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Homemade Sugar Free Cranberry Jelly

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This homemade sugar free cranberry jelly is the easiest dish you’ll make for your Thanksgiving table! With just 3 ingredients, you can make a keto cranberry jelly that rivals all of the ones on the store shelves. 

Homemade sugar free cranberry jelly made with just 3 ingredients. Keto friendly, dairy free, and paleo cranberry jelly. Just 3 net carbs per serving.

There is a hot Thanksgiving debate when it comes to a certain gelatinous side dish. Wait, is it really a side dish or more of a condiment?

Either way, folks are either very much for or against cranberry jelly accompanying their turkey and dressing.

Once that debate is settled comes the next great cranberry debate: jelly or sauce? I understand the debate. Cranberry sauce is vastly different from jelly out of a can.

Cranberry jelly is like grown-up kid food. But cranberry sauce is elegant and beautiful in a crystal serving bowl. Aesthetically, I think cranberry sauce wins but really, I’m indifferent.

One thing I noticed lately is that there seems to be a plethora of recipes for sugar free cranberry sauce but virtually none for sugar free cranberry jelly. I was really surprised by that since so many people buy the canned kind year after year! 

This recipe for sugar free cranberry jelly was developed out of love for the men in my family who love this controversial condiment and for you!

If you must have a bite of tart cranberry jelly with your turkey, stuffing, and sweet potatoes, then I present you with this delicious and easy sugar free cranberry jelly recipe!

Click here for more keto holiday recipes

This Sugar Free Cranberry Jelly Is Better Than Store Bought, I Promise

And here’s why:

  • Only 4 ingredients required (and one of those is water which doesn’t really count)
  • The easiest recipe you’ll make for any Thanksgiving table
  • No corn syrup or weird preservatives
  • Make this the week before Thanksgiving to check one thing off your list early
  • You can even can it, if you’re into that kind of thing

Making Your Own Keto Cranberry Jelly

Preparing your own keto cranberry jelly is easier than pie. (see what I did there?)

Honestly, all you need is fresh cranberries, water, sweetener, and unflavored gelatin. It only takes about 25 minutes to prepare the jelly. The hardest part is letting it set up in the refrigerator. If you’re like me, you’ll poke it with your finger every hour to see how jiggly it is. 😉

As always, I used my favorite zero carb monkfruit sweetener to balance the tartness of the cranberries. You’ll start by bringing the berries to a boil in water. After a few minutes, you’ll hear some popping sounds. That is the cranberries opening up!  After a few more minutes, everything will cook down and you’ll notice a sauce forming and sticking to the back of your spoon.Add in your sweetener, your gelatin, and let it all become one. 

A note about gelatin: be sure to purchase unflavored gelatin. Personally, I like to use this gelating powder because it is grass-fed and pasture raised (aka: really high quality). Each tablespoon of gelatin has 10g of collagen too. It’s great for hair, skin, nails, guts, and bones. Of course, if you want to buy the regular stuff off the shelf at the grocery, by all means, do.

Once the berries have reduced enough, you’ll strain, strain, straiiiiiiin, strain a fool…sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Run it through a fine mesh sieve (here’s a good one that every cook needs in her kitchen), cool, and refrigerate.

You can store your jelly in tin cans (like a vegetable can rinsed out- this is what I did), wide mouth mason jars (pint sized), or a fancy jello mold. You should get about 2 full cans or jars out of this recipe.

I’m telling you, this recipe is easier than pie to make. AND you can totally make it up to a week ahead of time. Just keep it in the fridge till you’re ready to serve.

 Why Should You Make Your Own Cranberry Jelly?

For starters, I’ve never seen a sugar free cranberry jelly at the grocery. In fact, I just checked my local Kroger and there wasn’t a single option. So, there’s that.

But also, one thing I’ve always noticed about the store bought cranberry jelly is that it is so sweet and purple, not cranberry red.

High fructose corn syrup is usually the first ingredient listed. Bleh!

Making a homemade cranberry jelly from fresh cranberries not only makes a prettier jelly, it captures the true flavors of the cranberry.

It’s tart but in all the good ways. When you pair it with your turkey, stuffing, or whatever else you folks mush together, (by the way I am 100% on the food-shouldn’t-touch squad), it’ll taste simply divine! 

Tips For a Successful Jelly:

  • Follow the directions as written. Be sure not to overcook the cranberry and sweetener mixture as this can lead to a separation that you can not recover. Dissolving the sweetener in the reduced cranberries should only take a few seconds. 
  • Make sure the cranberries are removed from the heat when you add the gelatin (which already needs to be dissolved in water).
  • If you are using a different brand of gelatin than is recommended, read the package directions to make sure you dissolve it accordingly (but don’t boil it WITH the cranberry mixture). 
  • Feel free to adjust the sweetener to your desired taste. Since fresh cranberries are naturally very tart, more sweetener helps to mimic the flavor most people are used to. If you are using a sweetener such as Swerve or Pyure, you may want to reduce the amount because those sweeteners do not measure 1:1 like monkfruit blends. It is important you know the sweetener you are working with!


Is cranberry keto friendly? 

Most fruits have a lot of sugar in them which means they are high in carbs. Cranberries are thankfully an exception, they are low in carbs but high in fiber which means you can have cranberries on keto. They also have a ton of health benefits. The most well-known benefit of cranberries is they prevent urinary tract infections (UTI). Cranberries also prevent cavities, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion among other effects.

What kind of cranberries are better to use for jelly? 

Fresh cranberries are always the best for jelly. They do not have added preservatives or unwanted sweeteners unlike the canned ones. They are also better than frozen ones because once fruit is frozen they lose some of its nutritional value and taste quality. So as long as they are available to you use fresh ones.

How to store cranberry jelly? Can you freeze cranberry jelly? 

To prolong the shelf life of your cranberry jelly, you can keep them in a covered mason jar, or an airtight container. Then store it in the fridge to chill. Make sure the jelly is at room temperature before storing it. This will keep for about 3 days before spoiling

What alternative sweetener can be used? 

Sugar-free sweeteners are popular for their health benefits and can be used when you are on special diets. Stevia, erythritol, xylitol, and monk fruit are sweeteners that can be used as substitutes for regular sugar. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you already know that I am a bit fan of monkfruit!

Homemade Sugar Free Cranberry Jelly

Anna Hunley | Keto In Pearls
Homemade sugar free cranberry jelly made with just 3 ingredients. Keto friendly, dairy free, and paleo cranberry jelly. Just 3 net carbs per serving.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Course Sauces, Marinades, Dressings
Servings 8 servings
Calories 25 kcal



  • Rinse the cranberries and pick out any that need to be discarded.
  • Add the cranberries to a sauce pan with the water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  • Let the berries come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let them boil, stirring often.
  • The berries will pop open and begin to foam up. Let them boil for about 15 minutes. You want the liquid to thicken, reduce by about 1/4, and coat the back of a spoon.
  • Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the cranberry mixture into the strainer and strain until all juice and jelly has come through. Mash the berries in the strainer to extract as much jelly as possible. To make this easier, I used a mix and chop tool. Check under the strainer for jelly that needs to be scraped off.
  • Return the strained jelly to the sauce pan. Bring back to a low boil and add the sweetener. Stir until dissolved, about 30 seconds. Do not continue to boil this mixture. Remove from heat.
  • Add the orange extract, if using.
  • In a small measuring cup, mix the gelatin and water. Add the the jelly and whisk until dissolved.
  • Transfer the jelly to empty tin cans (2 should work) or wide mouth mason jars.
  • Let cool on the counter to room temperature and then refrigerate at least 6 hours, up to over night.
  • When ready to serve, slide a small rubber spatula or butter knife around the rim of the cans/jars to loosen the jelly. Flip onto a serving platter and slice as desired.
  • Store in the refigerator until ready to serve. Leftovers should keep up to 1 additional week.


Read the section “tips for a successful jelly” for troubleshooting tips.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 25kcalCarbohydrates: 5.2gProtein: 1.6gFat: 0.1gFiber: 2g
Keyword homemade cranberry jelly, keto cranberry jelly, sugar free cranberry jelly
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