Homemade Cranberry Sauce: Less Sugar, More Flavor

Your family will love this lower sugar homemade cranberry sauce

By Heather Williams December 18, 2023

Cranberries are a very tart fruit and most products like cranberry sauce and cranberry juice have a large amount of added sugar. After testing several ways of making homemade cranberry sauce with less sugar, I came up with a simple recipe that is the perfect combination of sweet and tart. This recipe uses 100% juice instead of water and less sugar than a typical recipe.

You can change up the flavor by using different types of juice, adding zest (orange, lemon, lime) and/or different spices.

My family loves this cranberry sauce so much that I typically make a double batch.

At Macaroni KID, we skip the fluff and get straight to the good stuff. No need to scroll through pages of unnecessary content — our recipes are easy to find. Now let's get cooking!

Homemade Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce


  • 1 package fresh cranberries (12 ounces)
  • 1 cup 100% juice – we typically use pomegranate blueberry juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Rinse cranberries in cold water and remove any stems.
  2. In a medium pot, combine cranberries, juice, and sugar.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat, bringing mixture to a boil. 
  4. Boil for about 5 minutes or until most of the berries have popped open, be sure to stir often.
  5. Carefully taste-test as it boils. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, you can add additional sugar, either 1/4 or 1/2 cup.
  6. Carefully pour cranberry sauce in a bowl and set aside to cool.
  7. Serve once cool or store in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will naturally thicken as it cools.

This recipe originally appeared on Macaroni KID EATS!