This Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce is the most delicious and easiest homemade cranberry sauce you'll ever make. It's simple, with just four ingredients and one pot needed. Oh, and there's no refined sugar!
Homemade cranberry sauce adds such a special element to a holiday spread, and it doesn't get easier (or tastier!) than this Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce.
You only need four simple ingredients - fresh cranberries, apple cider, applesauce, and maple syrup. And because we're using maple syrup instead of cane sugar, it's refined sugar-free.
The recipe itself also cannot get simpler - literally throw everything into a pot, boil, then simmer until thickened.
Oh, and if that's not enough? Cranberry sauce is the perfect make-ahead Thanksgiving side dish. You can literally make it the weekend before Thanksgiving and it'll be great on Thanksgiving Day!
Why This Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce Recipe is SO Good!
- Only 4 ingredients
- Refined sugar-free
- Throw everything into a pot
- 15 minutes on the stove
- Great to make ahead
- Sweet, tart, and totally delicious!
For a full ingredient list with quantities, please check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Fresh Cranberries are a must in homemade cranberry sauce!
- Apple Cider adds flavor and sweetness and is the liquid that everything simmers in.
- Apple Sauce, even unsweetened, adds more sweetness, enriches the apple flavor, and helps thicken the cranberry sauce even more.
- Maple Syrup is the sweetener of choice, adding a delicious maple flavor without any refined sugar.
For complete instructions, please check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Place all ingredients in the pot, boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Cool and enjoy!
Substitutions & Variations
- Swap the liquid - apple juice can be used instead of apple cider, or you can totally change it up and opt for something like orange juice, instead.
- Change the sweetener - the maple really adds a beautiful flavor here, but you can use honey, if that's your preference.
- Add sweet flavor by adding vanilla or cinnamon.
- Give it some zing by adding grated ginger.
- Add citrus flavor with orange or lemon zest.
Cranberry sauce is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish to make ahead - and this apple cider cranberry sauce is no exception.
You can make it as early as the weekend before Thanksgiving, and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Alternatively, if you're really pressed for time, you can freeze it, too!
Storage, Freezing, & Reheating
- Storage: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
- Freezing: Once completely cooled, transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
- Reheating: While cranberry sauce can be enjoyed chilled, you can reheat it in a saucepan over medium-high heat until warmed through. If it's too thick, add an extra tablespoon or two of apple cider, apple juice, or water.
Supplies You'll Need
As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a small amount from qualifying affiliate purchases at no cost to you.
More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes You'll Love
- Asiago Mashed Potatoes
- Prosciutto Green Beans
- Miso Roasted Vegetables
- Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Healthy Corn Casserole
- Air Fryer Stuffing Balls
Did you make this recipe? Give it a 5★ rating below! For more balanced nutrition and simple, healthy-ish recipes, be sure to follow me on Instagram!
Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup apple cider
- Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil12 ounces fresh cranberries, ½ cup unsweetened applesauce, ½ cup maple syrup, 1 cup apple cider
- Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the berries have popped and mixture has thickened, the sauce is down.
- Turn the heat off and let cool 10-15 minutes (the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools).
- Serve warm or chilled - your preference! Enjoy!