Holidays/ Sauces

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Sage

cranberry sauce in a white bowl on a white cloth with a silver spoon

When I was a child, the cranberry sauce on our holiday table came out of a can. I remember the ridges from the side of the can impressed on that scary pink-red gelatinous goo that sat in a bowl on our sideboard next to the turkey. I had no idea you could make cranberry sauce out of real berries until I was a teenager. Such sweet relief.

Cranberry sauce is so easy to make that it’s a practically a crime to buy the canned variety, given how much better the fresh sauce tastes. This version requires a couple oranges, an onion, some sage, sweeteners and two cups of fresh cranberries. I season it with crumbled dried sage I grew in my garden. Commercial powdered sage is usually a bit stronger, so you’ll need to use less. This sauce is sweetened with coconut sugar, xylitol or erythritol and a little stevia so it’s not as sweet as most cranberry sauces. If you want a sweeter sauce, you should add more stevia or coconut sugar. Xylitol and erythritol are best in small doses.

This recipe makes a chunky sauce. If you like a smoother sauce, pulse it in a blender or food processor for a few seconds after it’s cool. I make it a day in advance, store it in the fridge, and serve it cold.

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Sage

By Springhouse Turtle Serves: many
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

Less sweet than most cranberry sauces and a little savory, this sauce goes well with holiday turkey.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered sage (or 1 teaspoon dried crumbled sage)
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup xylitol or erythritol
  • Juice of 2 oranges (about a cup)
  • 1/8 teaspoon liquid stevia
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries



In a medium saucepan with a lid, heat the coconut or olive oil over medium heat.


Add the onion and sauté until light brown.


Stir in the sage.


Add the orange zest and sauté for one minute.


Stir in the sweeteners.


Add the orange juice, stevia and water.


Stir in the cranberries, turn up the heat and bring to a boil.


Stir, cover and remove from heat. The sauce will look thin, but will gel as it cools.


Cool completely, pour into a glass container, cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Saute the onions in the oil.

red onions cooking in olive oil in a stainless steel saucepan

Add the sage.

sage added to cooked onions in a stainless stell pan

Stir in the orange zest.

orange zest added to cooked onion in stainless steel pan

Stir in the sweeteners, then the orange juice and water.

liquid and cooked onions, sage and orange zest in stainless steel pan

Add the cranberries.

red cranberries added to the stainless steel pan of onions and seasonings

The cranberries split when they’re brought to a boil. The sauce will gel as it cools.

cranberry sauce boiling in stainless steel pan

Springhouse Turtle Eats


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