Overhead view white pot filled with ingredients for Christmas Simmer Pot, sitting on red and white striped towel.

Christmas Simmer Pot (Stovetop Potpourri)

This simmering pot of Christmas potpourri takes the place of the scented candles we all love to burn, but in a more natural way. It’s like real food for your home, filling the air with a beautiful aroma the way our Grandmas used to scent their homes.

Prep: 5 minutesCook: 10 minutesTotal: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 simmer pot 1x


  • Large pot
  • Water (may substitute apple juice or apple. cider)
  • 12 cups whole fresh or frozen cranberries (enough to cover the surface of the water)
  • 1 large orange, sliced (may substitute dried orange slices or another citrus)
  • 24 rosemary and/or pine sprigs 
  • 46 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 12 tablespoons allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 


  1. Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and place over high heat.
  2. To the pot, add all of the ingredients.
  3. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on low for 2-3 hours. 
  4. Add more water, as needed, so there is always some liquid in the pot.


This simmer pot will last 2-7 days:

After simmering for a few hours, allow to cool, then cover the pot and let it sit on the turned-off stove until the next day. Remove the lid and bring it to a simmer again then next day. Add fresh water as needed so there is always liquid in the pot.

For a longer lasting simmer pot, up to 7 days, refrigerate the pot of ingredients (after the liquid has cooled) between uses. Add fresh ingredients and water as needed.

When you’re done with the simmer pot, strain out the liquid and compost or dispose of the ingredients. 

© The Real Food Dietitians
Recipe By: Stacie Hassing