No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without this Keto Cranberry Sauce. You’re likely familiar with store-bought cranberry sauce—the one grandma used to cut into slices and serve with your turkey dinner. Well, this homemade low carb cranberry sauce will completely blow that canned stuff out of the water! The best part is that it’s super easy to make and low-carb compliant for those looking to serve a keto Thanksgiving meal.

Festive colorful table with bowl of homemade cranberry sauce in a white bowl with orange zest and thyme leaves on top.

The great thing about this recipe is that you only need a few minutes of prep time, and you’ve got a rich and flavorful side dish ready for the holiday table. Out of all the holiday side dishes, this delicious keto cranberry sauce is definitely a family favorite. I wouldn’t be shocked if it received a 5-star rating from your guests. 

Check out more of my amazing keto recipes here or side dishes here as you round out your menu!

What is Keto Cranberry Sauce 

Keto cranberry sauce is a cranberry sauce (or some people refer to it as a cranberry relish) similar to the kind mama used to make. Unless you had the kind you’d buy in a can from your local grocery store (the is more of a jelly).

It’s traditionally served as a condiment or side dish for Thanksgiving meals in the United States. What’s special about this version of cranberry sauce is the use of keto-friendly sweetener instead of real sugar to make it low-carb. Honestly, you won’t be able to tell the difference between your traditional cranberry sauce recipes and this low-carb cranberry sauce recipe.

A bit of history: According to Wikipedia, the earliest record of cranberry sauce is the recipe in the 1796 edition of The Art of Cookery (the first American cookbook) by Amelia Simmons. Additionally, cranberry sauce was first available to consumers in 1912, and canned cranberry sauce was introduced in 1941 as a way to enjoy cranberry sauce year-round. It’s not likely that cranberry sauce was served at the very first Thanksgiving meal, but it has been around long enough to become a beloved tradition for many families. 

Ingredients for keto cranberry sauce on a black background.

Keto Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

  • Water 
  • Bourbon 
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Powdered Erythritol (this is your sugar-free sweetener, you can swap it out for your sugar free powdered sweetener of choice)
  • Orange Zest
  • Orange Juice (so one orange will work for both)
  • Stick of Cinnamon (see our notes about cinnamon sticks below)
  • Anise Seed 
  • Clove 
  • Nutmeg
  • Kosher Salt 

How to Make Keto Cranberry Sauce 

The first step is to place a saucepan over medium-low heat and add water and bourbon. For exact measurements, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Next, add your cranberries and powdered erythritol. Stir to combine.

After, toss in orange zest, juice, cinnamon stick, anise seed, clove, nutmeg, and salt. Stir well.

Allow that mixture to simmer, or until the cranberries have softened.

Once the cranberries have softened, remove the saucepan from heat. Take the cinnamon stick out of the pan and transfer the rest to a bowl and allow it to cool.

Simmer the cranberry sauce until thickened. This only takes 10 or so minutes.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days until ready to serve. 

Garnish with a pinch of fresh orange zest to serve.

A note about cooking with cinnamon sticks:

The size of the cinnamon stick does impact the amount of cinnamon flavor the recipe will develop. We suggest a smaller cinnamon stick for this homemade cranberry sauce.

What to Serve With Homemade Cranberry Sauce 

When we think of this dish, we think of big holiday dinners! Keto Cranberry Sauce is typically served with:

And any other classic Thanksgiving dishes you love! It depends on what your family typically serves for the holidays. This sugar free Cranberry Sauce should blend in as the perfect addition.

Close up of beautiful red cranberry sauce garnished with orange zest and thyme leaves.


If you end up with leftover cranberry sauce, place it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.

Bonus: it’s the perfect condiment for your leftover turkey sandwich!


Are cranberries keto-friendly?

This might surprise you, but they actually are! They are low in carbs and high in fiber, making them low-carb compliant.

Will cranberry sauce thicken without sugar?

In this case, we are using a keto-friendly sugar substitute. But the short answer is yes. Cranberries naturally carry a lot of pectin, so even without sugar, your fresh cranberry sauce should become thick. Also, allowing it time to cool in the fridge should help it set into the consistency you know and love. We also prefer it cold.

Overhead shot of homemade keto cranberry sauce on a festive table garnished with other seasonal foods.


If you’re hosting a large gathering, you may have some guests who are on a keto diet, or maybe you are, but either way this low-carb cranberry sauce will be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table. Even those not on a particular diet will enjoy this rich and flavorful side dish!

Easy Keto Cranberry Sauce

5 from 17 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 10
When it comes to low-carb side dishes, this homemade keto cranberry sauce is as easy as it gets! It only takes 30 minutes and you can make it up to 3 days ahead of time.


  • ¾ cup Water
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries rinsed one 12oz bag
  • 1 cup powdered erythritol
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp orange juice
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp anise seed ground
  • ¼ tsp clove
  • ¼ fresh grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt


  • Place a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the water and bourbon.
  • Add the cranberries and powdered erythritol and stir to combine.
  • Add the orange zest, juice, cinnamon stick, anise seed, clove, nutmeg and salt and stir to combine.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cranberries have softened.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick.
  • Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days until ready to serve.
  • Garnish with a pinch of fresh orange zest to serve.


We’ve tested this recipe with granulated erythritol and powdered and find that the powdered dissolves and gives the perfect texture for this recipe. This is the kind we recommend.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 16kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 23IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, keto
Author: Kita Roberts

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.


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