Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce for the Slow Cooker

A reader recipe! What first attracted me to this recipe: the convenience of the slow cooker. What keeps me coming back: it fills the house with a sweet aroma of cranberries, fresh ginger and orange zest!

Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce, the convenience of the slow cooker plus the sweet aroma of cranberries, fresh ginger and orange zest!

Last fall, reader Karen Grosvenor responded to my complaints about slow cookers (see Easy Chicken or Turkey Tortilla Soup), suggesting her favorite slow cooker cookbook, Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. She even gave a head start by recommending the Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal (excellent!), Ratatouille, Applesauce, the Salsa Chicken (excellent!) and Easy Cheesy Ravioli Casserole, which she says, believe it or not, is better in the slow cooker than the oven.

Karen also sent along this easy way to make cranberry sauce in the slow cooker, explaining, “My mother and I found this recipe for Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce in Parade Magazine years ago. Even those who don't like cranberry sauce like it, including children, my mother-in-law and (formerly) me."

She went on,"In theory, cranberry sauce is easy, but it always seems to take longer than I think and requires lots of stirring and asking, ‘Is it done yet?’ Now I just throw it in my slow cooker and let it go while I prepare my other Thanksgiving dishes.”

Thanks, Karen, your recipe for Homemade Cranberry Sauce recipe is a winner!

The size of your slow cooker matters here. I use my favorite small red slow cooker, the one that's so perfect small batches, especially for one or two. But I have the idea if you were to make this in a larger slow cooker, it could well burn quickly because of more surface area for the same volume. To counteract this, just double the recipe.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite slow cooker recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

HOMEMADE WHOLE CRANBERRY SAUCE for the SLOW COOKER

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 3 hours
Makes 2-1/2 cups for a small slow cooker, double the recipe for a larger slow cooker
  • 12 ounces (340g) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1-1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (from about 2 oranges)
  • 3/4 cup (200g) fresh orange juice (from about 2 large or 4 small oranges)

Finger through the cranberries under running water, seeking out soft or shriveled or unripe berries to discard.

Combine cranberries and remaining ingredients in a smaller slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 – 2-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (After cooking, the mixture will “appear” to be quite liquid but once chilled will thicken slightly.)

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Keeps several days, even a couple of weeks, it's great to have on hand during the holidays for odds 'n' end uses both savory and sweet.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Two/Four Tablespoons: 31/63 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 0mg Sodium; 8/16g Carb; 1/2g Fiber; 6/13g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points .5/1, PointsPlus 1/2.

ALANNA’s TIPS If you like, cook the cranberry sauce a day (or several days) ahead. But then again, it really makes the kitchen smell good so consider putting it in the slow cooker early Thanksgiving morning. I love how this cranberry sauce leaves the cranberries soft and juicy but still, mostly whole. Use a lemon zester for the orange zest and a large-holed rasp for the fresh ginger. The orange and ginger flavors stay in the background but somehow they make the cranberries taste more like cranberries! I tried this recipe with both sugar and Stevia and loved the sugar batch, was much so-so on the stevia batch: the taste was “chemical-y” and it didn’t thicken. Bummer.


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More Ideas for the "Cranberry Course"

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I love apples in my cranberry sauce, so I imagine that would work well with this recipe. I heard adding pear can also be good! I have successfully added thick peel orange marmalade to my cooked on the stove cranberry sauce.
 
loved opening my email this morning to find my cranberry sauce recipe! So glad you have enjoyed it. I had to smile that it was one of my mom's recipes. (We both clipped it from the paper, but she made it first.) My mom hated to cook, but could rise to the occasion when needed. She would have gotten a huge kick out of seeing this recipe on your blog. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face.
loved opening my email this morning to find my cranberry sauce recipe! So glad you have enjoyed it. I had to smile that it was one of my mom's recipes. (We both clipped it from the paper, but she made it first.) My mom hated to cook, but could rise to the occasion when needed. She would have gotten a huge kick out of seeing this recipe on your blog. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face.
 
Alanna,
This sounds like a terrifically easy way to make cranberry sauce--and easily customizable as well. Perfect for my little crock. However, I'd do it the day before since I really like chilled cranberry sauce as a temperature contrast on my plate.
Thanks!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna