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Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce is the perfect healthy side dish for any holiday meal. Simple to make, gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar free. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Cranberry Apple Sauce

Cranberry Apple Sauce recipe is the perfect way to dress up any holiday meal. It’s refined sugar-free, too!

Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce is the perfect healthy side dish for any holiday meal. Simple to make, gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar free. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

How to Make Cranberry Sauce in the Instant Pot

And when you make it in the Instant Pot, it’s ready in just THREE minutes. Yep, you read that right.

Of course, you can always make it on the stovetop if you don’t have an Instant Pot. Just look at the recipe card below for a simple twist.

As a Massachusetts native, cranberries have always been a classic sign of autumn for me.

The minute I saw cranberries available in the grocery store, I knew fall was really on its way.

And I guess the seasonality of cranberries is part of the allure for me. In their fresh form, these tart, astringent little berries are only around once a year.

So whenever I see fresh cranberries available, I always grab several bags. I usually freeze a couple to use throughout the year. (Click here for my Cranberry Orange Turkey Thighs recipe.)

Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce is the perfect healthy side dish for any holiday meal. Simple to make, gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar free. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

How I Customize my Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce

And I always make several batches of my Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce. Truth be told, my recipe’s always changing.

Sometimes I give it an orangey twist. Others, I add more fall spices like clove, anise, and ginger. And sometimes I add chopped nuts to the final sauce. (I like walnuts.)

Once you have the basics down, you can really morph this Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce recipe any way you want.

Are Cranberries Healthy?

Did you know that cranberries are a really good source of Vitamin C? Yep! And they also contain Vitamin B6, manganese, Vitamin E, and copper.

Plus these little ruby wonders are packed with fiber. I mean, that’s probably not the main reason you’d eat them, but hey, it’s a nice side benefit.

In this version of my Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce, I tossed in a couple of peeled, chopped apples for sweetness. I like Pink Lady apples because they’re relatively firm and have a good mix of sweet / tart flavor.

If you can’t find Pink Lady, try Braeburn, Gala, Fuji, or Granny Smith. Softer apples like Macintosh will just disintegrate into the sauce.

How Much Sugar is in This Cranberry Sauce?

Usually, you’ll still have to add a bit of sweetener because cranberries are quite tart. Here, I opted for maple syrup…so technically this recipe is plant-based.

I love pairing maple syrup with cranberries because it can really stand up to the strong flavor of the cranberries. And while this recipe isn’t 100% sugar-free, it only contributes about 25 grams of carbohydrates to the entire recipe.

Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce is the perfect healthy side dish for any holiday meal. Simple to make, gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar free. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Considering normal cranberry sauce recipes call for a cup of white sugar (200 grams of carbs!), this is a far better alternative.

(Don’t even get me started on the canned stuff…it’s made with high fructose corn syrup.)

If maple syrup is not available to you, I’d recommend honey or coconut sugar. They each taste a bit different in here, so maybe add a little less than 2 tablespoons and adjust from there.

Try Adding Collagen to Your Cranberry Sauce

And it’s totally optional, but you could also mix in some collagen peptides to the final result to add a little boost of protein.

I’d probably go with 2 to 3 teaspoons for the whole batch. (Click here for the collagen peptides I recommend.)

If you don’t have any cinnamon sticks, you could stir in some ground cinnamon into this Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce before cooking. Start with a teaspoon or so, then adjust to match your tastes.

When I cook, I check my seasonings as I go and always err on the side of adding less. You can always add more of something!

Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce is the perfect healthy side dish for any holiday meal. Simple to make, gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar free. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Love cranberries? Try these recipes:

Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce is the perfect healthy side dish for any holiday meal. Simple to make, gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar free. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe (Instant Pot)

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Instant Pot, Nut-Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 57 kcal
Author: Steph Gaudreau

Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce is the perfect healthy side dish for any holiday meal. Simple to make, gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar free. Making it in the Instant Pot cuts way down on time. 

Print

Ingredients

  • 12 oz whole cranberries
  • 2 apples peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch sea salt

Instructions

  1. Rinse the cranberries in a colander and pick out any mushy ones. 
  2. Add the cranberries, apples, water, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, and salt to the Instant Pot liner. Stir.
  3. Cook on Manual (or High) for 3 minutes. Quick release the pressure or allow to release naturally. Remove the cinnamon stick. 
  4. Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate for up 5 to 7 days.

Recipe Notes

For Whole30, sub softened, pureed dates for the maple syrup.

My recipes are all in a meal planner. Check it out!

Nutrition Facts
Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe (Instant Pot)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 57
% Daily Value*
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 96mg3%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 9g10%
Vitamin A 50IU1%
Vitamin C 7.8mg9%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce is the perfect healthy side dish for any holiday meal. Simple to make, gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar free. | StupidEasyPaleo.com

Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe (Stove Top)

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 57 kcal
Author: Steph Gaudreau

 Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce is the perfect healthy side dish for any holiday meal. Simple to make, plant-based, and refined sugar free. Get the stove top instructions here.

Print

Ingredients

  • 12 oz whole cranberries
  • 2 apples peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch sea salt

Instructions

  1. Rinse the cranberries in a colander and pick out any mushy ones. 
  2. Add the cranberries, apples, water, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, and salt to a medium pot. Stir. Place a lid on the pot and crack it so that steam can escape.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the cranberries burst. If the mixture becomes too dry, add water about a tablespoon at a time. 
  4. Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate for up 5 to 7 days.

Recipe Notes

For Whole30, sub softened, pureed dates for the maple syrup. 

My recipes are all in a meal planner. Check it out!

Nutrition Facts
Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe (Stove Top)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 57
% Daily Value*
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 96mg3%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 9g10%
Vitamin A 50IU1%
Vitamin C 7.8mg9%
Calcium 16mg2%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin this Cranberry Apple Sauce for later!

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16 Responses

    1. Like to give a bit of extra sweetness instead of maple syrup? Probably but they would be little punches of sweetness amongst a pretty sour/bitter sauce. If you opt for that, I would chop them up VERY finely first.

    1. I wouldn’t call it cloyingly sweet like canned cranberry sauce but it’s not sour either. It’s sweet-tart. But you can always add more or less maple syrup to suit your tastes.

    1. It’s pretty sweet-tart. I think you’d be surprised! You can try adding some pom juice and see how it turns out.

  1. Just made a batch in the pressure cooker for Thanksgiving. Love doing it ahead! I may have added a little too much salt… but anyway, it’s delicious warm and I can’t wait to serve it cold for the meal. Thanks, Steph!

  2. This was stupid easy! Mine was too tart for our taste. I added a teaspoon of coconut sugar after a day. We used it cold. Yum!!!

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Hi, I'm Steph!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.

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