There's nothing better than homemade Vegan Cranberry Sauce! Fresh cranberries are cooked on the stovetop with orange juice, orange zest, and lemon juice in less than 20 minutes for a tart yet sweet addition to your holiday table!
Have you ever made cranberry sauce? For the longest time, I held off on making cranberry sauce, maybe because I never knew what to pair it with since I never was a fan of turkey when I was growing up (I didn't grow up vegan). I had no idea how easy it was to make!
- Why make this vegan cranberry sauce?
- What makes this cranberry sauce vegan?
- Why you need to try this cranberry sauce
- How to make this Vegan Cranberry Sauce
- Do I have to use fresh cranberries?
- How long do fresh cranberries keep?
- What to do with leftover cranberry sauce
- Can I freeze it?
- Can I make cranberry sauce ahead of time?
- Related recipes
- 📖 Recipe
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Why make this vegan cranberry sauce?
It's simply delicious and it's good for you! The store-bought canned version doesn't even come close. When November rolls around, this cranberry sauce is the perfect use for the cranberries that in season until December! This cranberry sauce is a gorgeous vibrant red and it is a lovely festive addition to the table for a vegan Thanksgiving or Christmas, and throughout the winter season.
What makes this cranberry sauce vegan?
Although sugar itself is vegan, the processing may not make it so. Some refined sugars are filtered through bone char. However, this isn't the case with organic sugar. Ever since I went vegan several years ago, I've been buying organic cane sugar. The brand I typically use is listed in the recipe.
Why you need to try this cranberry sauce
This cranberry sauce is the perfect blend of tart yet sweet and it is naturally gluten-free. The color is stunning and vibrant! Plus, it's much healthier and tastier than processed, canned cranberry sauce. You know what is going in the cranberry sauce when you make it yourself, you retain more of the nutrients since it's made at home, and you can adjust the flavor to your taste as you cook. Plus, it comes together in about 20 minutes!
Here's what you need in terms of equipment:
- a colander or bowl to rinse the cranberries and sort through them
- a Microplane zester
- a medium saucepan, preferable a deep saucepan so you don't get splattered by the cranberries as they pop
- a wooden spoon
The details are in the recipe below; here's a quick rundown of the ingredients.
- two large oranges for fresh orange juice and zest
- fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries
- fresh lemon juice
- organic brown sugar
- organic cane sugar
- sea salt
- cinnamon stick
- optional: gin or brandy (not pictured). The botanicals in the gin complement the cranberries, try it and see! Brandy is good too, need I say more?
How to make this Vegan Cranberry Sauce
Refer to the recipe below for all the details. Here's a brief overview:
- Rinse the cranberries and sort through them, discard any that shriveled and soft cranberries (not fresh). A fresh cranberry will bounce!
- Zest one orange, then juice the oranges.
- Preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Mix all of the ingredients together and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 15- 20 minutes uncovered. Stir often until the cranberries have popped.
- The cranberry sauce is ready when it coats a spoon.
- Remove from heat, and stir in gin or brandy if you wish.
- Let cool and refrigerate.
Do I have to use fresh cranberries?
You can use frozen cranberries, which are available year-round.
How long do fresh cranberries keep?
Fresh cranberries can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. If you buy them more than two weeks in advance of cooking them, be sure to freeze them. There is no need to wash them, just place them in the freezer in the bag they come in. When you’re ready to make your cranberry sauce, rinse the cranberries in cold water; there is no need to thaw them.
Add nuts such as walnuts or pecans if you like a bit of crunch. I prefer not to unless I'm putting the cranberry sauce in another recipe.
Try lemon zest instead of orange zest.
Try maple syrup instead of sugar.
If the cranberry sauce is too thick for your taste, add more water.
Let it cook down a bit more if the cranberry sauce is too thin for your taste.
Add a bit more sugar or maple syrup to your taste if it is too tart.
What to do with leftover cranberry sauce
Try my Vegan Cranberry Cream Cheese Bites, they have only 5 ingredients and take 30 minutes to make!
Put this cranberry sauce on toast, just like you would with jam. It's so good! You can also try it with French toast.
Serve it with granola and vegan yogurt.
When you are baking, try swirling cranberry sauce in the batter.
Can I freeze it?
You can try it, however, when thawed, it may be too watery. You can try cooking it down. I tend to consume cranberry sauce within a week or two of it being made, so I don't recommend freezing it.
Can I make cranberry sauce ahead of time?
You can make the sauce up to a week in advance and store it in an airtight glass container in the fridge. Once you make it, it will last in the fridge for about a week. If you make it the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas, you have a week after to use it up!
If you add gin or brandy, the cranberry sauce may last for two weeks.
If you make this Vegan Cranberry Sauce, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. You can follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
Vegan Cranberry Sauce
- 1 teaspoon orange zest from 1 large orange
- ¾ cup orange juice from 2 large oranges
- 12 oz fresh cranberries picked and sorted or frozen, 3 cups equivalent
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup organic light brown sugar packed, or organic dark brown sugar
- ⅓ cup organic cane sugar
- Pinch Sea salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon gin or brandy optional
- Preheat a medium saucepan with high sides over medium heat.
- Add orange zest, orange juice, cranberries, lemon juice, brown sugar, cane sugar, sea salt, and cinnamon stick.
- Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered, stirring often, until the cranberries have popped. The cranberry sauce should set on a spoon on a plate. It should not be runny.
- Remove from heat, stir in gin or brandy if desired. Pour into four 1 cup glass jars leaving ½ inch space from top. Place lids onto jars.