This Easy Vegan Cranberry Sauce is flavored with fresh orange zest and lemon juice. So bright and vibrant, it’s a quick holiday side dish that will compliment your vegan holiday roast perfectly!
Why yes, most cranberry sauce recipes ARE naturally vegan and gluten free! However, when you want to go all out for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other special occasion, you’ll need to whip up a batch of this Easy Vegan Cranberry Sauce.
Flavored with fresh orange zest, lemon juice, and fresh or frozen cranberries, this delightfully tart and bright holiday garnish is ready in less than 10 minutes. It tastes so much better than store-bought, is perfectly balanced, and so easy to make in one pot. It’s a must for the holidays!
Make sure to include a big batch of fresh cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving! It’s:
- Perfectly balanced between tart, sweet, and bright.
- Flavored with a pop of citrus.
- Quick and easy!
- Made in one pot.
- Easy to make ahead of time and freezer-friendly.
Vegan cranberry sauce ingredients
- Cranberries - Both fresh and frozen cranberries will work.
- Sugar - Use white or cane sugar. While some white sugar is not suitable for vegans (it can be processed using animal bone char), Redpath, a popular brand of sugar here in Canada, is vegan-friendly.
- Orange zest and lemon juice - The acidity and brightness from fresh citrus will help balance the tart cranberries.
- Cinnamon and salt - Just a pinch for warm flavors and balance.
How to make fresh homemade vegan cranberry sauce
Making homemade cranberry sauce is so easy and quick. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to store-bought!
- Prepare the cranberries: Rinse the cranberries with water. Place them in a saucepan over medium heat and add the water and sugar. Stir to combine.
- Cook the cranberries: Bring the cranberry and sugar mixture up to boil and let it simmer until most of the cranberries have burst (it’ll have a jam-like consistency). Take it off the heat.
- Add the flavor: Stir in the orange zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt.
- Let it cool, then serve: Let the cranberry sauce cool completely. Leave it covered in the fridge and serve with your holiday dinner once it’s chilled. For full ingredients and instructions see printable recipe card below
Tips for success
- Either cook the cranberries until they’ve all burst or leave some whole for texture.
- For more flavor, stir in a pinch of nutmeg or allspice, lemon zest, a splash of orange juice, or simmer the sauce with a cinnamon stick and fresh rosemary.
- For added texture, stir in raisins, pecans, walnuts, diced apples, or berries to the finished sauce.
- The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. If it’s too thick, heat it up and stir in a splash of water or orange juice.
A bowlful of chilled cranberry sauce on the dinner table at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday celebration is a must! A scoop or two on the sliced vegan turkey or ham will add a burst of complimentary tart flavors and pair so well next to the mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and stuffing. Spread some of the leftovers into vegan turkey sandwiches the next day!
Frequently asked questions
I don’t recommend making sugar free cranberry sauce or reducing the amount of sugar in the recipe. Cranberries are so tart on their own and the sweetness from the sugar will help balance the strong flavors. You can try replacing some of the white sugar with maple syrup but the textures and taste may differ.
Cranberry sauce is best when it’s had some time to chill in the fridge. Not only does this give the flavours time to all come together but it helps the sauce set and thicken.
Yes! Once it’s ready and cooled, store the cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week ahead of serving.
Place the cranberry sauce in a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Yes! Once the sauce is cool, transfer it to an airtight container or ziploc bag and freeze for up to 6 months
Looking for more vegan holiday side dishes?
Enjoy everyone! Happy Day! Please feel free to comment below and give this recipe a rating. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!Print