This vegan cranberry sauce 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 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. So you can check one dish off your list for the holidays well in advance.
This plant-based cranberry sauce only takes about 20 minutes and it is quite delicious when made from scratch. It complements the heavy traditional holiday dishes and adds some freshness to the plate.
Cranberries - For this homemade vegan cranberry sauce, fresh or frozen cranberries can be used (no need to thaw).
Orange Juice - Fresh oranges can be substituted with store-bought orange juice. If you buy it and it has a sweetener, you might want to reduce the maple syrup.
Maple syrup - Adds more sweetness and can be substituted with agave syrup.
Cinnamon - Adds depth of flavor, but can be left out. The ground cinnamon can also be substituted with a cinnamon stick.
- Discard any bruised or squishy cranberries.
- A Microplane works well for zesting citrus.
- Zest the orange before juicing it.
- Frozen cranberries can be used instead of fresh ones.
- If the sauce is too thin, cook it longer with the lid off to evaporate the liquid.
- If the sauce is too thick, add more water.
- I prefer my sauce a little tart and sweet; if it’s not sweet enough for you, add more maple syrup.
How to Make Vegan Cranberry Sauce
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 pot.
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 up against the side of the pot.
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.
Yes, vegan 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 and warmed up on the stovetop or in the microwave.
The vegan cranberry-orange sauce can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can also be frozen for 2-3 months, and thaw overnight in the refrigerator when ready to use.
As always, I hope you enjoy this vegan Thanksgiving cranberry sauce recipe!
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
Cranberry Vegan Recipes
Originally published on November 20, 2019, updated on February 7, 2022.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 small sauce pot, 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.
- 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