This post, originally published 11/17/16, has been updated to include frequently asked questions and Instant Pot directions making it easier than ever! Hope you guys love it!
Hiya foodies! How're things? Are you ready for some Turkey day action? I know, what you're really looking forward to is talking politics with your good ol' Uncle Joe, right? Yep. Good times.
Speaking of, my awesome brother-in-law recently lightened the post-election mood on Facebook by starting this very serious debate - cranberry sauce: yes or no? <-- This is why we love him, folks.
The answer was a resounding yes. Because OF COURSE. Cranberry sauce is a necessity!
How else are we supposed to plow through that enormous Thanksgiving day dish of delight if we don't have something deliciously tart to cut the richness? It's a must.
Plus it's pretty, don't forget that. ⇓
However... what is not a must is the loaded-with-an-insane-amount-of-sugar stuff. Homemade or otherwise.
I'm here to tell you, I love the shaped-like-a-can cranberry sauce as much as the next gal, but it has nothing on this ridiculously easy, way-less-sugar version.
Before we get onto the recipe, let's get to some cranberry sauce questions that you may have 🙂
How do you make cranberry sauce taste great with less sugar?
Let apples do the work! We're able to use ⅓ of the amount of sugar in most cranberry sauce recipes because of the addition of sweet apples.
Will cranberry sauce thicken as it cools?
Yes, it will!
Can cranberry sauce be frozen?
Yep! I've frozen it before and it worked out great!
Can this Low-Sugar Apple Cranberry Sauce be doubled?
Absolutely, it'll just take a little longer to cook down.
Is this cranberry sauce vegan?
Is this recipe gluten-free?
Can this less-sugar cranberry sauce be made ahead?
Yep! This will last a good 4-5 days in the fridge and is as good on the last day as it is on the first!
Is this cranberry sauce with apples healthy?
While many cranberry sauces are loaded with sugar, since this one isn't, I would definitely consider it healthy. Cranberries are really high in nutrients and antioxidants, so enjoy!
What's the difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry relish?
Cranberry sauce is cooked and cranberry relish is uncooked - usually cranberries are put into a food processor with nuts and sugar and processed into a relish-like consistency. I should totally get a cranberry relish up on the blog, they're so good, too!
What does Low-Sugar Apple-Cranberry sauce go well with?
- Of course, all of the Thanksgiving things, like this delish Brown Rice and Sausage Stuffing, and my easy Slow-Cooker Turkey Breast with gravy.
- Put it on toast instead of jam.
- It would be amazing on this Fully Loaded Autumn Sandwich instead of the fresh cranberries for a fun change 🙂
- Spread on some pancakes or even on this Pumpkin French Toast from my friend, Carrie! OMG, I really need this right now, you guys.
- It would also be great stirred into oatmeal or yogurt!
Do you know what else I really love about this recipe? After the apples cook in the sauce, they end up being the perfect apple pie texture, and that completely won me over.
If you've never made homemade cranberry sauce before you're in for a surprise. There are only two steps to making it, it's so stinkin' easy!
How to Make Low-Sugar Cranberry Sauce on the Stovetop:
- Put the apples, cranberries, water and sugar in a pot.
- Cook, uncovered, giving 'em a stir every now and again until it looks like cranberry sauce. It's kind of magical, really.
- Ok, so there's three. But the third one is just refrigerate. That doesn't really count, does it? Once it refrigerates, it'll get a little thicker too.
See?? It couldn't be easier! Wait - just kidding - there's actually one way for it to be even easier! By making it in the Instant Pot which involves no watching or stirring! Plus it can be made ahead (Instant Pot or stovetop) so that's a huge bonus in my book.
Hope you guys love this one and that it makes an appearance on your Thanksgiving table!
If you make this Instant Pot low sugar cranberry sauce, be sure to snap a pic and tag me @thefoodieandthefix or use #thefoodieandthefix on Instagram so I can check it out! It makes me ridiculously happy to see what you guys are making 🙂
Want more recipes to round out your holiday dinner? Here's a great list full of delish and secretly healthy Thanksgiving recipes and a ton of tips on eating well on the big day!
Don't forget to save this Instant Pot Low-Sugar Apple-Cranberry Sauce to Pinterest! ↓
Just FYI – this recipe has only been tested in the Instant Pot 6-quart duo (which you can check out here! <- affiliate link) – If you have an 8 qt, you may need to add more liquid or double the recipe.
- 1 (12 oz) bag of fresh cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 3 cups peeled and chopped gala apples (about 3 small)
- ⅓ cup raw sugar
- 1 ½ cups water (only use ¼ cup for the Instant Pot)
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Put the cranberries, apples, raw sugar and ¼ water into the IP liner and give them a stir. Close lid, set to sealing and cook on manual (or pressure cook) for ZERO minutes (yes!!), then immediately release the pressure after cooking.
- Once pressure is fully released, remove lid, give it a stir and put it into a container to refrigerate. It'll thicken up even more once refrigerated.
- Put all ingredients into a medium pot over medium heat. Cook until cranberries pop and mixture thickens, about 20 minutes if your cranberries are frozen. Less if they're raw. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
21 Day Fix Container Counts per Serving: ½ Purple, 1 teaspoon sugar
Weight Watchers Freestyle Points: 1
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: ¼ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 40Total Fat: 0g