cranberry cherry sauce

Cranberry Cherry Sauce

Lately, I’ve had fresh cranberry sauce on my mind. So I researched cranberry sauce recipes, and found that most have anywhere from ¼ to 1 ¾ cups of sugar. This Paleo Cranberry Cherry Sauce, however, is made with no sugar, and has only 4 ingredients! I like a tart cranberry sauce, one that almost makes my mouth pucker, so I developed this stevia and fruit-sweetened cranberry sauce. While it’s nicely tart, the cherries and orange juice make it just sweet enough.

This is a naturally sweetened lower-glycemic cranberry sauce recipe, however I did not come up with the idea of combining cranberries and cherries myself. I found this delightfully unique flavor combination on

Print Recipe
Cranberry Cherry Sauce
  • 1 package fresh cranberries, 8 ounce
  • 1 package frozen cherries, 10 ounce
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  1. Place cranberries, cherries, orange juice and stevia in a saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat
  3. Simmer about 20 minutes, until berries have burst and sauce has thickened
  4. Transfer to a bowl and serve

When I conducted a survey on twitter the other night and asked what people use to sweeten their cranberry sauce, the responses ranged from sugar to orange juice, to honey, maple syrup, apple juice and xylitol. Thanks to all of you who responded to my informal poll!

What kind of cranberry sauce do you usually make at Thanksgiving? Will you use a standard recipe this year or try something new?


  1. says

    Outstanding! I used regular organic cane sugar as Stevia tastes so synthetic and
    chemical-ly to me. I also used my zester to grate rind of the orange into the relish. The best cranberry sauce ever!

  2. Tammy says

    Yum! I made this today for our Thanksgiving feast this week and it is fantastic! Only change I made was I used 1/4 cup of xylitol (stevia is too bitter for me) and then once it was done simmering I mashed up the large pieces with a potato masher for a smoother texture. I tossed in a big handful of raw cranberries and it was a masterpiece! Even the hubby who won’t eat anything cranberry loved it. Many thanks!

  3. Lisa says

    This Thanksgiving (like almost everyday that we make something new) I turned to the recipes from Elana’s pantry for our festivities. We made a slightly altered version of the Cranberry Cherry Relish to go with Elana’s Balsamic Roasted Turkey with Apple Stuffing. Both were spectacular. In fact our guests for Thanksgiving said the relish in particular was “the very best they ever had in their entire life.”
    Because we are on a Special Carbohydrate Diet that does not allow stevia, and because we only could come across organic dried cranberries, we had to slightly alter the recipe.

    Here’s what we used:

    – two 4oz bags of Earthbound Farm Organic Dried Cranberries (reconstituted with 2 cups filtered hot water)
    – two 10 oz bags of Woodstock Farms Dark Sweet Cherries (frozen)
    – 3/4 cup of Mountain Ridge Pure Raw Honey

    These ingredients were simmered in a pot for 25 minutes, then blended until smooth in a food processor. Finally the “jelly” was put in the fridge overnight and served room temperature with the turkey the next day. It was a huge hit.

    Thanks Elana for all you do. You’re “awe inspiring!”

  4. tracy says

    this was delicious!! i used 2ish T of agave instead of stevia and added some vanilla extract after i’d turned off the heat. it was so good!

  5. TaDa says

    This was quite tasty! Thank you Elana for this recipe. I did add some orange zest when it was almost finished cooking. Also added the walnut that another reader posted. It was quite amazing! Thanks again!

  6. Jessica says

    Excellent! I had to add a bit more sweetener (a tablespoon or two of honey) and I threw in some chopped, toasted walnuts. Easy and very good. To go with our roast. Thank you!

  7. Karina says

    This is delicious + easy to make. I used a bag of trader joes frozen very cherry berry blend and it came out great.thanks Elana!

  8. says

    We were just finalizing our grocery list pre-feast. Your take on cranberries with cherries just might get us to add cran to our Thanksgiving table for the first time. I can almost taste the cherry and citrus twists, and I think I love them.

  9. Tess says

    I make a reduction of white peach balsamic in a saucepan and then saute my cranberries in that until they pop. Then just add a little sugar or stevia to taste if it is not sweet enough from the balsamic.

  10. Sarah says

    I happened to have the right amount of dark sweet cherries in the freezer from picking this summer, so I made this last night and it’s great! My son had a big spoonful mixed with plain yogurt today and loved it too. I did add about 2 tablespoons of maple syrup instead of the stevia (I’ve never tried stevia and don’t have any). Initially I thought I’d just try it without any added sweetener because I always leave the stevia out of your other recipes that call for it and they are still great, but this was a bit too tart without so that little bit of maple syrup made it perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  11. says

    I love the colour that this is! So deep and rich from the cherries. I recently discovered coconut sugar as an alternative to refined sugar. Tastes great, but I always reduce the amount even with the healthier stuff!

  12. Morgen says

    I make a cranberry sauce with figs, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, black pepper, and a very minimal amount of sugar. The figs add a really nice sweetness and depth of flavor that I find very pleasant. It’s one of those recipes you want to eat by the spoonful!

  13. says

    I love the idea of using cherries as well. I’ve noticed some people don’t like the overwhelming bitter/tart taste of cranberries, so sweetening it up and adding another flavor could make it much more versatile.

  14. Nancy says

    The local church has a holiday bazaar every year, and one woman makes the most amazing cranberry/orange/ginger relish. This year we are avoiding sugar, wheat, and soy. I bought berries this year and working on how to make my own with out cane sugar. I though I’d try coconut crystals (by Coconut Secret) I find I don’t use as much as it’s very sweet and is prebiotic. I buy Coconut Secret brand, they have a good line of products. We the coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. I can find these locally.

    this feed has some good information

  15. Lynnette Foster-Horwith says

    Hm I’m wondering if you mean sweet or sour cherries? I have a freezer full of sour ones from my Moms tree but puuuucker! I hope stevia can cut through!

  16. Jeanne says

    We have made many cranberry relishes with different fruit choices….Pomegranite juice is a nice addition too….The cherry looks lovely and I have some jars I canned last summer, so may make a small batch ….


    • cindi says

      What a great idea! Thank you for sharing that. :) I don’t like orange juice in anything, but pomegranate is a fantastic replacement idea!

  17. Ruth J. Hirsch says

    Hi, Elana,

    Yay ThanksGiving!

    This past Sunday was my pre-ThanksGiving for our neighbors. Sign up went from 10 to 21 to 24. It was great

    Cranberry-wise, I made the Cranberry-Orange relish. Quartered org, Oranges, and cranberries. Into food Processor. chop chop chop. Done. One orange p bag of cranberries. Sweetened with a very very small amt of honey– some set aside with none at all, for my sweetener free sweetie (aka husb.)

    Your Cherry Recipe is lovely and luscious, for next year perhaps.

    Also made Praline Squash, Curried Squash– decided to do two squash and no stuffing. Would do same again in future.

    hope it is a good and peaceful time for you and your readers,


  18. says

    A healthy no sugar cranberry sauce has been on my mind. I like the addition of cherries to the cranberry mix. I have a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen cherry and other berry mix. I might try that and I like the idea of adding walnuts as Lisa suggested.

  19. Lisa says

    I like the idea of subbing stevia in the recipe. I have been thinking of changing up the sweetener in my usual cranberry relish this year. I actually make it year round, since it is really simple and delicious.

    In a medium pot, put 1 bag of fresh cranberries, an 8 oz. can of (drained,juice packed) crushed pineapple, and 1 cup sugar (or equivalent sweetener). Cook until the berries pop, then take it off the heat and stir in 1 cup chopped walnuts.
    Sometimes I add more pineapple, or some mandarin oranges; I’ve even subbed finely chopped apples. It’s good as a cheesecake topping, too.

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