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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. And I bet I would still love the taste now, 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. 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.
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
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 was blown away by how easy it was. 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, only 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 here. I use mine 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.) And the speed at which I can whip up dinner makes this my favorite kitchen appliance, hands down. Now, back to the cranberry sauce.
Fresh Cranberries and Orange
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 as well as fresh squeezed orange juice. And 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. You could 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:
1 12oz bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup turbinado sugar (or any natural sugar)
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour sugar or sweetener of choice into IP, stir, and seal the pot. Select “manual” and set time for 3 minutes. Once the IP is finished, you can allow the pressure to release naturally or your can quick release. Your 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.
Your bright and flavorful cranberry sauce will be ready to serve as soon as it cools. And 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. You can also throw your sweet potatoes in the IP a few days in advance and have them ready for sweet potato casserole. The Instant Pot is such a huge kitchen help that I cannot recommend it enough.
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. I even sneak a cup of this cranberry sauce into my sweet potato casserole, and it brightens up the entire dish. I’d love to know your favorite way to use cranberry sauce. Leave a comment below and let me know!
Have a fantastic week!