Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 2 mins
Pressure Build/Release: 20 mins
Total: 27 mins
Servings: 10 to 15 servings
Yield: 5 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
96 Calories
0g Fat
25g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 15
Amount per serving
Calories 96
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 11mg 54%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 69mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Instant Pot cranberry sauce makes an essential Thanksgiving side dish a breeze to prepare and cook. The pressure cooker makes preparation nearly effortless and it leaves the oven and stovetop free for other dishes. Simply add the ingredients, pressure cook for two minutes, and then use the sauté function to thicken it up. It'll keep thickening as it cools.

You can adjust the amount of sugar to make a cranberry sauce as sweet as you like. The sweet-tart ruby red sauce complements a turkey, chicken, or ham dinner with its flavor and vibrant color. It's excellent to serve with the leftovers as well—add it to a sliced turkey sandwich or serve the sauce alongside a turkey and dressing casserole.

"I absolutely love making fresh cranberry sauce for a classic Thanksgiving meal. I always have thought of it as an easy side dish, but this Instant Pot version makes it even easier. The orange balances out the sweetness and would complement your Thanksgiving turkey perfectly." —Tracy Wilk

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (2 to 3 oranges)

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or golden cane syrup

  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cinnamon stick

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  2. Rinse the cranberries and pick them over, discarding any mushy or damaged berries. Add the cranberries to the Instant Pot.

    cranberries in an instant pot

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  3. Add the sugar, orange juice, maple syrup, finely grated orange zest, vanilla extract, and the cinnamon stick to the pot with the cranberries. Gently stir to combine the ingredients.

    sugar, orange juice, maple syrup, finely grated orange zest, vanilla extract, and the cinnamon in an instant pot with cranberries

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  4. Lock the Instant Pot lid in place and set the vent to sealing. Choose the manual setting, high pressure, for 2 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, and then open the vent to manually release the remaining pressure. 

    instant pot

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  5. Remove the cinnamon stick. Turn on the sauté setting and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

    cranberry sauce in an instant pot

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  6. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a storage container and cool completely. Refrigerate until serving time. Serve it chilled or at room temperature.

    Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Tips

  • The cranberry season is fairly short; harvest begins in September and continues into November. Use frozen whole cranberries in this recipe if fresh berries aren't available. When fresh cranberries are available, stock up on them and store the bags in the freezer to use throughout the year.
  • Be sure to use a natural release for at least 10 minutes when pressure cooking cranberry sauce to prevent splatters.
  • You can use leftover cranberry sauce for a multitude of dishes. Spread it on a sandwich, stir it into yogurt, dollop on top of waffles or pancakes, and more.

Recipe Variations

  • For additional flavor and texture, add a finely diced apple or pear.
  • Cranberries are tart and need a generous amount of sugar. If, after releasing the pressure, you find the sauce is still too tart for your taste, add more sugar and continue cooking on the sauté setting until the sauce reaches the desired thickness and the sugar has dissolved.
  • For a thinner sauce, warm it in a saucepan over low heat and add small amounts of water or juice until the desired consistency is reached. 

How to Store and Freeze

  • Cranberry sauce will keep for up to a week in a covered container in the fridge. Make it up to a day or two ahead of time to make your Thanksgiving meal prep easier.
  • You can also freeze cranberry sauce for up to two months. Defrost in the fridge before serving.

Do You Serve Cranberry Sauce Hot or Cold?

Cranberry sauce is typically served cold or at room temperature. You can serve it hot if desired, but it will thicken more if cooled.

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