Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

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Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce Recipe -- the classic sauce you love, lightly sweetened, and made super easy in the #slowcooker! | gimmesomeoven.com #crockpot

My friends have gotten used to the fact that they are always my guinea pigs for trying out new recipes.

It is the rare — very rare — occasion that I bring a dish to a gathering that I have actually tried before.  Instead, they have come to expect that I’ll be the eager-beaver-food-blogging-friend who is watching carefully as they taste that first bite, and scrutinizing their expressions, and then peppering them with questions about what they think.  Actually, I don’t even have to ask them anymore.  They have learned over the years that I want their honest opinions, and they now offer them with flourish and lots of fancy adjectives, which they know is speaking my food blogger love language.  ;)

However.  That said, I’m hosting Friendsgiving tonight at my place for about 30 or so neighbors.  And I decided to make all of my contributions in the slow cooker this year.  Partly because I have discovered this year that you totally can (shout out to my slow cooker mashed potatoes yesterday in case you missed them!).  And partly because I unabashedly own 3 slow cookers and love to have them all working at the same time.  And partly because I just want to hang and chat it up with my friends instead of standing over the stove stirring and multitasking!

That said, since I’m responsible for some of the staples, I did want to test a few of them beforehand to make sure that I don’t royally mess anything up, since it’s Friendsgiving and all.  So this weekend, I tossed some cranberry sauce ingredients in my slow cooker to see how they would do.  Sure enough, they slow cooked like a charm.

I mean, let’s be real, cranberry sauce could hardly get any easier on the stove.  But if you happen to love slow cookers as much as I do and want a stove-free Thanksgiving (or if you at least want to free up some extra space on that stove), you’ve gotta try this one.  Here’s my classic recipe, with a few options for various twists…


Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce Recipe -- the classic sauce you love, lightly sweetened, and made super easy in the #slowcooker! | gimmesomeoven.com #crockpot

First off, fresh cranberries are a must.

No judging here if you’re a fan of the stuff in the can.  But seriously, making fresh cranberry sauce could not be easier.

So pick up a bag of fresh cranberries and toss them in your slow cooker.  Then stir in some water, orange juice, and your desired sweetener.  I used coconut sugar this year, but you can use granulated sugar, brown sugar (or a mix of the two), honey, maple syrup, you name it.  I like my cranberry sauce slightly tart, which is how I wrote the recipe, but just add in as much as you’d like.

(As a tip, I recommend starting with less sweetener.  And then once the cranberries are cooked, give it a taste, and you can then add more if you’d like.)

Once all of the ingredients are in there, simply place the lid on the slow cooker and let it work its magic.  (If anyone’s interested, here’s an affiliate link to my slow cooker.  This is my regular-sized, no frills, get-the-job-done slow cooker that I have had for years.)

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce Recipe -- the classic sauce you love, lightly sweetened, and made super easy in the #slowcooker! | gimmesomeoven.com #crockpot

I cooked mine quickly on high heat, which only took a little under 3 hours.  But you can also cook these on low and leave them in there for up to 7-8 hours.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce Recipe -- the classic sauce you love, lightly sweetened, and made super easy in the #slowcooker! | gimmesomeoven.com #crockpot

Use your spoon to mash up the cranberries just a bit to your desired consistency.  And they will probably seem very liquid-y, but keep in mind that the sauce will thicken considerably as it cools.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce Recipe -- the classic sauce you love, lightly sweetened, and made super easy in the #slowcooker! | gimmesomeoven.com #crockpot

I like my cranberry sauce to still be slightly lumpy, so I only mashed it a bit.  Feel free at this point to also stir in any extra seasonings if you want, such as a splash or bourbon or red wine, a pinch of ground ginger, a pinch of cinnamon and cloves, some chopped walnuts, or — my favorite — a little splash of vanilla.  Or you can just go with the classic recipe, which is — you know — a classic.  :)Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce Recipe -- the classic sauce you love, lightly sweetened, and made super easy in the #slowcooker! | gimmesomeoven.com #crockpot

However you make them, I’m pretty sure that cranberry sauce absolutely can’t get any easier than this slow cooker method.  So give it a try, and enjoy those berries!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce Recipe -- the classic sauce you love, lightly sweetened, and made super easy in the #slowcooker! | gimmesomeoven.com #crockpot

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

This slow cooker cranberry sauce could not be easier! Plus it's super tasty and easy to customize with your desired kind and amount of sweetener.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar (use your desired kind of sugar or sweetener, and add more/less to taste)
  • optional add-ins: a splash or bourbon or red wine, orange zest, a pinch of ground ginger, a pinch of cinnamon and cloves, some chopped walnuts, or a splash of vanilla extract

Directions:

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a slow cooker and stir to combine.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours, or until the cranberries have popped open and the sauce is bubbly.  Taste and stir in any extra sweetener or add-ins if desired.  Serve warm.  (Heads up that the sauce will thicken considerably as it cools.)

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce Recipe -- the classic sauce you love, lightly sweetened, and made super easy in the #slowcooker! | gimmesomeoven.com #crockpot

By the way, this cranberry sauce would also be great with these two recipes!

Cranberry Orange Cheesecake 3

Cranberry Orange Cheesecake

Cranberry Pistachio Baked Brie | gimmesomeoven.com

Cranberry Pistachio Baked Brie

This post contains affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. jenna — November 18, 2014 @ 5:32 am (#)

    Could cranberry sauce get any easier?  This looks perfect!  

  2. Betsy | JavaCupcake.com — November 18, 2014 @ 5:49 am (#)

    Great to see your blog is back online, Ali!  I make cranberry sauce every year for Thanksgiving… but I love the idea of doing it in the crock pot!  One less pot on my stove! Great idea:) 

  3. Danielle @Chits and Chats and Chocolate — November 18, 2014 @ 5:55 am (#)

    Cranberries are easily the most overlooked dish on Thanksgiving, in my opinion. But they’re my favourite! These look completely and utterly dreamy–I am loving the addition of orange juice and zest!

  4. Maryea {happy healthy mama} — November 18, 2014 @ 6:20 am (#)

    I think you’ve convinced me that I need another slow cooker!

  5. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy — November 18, 2014 @ 11:28 am (#)

    Love all the slow cooker recipes over here!

  6. Amanda — November 18, 2014 @ 12:18 pm (#)

    So pretty!!! I love that this is a slow cooker recipe!

  7. Ilona @ Ilona's Passion — November 18, 2014 @ 2:21 pm (#)

    I just posted cranberry jam too:) Great idea of making cranberry sauce in slow cooker.

  8. ailyn — November 19, 2014 @ 6:53 am (#)

    not sure if i can find cranberry fresh here in aussie, but if i do i’ll try it.

  9. Carol at Wild Goose Tea — November 19, 2014 @ 2:25 pm (#)

    I never have had slow cooked cranberries, but they have to be utterly delicious.

  10. Susan — November 19, 2014 @ 4:09 pm (#)

    You are just like I was many years ago, in the days when I invited people over for dinner.  At the time I was cooking a lot of Chinese food, and would just go through my cookbook, find recipes that sounded good and serve them to my guests.  Never had a single complaint.  So your way of doing things makes perfect sense to me.  And I like the sound of this cranberry sauce.  I’m curious what size your cooker is.  I think mine is too big for a recipe of this size.

  11. Robyn @realfoodwholelife — November 19, 2014 @ 10:55 pm (#)

    I love making homemade cranberry sauce, but hate that it takes up precious room on my stovetop. Never thought of making it in a crockpot. Brilliant! 

  12. Annette Bates — December 3, 2014 @ 12:23 am (#)

    I’ll have to try this.  We add one or two minced jalapeños (seeded, deveined and rinsed), to ours. They add a wonderful flavor and give it a nice little kick.

  13. Claire — January 27, 2015 @ 11:40 am (#)

    I was looking through slow cooker recipes and stumbled on this one and it got me thinking…do you think this sauce could be canned?

    • Ali — February 5th, 2015 @ 8:40 am

      I’m not an expert on canning, but I think it could be canned.

  14. Ashley — November 16, 2015 @ 3:19 pm (#)

    Do you think this could be made the day before and then reheated? Or would the consistency change to much?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 16th, 2015 @ 9:09 pm

      No, that should definitely be fine – we hope you enjoy it!

  15. Dana Kimple — November 22, 2015 @ 9:03 am (#)

    I can’t get the tart out of the cranberry sauce. I’ve added additional sugar but it doesn’t seem to cut it enough. Any suggestions?

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 23rd, 2015 @ 11:40 am

      Well it’s definitely supposed to be tart, even with a good amount of sweetener, it’s just how cranberries are. You could try even more sugar though, since everyone’s tastebuds are a little different. That’s all we can think of though, we’re sorry we can’t be more helpful!

  16. Jerrie Cook — November 27, 2015 @ 11:33 pm (#)

    Love making fresh cranberry sauce.  This year I switched it up. I added 1 cup Merlot instead of orange juice. An 3 pepper Ancho chili jam. Awesome flavors

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 29th, 2015 @ 9:29 pm

      Oooh, we think that Merlot and the Ancho chili jam sound lovely, good call! :)

  17. Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) — December 4, 2015 @ 11:46 am (#)

    This was a ridiculously easy recipe to make. I loved putting them in the pot overnight and having it be done in the morning. Perfect for planning. Taste was also delicious. Tart and a tad sweet.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 4th, 2015 @ 12:38 pm

      We’re so glad you enjoyed this Kelli, thanks for sharing! :)