The ultimate homemade AIP-friendly, low-carb, and paleo cranberry sauce made with apple! This gluten-free and low-sugar recipe takes a twist on the classic version as it uses no orange. It is the perfect sauce for you to serve on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other special occasion dinner!!
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what makes this recipe so good
- Delicious and easy to make - it tastes amazing, is absolutely quick and easy to make plus, it is homemade which makes it way healthier than most storebought sauces (read, no preservatives)! The cloves and cinnamon give this AIP cranberry sauce a delightful flavor and aroma, you will love how good your house smells afterward!
- Low in sugar - compared to conventional cranberry sauce recipes, this recipe is without added sugars and instead relies on the natural sweetness of the apple, clementine, and apple sauce.
- Can be served with a variety of dishes - while I normally make this AIP and paleo cranberry sauce to serve with turkey, we like to sometimes serve ours with chicken, beef, and pork. It also tastes amazing paired up with some baked potatoes so win-win!
- Special-diet suitable - uses all-natural ingredients and is gluten-free, low carb, paleo-compliant, and AIP-friendly. It is, however, not keto because of the fruit used.
This recipe uses no orange, or orange juice but not to worry, it still retains the citrusy goodness that we all love from the clementines. The segment below gives a summary of the ingredients you will require plus possible substitutions. The full measurements have been provided in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this page.
- Cranberries - use fresh or frozen cranberries
- A cup of peeled and diced apple - any sweet variety such as sweet delicious or gala works well.
- Applesauce - to keep it low carb, I recommend using a no sugar added applesauce.
- Some cinnamon sticks and cloves.
- A clementine and a few clementine peels or rinds for the aroma, but the peels are optional. Feel free to use any type of mandarin in place of the clementine.
- Powdered sugar-free sweetener - this is optional, use it if you prefer to have your sauce sweeter. I like to use monk fruit and allulose.
how to make paleo and AIP cranberry sauce
The segment below is a summary of how to make this recipe. Find the detailed instructions and useful tips in the recipe card below.
- Heat a pan or small pot under medium heat. Stir in the cranberries, diced apple, clementine, clementine peels (rinds), applesauce, sweetener (optional), cinnamon sticks and cloves then use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine.
- Reduce the heat to a low setting and allow the sauce to simmer, stirring from time to time. Allow it to cook until the cranberries and apples are soft).
- Finally, remove the peels and cloves and set them aside then allow the sauce to cool completely before serving. This AIP cranberry sauce pairs up well with roasted turkey, grilled meats, or fish, just to mention a few so just go ahead and pair it up with your favorite mains!
Take things in your hand and spice up your paleo cranberry sauce! This is the beauty of homemade sauces so by all means, go ahead and experiment with different flavor combinations!
- Sweetener - use an approved low-carb or paleo sweetener, if you prefer your sauce sweeter. Coconut sugar and monk fruit are wonderful AIP and paleo sweeteners that you can also use. Just bear in mind that coconut sugar is not low-carb.
- Rum - stir in about a third of a cup of rum and allow it to simmer with the rest of the ingredients. The alcohol evaporates during the cooking process because of the higher temperatures, so no worries about it messing up your keto diet. And if you are really worried about being kicked out of ketosis then just go ahead and use some rum aroma!
- Flavor variations - use different flavor variations such as vanilla and a slight pinch of nutmeg. A favorite of ours is bourbon.
- Fruit substitutions - Use a cup of chopped pineapples instead of the apples and allow to simmer with the rest of the ingredients (in this case, you may want to keep an eye on the carb count, for low carb as pineapples have a high sugar content).
more sauces, AIP, and Low-Carb recipes
If you like to upgrade your food with healthy sauces as I do, you may want to try out Anna's vegan wild garlic pesto. It is so creamy and delicious! Another favorite of ours is Githu's sugar-free homemade apple sauce yummy!
- Low Carb Keto Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- AIP Taco Seasoning with Chicken Tacos
- 23 Mouth-Watering Keto and Paleo Recipes
- Delicious AIP-Friendly Carrot Coconut Soup
Great news, you have made it this far which means you probably made or are making this cranberry sauce! It would go a long way if you could leave a ⭐rating on the recipe card or comment in the comments section below.
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I originally wrote this recipe in 2020. It was updated in November 2021 to a more reader-friendly version.
Low Carb and Paleo Cranberry Sauce with Apple | AIP-friendly
- 20 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen, about 600 grams)
- 1 cup diced and peeled apple (any sweet variety such as sweet delicious or gala)
- ⅓ cup applesauce
- 2 cinnamon sticks (or ½ teaspoon cinnamon)
- 2-4 cloves
- 1 clementine
- ¾ cup monk fruit sweetener - optional (or a suitable paleo, low carb or AIP-friendly sweetener)
- clementine peels (optional - for the aroma)
- Heat a skillet or small pot under medium heat. Stir in the cranberries, diced apple, clementine, clementine peels (rinds), applesauce, sweetener (optional), cinnamon sticks and cloves then use a wooden spoon or spatula to combine.20 ounces cranberries, 1 cup diced and peeled apple, ⅓ cup applesauce, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 clementine, ¾ cup monk fruit sweetener - optional, clementine peels, 2-4 cloves
- Reduce the heat to a low setting and allow the cranberry sauce to simmer, stirring from time to time. Allow it to cook for about 25 minutes (or until the cranberries and apples are soft and break easily when pressed with the back of a fork).
- Finally, remove the peels and cloves and set them aside then allow the sauce to cool completely before serving. This AIP cranberry sauce pairs up well with roasted turkey, grilled meats, or fish, just to mention a few examples.
- Storage - Store this AIP cranberry sauce in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 10 days, but make sure to check whether it is still consumable after the first week by looking out for mould or an odd smell. It can be frozen for up to a year.
- Thicken up the sauce by cooking it longer at low heat. This will give the liquid more time to evaporate and the sauce enough time to thicken up. I also like to thicken my homemade paleo cranberry sauce by making a slurry comprising one tablespoon of arrowroot or tapioca flour with two tablespoons of water. Use xanthan gum or keto-approved gelatine for low-carb.
- To make your sauce chunky, scoop out about a serving spoonful of the cranberry sauce from the pot and set it aside in a small bowl (this is because the ingredients get softer and mushier the longer they cook). Allow the remaining sauce to simmer and spoon in the previously set aside sauce back to the pot, once most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Make the cranberry sauce less thick by simply adding in some liquid (water, apple juice, or orange juice). I would advise you to add the liquid one tablespoon at a time, so it does not get too watery. You can also stir in some more apple sauce.
- The monk fruit sweetener is optional so feel free to omit it or use other sweeteners such as honey if you prefer. You can also use more of it if you like your cranberry sauce sweet.
I created your rum variation and everyone loved it. Thank you!
I love the addition of apple and clementine in this cranberry sauce! Such an awesome flavor combination!
Yes! The fruit also sweetens it naturally.
I love this twist on homemade cranberry sauce! I made this recipe for Friendsgiving and it was a hit! Can't wait to make it again for Thanksgiving dinner next week!
Happy that you liked it.
I love the addition of apples and applesauce!! This cranberry sauce is PERFECT!
This cranberry sauce was so good and a big hit for my friendsgiving!!
Glad you liked it, thanks!