Apple Cranberry Sauce

By Polly Conner
November 17, 2021

This easy Crockpot Apple Cranberry Sauce is like homemade apple sauce but with a delightful holiday twist with the addition of cranberries. The combo helps smooth out the tartness that comes from the cranberries resulting in a delightful side dish to serve anytime during the holiday season!

Apple cranberry sauce in a mason jar

I made this recipe withy my kids in mind. While a traditional cranberry sauce is chunky and textured, I know my little people want it smoooth. Apple Cranberry Sauce is a perfect side dish for a holiday meal or for any lunch or dinner during the cold months. It slow cooks for hours leaving your home smelling delightful.

What’s in Apple Cranberry Sauce?

We like to keep things simple around here. With only a handful of pantry ingredients necessary for this recipe, it’s very on brand with what we love! Here is what you’ll need:

  • Cranberries – Fresh or frozen work!
  • Apples – I used Gala but like our similar to our Crockpot Baked apple recipe, we recommend using McIntosh, Golden Delicious, or Jonathans too.
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger

Ingredients for apple cranberry sauce in bowls

Can I Make it Ahead of Time?

Yes! One of the beauties of this recipe is it can be made in advance and stashed in the fridge or freezer until you want to serve it. We are well aware that making dishes ahead for things like a Thanksgiving meal or when serving groups of people is a game-changer.

Ingredients mixed together in a crockpot to make apple cranberry sauce

Do I have to Puree the Apple Cranberry Sauce?

When I made this particular batch, I used an immersion blender to make the sauce very smooth. While my family prefers it this way, you may want to go a more traditional route and just mash your ingredients with a potato masher. This will give you a more chunky texture. If you do go this route, you might have to add a little water to the mix.

Apple cranberry sauce with a bit more texture

Can I Make it on the Stove?

Easily! Because this particular recipe is so large, I find it easier to do in the slow cooker but if you want to do it on the stove, add 3/4 cup water to a large stock pot. Add in all of the ingredients and cook over medium-low temperature for 10-20 minutes. Basically until your fruit has softened enough to mush!

A spoon scooping apple cranberry sauce out of a white bowl

What Goes Well with Apple Cranberry Sauce?

Don’t just lock yourself into making this around Thanksgiving. It would go great with all sorts of recipes! Here are some ideas

Pan-Seared Pork Chops

Turkey Stuffing Casserole

Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub


Apple Cranberry Sauce

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 7 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


The delicious combination of cranberries and apples creates this incredibly yummy spin on regular applesauce.


  • 12 ounces cranberries [fresh or frozen], rinsed
  • 34 pounds of apples (about 10 apples), roughly peeled and chopped (I used Gala in this recipe)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger


  1. Place all ingredients in Crockpot and stir well to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. 
  3. At the end of cooking, use an immersion blender or potato masher to smooth out the apples and cranberries into desired texture, stir thoroughly and enjoy!
  4. Freezer Meal Instructions:

    To Freeze:
    Cook sauce according to recipe instructions. Let cool completely. Once cool, put in to freezer safe bags or containers. Store in freezer up to 3 months.

    To Prepare:
    Thaw sauce overnight in refrigerator. You can also run the bag under cool water in the sink.

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