Skip the canned stuff of jellied cranberry sauce. It was never really that good anyway and make this simple Low FODMAP Cranberry Sauce. With hints of orange against the tart cranberries sweetened with sugar, it makes the most delicious cranberry sauce to go with your Thanksgiving dinner or any time of year.
Did you know those cans of cranberry sauce that maintain their shape, even once removed from the can, contain high fructose corn syrup listed in the ingredients? There were a few Thanksgiving meals in my world that had no cranberry sauce due to following the low-FODMAP diet.
Well, good news, folks, this homemade cranberry sauce is a perfect addition to your plate, and it is also FODMAP friendly! The tart flavors from the cranberry flavor are a great way to balance all the dishes found during a Thanksgiving feast! Everyone will enjoy this recipe with or without dietary needs.
Cranberry Sauce Ingredients
Fresh Cranberries - These are seasonal items, but you can find a frozen option as well. I have not tested this with dried cranberries.
Orange Juice - Freshly squeezed orange juice is best. Oranges and cranberries are a perfect pair.
Sugar - White granulated sugar helps balance out the tartness of the cranberries.
Water - Used to thin out the sauce to the thickness you want.
See the recipe card for the exact measurements and complete instructions. Selected ingredients are based on current serving sizes measured by the Monash FODMAP App at the time of publishing. As always, follow your gut and modify as needed.
Cranberry Sauce Instructions
Wash and remove any fresh cranberries that look bruised or not at their prime.
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, dissolve the sugar into the water. Stir until the water is clear and the sugar is dissolved.
Next, add the fresh cranberries and freshly squeezed orange juice to the saucepan with the sugar water. Make sure there are no seeds in the orange juice.
With a wooden spoon, crush some of the cranberries along the side of the saucepan. Stir until the desired thickness is reached. Keep in mind a warm cranberry sauce will spread easier than a cooled sauce.
Substitutions and Variations
Cranberries - Feel free to use frozen cranberries if you cannot find fresh ones. Allow them to thaw a bit, and keep in mind they will take longer to cook.
Cinnamon - Add one cinnamon stick to the sauce while cooking to create a spicier version of cranberry sauce.
Sugar - Try using half brown sugar and half white sugar for a different flavor combination.
Unrefined Sugar Option - If you are interested in a natural sweetener, use pure maple syrup.
More Orange Flavor - Increase the orange flavor by adding orange zest or an orange peel.
How Far In Advance Can You Make Cranberry Sauce
To Freeze: Cranberry sauce freezes well. Make up to four months in advance. Store cooked cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the freezer.
To Serve: Defrost in the refrigerator the night before you would like to serve it. The frozen cranberry sauce will taste like you just made it.
To Warm: If you want to serve warmed cranberry sauce, pour the defrosted cranberry sauce into a small saucepan and heat over low until warmed up. It is worth noting a warmed cranberry sauce will be less like jelly and more like a sauce.
Low FODMAP Notes
These ingredients have been selected based on the results from Monash Food App at the time of publishing. Keep in mind with low FODMAP recipes, it is all about a safe FODMAP serving size per meal.
Cranberries - Have been tested by Monash University to be safe at ½ cup per meal.
Fresh Oranges - Fresh squeezed orange juice is safe at ⅓ cup per meal.
White Sugar - Monash University has tested white granulated sugar safe at ¼ cup per meal.
The first step is to look at the ingredients on the can of the store-bought cranberry sauce. The most common culprit is high fructose corn syrup. If you see that listed, put the can down and make homemade cranberry sauce. If it is just plain sugar listed, and not apple juice or another high FODMAP foods, feel free to go ahead and try it in a small serving size and see how your body responds. Everyone on a low FODMAP diet has different levels of tolerance.
Yes! Due to the tartness of cranberries, they are naturally already low in sugar, aka fructose. Monash University has tested them to be safe at ½ cup per meal. Always listen to your body and determine your own tolerance levels.
There are two types of cranberry juice sold in grocery stores: cranberry cocktail drink and 100% cranberry juice. Cranberry cocktail drink contains only cranberry juice, sugar, and water. According to the Monash App, the cranberry cocktail drink is safe at ¾ cup or 162 grams per meal.
The other option is 100% cranberry juice, which contains cranberry juice, apple juice, grape juice, and pear juice. This cranberry juice option contains many trigger foods, which is why Monash has tested a safe amount of this cranberry drink option safe at one shot or 30 grams.
Fresh squeezed orange juice is the best low FODMAP option, according to the testing done on the Monash Food App. It is safe at 72 grams or roughly ⅓ of a glass. The next best option is a reconstituted and fresh blend of orange juice, which is tested safe at ½ cup or 120 grams.
It is worth noting orange juice was 98% reconstituted and is a no-go for fructose. There is no safe amount listed in the Monash Food App. It is a better idea to use freshly squeezed or a reconstituted fresh blend option.
More Low FODMAP Thanksgiving Recipes
- Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
- Swedish Meatballs
- Green Bean Casserole
- Corn Pudding
- Pumpkin Pie
- Charcuterie Board
Low FODMAP Cranberry Sauce
- 1 cup White Granulated Sugar
- ⅓ cup Water
- ⅔ cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- 12 oz Fresh Cranberries
- In a medium-sized saucepan, add the sugar and the water.
- Over medium-high heat, dissolve the sugar into the water. Stir constantly for three minutes with a wooden spoon.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, add the orange juice and the cranberries. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer until thickened about fifteen minutes. Stir occasionally.
- With a wooden spoon, smash the berries alongside the saucepan. Some of the cranberries may have burst on their own, that is normal.
- Cook on low heat for ten more minutes.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately if interested in warm cranberry sauce. Otherwise, cool in an airtight container until ready to serve.