This Instant Pot cranberry sauce is a blend of fresh cranberries, sugar, orange and spices, all simmered together in a pressure cooker to make a sweet and tangy condiment. A quick and easy recipe that takes minutes to make and produces perfect results every time!
I always serve a variety of side dish recipes alongside my Thanksgiving turkey including Southern mac and cheese, turkey stuffing, candied yams, Southern cornbread dressing and this super speedy Instant Pot cranberry sauce.
Every year I love to host a big holiday meal at my house, but I always run into the problem of not having enough space in the oven or on the stovetop. I turn to other kitchen appliances like the slow cooker and Instant Pot to make life easier. This Instant Pot cranberry sauce is so simple to make, and has the perfect classic flavors. If you love cranberries, you’ll also adore my cranberry bread recipe!
Table of Contents
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce Ingredients
- Cranberries: I prefer to use whole fresh cranberries in this recipe. Be sure to rinse the berries thoroughly and discard any that are overly soft or shriveled up.
- Orange: This recipe calls for both orange juice and orange zest which nicely complements the cranberries. Use freshly squeezed orange juice whenever possible as I find it has a better flavor than orange juice in a carton.
- Sugar: Cranberries are very tart by nature, and require quite a bit of sugar to tone them down. I find that 1 cup of white sugar to 12 ounces of cranberries is a good ratio, but if you prefer a sweeter sauce feel free to use 1 and 1/4 cup of sugar. You can also sweeten your sauce with maple syrup or brown sugar.
- Cinnamon: I add a tiny bit of ground cinnamon to add a little complexity to this sauce.
- Vanilla: Stir some pure vanilla extract into the sauce after you’ve released the pressure for a hint of extra sweetness and flavor.
How Do You Make Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce?
Place the cranberries in a pressure cooker along with water, orange juice, a strip of orange zest, sugar and cinnamon. Seal the pot with the lid and set it to pressure cook at high manual pressure for 3 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release the pressure. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let the sauce sit for at least 15 minutes to thicken up, then serve and enjoy.
Tips For The Perfect Dish
- While I prefer fresh cranberries, frozen cranberries will also work just fine.
- You can easily double or triple the recipe for a larger crowd. The cook time will stay the same.
- Serve your homemade cranberry sauce alongside my famous smoked turkey made with smoked turkey brine and smoked turkey rub for a memorable meal. Prefer ham for the holidays? Check out my complete guide on how to cook a ham. Need even more menu inspiration? Don’t miss my list of Thanksgiving appetizer recipes.
- The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. If you prefer an extra thick sauce, you can use the saute mode of the Instant Pot to continue to simmer the sauce until more of the liquid evaporates off.
- This dish can be prepared up to 3 days before you plan to serve it. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Leftovers make a great topping for pancakes, waffles, toast, brie cheese or even yogurt. Or, serve it on a turkey sandwich or in a smoothie!
You can use either a 4 quart or 6 quart Instant Pot for this recipe.
It only takes minutes to cook cranberry sauce in an Instant Pot, I recommend a 3 minute cook time with a 10 minute period to let the pressure release naturally.
Cranberry sauce can be frozen for up to 2 months. Store it in an airtight container in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, place the sauce in the refrigerator overnight so it can thaw. Serve it cold, or reheat it on the stove.
While this recipe is great as-is, you can add other flavors to make it your own.
- Apple Cranberry Sauce: Add 3/4 cup finely diced peeled apple to the sauce, and increase the cooking time to 5 minutes.
- Spiced Cranberry Sauce: Stir in extra spices such as 1/8 teaspoon each of nutmeg, ground ginger and allspice.
- Cherry Cranberry Sauce: Include 1/2 cup dried cherries or 3/4 cup frozen dark cherries to the cranberry mixture in the Instant Pot.
This Instant Pot cranberry sauce is the perfect accompaniment to all of your holiday meals!
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Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 3 inch strip orange peel
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place the cranberries, water, orange juice, orange peel, sugar and cinnamon in an Instant Pot. Stir to combine.
- Seal the pot and cook on manual high pressure for 3 minutes.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release the pressure.
- Unseal the pot, then stir in the vanilla extract.
- Remove the orange peel and discard. Let the sauce sit for at least 15 minutes to thicken up. The sauce will continue to get thicker as it cools. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for later use.
- Frozen cranberries will work fine, and they do not need to be thawed first.
- I recommend using freshly squeezed orange juice if possible.