Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite things to plop onto my plate during Thanksgiving.  Every year I try to up my cranberry sauce game and this Walnut Cranberry Sauce has won the trophy!

Walnut Cranberry Sauce

I first made this recipe a couple of years ago when I was a guest blogger over at Whole30recipes on Instagram.  It was a huge hit!  I have made it the last couple of years for our Thanksgiving dinner and don’t plan on stopping.  I just can’t believe I haven’t posted the recipe on here yet!! Gone are the days of the canned crap, although I do sometimes grab a teeny piece for nostalgic reasons!!

walnut cranberry sauce

Before I get to this delicious Whole30 recipe, there are a couple things to note!

First:  This is HOMEMADE and Whole30, so it will 100% be more tart than anything you have bought. The walnuts tame the tartness of the cranberries down quite a bit, but if you are looking for the sugary sweet cranberry sauce, you won’t find it here!

Second:  If you are not on a Whole30 and feel like a little bit of honey or maple syrup would be a nice little addition, then GO FOR IT!!

Okay, rant over haha! Lets get to the recipe!


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 (12 oz) bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup of apple cider or 100% apple juice
  • 3/4 cup juice from an orange
  • 2 tbl orange zest
  • 3 pittes dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts + more for garnish


  1. In a pot over medium heat pour in cranberries, apple cider (or juice) and orange juice.
  2. When you start to hear the cranberries pop, turn stove to medium-low and start stirring.
  3. When most cranberries have "popped" add in your orange zest, dates, and walnuts.
  4. Stir and let simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped walnuts.
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walnut cranberry sauce

This will keep in the fridge, in an air tight container, for about a week.  I have never stuck froze it before, but I’m sure it would be fine.  My suggestion is to put it in a ziplock bag and then flatten it out and freeze it like that!


I lurrrvvveee this cranberry sauce spooned over all the Thanksgiving things.  What do you like it on? Or perhaps you enjoy it all on its own?  Let me know!

walnut cranberry sauce


Whole30: yes

Paleo: yes



  1. Carly Mojica says:

    Oh I love you!!! I just saw your info in the Whole 30 Cookbook, and decided to pop over. I’m starting my Whole 30 on Monday, and was super worried about Thanksgiving. This recipe will be a life-saver! Thank you!

    • Pretend it's a Donut says:

      Hi Carly and welcome! So glad you found me! And just in time! I’m putting together a Whole30 thanksgiving Round-up that will be up next week, just in time to get ready for Thanksgiving!! 🙂

    • Pretend it's a Donut says:

      I haven’t, but I’m sure it would taste delicious. May be a little more tart with pineapple juice. But yoy could always add more dates or even honey or maply syrup to it!!

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