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This Crockpot Cranberry Sauce is a Thanksgiving staple! It’s the perfect balance of tart and sweet with just the right amount of citrus. Simple to make and refined sugar-free!

Cranberry Sauce in Slow Cooker

How to Make Cranberry Sauce in Your Slow Cooker

Forget the over-sweetened, canned cranberry sauce this year…because this Crockpot Cranberry Sauce is so easy to make. You literally just throw all of your ingredients in the slow cooker, then let it work its magic. 

You get to come back to a sweet, tart, delicious holiday classic ready to go! This cranberry sauce is made with super simple ingredients and it’s refined-sugar free! 

Ingredients Needed:

This homemade cranberry sauce is made with just a few simple ingredients and naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and honey! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cranberries: good rinse and pick through to remove any soft or wrinkly ones
  • Apples: peeled, cored, and diced. 
  • Water: water makes this into a sauce.
  • Orange: we’re using both orange juice and orange zest to add the perfect amount of citrus flavor.
  • Sweetener: this cranberry sauce is sweetened with a mixture of coconut palm sugar and raw honey.
  • Cinnamon: for a little sweet spice and warmth.
Easy crockpot cranberry sauce

How to Make Cranberry Sauce in the Crockpot

This simple cranberry orange sauce requires no more than 10 minutes of hands-on time! Just throw everything into the slow cooker and let it do its thing.

  1. Combine and cook: Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker, then cook on high for 3 hours.
  2. Mash and cook more: Use a potato masher to mash the sauce, then cook for another hour with the lid slightly ajar. 

How Do You Get the Bitterness out of Cranberry Sauce?

If your cranberry sauce is a little too tart for your tastes, you can easily just add more honey. I recommend starting with less, then adding more to taste until it’s sweet enough for you!

Why is my Homemade Cranberry Sauce Watery?

It’s super important that you leave the lid on the crockpot ajar for the last hour of cooking time. This allows the excess moisture to evaporate as the sauce cooks, so it thickens up nicely. 

Is your sauce still too watery? Transfer it to a saucepan and let it simmer on low until thickened or simply cook longer in the crockpot.

A bowl of cranberry orange sauce for holidays

How to Store Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Leftover cranberry sauce will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days. Since it can be stored for so long, it’s an excellent make-ahead dish so you can get ahead on holiday cooking!

When you’re ready to serve again, serve cold or reheat over low heat on the stove.

Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

You can! Homemade cranberry sauce can be stored in an airtight container or ziplock baggie in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, simply thaw in the fridge, then serve cold or warm on the stove.

Serving Suggestions

Cranberry sauce is a holiday classic, so serve it warm or cold alongside any of your favorite Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

It’s also delicious as a spread for breakfast or served on Potato Latkes or Sweet Potato Latkes!

Other Holiday Favorites:

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Cranberry Sauce in Slow Cooker

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce

5 from 3 votes
This Crockpot Cranberry Sauce is a Thanksgiving staple! It’s the perfect balance of tart and sweet with just the right amount of citrus. Simple to make and refined sugar-free!
Servings 8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours


  • 3 cups fresh cranberries picked over
  • 3 apples peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Zest and Juice of 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • Place all ingredients in slow cooker
  • Cook on high for 3 hours. Use a potato masher and mash cranberry/apple sauce.
  • Continue to cook for one more hour with the lid slightly ajar.
  • Serve immediately with a holiday meal, or cool and serve later.


  • Storing: Cranberry sauce will last between 7-10 days in the refrigerator.


Serving: 8gCalories: 151kcalCarbohydrates: 37.8gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.2gSodium: 28mgFiber: 3.7gSugar: 29.2g
Course: Sides
Cuisine: Gluten-free
Author: Lexi

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is our new go-to cranberry sauce! I do it on the stovetop and never have any issues with how it turns out. A favorite for sure!

  2. Simply delish! I make cranberry sauce every year but this was the best yet! Loved the addition of the apples. And so super easy!

  3. I made this for Thanksgiving since we moved and wouldn’t be able to have Wegmans cranberry relish. I am so happy I made this. It was so easy and made the house smell amazing!

  4. I would love to make this today but do not have the Coconut palm sugar. Can I substitute? Would I still add honey if using another sugar?

    1. We haven’t tried. You might be better of making it on the stovetop if you don’t have a slowcooker. I’d suggest simmering it on low until the cranberries have broken down and it’s jammy.

    1. My best guess would be that it would be fine to be frozen. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. But, I haven’t tested that. Let us know if you do! -Kelli

  5. Oh my goodness, this is the best cranberry sauce ever! I just made it, and cant stop licking the spoon. Thank you Lexi and Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this today and it is amazing! You will never miss all that refined sugar. I added pomegranate seeds to mine after it cooled. Can’t wait for Thanksgiving! Thank you Lexi!

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious!!!! Perfect addition to my Thanksgiving meal. This year is the first year my husband and I are hosting in our new home and I love that I can make it ahead of time.

  8. I have made this recipe before using fresh cranberries. It was delish! Can I use frozen cranberries? If so, should I thaw or use frozen? Thanks so much.

  9. This looks delicious! Just in time for Thanksgiving! I love anything that I can just throw in the crockpot.