This Slow Cooker Spiced Cranberry Sauce is deliciously sweet and tangy and so easy to prepare! A simple, slightly chunky homemade cranberry sauce recipe with tart fresh cranberries, bright citrus flavors, and warm fall spices.
This is perhaps one of the easiest cranberry sauce recipes you’ll ever make. Just a few ingredients, zero prep work and a few hours in a crock pot will deliver a flavorful and tangy cranberry sauce that can be spooned over this year’s Thanksgiving roast turkey. Your house will smell incredible, and using a slow cooker means your stovetop is free for any and all other dishes on your list.
Cranberry Sauce Ingredients
- Fresh Cranberries: A whole bag of fresh cranberries. Most grocery stores will stock the fresh kind around Thanksgiving; otherwise, use frozen.
- Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar will cook into the sauce and cut the bitterness of the cranberries.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: I use unfiltered organic Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Orange Juice: With or without pulp, since the sauce comes out a little on the chunky side anyway.
- Ground Spices: I love the combination of flavors that ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves bring to this cranberry sauce.
How to Make Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
- Combine the Ingredients: Place all ingredients in the bowl of your slow cooker and give them a stir.
- Cook: Close the lid and cook the cranberry sauce on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours. Keep an eye on the cooking time, and you’ll know it’s ready when the cranberries have popped and the sauce is thickened and bubbling. Give it a taste and add in some extra sweetness if needed.
- Serve: Transfer the sauce to a bowl and serve.
Tips for Success
- Make a Sweeter Cranberry Sauce: If you find that your sauce is a bit bitter after cooking, add a spoonful of maple syrup and another of the orange juice as needed to counteract the bitterness of the cranberries.
- Avoid Overcooking Cranberry Sauce: Overcooking the sauce will make the sugars caramelize and burn, so it’s a good idea to check in on the pot once it’s closer to the end of the cooking time. The cranberries should be almost all popped, and the rest should burst once you give it a stir before serving.
- Make Ahead. You can easily make this recipe a day or two in advance. If anything, the extra sitting time in the fridge helps the flavors to combine and develop even more.
- Make It Your Own. Add in a dash of vanilla extract or a single split vanilla bean. Stir in a cup of dark cherries or cherry preserves. Mix in a half cup of port or sherry. Substitute the brown sugar with honey or maple syrup.
Serving Cranberry Sauce
Spiced Cranberry Sauce can be spooned over your turkey, a savory stuffing, or mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. Use a spoonful of it in a wintery Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples and Candied Walnuts or Orzo Pasta Salad. Smear a layer over these Creamy Dill Chicken Salad sandwiches. Serve it next to more casual dinners like this Apple Cider Braised Pork Shoulder or Roasted Spatchcock Chicken with Vegetables. Use up leftovers and make my delicious Baked Brie.
Leftover cranberry sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks or freeze for 2 to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
More Thanksgiving Sides to Try
- Maple Roasted Carrots
- Traditional Stuffing Recipe
- Turkey Gravy Recipe with Pan Drippings
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Easy Roasted Turnips
- Light Skillet Cornbread
Slow Cooker Spiced Cranberry Sauce
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of your slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or on LOW for 6 to 7 hours, or until the cranberries have popped and the sauce is thickened and bubbly.
- Taste and adjust accordingly. If needed, stir in more sugar.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.