Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite things on the holiday table.

I really like the sweet and sour flavor with poultry.  And the red makes the whole dish look festive!

Total confession – the cranberry sauce in the can used to be my absolute favorite. It’s like eating jelly with a spoon. Better yet, it’s like having an excuse to put jelly all over your food. (Can you tell I like sweets?)

After studying food and nutrition for a few years, I started to look at canned cranberry sauce differently.

“It has how much sugar?” “How many servings are in this can?”

Before that, since I bought it processed and factory made, cranberry sauce was an enigma to me and seemed like it would be too difficult to make at home. But, things have changed, and today I know –

Making cranberry sauce at home is super easy – and fast!

And you can make it with much less sugar than called for in the recipes. So yeah – you can make a much healthier version.

Forget all those extras

some recipes call for orange rind, lemon zest, apricots, raisins, orange juice. Forget it all. I don’t have time for that and you probably don’t either.

Here’s my version and it takes less than 5 minutes.



  • 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (half of what’s called for in most recipes)
  • 2 tbsp water

Cranberries 3 LuciFit



1. Put 2 Tbsp water and the sugar into a large pan and heat on medium-high until sugar starts to liquify. Add all of the cranberries except 1/2 cup. Stir until the cranberries start to pop and soften (all of this takes about 3 minutes).

I like to leave most of the cranberries in-tact as it provides a great texture. Some will even pop in your mouth!

2.   Once they’re softened, add the remaining cranberries, turn off the heat and let it sit for about another minute to warm the additional cranberries.

3.   Put the cranberries into a container and then refrigerate til you’re ready to eat.

It makes about 1.5 cups — or 8 servings.

I hear you. Some of you are saying  “What? That’s eight servings?”

Yes. It is.

One serving of this recipe is about 3 tablespoons of cranberry sauce.

Contrary to what some believe, cranberry sauce is supposed to be eaten as a garnish, not a fruit or vegetable on your plate.

There are 60 calories in that serving. One gram of sugar is natural from the cranberries, and the rest of the sugar is added. That’s 3 teaspoons of sugar in 3 tablespoons of garnish.

(Imagine, you’d get twice the sugar if you use most other recipes out there.)

You can cut down further on the sugar,

using less in the recipe. Experiment a little first to see if you’re ok with the tartness. At 1/3 of a cup of sugar it’s still very delicious – tart and floral, a bit like a dry, red wine.

Along with the general nutrition data below

in a 2,000 Calorie daily diet,  one serving has 6% Vitamin C, 5% Fiber, and a very small amount of Vitamin K, Vitamin B-6, Pantothenic acid, Manganese, Omega-3 and Omega-6.


Nutrition information for Luci’s Lower Sugar Cranberry Sauce:

Cranberry Sauce Nutrition Data Lucifit