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Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

This Slow Cooker Cranberry sauce is tart with a hint of citrus. The amount of sugar can be adjusted to suit individual tastes. Since it’s made in a slow cooker, this cranberry sauce is an easy ‘set it and forget it’ Thanksgiving Day side dish.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce from What The Fork Food Blog

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

You guys are going to think I’m crazy when I admit this… but I really love the jellied cranberry sauce. You know the kind I’m talking about… the deep red, can-shaped, jello-esq kind.

It jiggles, it wiggles, it makes a weirdly satisfying gloopy plopping sound as it slides out of the can and hits the plate. As a kid, I shunned any cranberry sauce that had any kind of chunky berry in it.

Give me the canned jellied stuff all day err day.

Then I grew up and my tastes changed. I realized that whole berry cranberry stuff wasn’t so bad after all. And I also decided homemade whole berry cranberry sauce trumps the canned stuff.

Growing up, we always had the canned whole berry cranberry sauce, the jellied cranberry sauce, and a homemade whole berry sauce, and cranberry relish with orange. Now, we stick with the homemade, cranberry relish, and a can of jellied sauce for our Thanksgiving Day spread.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce from What The Fork Food Blog

Yes, I still eat the jellied kind. There’s a special place for it right next to the homemade version. I feel like I’d be excluding an old friend. Or throwing out a favorite childhood memento if I no longer had the jellied cranberry sauce next to my turkey. So if you didn’t think I was crazy before, you probably most certainly do now. It’s cranberry sauce for crying out loud. To each their own, right?

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce from What The Fork Food Blog

Since the canned cranberry sauce is perfectly fine as is (for me), I wanted to make my own whole berry kind since I didn’t love the canned version of that. I’ve been making it on the stove top for a few years now but this year I wanted to test it out in the slow cooker.

You guys, this slow cooker cranberry sauce is so easy it’s not even funny. There are only a few ingredients and you just mix them together in your slow cooker, set it, forget it and it’s done.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce from What The Fork Food Blog

Actually, don’t forget it. You don’t want to burn your cranberries. Yes they will burn. I actually did set it and forget it one day. I had a well-deserved nap calling my name. My cranberry sauce cooked an extra hour and a few of the berries that were touching the edges of the slow cooker burned.

So don’t be like me! Don’t literally forget about your cranberry sauce. Set your timer and enjoy!

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Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

5 from 10 ratings
This Slow Cooker Cranberry sauce is tart with a hint of citrus. The amount of sugar can be adjusted to suit individual tastes. Since it’s made in a slow cooker, this cranberry sauce is an easy ‘set it and forget it’ Thanksgiving Day side dish.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 10
Print Rate Pin


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 – 1 cup granulated sugar amount to taste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • pinch of ground nutmeg optional
  • pinch of fine sea salt


  • Rinse cranberries and remove any mushy, dried-up, or white cranberries.
  • Add the cranberries and all of the remaining ingredients to a slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 3 hours.
  • When cranberry sauce is cooked, use a spoon to mash up the berries a bit.
  • Cool to room temperature, remove the cinnamon stick, then refrigerate until ready to serve.


  1. The cranberry sauce will thicken slightly when chilled.
  2. This recipe can be doubled to serve a larger crowd.
  3. To make the cranberry sauce on the stovetop, add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid has reduced, the cranberries have popped, and the sauce has thickend.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1g | Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.004g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.1mg


As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Facts are estimated and aren’t always accurate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs.

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Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce from What The Fork Food Blog

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Recipe Rating

  1. Paul @ Diet Blog Pro says:

    i will made try it. it looks very beautiful.

  2. taylor johnson says:

    This sauce would be a perfect addition to an incredible Thanksgiving feast. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 5 stars
    That cranberry sauce looks so zesty and tasty! Absolutely love your creative idea! Thanks for sharing Sharon!

  4. 5 stars
    This cranberry sauce absolutely something new for me! Looks yummy! Can I pin this post on my Pinterest board?

  5. Definitely your cranberry sauce is awesomeness! This is a great recipe Sharon, as you know I made it a short while ago and it was lovely, in fact have made it again since. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I always stock up on cranberries so I can make the sauce any time of the year. Love it so much! This slow cooker version sounds fantastic!

  7. Making this on my little crockpot for sure!

  8. Alyssa says:

    This looks really good and I love that it can be made in the slow cooker!

  9. Wow this looks SO good! Vibrant and the flavors are on point! And making it in the slow cooker is a great way to avoid using stovetop space!

  10. What a perfect dish to use the slow cooker on for Thanksgiving Day! This looks great!

  11. This looks really good Sharon! I love cranberry sauce at the holidays.

  12. one of the best dishes a t Thanksgiving!

  13. What a great way to free up stovetop space on Thanksgiving – will be trying this this year!

  14. Marjory @ Dinner-Mom says:

    I’m thinking I’ll need several slow cookers this Thanksgiving! Sounds perfect and I bet it smells divine!

  15. This might sound cray- but I don’t think I’ve ever had the jelled cranberry sauce! This looks so much better, plus it uses a crock-pot with is golden!

  16. Simi Jois says:

    Thanks for linking this to the happy holiday linkz part, this looks AWESOME. I love the color.

  17. Miz Helen says:

    5 stars
    Your Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce looks so good and is just in time for the season. Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  18. Rebecca says:

    My husband prefers the jellied kind, too! I always have to make sure I have a can on hand for him! It would be great if you’d share this recipe on too! We have a community of almost 200 bloggers sharing their recipes and posts, and you’d be a great fit! Plus, we’re getting ready to launch into our Thanksgiving campaign this Fri! We’d be thrilled if you’d join us!! 🙂

  19. Bryn says:

    What size slow cooker did you use for this amount of cranberries?

  20. vegetarianmamma says:

    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays Party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you share next time!

  21. Thanks for coming and linking up at #TheWeekendSocial. Please be sure to come back this week starting Thursday at 9PM EST on ! I hope to see you there! Pinned

  22. mary fran | frannycakes says:

    Cranberry sauce is one of the best parts of both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner…and should be a part of my life more regularly.

    This approach is genius in its simplicity 🙂

  23. Natashalh says:

    Homemade cranberry sauce has such great memories for me! It’s one of the few things my mom cooks, and she always makes it for Thanksgiving. I think the addition of some orange sounds like a fantastic idea! Visiting from SNF. =)

  24. Farrah says:

    To date, I’ve still never successfully made anything with fresh cranberries! I may venture out and try this–I love crockpot recipes, and this would be awesome for Thanksgiving! :]

  25. KC the Kitchen Chopper says:

    Oh YUM! This cranberry sauce will be on my holiday table, for sure. Thanks for sharing at #theWeekendSocial. Hope to see you again Thursday 9:00 PM EST. Pinned. 🙂

  26. Stephanie says:

    Love finding sides you can make in the slow cooker!! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  27. This recipe for cranberry sauce looks delicious, and I love that it’s made in a slow cooker! What a great idea…thanks for sharing!

  28. Thank you so much for attending week 8 of #PureBlogLove and linking your fantastic blog post. This cranberry sauce looks wonderful! And using the slow cooker makes it even better. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for our party next week Thursday 8 PM EST- Sundays at midnight. Your post has been added to the #PureBlogLove Pinterest board for all to see 🙂 Have a great day!

  29. This looks delicious! I normally make a jello salad and Thanksgiving, but I enjoy making turkey throughout the year. This may need to accompany my next meal!

  30. Beautiful cranberry sauce! I’ve never made cranberry sauce before, but I need to take some to the family dinner this year. Your slow cooker sauce is right up my alley – I’m gonna try it!

  31. I love cranberry sauce but have always been lazy and store bought it. Definitely need to try out your recipe – I love that it can be made in a slow cooker especially!

  32. I love me a good cranberry sauce! It looks so EASY too. I love to dip my turkey into the cranberry sauce instead of drowning it in gravy. It is so much brighter, instead of sleepy turkey covered in fat. I save all my gravy for the mashed potatoes!

  33. Annmarie says:

    My grandpa prefers that canned kind too so I still have to serve it every Thanksgiving 🙂 I have made my own cranberry sauce in the past but it was too tart for everyone else (tried to be too healthy & I didn’t add enough sugar). Pinning your recipe so I can ensure it is a success this year, haha!

  34. This is beautiful the color is so vibrant! and it looks totally delicious! … And good to know that burning cranberries IS possible 😉