Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup, Cranberries and Feta

Last week, I checked a major item off of my life bucket list: to wade in a cranberry bog! I donned a borrowed pair of rubber boots, stepped into the chilly water, and found myself waist-deep in a pool of ruby-red cranberries. The first recipe I made with my haul: Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup, Cranberries, and Feta.

Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Feta. Free up your oven! Easy crockpot recipe that’s perfect for holiday parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime you need an easy side. @wellplated

This post is sponsored by the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association

A year ago when I posted this recipe for Cranberry Chicken, I confessed that visiting a cranberry bog was high on my Wisconsin bucket list. As testament to the fact that the items we post on the internet can, in fact, be found by others, the Wisconsin Cranberry State Growers Association read my post, then invited me out to do it! How cool is that?

Here’s me, getting my cranberry on:

Cranberry Bog in Wisconsin

Although Massachusetts is commonly associated with cranberry production, Wisconsin is the true leader. The state grows 55% of the world’s cranberry supply, and most of its cranberry farms are family owned. Cutler Cranberry, the farm I visited, is on its sixth generation of family ownership.

Lisa, one of Cutler Cranberry’s current owners, graciously took me around the farm for a day, loaned me her waders (those sexy rubber boots I’m wearing in the photo above), and shared all about the cranberry growing process with me. I definitely had some misconceptions.

Cranberry Bog and a recipe for slow cooker Brussels Sprouts

First and foremost, I thought that cranberries were grown in water. Nope! Cranberries actually grow on dry ground in large, sandy plots called beds. The water is used during harvesting only. The beds are flooded and the vines shaken (or “harrowed”—that’s what the tractor in the photo above is doing). The cranberries come loose from the vines and float right to the top of the water.

Cranberries being harvested and a recipe for slow cooker Brussels sprouts with cranberries

Cranberries are grown for two purposes: either to be enjoyed fresh or to be transformed into familiar favorites like Craisins (dried cranberries), cranberry sauce, and cranberry juice. They’re the highest of all fruits in antioxidants and are low in sugar, sodium, and carbs. Plus, they are delicious. We have so many good reasons to gobble them up!

Although cranberries are often first thought of for sweet uses, I enjoy them most in savory dishes like these Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts.

Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Feta. Free up the oven! An easy crockpot recipe that’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, holiday parties or anytime you need an easy side dish. @wellplated

Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables, and I wanted to devise a way to make them easy to serve at holiday meals. Although I love roasted Brussels sprouts, if your family’s Thanksgiving is anything like mine, roasted Brussels sprouts would be nearly impossible to execute. Between the turkey, the healthy sweet potato casserole, and the bacon mushroom stuffing, we’re out of oven space. Roasted veggies also can’t be made in advance, since they are designed for immediate serving, and there isn’t a good way to transport them to different gatherings either.

Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts, however, can achieve all of the above! They can be prepped in advance, cooked on low or high heat depending upon your timing, and are easy to bring to different gatherings too.

Free up your oven with Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts. Cranberries and feta give this easy crockpot recipe a festive twist. @wellplated

Before I tested the crock pot Brussels Sprouts, I wasn’t entirely certain how I’d feel about their texture in the slow cooker, but I was delighted. The Brussels sprouts kept a nice chew to them (my fear was that they would be mushy—not at all!), and they even picked up the caramelized flavor I love about oven roasting.

I cooked the Brussels sprouts with a bit of maple syrup (the touch of sweetness is divine), then used the fresh cranberries to give them a festive look and extra pop of flavor. The feta cheese is salty, creamy, and makes the Brussels sprouts taste extra special.

Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Maple, Cranberries, and Feta. Easy crockpot recipe! @wellplated

If you can’t find fresh cranberries, check the freezer section of your grocery store. Cranberries can last in the freezer for a full year, so grocers will sometimes store them there. You can also swap in dried cranberries for the fresh if you can’t find fresh or simply prefer the dried.

A warm thank you to the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association for helping me check one more item off of my bucket list. See you next harvest!

Tools I used to make this recipe:

5
5 / 5 (3 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review »

Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Maple, Cranberries, and Feta

Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup, Cranberries, and Feta. Easy crockpot recipe—Frees your oven and tastes DELICIOUS!

Yield: Serves 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours (on high) or 3 hours (on low)

Total Time: 2 hours (on high) or 3 hours (on low)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups whole fresh cranberries (see notes to substitute dried cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Place brussels sprouts into a 3 or 4-quart slow cooker (see recipe notes if using a 6-quart slow cooker). Stir in the maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cover and cook 2 1/2 hours on low or 1 to 1 1/2 hours on high, until the Brussels sprouts are crisp tender but still maintain some chew. Uncover, stir in the cranberries, then recover and cook until the Brussels sprouts are completely tender (but not mushy), about 15 additional minutes on high or 30 additional minutes on low. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve warm.
  • To swap dried cranberries for the fresh: stir the dried cranberries in at the very end, along with the feta cheese.
  • I have not tried doubling this recipe and cooking in a 6-quart slow cooker, but I believe it should work nicely. You may need to extend the cooking time. I would also recommend stirring every 2 hours to ensure the larger quantity of Brussels sprouts cooks evenly. If you try the recipe this way, please let me know how it goes!
  • To prep ahead: Chop all of the Brussels sprouts and place in the slow cooker. Store refrigerated. When ready to cook, proceed as directed. (You may need to add a little bit to the cooking time since the slow cooker will be cold.)
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 (of 6)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 190
  • Total Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 11mg
  • Sodium: 262mg
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 5g

If you like this Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts recipe, don’t miss these other holiday-ready side dishes:

How to bake potatoes in a crock pot. The easiest way to bake a potato! They turn out perfectly fluffy every time and the slow cooker does the work. Great idea for an easy dinner or even to feed a crowd. @wellplated

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

The easiest way to make carrots: In the slow cooker! These easy slow cooker honey carrots are sweet and irresistible. @wellplated

Crock Pot Honey Carrots

Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Pecans — Perfect for a light lunch or make-ahead holiday side dish.

Winter Salad with Kale and Pomegranate

Easy Homemade Scalloped Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Garlic. Creamy, cheesy, and absolutely addictive!

Homemade Scalloped Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Garlic

Maple Balsamic Brussel Sprouts with Walnuts and Feta

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Maple, Walnuts and Feta

This post is sponsored by the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue creating quality content for you!

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

38 comments

  1. Aw it looks like you had so much fun Erin! This is the PERFECT Thanksgiving side dish! But I would have to eat it myself cause I’m the only one who loves Brussels sprouts! ;)

  2. I truly love cranberries so much! They are gorgeous in any dish and I love the tart flavor (and I always decorate my holiday table with them).

    Your visit to the cranberry bog looks like such a cool experience!

  3. how cool!!!!! I absolutely love cranberries and have always been curious about cranberry farms, looks like it was an amazing time!!

    and the recipe, clearly!, looks damn good too :)

  4. I absolutely cannot wait to try this recipe. My husband and I LOVE sprouts and if everyone just once had them cooked properly, they would also. I’m actually originally from WI and have been to the Cranberry Festival in Warrens, WI many times. I think I’ll make this for Thanksgiving – thank you!

  5. My most favorite way to eat Brussels sprouts is roasted, because they become sweet as they start to caramelize.  But this recipe sounds quite intriguing.  I’m hoping I can cook it at the level of ingredients specified in my 6-quart slow cooker, because that’s the only one I have (the only one I want and the only one I have room for).  Thanks also for sharing about how cranberries are grown – new information for me.

  6. Omg that cranberry field looks awesome! definitely an awesome way to pimp out these Brussels sprouts.

  7. Caramelized brussels sprouts with tangy feta sounds dreamlike :) Obsessed!

  8. Not found of feta cheese. Would like a substitute.

  9. I had no idea there were that many cranberries on Wisconsin. I love adding them to oatmeal, smoothies, and bread. YUM!

  10. Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup, Cranberries and Feta?! Ummmm gimme! I only recently started liking brussels sprouts (I know I know I know) and these look SO yummy!

  11. Thanks for all of the slow cooker recipes!

  12. Brussels sprouts and cranberries together is one of my favorite combos! Cooking them in the crockpot is genius!! Great post! :)

  13. Erin this looks like such a gorgeous side dish! I would never have thought of pairing cranberries and brussel sprouts together.  Looks incredible!

  14. I love brussel sprouts and so does my parakeet. We can’t get enough!

  15. Looking for an actual comment that THIS recipe has been made, eaten and enjoyed?

    • Hi Dee! From personal experience, I can tell you that my husband, my friends, and myself all loved this recipe. In terms of whether or not people leave comments, that unfortunately is out of my control. This is a newer recipe on my site, so sometimes it takes a while for people to leave comments, even when the dishes been tried. There are also many readers who make dishes without leaving comments. I stand behind every recipe on my site, and would never post something that I didn’t think that it was worth your time and resources to make. If you decide try this recipe, I hope that you enjoy it!

  16. Greetings from the UK! 
    I made this for Christmas and it was lovely. The sprouts still had a bit of bite and the sharp cranberries worked beautifully with the rest of the meal. 
    I didn’t add any cheese but certainly will next time it’s not part of a traditional dinner. 

    Rating: 5
  17. I tried this with honey instead of maple syrup because I was too lazy to go buy some.. I will report back on how it turned out, but do you have any thoughts on this switch?

    • Hi Trisha! I think the flavor will be a little different because honey has a more floral flavor than maple syrup, which is smokier. But I think it will still be yummy! I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  18. Hi, I was wondering about the maple syrup….I don’t have pure….just mrs butterworth’s possibly…will that be ok? Want to make this tonight…thank you!

    • Hi Kathy! The recipe will definitely turn out with imitation maple syrup like the one you mentioned. For next time though, definitely check out pure maple syrup. It’s flavor is AMAZING by comparison, so I feel like it’s worth the splurge. Thanks for trying the recipe. I hope you love it!

  19. Just thought I’d leave you a comment since I am making this recipe for the fourth time! The first time I made it for Thanksgiving and then repeated for Christmas dinner. Now it’s in my regular family dinner rotations I like it so much.

    I follow the recipe exactly. I use frozen brussels sprouts so I can make this year-round. I have also made several of your other recipes and have enjoyed them all (will try to comment on those as well). The recipes are delicious enough to serve for special occasions but not so difficult to be done during a typical week (I have two young kids and several other responsibilities, and I can still make them for week day dinners). Thank you, Erin! Can’t wait to try some more. :)

    Rating: 5
    • Hi Siobhan! It makes me so happy to hear that this recipe has become a regular for you! Thank you so much for the kind words about my recipes. I truly appreciate it!

  20. Brussel spouts are pretty good😀😀😀

  21. Thanks for the recipe 😀

  22. These brussel sprouts are my husband’s favourite. We have them about twice a month now. I did double the recipe for our big Christmas dinner with family and it worked perfectly. I got my crockpot ready for transport just after adding the cranberries and feta, drove 45 minutes to my in-laws, put the crockpot on warm and it was perfect when dinner was served. There were no leftovers and both my grandsons (aged 6 and 4) loved it too. So the double batch works in a 6 quart crockpot with periodic stirring.

    Rating: 4.5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *