This homemade cranberry sauce is a delicious and integral part of the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, it is so much better than the canned versions, made with all fresh ingredients that taste amazing.

Serve it with Gluten-Free Vegan Lentil Balls and Gravy, Vegan Mashed Potatoes, Easy Green Beans, and Vegan Sweet Potato Pie

Vegan cranberry sauce in a white bowl on a cutting board with oranges and ginger in the background

Why You Should Make This Recipe?

  1. It literally takes minutes to prepare from start to finish.
  2. The orange and ginger combo takes your cranberry sauce to another level. It gives a tart, sweet, and spicy flavor to your sauce.
  3. Once you make this homemade version you will never go back to canned ones.

Is Cranberry Sauce Vegan?

Although there are many cranberry sauces on the market that are vegan, not all of them are. Some of the cranberry sauces in the stores contain gelatin. 

Gelatin is derived from boiling animal cartilage, bones, skins. Some sauces are sweetened with honey which is not vegan. 

If you have never made your own cranberry sauce, you will be amazed at how quickly the recipes come together and how delicious it tastes. 

Cranberry sauce made on the stovetop doesn’t need the added gelatin, the sauce will thicken naturally as it cools.

cranberry sauce ingredients

What Ingredients Are In The Cranberry Sauce?

  • Cranberries – I used fresh cranberries, they are available in stores from October to December, because they are harvested during the Fall. You can use frozen cranberries instead, no need to thaw your frozen cranberries, just place them in a colander and rinse under running water.  As a matter of fact, I usually stock up on fresh cranberries to freeze, so I can have cranberries for longer.
  • Maple Syrup – tastes amazing with cranberries, but you can substitute with sweetener of your choice. I tend to love my sauce a little sweeter than usual so please adjust the sweetener to your taste. I tend to add 3/4 cup – 1 cup of sweetener because cranberries are very tart. 
  • Water – I used filtered water but you can substitute half the amount with orange, apple, cranberry, grape, pomegranate or pineapple juice. 
  • Orange Zest – use the zest only and avoid the white bit which will make your sauce bitter.
  • Ginger – fresh ginger gives a festive, warming taste to your sauce. 
  • Salt -add a pinch of salt to balance out the sweetness and make the flavors pop. I used Himalayan pink salt.


How Do You Make Vegan Cranberry Sauce From Scratch?

  1. Sort cranberries, discard any that are bruised or discolored.
  2. Place cranberries in a colander and rinse.
  3. Add water or fruit juice to a saucepan with cranberries, water or orange juice, maple syrup, orange zest, ginger, and salt.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer. The cranberries will pop. 
  5. At this point, you can use the back of your spoon to crush the cranberries to make a smoother sauce or leave them whole, it is up to how you like your cranberry sauce,
  6. Allow cranberry sauce to cool, transfer to a container, and serve or store refrigerated.

cranberry sauce ingredients in the saucepan on the stove top


  1. Add other fruits like apple, pear, Ground Cherries, currant, persimmon, raspberries, blueberries, raisins, crushed pineapple.
  2. Flavor with spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice. vanilla.
  3. Add nuts such as walnuts or pecans.
  4. Substitute the liquid for orange, apple, cranberry, pomegranate, pineapple, or grape juice.

Can Cranberry Sauce Be Made Ahead Of Time?

Yes,  please do so you will have one less item on the menu to worry about on the day of Thanksgiving. Cool after cooking and store refrigerated in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

It actually tastes better the next day. You can use leftovers to make Vegan Meatloaf Sandwiches.

How To Store Your Vegan Cranberry Sauce?

Make sure you cool your cranberry sauce and transfer to a container with a lid. 

Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

Cool cranberry sauce completely, store in a freezer container with a lid or freezer bag for about 3 months, Defrost and serve. 

What Other Sides Can I Serve?

Here are some of my favorite holiday side dishes:

Vegan cranberry sauce overlay with cranberry sauce in a white bowl oranges and ginger on the side on a cutting board on a white background

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Vegan cranberry sauce overlay with cranberry sauce in a white bowl oranges and ginger on the side on a cutting board on a white background

Vegan Cranberry Sauce

This vegan cranberry sauce is easy to make in 15 minutes with fresh cranberries, naturally sweetened with maple syrup, flavored with orange zest and ginger. Make sure to check out my Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie for the holidays!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan cranberry sauce
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 218kcal



  • 1 12 ounce bag cranberries
  • 1/2 cup water or orange, apple, pineapple juice
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • pinch of salt (optional)


  • Rinse cranberries and drain. Add them to a saucepan with water or fruit juice, maple syrup, orange zest, ginger, and salt.
  • Bring to a boil; the cranberries will start popping. Reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Use the back of a large spoon and crush some of the cranberries against the saucepan,
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Your cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.


Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 0.02g | Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 0.1mg