Some people out there acknowledge no other cranberry sauce than the canned, jellied stuff that comes out of the can in a single, slightly jiggly log. I, however, am more partial to whole berry homemade versions that are decidedly less jiggly. But while there’s room for all types of cranberry sauce on the Thanksgiving table, there’s not always so much room on the stove. That’s why I like to have a couple of slow cooker recipes up my sleeve when I’m making the Thanksgiving feast. There are some things that turn out every bit as delicious in the slow cooker – like this cranberry sauce! – and they save room on the stovetop for the things that really need it (like the gravy).
This cranberry sauce takes only five ingredients (one of which is water) and basically zero minutes of your time. You literally just stir the ingredients together in the slow cooker insert, set it to low or high depending how much time you have, cover it, and walk away. And it turns out just as yummy as one you’d simmer on the stovetop!
The sauce will thicken as it cools, but if you’d like it even thicker, all you need to do is let your slow cooker cook on high for a bit with the lid off. Just thirty minutes will give you a much thicker consistency.
There’s orange juice and cinnamon and brown sugar mixed in and while this cooks, the berries burst and the flavors meld into a wonderfully balanced sauce that’s sweet but tart and lightly spiced. It goes so well right alongside your turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes, but it never overpowers them. It’s the ideal accompaniment.
Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
Serves 8-10; 5 minutes active, 3+ hours inactive
- 1 (12 oz) package fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Add all ingredients to the insert of a slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, until cranberries have popped and mixture is bubbly.
- Sauce will thicken as it cools, but if a thicker sauce is desired, cook on high uncovered for 30-45 minutes. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven.