Whole30 Cranberry Sauce

//Whole30 Cranberry Sauce

It’s not a coincidence that my most recent Whole30 was timed perfectly to end before Thanksgiving. For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving Dinner has been my favorite meal of the year. Last year marked my first Thanksgiving since I started Paleo, and we had a lot of fun trying Paleo-friendly versions of our old favorites. We made an excellent “cornbread” stuffing with homemade sausage,  a delicious Turkey a la Nom Nom Paleo, and an outstanding Pecan Pie. I ate clean and I felt good. But it wasn’t really a Whole30 sort of meal.

With that said, I know there are lots of people out there who will be on Whole30 when Turkey Day rolls around. So I hope this cranberry sauce recipe will come in handy. I invented it on Friday afternoon when I found Kosher turkey breasts at the local Whole Foods and decided to cook them sous vide for Shabbat lunch. I knew my kids would be disappointed to have turkey without cranberry sauce, but since my daughter and I are Whole30, I couldn’t buy anything off the shelf, and none of my stock recipes would work. Full disclosure: I tried to make a no-sugar-added cranberry sauce last year and it was a fail. But I’ve learned a lot this past year, and I took a new approach, sweetening the tart cranberries by reducing a spice-infused apple cider and adding some dates.

The sauce was a big hit, and the perfect complement to the tender, juicy turkey breast that came out of the water bath. It isn’t too sweet, so the cranberries really shine.


I was too lazy to chop up the dates, so I just pureed the whole sauce once it was done, leaving me with a very smooth sauce. If you prefer a chunky sauce, just mince the dates as finely as possible before adding them to the pot, and they’ll basically melt into the sauce as it cooks.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Whole30 Cranberry Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1¾ cups
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • Heaping ½ tsp whole cloves
  • Heaping ½ tsp dried orange peel
  • 1 cinnamon stick or ½ tsp cinnamon chips
  • 3 cups cranberries
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and minced
  1. Put the cider and the spices in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. If you want to save a step, put the cloves and orange peel into a cheesecloth satchel or a spice bag to keep them contained.
  2. Bring the cider to a boil over medium-high heat and leave it to reduce for 20-30 minutes, until reduced by about half.
  3. Remove the spices (if in a satchel) or strain the cider and then return it to the pot.
  4. Add the cranberries and dates and cook for an additional 20 minutes at a lively simmer.
  5. For a smooth sauce, transfer the mixture to a blender and purée until very smooth. For a chunky sauce, simply stir vigorously to combine.



By | 2017-11-11T06:35:59+00:00 December 17th, 2014|Uncategorized|4 Comments

About the Author:

Sheri is the co-founder of Magic Beans and a mom of three kids. She spends most of her time homeschooling her two older kids, researching new recipes and cooking dinner.


  1. Dany November 21, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    this sounds soooooo yummie!!! though we don’t celebrate thanksgiving in Germany like you do in the US, i will make this sauce for Christmas dinner then!!

    Thanks so much Sheri!


  2. Valerie November 24, 2014 at 12:39 am

    My husband just made a batch for Thursday and I’m sneaking a small dollop to eat with my chicken tonight. This is wildly successful and one would never know there’s no added sugar in it. It’s divine!

  3. Jessie November 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I made this for Thanksgiving dinner and left it a bit chunky. It was a hit! People wanted to use it as a dip for everything…as well as a sauce for the turkey. My parents agreed to never buy canned cranberry sauce again! WIN.

  4. Miriam Goldberg January 16, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Thank you for this one- for years I’ve made a macrobiotic recipe using raisins cooked apple juice as a base for the cranberry sauce. This is nice change- creamy texture.

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