Cranberry sauce is a classic side dish that adds a burst of flavor to any holiday meal. And what’s even better? Making it in a crockpot! This hands-off method allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a perfectly balanced and delicious cranberry sauce.
The beauty of using a crockpot for your cranberry sauce is that it frees up valuable stovetop space during those hectic holiday cooking sessions. All you need are a few simple ingredients, a crockpot, and a little bit of time.
First, gather your ingredients. Fresh cranberries are a must for that tart and tangy flavor we all love. Add some sugar to sweeten things up, a splash of orange juice for brightness, and a cinnamon stick for that extra touch of warmth.
Now, dump everything into your crockpot and give it a good stir. Set it on low heat and let it simmer away for a few hours. As the cranberries cook down, they release their juices, resulting in a thick and luscious sauce. You can adjust the sweetness according to your preference by adding more or less sugar.
The wonderful thing about making cranberry sauce in a crockpot is that you can easily customize it to suit your taste. Do you prefer a chunky sauce with whole berries? Simply don’t stir as frequently. Are you more of a fan of a smooth and silky sauce? Just give it a good whisk towards the end of cooking time.
Once your cranberry sauce has reached your desired consistency, it’s time to remove the cinnamon stick and let it cool. The sauce will thicken even further as it cools, so keep that in mind when deciding when to take it off the heat.
When it comes to serving, the options are endless. Of course, it’s a classic side dish for your Thanksgiving turkey, but don’t limit yourself to just that. This versatile sauce pairs perfectly with everything from roasted chicken to pork tenderloin. You can even use it as a topping for pancakes or waffles!
In conclusion, making cranberry sauce in a crockpot is an easy and delicious way to elevate any meal. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can create a homemade sauce that will impress your guests. So why not give it a try this holiday season? Your taste buds will thank you!
Crockpot Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounce bag or 3 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup maple syrup granulated or brown sugar, or your preferred sweetener (adding more/less to taste)
- optional add-ins: a splash or bourbon or red wine orange zest, a pinch of ground ginger, a pinch of cinnamon and cloves, some chopped walnuts, or a splash of vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours, or until the cranberries have popped open and the sauce is bubbly.
- Taste and stir in any extra sweetener or add-ins if desired. Serve warm. (Heads up that the sauce will thicken considerably as it cools.)