Easy Keto Cranberry Sauce
Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and with that comes one of the best meals of the year. Of course, no Thanksgiving table would be complete without a bowl of cranberry sauce to top your turkey. Skip over the sugar-laden store-bought version and whip up this easy keto cranberry sauce instead!
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Is cranberry sauce keto?
When it comes to traditional store-bought or homemade cranberry sauce, that’s a big no. Most homemade cranberry sauce contains 1/2 cup to 1 cup of sugar per 12-ounce bag of cranberries. Even when you divide that up into individual servings, you’re still looking at way too many carbs for your keto diet.
Similarly, most store-bought options contain around 20-30 grams of carbohydrate per quarter cup serving. Not ideal at all.
There are very limited few store-bought or online options for cranberry sauce that actually meet a keto diet. I could only find two; both have some downsides but may fit your needs:
- Low carb cranberry sauce mix – This mix, available on Amazon, is a blend of fiber, stevia, and monkfruit. You’ll need to buy the cranberries yourself but can mix this fiber/sweetener blend in to make your sauce.
- Walden Farms near zero cranberry fruit spread – Keep in mind this option does have artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aka Splenda), so some of you may feel comfortable with that and others may not. It only has cranberry flavor – no real fruit – so it’s more of a thick cranberry jello than a whole berry sauce. The reviews on Amazon are hit or miss, but it’s something worth noting as an option. It’s carried on Amazon as well as certain stores.
Of course, just because there aren’t store-bought options, doesn’t mean we can’t make our own! Let’s get to it.
How to make keto cranberry sauce
This low carb cranberry sauce is very simple and quick, and requires just a few ingredients:
- Lemon juice
- Lemon or orange zest
- Powdered erythritol
- Liquid monkfruit
You’re just going to dump all your ingredients in a pot together, bring it to a boil, and simmer for about 7-10 minutes. Boom – that’s it! Seriously, could that be any easier?
Helpful recipe tips
- Blend of sweeteners: I think many keto dishes taste best with a blend of sweeteners, this one included. By mixing both erythritol and monk fruit, you’re able to utilize the best properties of each (i.e. the fact that erythritol measures like sugar, and that monk fruit offers sweetness without a cooling effect).
- Tart vs. sweet: As a heads up, this makes a tart cranberry sauce. My wife prefers it that way; she loves tasting the sour cranberries and pop of lemon citrus. However, you can easily make this a sweeter sauce to your taste by adding more erythritol. (I would recommend increasing the erythritol rather than the monkfruit for the best balance of taste).
- Lemon vs. orange zest: When deciding what type of zest to use, consider your and your family’s flavor preferences. Lemon zest adds a lemony citrus pop to the sauce, while orange zest adds more of a subtle depth of flavor. It really depends on what you like as to what to add.
- Making ahead of time: You can make this ahead of time and simply reheat in the microwave for Thanksgiving dinner. It will last for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Each 1/4 cup serving of cranberry juice contains just 23 calories and 2 grams of net carbs. Normally I’d put the macronutrient breakdown here, but it would look off because this is almost exclusively carbohydrate. However, that’s OK because you’re still very low on net carbs (as they’re almost exclusively from fiber and erythritol, a sugar alcohol). Plus, you’re adding small amounts to foods that will naturally have fat and protein, like your turkey.
Ways to use this low carb cranberry sauce
Of course, slathered over your turkey dinner is the way most of us will use it. 😉 But there’s other ways you can use up this sauce too! Here are a few ideas:
- Spread the cranberry sauce over a block of cream cheese, and enjoy that slathered on celery sticks or keto crackers.
- Spread cranberry sauce in between two mini chaffles. The cranberry and cheese combo is so delicious!
- Swirl the cranberry sauce into a vanilla Two Good Greek yogurt. Each of these yogurts has just 3 grams of carbohydrate, so combined with some cranberry sauce you’re looking at 5 grams of net carbs. Add in some nuts for just another 1-2 grams of net carbs and you’ve got an awesome little breakfast parfait!
- Top your keto pancakes with low carb cranberry sauce.
- Beat together butter and cranberry sauce to spread on your favorite keto bread.
- Combine the cranberry sauce with chili sauce, and toss cooked meatballs in that.
- Use this cranberry sauce along with oil, vinegar, and seasonings to make a homemade salad dressing.
- Combine cranberry sauce with your favorite low carb barbecue sauce, and use that as a coating for chicken wings or meatballs.
- Make a keto cheesecake and top it with cranberry sauce!
I hope you enjoy this keto cranberry sauce – and don’t forget, you can always play with the recipe to make it suitable to your own tastes (i.e. tart vs. sweet, citrusy vs. not, etc). If you get a chance to try it, be sure to leave a recipe rating below.
Easy Keto Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest or orange zest*
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup powdered erythritol* (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp liquid monkfruit
- Add all of the ingredients to a pot and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7-10 minutes, until cranberries have burst and sauce has thickened. Enjoy!
- Lemon zest adds more of a citrusy punch; orange zest adds more of a subtle layer of flavor. Choose based on what you prefer.
- This is a tart cranberry sauce. If you prefer a sweeter cranberry sauce, add more erythritol.
- This recipe makes approximately 1 3/4 cups of cranberry sauce, for about 7 servings of 1/4 cup each.