Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce is a quick and easy way to prepare homemade cranberry sauce. Made with fresh cranberries and tangy orange juice, this recipe is a must-make Thanksgiving Recipe.
Flavored with orange, maple, cinnamon, and brown sugar, this recipe for Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce is tart, yet sweet and is the best compliment to the heavier holiday dishes, such as Instant Pot Turkey Breast or Roasted Turkey.
Inspired by my recipe for Cranberry Orange Sauce, this recipe for Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce is even easier than my original recipe, which was already an easy recipe to start. The difference in this Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce recipe is that the cranberry sauce needs no attending as it simmers on the stove. Instead, the pressure cooker does all the work!
And while Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce is nearly as easy to make as opening a can of cranberry sauce, the flavor and texture are much improved.
Notes on Ingredients
- Cranberries: Use fresh or frozen cranberries. No need to defrost frozen cranberries or adjust the cooking time.
- Orange Juice: Orange and cranberries are a natural pairing. Using 100% orange juice as the liquid in the cranberry sauce adds delicious flavor. If you don't happen to have orange juice on hand, pineapple juice is a great alternative.
- Brown Sugar: I prefer using brown sugar over granulated sugar, as the molasses flavor from the brown sugar really adds depth to the cranberry sauce.
- Maple Syrup: Adding a bit of maple to the cranberry sauce, is going to add rich notes. Just be sure to use 100% pure maple syrup.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is absolutely optional, but it does pair beautifully with cranberries.
How to Make Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- If using fresh cranberries, give them a good rinse and drain well.
- Add the cranberries to the inner pot, along with the orange juice, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
- Give that all a good mix to evenly coat the cranberries with the sugar and cinnamon.
- Place the lid on the inner pot and turn the vent knob to the sealed position.
- Set the cooking time to 4 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release for 10 minutes.
- Open the lid and give your cranberry sauce a good stir.
- Right now, the cranberry sauce is truly a sauce, but keep in mind it will thicken as it cools. If you would like your cranberry sauce to be thicker, turn the instant pot to saute and let simmer until some of the liquid has evaporated.
- Allow the sauce to cool slightly and then transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until fully chilled, as cranberry sauce tastes better after it has had time to chill and the flavors meld together.
- Once chilled transfer the cranberry sauce to a serving dish for serving.
Notes on Leftovers
Leftover cranberry sauce can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or frozen in a freezer-safe container with 1 inch of space for expansion for up to 3 months.
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce is not only a must-make side dish for your holiday meal, but the leftovers can be used as a topping for pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, or sweet potato waffles. It is also delicious served on leftover turkey sandwiches, on baked brie, or even mixed with barbecue sauce for a BBQ Turkey Pizza.
I always say that you need 1 cup of thin liquid when pressure cooking in a 6-quart Instant Pot and 1.5 cups for an 8-quart Instant Pot. However, the cranberries will immediately release some of their natural juices as pressure is building, so no need to use the standard liquid needed when pressure cooking.
My recipe for Cranberry Orange Sauce uses orange juice concentrate. This eliminates the need for adding brown sugar because the concentrated orange juice is plenty sweet. However, the orange juice concentrate burns easily and therefore should be avoided when pressure cooking.
After the cranberry sauce has been cooled slightly, you can blend it with an immersion blender or in a blender or food processor.
If you learn better through visual steps, be sure to check out my video on YouTube for Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce.
More Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Green Beans
- Instant Pot Stuffing
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake
If you made this Instant Pot Cranberry, be sure to leave a comment and review below.
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- 24 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
- ½-¾ cup orange juice see note
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- ⅔ cup brown sugar see note
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- If using fresh cranberries, place them in a strainer and rinse them well under running water. Skip this step if using frozen cranberries.
- Combine the cranberries, orange juice, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in the inner pot of your pressure cooker.
- Place the lid on the pressure cooker and be sure the vent knob is sealed/lid is locked. Hit manual or pressure cook to adjust the cooking time to 4 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes.
- Open up the Instant Pot and give everything a good stir. Allow the cranberry sauce to cool slightly inside the inner pot (be sure to hit cancel to turn off the keep warm function).
- Once cooled, transfer the sauce to an airtight container and chill completely, or for at least 4 hours before serving.