You won’t believe how hands off this easy slow cooker cranberry sauce recipe is! Set the slow cooker and walk away. Made with fresh cranberries, orange marmalade and brown sugar. We make this the night before a special holiday.
Homemade cranberry sauce is a must along with slow cooker turkey breast and brown sugar ham. You can make the entire holiday dinner in slow cookers if you have a few. Try my bourbon cranberry sauce for a fun twist on this recipe!
Why Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
If you grew up eating cranberry sauce from the can, you have no idea how delicious homemade cranberry sauce is. Using the slow cooker, this is a simple recipe that will take your holiday dinner to a whole new level. Once you make this recipe, you will never buy the canned stuff again!
This Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce recipe is perfect for those who want to enjoy their Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without spending all day in the kitchen! With your slow cooker and a few ingredients, you can have your cranberry sauce and eat it, too. The crockpot cranberry sauce goes great over crockpot turkey and gravy.
Crockpot Cranberry Sauce Ingredients
- Fresh cranberries– Find the cranberries in the produce section, they usually show up in stores in late October. You can use frozen cranberries with the same cooking time, for they quickly thaw. We also use fresh cranberries in my Christmas Jam Recipe.
- Orange marmalade– Orange is the perfect compliment to cranberry sauce, and the orange marmalade adds sweetness and flavor. The flecks of orange peel in the marmalade is what makes this crockpot cranberry sauce pop. Orange juice or apple juice is not a good alternative for it will make the sauce too runny.
- Brown sugar– This gives a richness to the sweetness of cranberry sauce, use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar. If you are out of brown sugar you can use white sugar in a pinch.
Step One – Add the fresh cranberries to the crockpot and pour over the orange marmalade.
Step Two – Stir until the cranberries are coated with the marmalade. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
Step Three – After the cooking time is up, add the brown sugar.
Step Four – Stir and pop any un-popped cranberries with the back of a spoon. Stir until a thick and beautiful sauce forms.
What can I do with leftover cranberry sauce?
If you have leftover homemade cranberry sauce and need to use it up here are some great ideas.
- Use it as a topper for pancakes along with whipped cream. Or even on an English muffin.
- You can also use the leftover homemade cranberry sauce in things like cranberry meatballs, cranberry chicken or even Cranberry Pork Loin. Adding cranberry sauce creates a savory and sweet dish that is delicious even outside of the holidays.
- You can also use the cranberry sauce over things like pumpkin pie, cheesecake or meals like Thanksgiving Casserole.
You want to use brown sugar as the main sweetener in this cranberry sauce. In addition to the brown sugar, you are using orange marmalade. This adds the orange flavor but also adds a bit of sweetness. Other alternatives are maple syrup or an artificial sweetener, you will need to add those at the end to taste.
There is a small seed inside of the cranberries. Some people are concerned and try to remove the seeds that rise to the top after the cranberries burst. There is no need to remove the seeds from the cranberries, for the are very tiny and edible.
If the cranberry sauce isn’t thick enough for some reason, you can take the lid off the slow cooker at the end of the cooking time and let some of the liquid evaporate. It won’t take much time at all.
You can make the cranberry sauce a few days in advance, in fact it’s better to make the day ahead. Even if you are making it the day you want to use it, it is best to let it sit for a few hours to get the right texture and consistency that you are looking for.
There is just about the flavors of cranberry and turkey that go perfect together. The sweet and tart of the cranberry sauce goes perfectly with turkey. It is also goes amazing with ham.
Once the leftover cranberry sauce has cooled, place it in an airtight container. It will last in the fridge for about a week. If you still have some after a week you will want to freeze it. You can freeze the cranberry sauce for up to 6 months. Place it in a freezer bag and make sure to remove the air. When you are ready to use, place it in the refrigerator for about 24 hours before it is needed. This recipe is not meant to be canned, for canning thick recipes calls for special ingredients and procedures.
For a holiday dinner along with turkey or ham, traditionally, cranberry sauce is served cold as a side or topping. However, if you are using cranberry sauce in a recipe, it’s ok to heat it.
Other great holiday slow cooker recipes:
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Butter
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Cider
- Slow Cooker Honey Butter Rolls
- Slow Cooker Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
- Slow Cooker Apple and Clove Ham
- Slow Cooker Butternut Squash
- Slow Cooker Candied Pecans
Slow CookerGreen Bean Casserole
Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
- 24 oz. fresh cranberries (two 12 oz. bags)
- 13 oz. orange marmalade (I use Bonne Maman)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (add at the end of the cooking time)
- NOTE – This is best served cold, make the day before or early in the day and refrigerate for a few hours.
- Add the cranberries and orange marmalade to the slow cooker, stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours. After the cooking time is up, stir and pop any un-popped cranberries with the back of a spoon. Add the sugar and stir.
- Add the ingredients to a pot. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring often for 15 minutes.
- Once the cranberries start to cook and pop, turn down the heat to low and continue cooking for about 10 minutes until a thick sauce forms.
How to Video:
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.