Christmas Simmer Pot Recipe (Easy Stovetop Potpourri)

The smells of Christmas are warm and inviting and one of my favorite parts of the holiday season! We had one of these Christmas simmer pot recipes going at all times this December and I loved the way it filled our entire house with the cozy smells of Christmas and was made with all natural ingredients and just a few minutes of prep time.  

This simmer pot is made with simple ingredients I usually had on hand and is such an easy and inexpensive way to replace your holiday candles and naturally fill your home with the Christmas aromas we all love. Try our classic Christmas simmer pot recipe below and let it warm your house with the nostalgic smells of Christmas!

a saucepan filled with christmas potpourri ingredients including orange slices, grapefruit slices fresh cranberries and cloves

Christmas Stovetop potpourri is a very fun and natural way to fill your home with the smells of Christmas.  It is so simple to make and all you need are a few fresh ingredients, warm spices and a pot of water and your house will be filled with the yummy aromas of winter.  

It also makes a wonderful gift idea for friends and family – I have a Christmas simmer pot gift tag available for you here and share more at the end of the post about the best way to wrap up your Christmas potpourri to give as a gift.  

Christmas potpourri gift with gift tag laying on the counter

How to Make a Christmas Simmer Pot

Making a simmer pot is such a simple concept and a great way to use up leftover citrus fruit peels and extra whole spices.  You can replace any of the citrus slices with just the peel and it will have the same aroma!  The fresh fruit always smell so fragrant and cutting the grapefruits and orange slices immediately makes the whole house smell so good.

  1. Gather all of the ingredients and place into a small saucepan or slow cooker.    
  2. Fill the sauce pan or crockpot with water until all your ingredients are covered and the water level is not too low, it will evaporate over time and if you’re not keeping your eye on it  your ingredients may burn to the bottom of the pan….ask me how I know :). So fill it up generously about 2/3 full! 
  3. Place on the stove top on low heat or set your crockpot to low to get things simmering!  

At the end of the day I take it off the heat and keep everything in the pot so I can reuse it the next day.  It will stay good and make your home smell lovely for 2-3 days, but it will look the prettiest the first day 🙂

saucepan filled with oranges, grapefruits, cloves, and cranberries

Classic Christmas Simmer Pot Recipe

  • Whole Cloves
  • Oranges or orange peels
  • Grapefruits or grapefruit peels
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Pine needles
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Star Anise

Ingredients to Make Your Own Christmas Stovetop Potpourri

There are so many fun additions you can add to your simmer pots that will smell great and it’s fun to be creative with your combinations! All that to say, if you don’t have something the recipe above calls for just substitute it with something else from this list and it will be just as great!  You can substitute any whole spice with a ground version as well.  Feel free to mix and match based on the smells you prefer and have fun with it!

  • Grapefruit slices
  • Pear slices
  • Apple slices
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Allspice berries
  • Lemon
  • Juniper berries

Gifting your Christmas Simmer Pot

These simmer pot recipes are a great neighbor gift for Christmas and very simple to put together for teachers and friends!  

The only difference in the ingredients is the fact that you will either give an entire orange or grapefruit in the bag with your ingredients or you will add dehydrated citrus slices.

This is a very helpful post on how to dehydrate citrus if you’ve never done it!  You will simply cut very thin slices of citrus and place in an oven at 175 degrees F for 4-6 hours flipping every hour or so.  The citrus will be dried to the touch and once it loses it’s stickiness you will know it is done.

You can place all the ingredients the recipe calls for in a mason jar or small gift bag and give away as a fun homemade gift idea.  I have created printable tags for your Christmas simmer pot gifts that complete the gift and explain how to use it. 

I hope this Christmas simmer pot recipe fills your home with the smells of Christmas and brings lots of coziness and warmth to your home this Christmas season! Share in the comments your favorite simmer pot combination! 🙂

Classic Christmas Simmer Pot

Classic Christmas Simmer Pot

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Fill your home with the nostalgic smells of Christmas with this festive Christmas stovetop potpourri!


  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 Orange sliced or orange peels
  • 3-4 Grapefruit slices or peel
  • 2-3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1-2 Cups Fresh Cranberries
  • 2-3 Star Anise
  • Pine Needles


  1. Add all ingredients to a saucepan. Fill the saucepan 2/3 full with water.
  2. Place on low heat for 2-3 hours.
  3. Add more water if needed.


Your stovetop potpourri will stay good for 2-3 days, just take it off the heat at the end of the day, cover and use again the next day.

Make sure to continue to replenish the water once it evaporates.

Did you make this recipe?

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