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Overhead view of a spoon dipped into a white bowl of naturally sweetened orange honey cranberry sauce

Orange Honey Cranberry Sauce (Paleo & Vegan Friendly)

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  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 25 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 cups sauce. 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Orange Honey Cranberry Sauce – This paleo cranberry sauce can also easily be made vegan. With bright citrus notes and a hint of cinnamon, this naturally sweetened cranberry sauce is the perfect addition to the holiday table. 


  • 1 (12oz) bag fresh cranberries, washed and picked through (discard any shriveled or bruised ones)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (I like Simply Orange or freshly squeezed)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/31/2 cup honey, pure maple syrup, or agave (use syrup or agave for vegan)
  • 12 tsp fresh orange zest
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch salt (optional)


  1. Wash and sort through cranberries, discarding any shriveled or brown berries.
  2. Pour cranberries into a medium saucepan. Pour in orange juice, water, and honey. Add 1 tsp fresh orange zest and cinnamon.
  3. Stirring frequently, bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook about 20 minutes, or until most of the cranberries have “popped” or burst. If you like completely smooth sauce, you can mash the remaining berries (or toss everything into a blender).
  4. Taste sauce and add additional orange zest or honey as desired. If you like, add a tiny pinch of salt and stir in.


Make Ahead Notes. Cranberry sauce is totally your friend when it comes to getting ahead in your holiday cooking. It keeps for at least a week, so it can be made a day or two (or three!) in advance. You could even make and freeze it way ahead of time, then thaw it the day before.

Sweetness. There are a few variables at play whenever you’re working with berries and citrus. Depending on what orange juice you use and how tart your berries are, you may want to use more or less sweetener. I recommend starting with at least 1/3 cup (less and your mouth will pucker!). Taste and add additional honey/syrup/agave as desired. I usually end up with about 1/2 cup, but follow your tastebuds!

Twists and add-ins. My favorite add-in is a tiny pinch of salt (which is totally optional). You can also turn up the cinnamon factor if you want by using a cinnamon stick for a few minutes instead of the pinch of cinnamon. Or, add a savory element by adding a sprig of rosemary for the last 3-4 minutes (which will be just long enough to lend some favor without taking over the whole dish). Remove the cinnamon stick or rosemary before serving.

  • Prep Time: 3-5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American