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Crockpot Cranberry Sauce is so easy in the slow cooker and delicious. With only 4 ingredients and hardly any work, you will never buy store bought again.

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crockpot with cranberry sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce in the Slow Cooker:

This Homemade Cranberry Sauce is made with fresh cranberries. The entire recipe cooks in the slow cooker and is so simple. Once you try this recipe, you will never buy store bought again.

It has the perfect blend of cranberries, orange juice and more. The cranberry sauce isn’t too sweet and each bite is amazing. We also are so glad that the crock pot does all the work.

I love how easy the recipe comes together in the slow cooker. Just set it and forget it. It’s the easiest recipe but will taste better than store bought. Make this for your next holiday and be prepared for everyone to love it!

Can Cranberry Sauce be served warm or cold?

It can be served either way. It is all about preference and tradition at our house. Some of my family loves to have it hot out of the oven and others like it room temperature.

Traditionally, I have been serving it at room temperature as it is one the first things I make on Thanksgiving morning.

Let’s make some Cranberry Sauce!

ingredients for recipe: cranberries, sugar, salt, orange juice, water


  • Fresh or frozen Cranberries
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Orange Juice
  • Water

How to make cranberry sauce in the slow cooker:

  • First, put all of the ingredients in the crock pot. We love using ½ cup of fresh orange juice. We love one pot meals.
cranberries in the crock pot ready to be cooked
  • Stir everything to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. Cooking time could vary.
  • You want most of the cranberries to pop and the sauce to thicken.
close up of cranberry sauce in crockpot
  • You can serve this warm or you can let the mixture cool for 30 to 45 minutes to allow it to come to room temperature before serving. It is delicious both ways so just serve it based on preference.

Can you make this ahead?

Yes! You can and it sure helps during busy holidays. Just make the cranberry sauce as normal. Once finished cooking, store in an air tight container in the refrigerate for up to 3 days.

I love to do this so it is one less thing to make on the actual day for Thanksgiving dinner. It is such a time saver.

Can you freeze Cranberry Sauce?

Yes! Homemade Cranberry Sauce freezes very well. You want to store the cranberry sauce in a freezer safe container to prevent freezer burn. It stores well for about 2 months.

Then you will defrost in the refrigerator overnight. It is still as yummy as the day you made it.

cranberry sauce in the slow cooker

Can you overcook cranberry sauce?

Yes, you can. Cooking cranberry sauce too long will make it too thick. You definitely don’t want to overcook or bring it to a boil as it will be way too thick.

Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. So if it is too thick when it has finished cooking, it will be way too thick when it cools and sets.

cranberry sauce in the slow cooker

Tips for slow cooker cranberry sauce:

  • I make this in my 1.5 quart crock pot and it works great for this recipe. This can also easily be made (and even doubled) in a 4 quart crock pot.
  • Try doubling it for the holidays or a special dinner. Everyone will love it so you might want to have extra.
  • Crockpot liners – Use these to make cleanup really easy. Cranberry sauce can be sticky so this sure makes cleanup so easy. It is worth the extra step and they are very inexpensive.
  • Don’t reduce the amount of sugar. This helps the cranberry sauce to thicken so you want to use all of it.
  • Add orange zest to the crock pot if you want even more orange flavor. The combination is great!
  • Try putting in a cinnamon stick while it is cooking.
cranberry sauce in the slow cooker.

What is cranberry sauce good with?

There are different ways to serve cranberry sauce. These are some of our favorites:

  • Serve as a side with Turkey and Crockpot Stuffing.
  • My kids love it with Stuffing Muffins. It is one of their favorite meals after Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • Slow Cooker Whole Chicken – We love serving it with chicken occasionally.
  • You can serve cranberry sauce with a little granola for a cranberry crunch treat.

Can you Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

Yes, you actually can freeze cranberry sauce. Check out our Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce post to learn more.

What about leftovers?

We love leftovers especially after Thanksgiving. We seem to always have leftover cranberry sauce, so here are a few ways to use the leftovers:

  • Pour cranberry sauce over a block of cream cheese. You can also add walnuts or pecans. Serve as an appetizer with crackers.
  • Make turkey sandwiches with your leftovers. We love making turkey sliders the next day.
  • Try using as a glaze for your leftover ham with some maple syrup.
  • You can also swirl into a cake.

The options are endless! See Leftover Cranberry Sauce Recipes for more ideas.

How to store Cranberry Sauce:

You can store cranberry sauce in the refrigerator for up to 14 days covered in a glass container. This is a great side dish to make ahead of time if you like to serve Cranberry Sauce cold or room temperature.

Having an easy side dish for your holiday parties is the best way to make the most of your family time.


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Crock pot Cranberry Sauce

4.65 from 14 votes
Crockpot Cranberry Sauce is so easy in the slow cooker and delicious. With only 4 ingredients and hardly any work, you will love it.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Side Dish
Calories 100
Author Eating on a Dime


  • 12 oz Fresh Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1/2 cup Water


  • Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker and stir to combine them.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until most of the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened.
  • Serve warm or allow the mixture to cool for 30-45 minutes before serving and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 100kcal, Carbohydrates 26g, Protein 1g, Fat 1g, Saturated Fat 1g, Sodium 196mg, Potassium 90mg, Fiber 3g, Sugar 21g, Vitamin A 75IU, Vitamin C 18mg, Calcium 8mg, Iron 1mg

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More easy crock pot side dish recipes:

This is the easiest slow cooker homemade cranberry sauce with only 4 ingredients! This crock pot cranberry sauce with orange juice is the best way to make cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving & Christmas!  #eatingonadime #crockpotrecipes #slowcookerrecipes #sidedishrecipes #cranberrysauce #holidayrecipes

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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  1. 5 stars
    Mmmm mmmm delish. What an easy way to make one of thanksgivings side dishes, with out standing over it an watching it.

  2. I love cranberry sauce and this recipe sounds amazing! I will definitely be making this for a delightful touch to many fall recipes and meals by freezing some and having it on hand!