Learn how to make incredible Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries in the comfort of your kitchen. They are easy, flavorful, and perfect to add to all your favorite recipes. You can make dried cranberries with just 2 ingredients and no special equipment! They are made right on your stovetop. They are keto-friendly, low-carb, gluten-free, grain-free, and a Trim Healthy Mama fuel pull.
I love adding cranberries to many recipes, but so many store-bought cranberries are PACKED with tons of sugar. We don’t eat regular sugar and do everything we can to find alternatives. I was on a mission to make my own sugar-free dried cranberries, so I didn’t have to worry about the other junk that is processed with them.
Once you try to make your own homemade dried cranberries, I am certain that you are going to want to make this recipe time and time again. You don’t even have to have a food dehydrator like many recipes.
It’s not a huge secret that I enjoy making recipes that have my beloved cranberries in them. It’s just a yummy flavor that is irresistible to me. Think of my gluten free keto Cranberry Bliss Bars or my sugar free Sweet Cinnamon Cranberry Danish. They are heavenly, and I am sure you will want to devour them too. These also taste better in low carb keto recipes than just using unsweetened dried cranberries.
What You Will Need To Make Dried Cranberries
You guys! You only need two ingredients, and that is it. And you don't need any special equipment. And you don't need to leave the oven on for hours and hours.
- Cranberries - You can use frozen or fresh cranberries, however, frozen cranberries seem to work better in this. If you have fresh just pop them in the freezer overnight before proceeding.
- Sweetener - I use my sweetener blend of xylitol, erythritol, and stevia but any sweetener should work. See the notes section of the recipe card for conversions. This really can just be sweetened to taste.
How To Make Sugar-Free Dried Cranberries
These beautiful vibrant cranberries can be made with a few simple steps. They are incredible, and I am super excited for you to try them.
First Step: Begin by combining the cranberries and ½ cup of the sweetener in a large skillet. Cook them on low and stir occasionally.
You will need to cook them for 1 hour or so. They will begin to pop and start to dry out. You can cook longer than an hour if needed. They will start looking like craisins at this point.
Second Step: After the cranberries look dried out, pour in the rest of the sweetener and give them a taste. You can add more sweetener if they aren’t sweet enough for your tastes.
Third Step: Sprinkle the cranberries onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Allow them to sit out for a few hours so they can finish drying out. Give them a stir on occasion. Add a little more sweetener, stir, and separate them. If they still feel a little sticky simply pop in the fridge. Once they chill you can transfer to a plastic container for storage.
Do I Need A Food Dehydrator?
Nope! You can completely make these sugar-free dried cranberries with two ingredients, a saucepan, spoon, and a baking sheet. They are so simple, and you don’t even have to heat up the house with the oven.
To store the sugar-free dried cranberries, put them inside of an airtight storage container. They should be kept in the refrigerator.
Additionally, you can store the cranberries in the freezer. It’s best to flash freeze them on a baking sheet for a couple of hours. Then add them to a freezer bag or another container. They will last 6-8 months in the freezer.
Dried Cranberries Benefits
Not only are sugar-free dried cranberries delicious and a wonderful addition to many dishes, they are also good for you too.
- Dried cranberries are loaded with antioxidants, which are amazing for your body and help fight free radicals.
- They don’t have a lot of calories, so they add some extra flavor without any guilt.
- The cranberries have a lot of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps keep you full longer.
- They also have vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and manganese.
What To Use Dried Cranberries For
You can actually use the dried cranberries for all sorts of meals and recipes. Here are a few ideas that you can consider trying out:
- Salads - Toss on a handful of cranberries to your baby spinach salad for a sweet and tangy flavor. Add as much or as little as you like.
- Smoothies - If you love to make veggie and berry smoothies, add in a few sugar-free dried cranberries.
- Baked Goods - Bread, muffins, cakes, or any other baked good will be even better with a few dried cranberries. Try out my Cranberry Orange Muffins, Cranberry Cake with Walnut Crumb Topping, or Cranberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing.
- Trail Mix - You can make your own homemade trail mix with seeds, nuts, sugar-free chocolate chips, and cranberries. It’s an incredible treat that is great on the go. Dried cranberry trail mix is a must bring whenever I am traveling.
- Meatloaf - Really! One of our favorite meatloaves is made with dried cranberries and blue cheese.
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- 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries (frozen work better in this)
- 1 cup Joy Filled Eats Sweetener (or see alternatives in recipe notes)
- Put the cranberries and ½ cup sweetener in a large skillet. Cook on low, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour until they have all popped and are starting to dry out. Cook longer if necessary. They should begin to look like craisins.
- Once they look like dried cranberries add the rest of the sweetener and taste them. If you would like them sweeter just add more sweetener to taste.
- Transfer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let them sit out for a few hours to finish drying. Just stir them occasionally. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
I made a HUGE batch of these 3, yes THREE, years ago. I stored them in a jar that I kept vacuum sealed in my refrigerator. Use some, reseal the jar. They are just a tasty and fresh as they were three years ago. We finally only have about 1 cup remaining.
Thanks, Dianne! I'm glad to hear they kept so long 🙂
Courtney Schmidt says
super easy! My favorite way to make sugar free dried cranberries (and I've tried quite a few others)! Now to make your cranberry bliss bars. the best!
I made these December 2020. They turned out perfectly. I stored them in a jar in the refrigerator. Well, I needed some dried cranberries for a salad at Thanksgiving and remembered my jar! There was about 1/3 remaining and they were still delicious! These babies keep forever in the back of the fridge.
Diane Wright says
Mine seemed to turn out more like a rlly the individual craisins...what did I do wrong?
More like a what? Sorry, it looks like there is a typo?
Glenda Shelton says
Love dried cranberries, keto style
Liz Cassin says
I thank you so very much for this recipe and so many more. I have a hard time finding dried cranberries where I live and I love adding cranberries, nuts and sugar free chocolate chips as a snack. I appreciate you very much. I pray you and yours will have a very Merry Christmas. God bless.
Mine is looking like cranberry sauce. It’s very gloppy...very yummy, but not like craisins. I hope this is right. 😋
Spread them out and keep cooking. They firm up more after being chilled because the sweetener crystallizes.
I'll definitely be making these, I did manage to get unsweetened ones online once, but it was an expensive faff.
Do you know if this method works for other berries too? Blueberries maybe?
Thanks for the recipe!
I think blueberries would work. The worst that would happen is you'd end up with jam 🙂
Elizabeth King says
Mine tasted good and definitely are a good sub for the store bought but were kind of soft. Is that how they should be or did I not leave them in the pan long enough? They smelled like they were going to burn and had been in the pan for about an hour so I was afraid to leave them on any longer.
I think you should've left them in the pan a little longer. You can chill them and they will firm up more.
Do you use a cover on your skillet? I'm afraid the popping of the cranberries would make a huge mess! Hoping I am WRONG!!
I did not. They didn't make a mess at all because they are cooked low and slow.
julie Helo says
A million thank-you's. Sugar-free dried cranberries are so very expensive to purchase online. This is going to save so much money and add so much enjoyment to recipes.
Anyone know the directions for a dehydrator?
Lucinda Oliver says
How many cups is 12 oz of cranberries. I have frozen ones in a gallo. Bag.