You’ll love this simple crockpot cranberry sauce. It only uses 5 ingredients (including water) but the bourbon makes it seem much fancier!
When I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner, the oven, the stovetop, pots, and pans are all in use and there’s never quite enough time or kitchen items available. So a few years ago, I decided to put my crockpot to work for one of my favorite side items – fresh cranberry sauce. This simmered away in the corner, out of the way and out of mind. And then I ate it by the spoonful, before, during and after dinner. 🙂 And I plan to do the same thing this year. Perhaps before, during and after Thanksgiving day. Doesn’t hurt to make some in advance, just to test it out, right?? 😉 It’s awesome on oatmeal, spooned over ice cream, on sandwiches, on top of kale salads, over a goat cheese log served with crackers. Basically, it’s good on pretty much everything.
Tis officially the holiday season now that I’ve seen fresh cranberries in the grocery store! I also saw Christmas decorations at one of the main shopping centers in Winston today; while Thruway looks super cute decked out in greenery and lights, I have mixed feelings because, man, I LOVE Thanksgiving and I hate that it gets neglected.
A good crockpot (or slow cooker, whichever term you prefer!) is a must-have for your kitchen, so if you don’t love yours (or heaven forbid, you don’t have one), treat yourself to an early Christmas present. This is similar to the one I have, but I’m eyeing this one that’s a little bigger and that allow you to brown meat in it, which is always an extra step to many crockpot recipes. The nice thing about making slow cooker cranberry sauce is that it doesn’t take up valuable stovetop space on Thanksgiving or Christmas!
A note on your bourbon (or whiskey if you sub that in) – buy something you’d want to drink. Since the recipe doesn’t use much, buy a nice bottle to have around for the holidays rather than something cheap. I love Bulleit and Basil Hayden.
Crockpot Cranberry Sauce with Bourbon
- 1 bag (12 oz) fresh cranberries, rinsed
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp bourbon (or a little more, just for good measure 😉 )
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (high quality extract is important!)
- Add the cranberries, sugar and water to a crockpot. Turn to high. Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to low.
- Cook over low heat for 2-3 hours until the cranberries have softened and skins start to peel off.
- About 45 minutes before serving, add the bourbon and vanilla. Continue cooking over low. I like to add a pinch of salt at this point too.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken slightly before serving.
Be sure to pin this for your Christmas parties and dinners too. It simplifies your life and impresses guests. 🙂
What was your experience with cranberry sauce growing up? We always had the sauce from the can and I loved it. I didn’t even know fresh cranberry sauce was a thing until my adult life. I gravitate towards fresh now, but the canned version still gives me a sense of nostalgia. 🙂