This homemade vegan cranberry sauce recipe is sweetened with orange juice and maple syrup, with a touch of cinnamon. It’s a must at your holiday table and way better than the canned stuff. It’s sweet, tart, and the orange juice complements the cranberries nicely.
The recipe uses simple ingredients and pairs well with savory or sweet dishes. If needed, here’s a list of ideas for leftover cranberry sauce. Most cranberry sauces are already vegan and gluten-free, but I was thrilled with how well the recipe turned out and wanted to share it with you.
The sauce is unbelievably easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. The easy vegan cranberry sauce only takes about 20 minutes to make and it is quite delicious when made from scratch. So you can check one dish off your list for the holidays well in advance.
Here in North America, cranberry sauce is usually served for Thanksgiving. It complements the heavy traditional holiday dishes and adds some freshness to the plate.
- Make this cranberry sauce in advance for your upcoming holiday meal!
- The tartness of the cranberries pairs well with the sweet maple syrup and tart fresh orange juice!
- It's super easy to make your own and it's better than store-bought!
- The orange cranberry sauce is a great side dish for the holiday season!
The delicious vegan cranberry sauce only needs a few simple ingredients. Please see the recipe card below for exact measurements.
Fresh cranberries - For this recipe, fresh or frozen cranberries can be used (no need to thaw).
Orange Juice - Fresh orange juice adds a bright citrus flavor and natural sweetness. It can be substituted with store-bought orange juice. If what you buy is made with a sweetener, you might want to reduce the maple syrup.
Pure maple syrup - Adds more sweetness to this easy recipe for the perfect balance of sweet and tart. The maple syrup can be substituted with agave syrup. Substituting with organic cane sugar will make the homemade cranberry sauce taste sweeter. If the recipe is too tart for your preference, add more maple syrup or your sweetener of choice.
Cinnamon - Adds depth of flavor, but can be left out. The ground cinnamon can also be substituted with a cinnamon stick. If you're using a cinnamon stick, let it simmer with the rest of the ingredients while the cranberry sauce cooks. Remove the cinnamon stick when the sauce is done.
- Discard any bruised or squishy cranberries.
- A Microplane works well for zesting citrus.
- Zest the orange before juicing it and don’t zest the bitter white pith under the orange layer of the peel.
- Frozen cranberries can be used instead of fresh ones.
- I prefer my sauce a little tart and sweet; if it’s not sweet enough for you, add more maple syrup.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, the cranberry sauce can be made ahead of time and frozen. Cool the sauce completely before storing it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months in the freezer.
This vegan cranberry-orange sauce can be served warm or cold. Serve it whichever way you prefer. If you prefer it chilled, make it in advance to chill in the refrigerator.
If you prefer it warm, it can still be made in advance. Warm the cranberry sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave. If it becomes too thick, add a splash of water to thin it out.
If the sauce is too thick, stir in a little more water and heat the sauce through. If the sauce is too thin, cook with the lid off until it thickens to your liking.
The delicious homemade vegan cranberry sauce can be used in a variety of ways. Use it as a topping for pancakes, waffles, overnight oats, or vegan cheesecake. Add chia seeds to thicken and use it as a cranberry jam. If it's too tart for what you're using it as, sweeten it with additional maple syrup.
Rinse the cranberries and pick out any of the badly bruised or squishy ones. Add the cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, water, maple syrup, and cinnamon to a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally so nothing burns on the bottom of the pot.
The berries will pop and the sauce will thicken. Usually, all of the berries won’t pop, the consistency is up to you. If you prefer some whole, leave some whole. If not, use the back of a wooden spoon and carefully press the unpopped berries against the side of the pot. A potato masher also works well to mash the cranberries.
Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. The sauce will thicken a little more while it cools and even more when stored in the refrigerator. If you used a cinnamon stick remove it from the sauce.
The vegan cranberry-orange sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can also be frozen for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge when ready to use.
Vegan holiday recipes
- Vegan Sausage Balls
- Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts
- Curry Cashews
- Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce
- Rosemary Roasted Garlic Mashed potatoes
- Mashed potatoes without butter or oil
- Cornbread with Coconut Milk
- Mustard Oil-Free Roasted Brussels sprouts
- Lentil Shepherd’s pie
- Orange Cranberry Bread
More cranberry recipes
- How to use leftover cranberry sauce
- Cranberry sauce muffins
- Orange cranberry oatmeal bars
- Pumpkin steel-cut oatmeal with dried cranberries
As always, I hope you enjoy the best cranberry sauce recipe for your holiday dinner! If you like the recipe, feel free to rate it and leave a comment.
Originally published on November 20, 2019.Print
This vegan cranberry sauce is sweetened with orange juice and maple syrup, with a touch of cinnamon.
- 10 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 large orange zested and juiced (about ½ cup juice)
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Rinse the cranberries and discard bruised or squishy ones.
- Zest your orange before juicing it.
- Then, to a medium saucepan, add the cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, water, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
- Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer, cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cranberries will start to pop and the liquid will thicken.
- The sauce will continue to thicken while cooling.
- Let cool completely before storing or serving.
Usually, all of the berries won’t pop, the consistency is up to you. If you prefer some whole, leave some whole. If not use the back of a wooden spoon and carefully press the unpopped berries up against the side of the pot.
If you used a cinnamon stick remove it from the sauce.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: how to make orange cranberry sauce, vegan cranberry sauce