Sweet and Tart Cranberry Sauce

Sweet and Tart Cranberry Sauce

Sweet and Tart Cranberry Sauce

Sugar Free Sweet and Tart Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving and Christmas

It’s cranberry sauce with a sweet and sour twist, and it’s my husband’s special recipe.  Now, this is a man who is a real meat and potatoes guy.  So, creating this recipe was a real feat for him.  But it really is all his creation.   He just went in the kitchen and did it one year.  Just did it.  The results were stunning.  I think it was his moment of gourmet glory.

Every winter holiday, whether the family dinner is at our house, or at the home of another family member, the question is always the same: “Is George going to make his special cranberry sauce?” (They don’t even care that it’s sugar-free!)

And he always makes an extra large batch, because there’s always at least one someone who wants to take some of what’s left home with them.

Fair Warning: This Sweet and Tart Cranberry Sauce IS sweet, and it IS tart. A little like those candies we all remember from our childhood. Come to think of it, the kids and grand kids really like it, too. Maybe that’s why.

It’s a cranberry sauce that most everyone in your family will absolutely love.  Put it in a pretty serving dish, and you’ll have a winner on your hands.

photo by CruiseReady



The Recipe

Sweet and Tart Cranberry Sauce Recipe

You can make this a day ahead of time.   Just cover and refrigerate it until time to serve it.  It’s equally yummy either chilled or at room temperature, so serving temp is at your discretion.


  • Serves: 8 – 10
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes

We don’t keep refined sugar in our house, so this cranberry sauce recipe uses sugar substitute, and no sugar added ingredients.

This recipe makes enough for 8 to 10 servings, with some left over for ‘take homes. (Photo: my own)cranberry-sauce-ingredients


  • (1) 12 oz bag of cranberries
  • 1/2 can frozen orange juice concentrate (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tblsp. Sweet & Low
  • 1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 4 oz Crushed Pineapple (in its own juice)
  • drained
  • 4 oz Walnut Pieces


  1. Put the first five ingredients (cranberries, orange juice, water, sweet & low, and lemon juice) in a saucepan, and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil gently for 5 – 7 minutes
  3. Turn heat down, bring to a slow simmer, and add in pineapple & nuts
  4. Simmer for 15-20 minutes
  5. Allow to cool, transfer to serving bowl, and refrigerate until mealtime.


This recipe uses sugar substitute, and no ingredients with added sugar.

A Pretty Holiday Serving Dish

For Cranberry Sauce and Other Special Dishes

Here’s a pretty crystal bowl that would be ideal for serving Sweet and Tart Cranberry Sauce for a family dinner or other holiday gathering.  Be sure to make an extra large batch, because someone will inevitably want to take some home with them!



This is NOT the Cranberry Sauce that I grew up with


The kitchen was never my mom’s favorite room in the house.  She was a working mom decades before that became the norm.  Dad ran his own business, and it was open long hours.  He relied on her heavily to keep the business going, so she rarely had time to cook anything from scratch.  We didn’t suffer, however.  She was good at being inventive.  Except, of course, when it cam to cranberry sauce.  We always had a big spread on holidays, but rarely did she do much actual cooking.

Here is her recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, which she faithfully taught me:

1 – Pick up phone.
2 – Dial supermarket.
3 – Say, “Hello, I’d like to order a holiday dinner, please.”

She would pick up the pre-cooked dinner, along with some olives, smoked oysters, and . . .

. . . a CAN of cranberry sauce. The stuff looked a lot like a jar of grape jelly without the jar, except red. It was always on the table. It was supposed to be there, according to her. She’d put a little dab of it on her plate, but she was the only one. I think she thought it her duty.

This sugar-free Sweet and Tart Cranberry Sauce is definitely NOT my mother’s cranberry sauce. Everyone gobbles it up!

Find More Sugar Free Ideas!

We frequently serve a drink that we call Cinnamon Tea for family and holiday dinners.  (There is no actual tea in the sugar free drink, however.)  Cinnamon is often touted as as aid to lowering blood pressure, and helping to control both weight and blood sugar levels.  We drink it often, in both hot and cold weather, as it’s good served either hot or iced.

If you have someone in  your home who must limit their intake of  processed sugars, then they will be especially appreciative.    There are lots of great recipies available today using alternatives.  You’ll find a nice assortment of them in the Diabetes Holiday Cookbook, which is available on Amazon.






I live on Florida's space coast with my husband of many years, and our cat, Walker: Florida Feline. We live near enough to a cruise port to hear the ship's horns in the distance as they sail away, and love to be on one of them when we can. Hence, the name, CruiseReady - always ready to cruise. I've been writing for pleasure for years, and have been fortunate enough to have one of my plays produced. Most of my professional writing, however, has consisted of 'how to' manuals, and class materials for corporate training classes. On the internet, I write about whatever interests me, which covers a pretty broad spectrum, from all things nautical, to meteorology, to education and children's books, NASA, and home decor. CruiseReady is a particpant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com Some links may also be monitized by VigLink.

One comment

  • I really do like that sweet and sharp flavor combination and this looks very nice indeed as a Holiday sauce. I’ve never made cranberry sauce but I just started making my own apple sauce this year and freezing it for the festive season so I think I’ll add this one onto my cooking list as well.


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