better option than using orange juice instead of water, which is very tasty but adds quite a bit of sugar.
- Some people like adding a cinnamon stick. Personally, I'm not a fan, but if you think you might enjoy the flavor combination, go ahead and give it a try!
How long does it keep?
You can keep keto cranberry sauce in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. It keeps very well, actually. It tastes just as good on the fourth day as it does on the first.
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Keto Cranberry Sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon stevia glycerite (equals 1 cup sugar)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- In a medium saucepan, mix the water with the stevia and vanilla extract.
- Add the cranberries. Bring to a simmer over medium heat (this should take about 3 minutes).
- Lower the heat to medium-low to keep a consistent simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are soft and starting to burst, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Taste the sauce and decide if its level of tartness suits you or if you’d like to add more stevia. I sometimes mix in an additional 1 teaspoon of stevia at this point (which equals ⅓ cup sugar).
- Cool to room temperature before serving.