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Recipe for sugar-free slow cooker cranberry sauce

Sugar-free slow cooker cranberry sauce, with hints of orange.

My cranberry sauce failures -- undercooked, overjelled -- are the stuff of legend in my family. I admit that the molded cranberry sauce I watched slide down the sink drain as I inverted it onto a platter shook my confidence for a while, but it didn't defeat me. I've tried many versions of cranberry over the years, including spicy dried cranberry and pear chutney, my personal favorite. With several Type 1 diabetics in the family, I wanted to create a sugar-free cranberry sauce they could enjoy, and this one was a hit on our holiday table last Thanksgiving. Prepared in the slow cooker, with just a few ingredients (and no blurping splatters all over the stove), it's so good that nobody will believe it's also sugar-free. Make this several days ahead and store in the refrigerator; let it come to room temperature before you serve.

Sugar-free slow cooker cranberry sauce, from The Perfect Pantry.

Sugar-free slow cooker cranberry sauce

From the pantry, you'll need: Splenda or other artificial sweetener, cinnamon, kosher salt.

Makes 2 cups (enough for 10-12 servings, or lots of turkey sandwiches).


2 12-oz bags fresh cranberries
3/4 cup powdered Splenda
1 cup apple cider or pure apple juice (no sugar added)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Zest of 1 orange


Place all ingredients in a 3- or 4-quart slow cooker, and stir together. Cook on LOW for 5 hours.

Note: if you'd like the cranberry sauce more jellied, sprinkle in one package of plain gelatin, or half a package of sugar-free raspberry jell-o, during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Dried cranberry and pear chutney
Warm salad of kamut, cranberries and feta
Broccoli slaw salad with cranberries, almonds, and yogurt dressing
Roasted winter squash with cranberries, pepitas and honey-lime vinaigrette
Vegan quinoa salad with roasted sweet potato, apples, dried cranberries and pine nuts

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Trina's low-sugar fresh cranberry salsa with cilantro, lime, and jalapeno, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Chipotle cumin cranberry sauce, from What We're Eating
Cranberry apple sauce with fresh ginger, from Pinch My Salt
Spicy cranberry sauce with Pinot Noir, from Simply Recipes
Red wine cranberry sauce, from Alexandra's Kitchen

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


My youngest daughter is a Type 1 diabetic and I appreciate recipes that make life easier:) We are trying to stay away from some of the artificaial sweeteners, but she likes Splenda.
I'll have to give this sauce a try!
Have a great holiday!

I have been using the recipe on the bag of Ocean Spray cranberries for years, but each year I have reduced the sugar they recommend. I'm down to about 1/4 of their recipe, and it's actually better. I like the idea of cider vs OJ. My recent twist is to throw in a dried chipotle chile. You need to taste as it cooks and remove the chile while it's still just a hint. The combo of tart, sweet and a bit of heat is awesome.

This looks so good! I don't use Splendida but I love your addition of apple juice or cider which I think is brilliant and I'll definitely try that! I will also be checking out your dried cranberry pear chutney!! Wow!

Lana, I didn't know you have a Type 1 daughter too. My kids loved this cranberry sauce when I tested it on them.

Jeri, I love the idea of adding the chipotle! I'm going to try that, for sure.

Jamie, apple cider is pressed on many of the farms around here, and I love to use it to replace broth in many of my Fall dishes. You'll love the chutney, too, I'm sure.

My husband is a cranberry sauce nut! Year round with all kinds of meals - now if I can just get him to try one that doesn't have "can ridges" molded into it!

Artificial sweetners are terrible for you. No sugar, no artificial sweetners, and no maple syrup or agave syrup that has high fructose corn syrup in it. Maybe try a bit of honey or make homemade orange and pineapple juice. Just a thought.

Michele, I respect your opinion, and ask that all readers here respect the choices of others. For many, artificial sweeteners are a life saver, and it is for those folks that I create recipes like this one.

I tried this recipe and it is terrible...I followed the recipe and it is so sour...added more splenda and it is still not good.

Diane, so sorry you didn't like this. My family loved it. Go figure.

this looks great,i was wondering if it has big pieces of the cranberries?

Thanks for this recipe! I made it today and subbed diet cran-cherry cocktail 4 the juice and 15 paks of truvia for the splenda and it was yum! :-)

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