Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce
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  • 2 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 3 Cups (48 servings)
Ratings (4)

This is a simple fresh cranberry sauce cooked the slow cooker. With only four ingredients and a small amount of water, the cranberry sauce -- or relish -- takes just minutes to prepare, and homemade is almost always better than canned. In this case, it definitely is better.

Serve this cranberry orange relish mixture with your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and be sure to save some for the leftovers. 

If you have a few packages of cranberries left over from the holidays, this is a good way to preserve them. Make the cranberry relish and freeze it in small containers. It's wonderful with a chicken dinner or pork roast.

What You'll Need

  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) cranberries, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons water

How to Make It

  1. Zest the oranges using a microplane grater or box grater.
  2. Cut off the remaining outer peel and pith and discard.
  3. Cut the peeled orange sections into small chunks and add to the slow cooker along with cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest.
  4. Add the 3 tablespoons of water.
  5. Cover and cook on HIGH for about 2 hours.
  6. Serve the relish with a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. The relish also goes well with chicken, turkey, pork, or ham. And don't forget the leftovers! Serve it with turkey croquettes or sandwiches, or along with leftover turkey and gravy.
  1. Leftover cranberry sauce can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Tips and Variations

  • Add  about 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped pecans to the relish for some extra texture and flavor.
  • Add currants or raisins to the mixture, or finely chopped dried apricots.
  • Chopped candied ginger makes a nice addition to a cranberry relish.
  • Double or triple the recipe and freeze it in airtight containers in 1-cup portions. Freeze for up to 1 year.
  • To thaw cranberry sauce or relish, take it out of the freezer and refrigerate overnight or put the container in a bowl of cold water. I put a heavy cup or another bowl on top of it to keep the container submerged. 
  • Add leftover cranberry sauce to barbecue sauce.
  • Warm some up and drizzle it over ice cream, pound cake, or a plain bread pudding.
  • Spread it on you biscuits, pancakes, or waffles.
  • Add a little to softened butter or cream cheese for a tasty spread for quick bread or muffins.
  • Add cranberry sauce to plain or vanilla yogurt for extra flavor and color.
  • Adding cranberry sauce to a basic frosting or whipped cream will make it pink and add some fruity flavor.
  • The tart flavor of cranberries goes well with apples. Add it to applesauce, apple cobbler, or apple pie filling.