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Easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce Recipe

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Need an easy recipe for homemade cranberry sauce recipe this holiday season? This easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce will give you homemade whole berry fresh cranberry sauce in just minutes! (No Instant Pot? No problem! Scroll to the bottom for the stove top variation!)

This is a great recipe for the Thanksgiving dinner table or Christmas dinner, or really anytime you want that tart but sweet punch of delicious cranberry sauce.

Why make cranberry sauce from scratch?

I have a confession. And I’m not proud, but until six years ago, I still loved jellied cranberry sauce that slid out of a can. No joke. Those slick round jelly slices of cranberry were one my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal.

But have you ever sneaked a peek at the ingredients in jellied cranberry sauce? Cranberries, naturally, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and water. It’s not bad considering some other processed foods with 20+ ingredients, but the two different types of refined sugar is a bit much.

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And sliding something out of can isn’t as thrilling of an experience now as it was when I was a kid. I like to see my food in whole form before I eat it. And I certainly want my kids to know what a cranberry looks like. That’s where Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce has come to the rescue, and it’s so much better than the canned stuff. 

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce Recipe

For the past five or six years I have been making homemade cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And while it isn’t too terribly time consuming, it does require standing and stirring a pot on the stove. And since I wanted to lighten up my Thanksgiving prep as much as possible this year, I decided to try making cranberry sauce in the instant pot.

Not only was it a success, but I would easily call it the best cranberry sauce both because of how good it was and how easy it is to make. It made me think of those infomercials that chant, “Set it and forget it!” That’s basically what I did. I threw the ingredients in the pot. Set it for three minutes (yes, total time in the IP is three minutes!) and let it roll. Amazing.

If you haven’t delved into the world of Instant Pots yet, check out my post about whether they are worth the money. I use my 6-quart instant pot on a weekly basis, which is way more than I ever used my crock pot. (I don’t own a crock pot anymore since I purchased the Instant Pot.)

The speed at which I can whip up dinner makes this my favorite kitchen appliance, hands down. Now, back to the homemade cranberry sauce recipe perfect for any holiday meal.

Homemade Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

I love the combination of cranberry and orange. The flavors, both fall/winter fruits, blend so well together. And in this recipe I’ve incorporated the orange zest from the orange peel as well as fresh orange juice.

While that may sound fancy and slightly complicated, you’re still just tossing it into the IP together, so no worries. I also used turbinado sugar which is less refined that white sugar but doesn’t have the molasses content of brown sugar. You can also sub in maple syrup if you want to get away from refined sweeteners, and while I do use stevia on occasion, I haven’t tried it in this recipe, but I’ll keep you posted if I give it a try. Here’s what you’ll need: (Also, get the printable recipe card at the bottom for easy prep!)

  • 1 12oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar (or any natural sugar)
  • water
  • Cinnamon Stick (optional)
instant pot cranberry sauce
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce Ingredients

IP Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  1. Place cranberries in a colander and rinse well. Once drained, pour cranberries into instant pot. Using a zester, zest half of the orange into pot.     
Instant pot cranberry sauce
cranberries with orange zest
  1. Cut orange in half and squeeze juice into a measuring cup. Your orange should yield around 1/3 of a cup of juice. Add water to your measuring cup until the total liquid amount reaches 1 cup. Pour juice and water mix into your Instant Pot.
instant pot cranberry sauce
  1. Pour sugar or sweetener of choice into IP, stir, add cinnamon if using, and seal the pot. Select “manual” and set time for 3 minutes.
  2. Once the IP is finished, allow the pressure to release naturally or quick release. The cranberry sauce may seem to have too much liquid when it first comes out of the Instant Pot, but it will thicken as it cools. 

Stovetop Cranberry Sauce Variation

If you’d like to use this recipe, but don’t have an instant pot, use this variation:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized pot over medium high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
  3. Simmer cranberries 10 minutes, until they have all burst. Stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving or putting in the refrigerator.
  5. Enjoy!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce FAQ’s

  • Can this cranberry sauce be made in advance? Yes, this Instant Pot cranberry sauce can be made several days in advance, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to use your pot for other things on Thanksgiving or Christmas day.
  • How do you store leftover cranberry sauce? Store the cranberry sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Can this recipe be doubled? Yes, it definitely can be doubled with no problem.

I hope you enjoy the fresh whole berry cranberry sauce that beats the socks off of anything that comes out of a can. And the hint of orange that accompanies the tart cranberry taste will make this a winner for all of your guests this year.

If you liked this recipe, please give it a 5 star rating on the recipe card below! 

Have a fantastic week!

Yield: 3 cups

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

instant pot cranberry sauce

Tangy cranberries and sweet orange combines in this quick and easy Thanksgiving and Christmas staple. Ditch the canned cranberry sauce for this easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange whole
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • water

Instructions

    1. Place cranberries in a colander and rinse well. Once drained, pour cranberries into instant pot. Using a zester, zest half of the orange into pot.
    2. Cut orange in half and squeeze juice into a measuring cup. Your orange should yield around 1/3 of a cup of juice. Add water to your measuring cup until the total liquid amount reaches 1 cup. Pour juice and water mix into your Instant Pot.
    3. Pour sugar or sweetener of choice into IP, stir, and seal the pot. Select "manual" and set time for 3 minutes.
    4. Once the IP is finished, allow the pressure to release naturally or quick release. The cranberry sauce may have more liquid than you would like when it first comes out of the Instant Pot, but it will thicken as it cools. 
    5. Enjoy with turkey, ham, or just about anything!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 0g

Lyn

Wednesday 18th of November 2020

I live in South Africa and we don't really have access to fresh cranberries. How would you make this with dried cranberries? Your articles are great and very informative. Thank you. Lyn

Courtney

Wednesday 18th of November 2020

Hi Lyn! I've never tried the recipe with dried cranberries, but I did find one for you here: https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/sauce-spread/fruit-sauce/cranberry-sauce-made-with-dried-cranberries.html It's also nice to see a fellow Perkins; that's my maiden name!

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