This easy Instant Pot cranberry sauce is exactly what you need to add that finishing touch to your tablescape and add a delicious side dish everyone will love.
The past few years I have been responsible for hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas for my family. I am ALL FOR simple, quick recipes.
The Instant Pot has been a life saver for me. It cooks in minutes but the food always turns out amazing. Dump it and forget it is my style, and this cranberry sauce is that easy.
How to make cranberry sauce in Instant Pot
You will love how quick and simple this Instant Pot cranberry sauce recipe is! In fact, once you try it I think you’ll agree this might be the best cranberry sauce recipe out there.
This easy cranberry sauce recipe only requires five ingredients:
And here are the instructions for making whole berry cranberry sauce
Add 1/2 cup of water, cranberries, 1/2 cup of sugar, three or four orange slices, and the cinnamon stick to the pressure cooker and close the lid.
Turn the valve and seal and set to high pressure for one minute.
Allow the pot to naturally release for five minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
When the pressure has been released, remove the lid, then remove the orange slices and cinnamon stick and set the Instant Pot to “Saute” mode.
Add the remaining sugar and bring to a boil for about two minutes stirring consistently.
Allow the sauce to cool then serve! That’s it!
Note: I used a six quart Instant Pot duo to make this recipe. This should work easily in a three quart pressure cooker as well.
Tips for making Instant Pot cranberry sauce
One of the reasons this is the best cranberry sauce recipe is because it’s so versatile! Whether you’re wanting a spicy cranberry sauce, jalapeno cranberry sauce, cranberry sauce with orange juice or Thanksgiving cranberry sauce, it’s possible with this homemade cranberry sauce recipe.
- If you want your cranberry sauce to be thinner, skip the boiling. Just add the second part of the sugar, stir until dissolved, then remove from the heat
- Frozen cranberries can be used in place of fresh
- Want your sauce to have more whole berries? For delicious whole berry cranberry sauce, all you have to do is add an additional half cup of cranberries when you add the second portion of sugar
- Don’t like oranges or cinnamon? These can be left out without affecting the cranberry sauce.
- For more orange flavor, add one to two teaspoons of orange zest at the very end
Here are a few more ways to adjust this fresh cranberry sauce recipe and give it your own unique twist.
Can I double this Instant Pot cranberry sauce recipe?
Yes, you can! In order to make a double batch of this gourmet cranberry sauce recipe simply double everything except the cooking time. Very important: the cook time will remain the same.
Can I freeze cranberry sauce?
Absolutely. Lots of people wonder if you can freeze cranberry sauce and it’s a great question. Fresh cranberry sauce can be safely frozen for future use, which is another reason why this homemade cranberry sauce recipe is so great! Once the cranberry sauce has cooled, move it to a freezer-safe container. When you’re ready to use it, move the frozen cranberry sauce to the refrigerator to thaw. Keep in mind it will take several hours to thaw completely so make sure you’re factoring that into your meal planning.
How long will cranberry sauce keep?
Fresh cranberry sauce should keep well in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. In the freezer, homemade cranberry sauce will keep for around two months.
Fresh cranberry sauce recipe variations
If you want to elevate your cranberry sauce with orange juice or bring it to the next level by making it a chutney, you can! Here are a few suggestions for making the best cranberry sauce recipe according to your personal taste.
Jalapeno cranberry sauce
This is such an inspired way to add a kick to your traditional homemade cranberry sauce! Simply add one to three jalapeno peppers (seeded and diced) to your Instant Pot when cooking this easy cranberry sauce and you’re done!
Spicy cranberry sauce
If you’re not a fan of jalapenos, or they’re out of season and you can’t track them down, another way to add spice to your Instant Pot cranberry sauce is to incorporate chiles. Want something a little milder? Try a 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. Other spices that go well with cranberry sauce: cardamom, nutmeg or Chinese five spice powder.
Cranberry sauce recipe with orange juice
Some people prefer using orange juice instead of orange slices and that is definitely a great option! For the best cranberry sauce texture, choose a pulp-free orange juice and mix in 3/4 cup of 100% orange juice when making your easy Instant Pot cranberry orange sauce.
Unique cranberry sauce recipe
There really are endless ways you can customize your Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. Add some cherries, apple or blueberries into your sauce, or take it to the next level by turning your cranberry sauce into a chutney (check out this inspired recipe from Delish for more on that).
Another suggestion? Transform your sauce into a relish. This uncooked variation is broken down by your food processor and zests in the refrigerator.
A very unique approach to consider when you’re wondering how to make cranberry sauce this year.
Bourbon cranberry sauce
Bourbon whiskey is made from a mixture of grains and is aged in new charred oak barrels. It has strong notes of vanilla, oak and caramel, which makes it a nice addition to fresh cranberry sauce!
Simply add bourbon to your easy Instant Pot cranberry sauce recipe (one to three tablespoons or to taste) and you’re done!
Cranberry sauce with Grand Marnier
This Cognac-based spirit has a distinct sweet orange flavor with notes of vanilla and oak. So if you’re looking for a boozy cranberry sauce then Grand Marnier is definitely an excellent choice!
When adding the regular cranberry sauce ingredients to your Instant Pot, add four tablespoons of Grand Marnier (or to taste) and you’re all set.
Crockpot cranberry sauce
You can absolutely substitute your pressure cooker for your slow cooker and cook some amazing easy cranberry sauce.
The only thing to keep in mind is your cooking time will change! With a slow cooker set on high cooking time will be about three hours. On low heat this will take up to seven or eight hours.
You’ll know it’s ready when the cranberries have popped open and the sauce is bubbly.
What to do with leftover cranberry sauce
Here are a few suggestions:
- Use it like a jam and spread it on bread or pancakes
- Use leftover cranberry sauce as a delicious dessert topping (like on cakes or even ice cream!)
- Add your leftover Thanksgiving cranberry sauce as a flavorful ingredient in your tarts or pies
- Use it as a glaze
- Consider adding leftover cranberry sauce to your homemade sauce (by the way, have you tried our Loaded Vodka Pasta Sauce yet?)
Easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- 1 12 oz Bag fresh cranberries
- ½ Cup water
- 1 Cup granulated sugar divided
- 1 Navel orange sliced
- 1 Cinnamon stick
Rinse and drain the cranberries, then add them to the instant pot.
Cut the orange into slices about ¼ inch thick.
Add the ½ cup of water, cranberries, ½ cup of sugar, 3-4 orange slices and the cinnamon stick to the pot.
Close the lid, turn the valve to seal and set to high pressure for 1 minute.
When the timer has completed allow the pot to naturally release for 5 minutes, then turn the valve to release the remaining pressure.
When the pressure has been released, remove the lid, remove the orange slices and cinnamon stick, press cancel and then press sauté (normal).
Add the remaining sugar, if you like your cranberries less sweet only add ¼ cup.
While stirring, bring the cranberries to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, being sure to keep stirring so they don’t burn, then press cancel and remove the inner liner from the pot.
The cranberries should have thickened up and the sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
You can allow the sauce to cool in the pot or move to a bowl or storage container. It will continue to thicken as it cools.