This fantastic Instant Pot cranberry sauce is a simple and delicious homemade cranberry sauce, perfect for the Christmas season. It's really easy to make, with only a few minutes of work and a couple of ingredients required.
This easy pressure cooker cranberry sauce recipe is my favorite way to cook a big batch of cranberry sauce.
Cranberry sauce is a popular condiment, traditionally served as a side dish with roast style meals during the holiday season. It's particularly popular for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
Making cranberry sauce in your Instant Pot is incredibly easy, and requires very little effort! You can also customize the recipe to suit your preferences by adjusting the seasoning or sweetness levels as you like.
Why you'll love it
- Easy to make cranberry sauce
- Perfect for easy batch cooking
- A low effort homemade cranberry sauce
- Adjust the sweetness and seasoning as you like
- Vegan, gluten free, nut free, dairy free and suitable for most dietary requirements and allergies
- A fantastic homemade condiment for Christmas and Thanksgiving
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Cranberries: Both fresh cranberries and frozen cranberries will work equally well.
Sugar: Cranberries are very tart, so you will have to add a little sugar to make the cranberry sauce sweeter. Use white sugar, brown sugar, or both.
Maple syrup: Optional ingredient, but adds a little sweetness, and gives the cranberry sauce extra flavor.
Orange juice: Orange juice and orange zest both add fantastic flavor to the dish. Use organic oranges, or at least unwaxed oranges if possible.
Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon adds a little festive spice to the sauce. Optional.
Cloves: Ground cloves are also added for flavor. You can omit them if you prefer. If you substitute for whole cloves, you will have to remember to remove them from the pot before you mash the cranberries.
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You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Add the cranberries, orange juice and zest, maple syrup, cinnamon and cloves to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine the ingredients.
Two: Add sugar on top of the berries. Don't stir. Seal the lid, and select the PRESSURE COOK setting on high pressure. Set the timer to 1 minute. Allow the pressure to naturally release after the timer is up before you remove the lid. This will take about 20 minutes.
Three: Use the back of a wooden spoon, or a potato masher, to mash the cranberries. You can mash them as much as you like, or leave some berries whole if you prefer. If you want to thicken the sauce a little, you can boil it on the SAUTE setting for a few minutes, until the cranberry sauce reaches your desired consistency.
- Allow the pressure to naturally release fully before you remove the lid from the Instant Pot. This process will allow the cranberries to soften completely.
- Adjust the tartness of the sauce by adding more or less sugar.
- Don't stir the berries after adding the sugar. If the sugar is on the bottom of the pot, your sauce could burn, and you'll see the Instant Pot Burn Message.
- You can double or triple the recipe to make a bigger batch if you have a large pressure cooker. Never fill the pot above the maximum fill line.
Serve your Instant Pot cranberry sauce as a condiment with your Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, or any roast dinner in the winter.
For example, pair it with Instant Pot Pork Roast, Air Fryer Roast Beef, Easy Turkey Steaks, Slow Cooked Whole Duck or Honey Glazed Roast Chicken.
This also tastes great with seasonal side dishes like Slow Cooker Green Beans, Whipped Potatoes, Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli, Steamed Brussels Sprouts and Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
No sugar: Instead of sugar, you can use alternative sweeteners like maple syrup, erythritol, stevia or honey. You can also add other sweet ingredients like orange juice or apple sauce. Add these ingredients to taste before or after pressure cooking the berries.
With added ingredients: Vanilla extract, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, gingerbread spice mix, red or white wine, ground ginger, jalapenos, brown sugar, lemon zest, star anise and rosemary can all add extra flavor to the sauce.
To make this recipe, you will need a 3 quart or 6 quart Instant Pot, or any other electric pressure cooker. If you want to double or triple the recipe, you will need a 6 quart or 10 quart pressure cooker.
Additionally, you will need a citrus zester and juicer. A wooden spoon will also come in handy.
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Store leftover cranberry sauce in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze it for up to 6 months.
Thaw and defrost frozen cranberry sauce in a refrigerator overnight. Then, use it in your favorite recipe, or serve it as a side dish with multiple meal.
This is a great way to batch cook cranberry sauce for the holiday season and winter. Make one or two large batches, and freeze them down in serving sized containers to use as needed.
You can also use leftover cranberry sauce in other dishes, like Cranberry Aioli.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. If you overcook cranberry sauce, the sugar could burn and ruin the dish. Only cook until the berries are soft, and then use a utensil to burst them.
If you want your cranberry sauce to be a little sweeter, you can add honey, maple syrup, apple sauce, orange juice, or other sweet liquids to taste. You can also add sugar, but you will then have to heat up the sauce to allow the sugar to dissolve.
You might also like these recipes
- Plum Sauce for Duck
- Lemon Garlic Sauce
- Spicy Burger Sauce
- Healthy Teriyaki Sauce
- Honey BBQ Sauce
- Gluten Free Turkey Gravy
If you make this recipe, make sure to post a photo to Instagram with #hintofhealthy!
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- 14 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 orange (juice + zest)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- Add the cranberries, the juice and zest from an orange, maple syrup, cinnamon and cloves to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine the ingredients.
- Add sugar on top of the berries. Don't stir. Seal the lid, and select the PRESSURE COOK setting on high pressure. Set the timer to 1 minute.
- Allow the pressure to naturally release after the timer is up before you remove the lid. This will take about 20 minutes.
- Use the back of a wooden spoon, or a potato masher, to mash the cranberries. You can mash them as much as you like, or leave some berries whole if you prefer.
- If you want to thicken the sauce a little, you can boil it on the SAUTE setting for a few minutes, until the cranberry sauce reaches your desired consistency.
- Store leftover cranberry sauce in a refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 6 months.
- Double or triple the recipe to make a big batch of sauce. You can then freeze it down in portion sizes to use in multiple meals over the season.
- Add extra sugar, maple syrup, orange juice or apple sauce if you want to make the cranberry sauce sweeter.
Food safety tips
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
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