Bowl of Vegan and Paleo Cranberry Sauce

Vegan & Paleo Cranberry Sauce

This paleo cranberry sauce is the easiest Thanksgiving dinner side you'll ever make. It requires only 4 ingredients (plus water) and about 15 minutes of your time. Plus, it is naturally sweetened with maple syrup and orange juice. Don't stress about the sides this year! 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword paleo cranberry sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 44kcal
Author Nora (A Clean Bake)


  • 1 whole Mandarin orange (juice + peel)
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • Peel the orange, and cut the peel into 4 pieces. Place peel in a small saucepan on the stove. 
  • Juice the orange and put the juice (~1 Tablespoon) in the saucepan. Discard the meat of the orange. 
  • Add the cranberries, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, and water to the saucepan
  • Cover and turn on the heat to medium-high.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, then remove the cover and reduce the heat to medium. 
  • Cook, stirring regularly, until cranberries have burst and sauce has thickened (about 5-10 minutes). 
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before serving or storing.
  • Optional: remove orange peel before serving (I like to leave it in).


  • You can replace the maple syrup with an equal amount of honey or coconut sugar. If you choose to use coconut sugar, you will also need to add an additional 2-4 tablespoons of water or orange juice (depending on how thin you like your sauce).
  • If you don't have a cinnamon stick on hand, replace it with 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (to taste).
  • This is a medium-thickness sauce. If you want a runnier sauce, simply add a few extra tablespoons of water or orange juice. If you want a thicker sauce, simmer the sauce for longer over low heat (this allows the orange peel to break down and release more pectin, which thickens the sauce), or add an teaspoon of gelatin powder (make sure you dissolve it in a few tablespoons of hot water before you add it to the sauce). Note that if you do use gelatin, the recipe is no longer vegan. 
  • To make this recipe Whole30 compliant, omit the maple syrup and use about 1 cup orange juice (or to taste) to sweeten the sauce instead. 
  • Cooled cranberry sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to two months.
  • Yield: 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups (depending on how long you cook it) 


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 44kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 0.4% | Vitamin C: 5.5% | Calcium: 1.4% | Iron: 0.5%