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.

healthy low carb side dish of Brussels sprouts with cranberries and feta cheese

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 photo collage

What I Learned About Cranberries

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 is doing). The cranberries come loose from the vines and float right to the top of the water.

Wisconsin cranberries being harvested

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, (have you made these Melt in Your Mouth Orange Cookies with Cranberries yet?) I enjoy them most in savory dishes, like this slow cooker Brussels sprouts recipe.

Slow Cooker full of Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup, Cranberries and Feta

Space-Saving Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts

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 oven 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.

bowl of fresh Wisconsin cranberries

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.

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.

More Delicious Holiday Side Dishes

Crock Pot of Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup, Cranberries, and Feta Cheese

Tools Used to Make This Recipe

  • Slow Cooker. This one is perfect for making these Brussels sprouts.
  • Sharp Knife. Ideal for slicing the Brussels sprouts.

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!

Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Feta

Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Maple, Cranberries, and Feta

4.8 from 5 votes
Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup, Cranberries, and Feta. Easy crockpot recipe—Frees your oven and tastes DELICIOUS!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 10 mins

Servings: 6 servings

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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.)

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 5gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 262mgFiber: 8gSugar: 10g

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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!

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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42 Comments

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  1. 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.4 stars

    1. I’m so glad you and your family enjoy the recipe, Ronda! Thank you for reporting back and for sharing your tips about doubling the batch! I really appreciate it.

  2. I doubled this and made it for Christmas; it was a HUGE hit!! All 13 people loved it!! I cooked on low for 2.5 hrs, then another 30 mins with the cranberries (so no extra time for doubling). I also stirred every hour just to be safe. 5 stars

    1. Christina, I’m so happy to hear this dish was a hit! Thanks for sharing your notes about doubling the recipe and taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  3. I made this for an office party and doubled the recipe!  THE BEST!  Totally GONE.  Was truly the ONLY dish that there were not leftovers! The hardest part was trimming 4 POUNDS of Brussels sprouts!  Easy easy recipe!  If you double, yes do double the cooking time……BUT I suggest 20 minutes for the cranberry part instead of 30, to make them a bit firmer.  Fabulous recipe (I am a guy!)5 stars

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