Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

Slow cooker cranberry sauce is the perfect make-ahead side dish for your holiday table.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce - The Lemon Bowl

We were never a big cranberry sauce family growing up and to be honest, after seeing creepy images of the plum colored gel sliding out of a can and being sliced (??!), I never felt deprived.

As I became more interested in health and nutrition, I’ve learned that cranberries are bursting in health benefits so I wanted to create an easy, fresher, less-sweet version of the holiday staple.

Health Benefits of Cranberries:

  • Phytonutrients: Whole cranberries are an excellent source of flavonoids and other phytonutrients which are more powerful in their whole form (vs juice.)
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Love the gorgeous color? You can thank anthocyanins, a powerful phytonutrient found in cranberries which, along with others, help reduce the risk of unwanted inflammation.
  • Digestive Track Benefits: Cranberries have been shown to help ward off everything from stomach ulcers to colon cancer to periodontal disease.

The verdict: I am completely blown away at how easy and flavorful cranberry sauce is when made from scratch. Skill level required? Zero. Simply add a few ingredients into a crock pot and walk away.

Make extra to stir into oatmeal, sweeten Greek yogurt, blend into smoothies and more.

Your family is waiting.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Slow cooker cranberry sauce is the perfect make-ahead side dish for your holiday table.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8
  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries - rinsed
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon ginger - grated
  1. Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on Low heat for 3 hours.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, gently mash the cranberries until desired consistency is reached.
Feel free to add more sugar if you prefer this sauce on the sweeter side. As you can imagine with my love of lemons, I like it a bit tart.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ cup Calories: 35 Fat: .1 g Saturated fat: 0 Unsaturated fat: 0 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 9.2 g Sugar: 6 g Sodium: 1 mg Fiber: 1.6 g Protein: .3 g Cholesterol: 0 mg



  1. m gurney says

    I agree, I never went back after making cranberry sauce from scratch….there is no comparison. Also the color is so different.

  2. says

    I’ve never thought to make it in a crock pot! This looks fab. I grew up eating that canned gelatin stuff until I got older and realized I could make my own and it wouldn’t resemble gelatin! lol.

  3. says

    My family always made our own cranberry sauce and I loved it. I was rather grossed out when as a young adult I discovered that you could get it in a can and serve it with ridges from the can still on it (shudder). I’ve experimented with changing up the basic cranberries-and-sugar recipe but haven’t found a variation that I love, and my younger set complained about my lessening the sugar in the recipe. I’m allergic to oranges so this particular variation doesn’t work for me. I tried using cider in it last year– I might or might not keep experimenting with it this year.

  4. Levin says

    Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
    Finally found an easy cranberry sauce for this Thanksgiving (for an idiot like me)!

    To tell the truth, I hardly cook anything. And this Thanksgiving I’m willing to do something to surprise everyone. This sauce seems easy enough for me.

  5. Tina says

    What a great idea! I love cranberry sauce on chicken sandwiches in the summertime! It’s a wonderfully cool condiment! Thank you!

  6. Kinnari says

    So I made this last night for our Friends-giving, and I wasn’t a fan of the orange. I think its a little too orangey for me. Can i leave the orange out next time and put in something else instead?

  7. Lea says

    This sounds and looks so good! Thank you!! I’m going to make this. I just found your blog and have been looking around and you have so many delicious recipes.


  1. […] Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce – I had to talk Craig into this one.  He says he doesn’t like cranberry sauce, because he has only ever seen it come from the can – you know, how it’s all jelly-like and stays in the shape of a can!!  I’ve had that stuff, I don’t mind it, but realized that if I wanted Craig to even think about trying it, I needed a made-from-scratch recipe.  My mom/grandma always make a yummy strawberry/cranberry sauce, but I forgot to ask for the recipe. […]

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