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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.

crockpot with cranberry sauce
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With my large family, I love making one pot meals. This classic dish is always on our family dinner table during Christmas and Thanksgiving. Make sure to check out all our favorite Thanksgiving Recipes to complete your holiday meal.

If you love cranberries try Cranberry Jello Salad, Cranberry Chutney, and Fresh Cranberry Relish.

Why Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce:

This Homemade Slow Cooker 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 pairs perfectly with all your holiday side dish and it can even be served as a dessert.


ingredients for recipe: cranberries, sugar, salt, orange juice, water
  • Fresh or frozen Cranberries
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Orange Juice
  • Water

Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full list of ingredients and recipe.

Substitutions and Additions:

  • Orange Zest – Add orange zest to the crock pot if you want even more orange flavor. The combination is great.
  • Cinnamon Stick – Try putting in a cinnamon stick while it is cooking. The taste of cinnamon in this sauce is the perfect combination.
  • Sugar – You can easily substitute the sugar with brown sugar, honey or maple syrup. Feel free to use a sugar substitute that fits into your diet restrictions.

Step by Step Instructions:

  • Step 1 – Put all of the ingredients in the crock pot. We love using ½ cup of fresh orange juice.
cranberries in the crock pot ready to be cooked
  • Step 2 – 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.
  • Step 3 – You want most of the cranberries to pop and the sauce to thicken.
  • Step 4 – You can serve this warm or you can let the mixture cool for 30 to 45 minutes. This allows it to come to room temperature before serving. It is delicious both ways so just serve it based on preference.

Recipe Tips:

  • Crockpot Size – 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.
  • Double Recipe – 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.
  • Sugar – Don’t reduce the amount of sugar. This helps the cranberry sauce to thicken so you want to use all of 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.

How it Best Served:

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.

cranberry sauce in the slow cooker.

What to Serve with Crockpot Cranberry Sauce

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

  • Roasted TurkeyServe as a side with Turkey and Crockpot Stuffing.
  • Stuffing MuffinsThis recipe is one of my kids favorite ways to eat stuffing. These muffins pair well with a side of cranberry sauce.
  • Slow Cooker Whole Chicken – We love serving it with chicken occasionally. This cranberry sauce recipe can be served year round.
  • Granola You can serve cranberry sauce with a little granola for a cranberry crunch treat.

How to Use 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:

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to Store Leftovers:

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

Can you Freeze?

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

Can I Make Ahead of Time?

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.

More Easy Crock Pot Side Dish Recipes:

We love hearing from you. Make sure to leave us a comment if you try this Crockpot Cranberry Sauce Recipe.

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


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

4.65 from 14 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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  1. Irene D. Muneses says:

    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!

  2. Franceen says:

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