Crockpot Holiday Cranberry Sauce

by Heather on October 10, 2011

First and foremost, I’d LOVE it if you clicked over to the Shape Magazine Best Blogger Awards and voted for Faces of Beauty!  I’m so excited to be nominated and would love the chance to share the message of Faces of Beauty with even more of the world!


I don’t know about you guys, but I have a really hard time planning out the cooking schedule for holiday meals.

Now let’s backtrack a bit – why on earth am I making holiday meals right now?  Why, in the early-middle of October, would one be posting about cranberry sauce?  Let’s just say I wanted to get a jump on Thanksgiving plans this year and try out recipes before actually making them…you know, in case the President comes to dinner or something.


Last week I visited Whole Foods in several different locations to try and track down a bag of fresh cranberries and a whole turkey.  And the search for cranberries was very rudely interrupted when asking the local Whole Foods stocker if they actually had any or if it would be better for me to find frozen ones instead.  I was very snottily told that cranberry season season is not until November and he didn’t understand why I would be looking for them now since “cranberry harvest season isn’t even until the 3rd week in October.”  Oh, oops!  Guess I got my harvest schedules confused…sorry guys :)


Anyway, I digress.  Cranberries are not available right now except the frozen version, which works for me.  And turkeys?  Well, let’s just say we’ll get to that one later this week.  But this cranberry sauce – it screams of the holidays to me.  And not only that, it’s made in the crockpot!


That means no more stovetop attempts while cooking onion and celery, no more trying to squeeze it in the oven next to the turkey.  And, if you prefer, it even means you can make the night before and not even worry about it on the big day!  I adore my crockpot…it’s been too long since I’ve used it, and it definitely got its workout this weekend.


  • 16 oz cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of cloves (very small dash!)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • zest of 1/2 an orange

Put all the ingredients in your crockpot and stir carefully to combine.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours until the liquid is starting to get syrupy.  Refrigerate until ready to use!

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to put this on top of vanilla ice cream for breakfast.  You know, cause the baby wants it… ;)

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lindsay @ Schnoodle Soup October 10, 2011

OMG – snooty produce people have also done that to me!!!!!!


2 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun October 10, 2011

Anything made in the crockpot for a big holiday dinner wins for me. And how dare you not know the harvest schedule for cranberries. I mean…come on now! ;)


3 Sarah October 10, 2011

Hmm…I have a bag of fresh cranberries in my fridge right now. Maybe they’re under-ripe/from some magical part of the country?
Anyway, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with them. This recipe seems like a great answer to me!


4 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel October 10, 2011

I love that you did it in the crock! I’m always trying to adapt recipes to be made that way. :)


5 Anna @ On Anna's Plate October 10, 2011

I have to be honest…cranberry sauce is not at the top of my list when it comes to my favorite Thanksgiving eats…it always seems to take a backseat to the stuffing!! But– this looks awesome!! Might have to rearrange that list… :-)


6 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen October 10, 2011

I stocked up on frozen cranberries, 2 thanksgiving’s ago and still haven’t used them all! Maybe a little pre-thanksgiving cranberry sauce is what I need to do…


7 Blog is the New Black October 10, 2011

I’ve never made homemade cran sauce because I actually love the canned whole berry variety… but this looks so delicious and simple!


8 Cassie @ Bake Your Day October 10, 2011

I love your new header, Heather. This sauce sounds great. I made ours in the crock pot last year (and added bourbon)…it was fantastic. The orange in yours sounds perfect!


9 Urban Wife October 10, 2011

Crock pots are definitely underrated! I love using mine for the holidays for the same reasons you mentioned.


10 Kate@Diethood October 10, 2011

Voted! Good Luck!!!


11 Diane {Created by Diane} October 10, 2011

looks great, what a great idea to put it in the crock pot


12 Robin Sue October 10, 2011

Hey we have cranberries now- just saw them for the first time yesterday in the market! I will go vote!


13 Erin October 10, 2011

Oo wow! I made homemade cranberry sauce for the first time last year but it was the stove-top version. I love that it can be made in the slow cooker


14 Krystina (Organically Me) October 10, 2011

I absolutely ADORE homemade cranberry sauce. This looks lovely. :)


15 Mary H October 13, 2011

Sorry about the snooty Whole Foods associate — I’m from Minnesota and we already have fresh cranberries in our grocery stores here — so whoever “he/she” was didn’t accurately know what they were talking about! Yes, they ARE available now. Ours are Ocean Spray fresh cranberries in the bags.


16 NanC. November 20, 2011

Heather – just love all these young faces writing back to you about crock pots & cranberries ! They cook up so quickly on the stove top the day before that I never thought of using one of my FOUR crock pots for this. I love to cook over-night & wake up to awesome aromas – it’s cranberries tonight ! [two pots are available – two are simmering our home grown pumpkin to start my baking tomorrow. I’m in my 60′s and have raised my children with crockpot meals on my work days and weekends too! Now, they are doing the same…glad I stumbled onto your site ! but I’m still searching for an EASY way to separate pumpkin seeds from all that gooey pulp. TaTa…..


17 Angela November 23, 2012

Hmmmm! I made this for Thanksgiving this year. I didn’t have fresh orange juice, and frozen concentrate didn’t sound very good. So instead I used the oranges I had on hand by peeling then pureeing them in my blender. This way I got fresh juice and fiber from the pulp. I used the zest of one lime and threw in cinnamon stick (rather than ground cinnamon). I added a cup of water because I was worried there wouldn’t be enough liquid, but that ended up being unnecessary. I had to eventually put it on the stove, but only because the electricity in our apartment is weak and the crock pot wasn’t cutting it. I let some of the extra water steam off because it was awfully soupy, but not too much, because then I read online that the sauce would thicken as it cooled. My husband and I are jellied cranberries from the can fans, so we were pleasantly surprised how DELICIOUS this turned out. Might be a new favorite for the holidays. Thanks for a great recipe!


18 Heather November 24, 2012

I’m so glad you liked it! Slow cookers vary so much, but it sounds like you got it exactly where you wanted it :)


19 Maria November 19, 2013

Thanks so much for the recipe. Thanksgiving in Canada is in October – so a little late for me. Cranberry sauce is not usually on my list to make but with your easy recipe I’m going to add it to my turkey dinners. First try will be my Euchre Club Christmas dinner in early December.


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