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Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

It’s so simple to whip up a batch of Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving or any time you’re craving a delicious cranberry side dish. Use fresh or frozen cranberries and just a few simple ingredients for this make-ahead cranberry sauce. 

instant pot cranberry sauce in a glass jar on a plate with garnishes

Have you always assumed it is hard to make your own fresh cranberry sauce? I mean, if it were easy, why would people buy it in a can? Right?

Turns out that homemade cranberry sauce is actually a cinch to make. And using the Instant Pot takes all the guesswork out of it and frees up your stove. You know, for the 10,718 other things you have to make on a big family holiday.

Which other holiday side dish can you just push a button and walk away? Yeah, it’s easy cranberry sauce, but it’s also a freaking miracle.

First things first. This method of cooking make-ahead cranberry sauce in the Instant Pot isn’t actually any faster than making it on the stove. So why use it?

The beauty of using your pressure cooker to make cranberry sauce is that you don’t have to stand over a stove dodging really hot popping cranberries. This sauce doesn’t take any babysitting so you can focus on the rest of your to do list.

If you are brand new to the Instant Pot, check out this post on Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners. It walks you through all the tips and tricks you’ll need as well as the common pressure cooking terminology you need to know.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, check out this stovetop recipe for the best Orange Cranberry Sauce. If you have leftover cranberries after making this, learn all about Freezing Cranberries to save the extras for another time.

You can also use this tutorial for Canning Cranberry Sauce if you want to make it shelf-stable.

How Long Does Cranberry Sauce Last?

You can keep your fresh cranberry sauce with orange juice in the fridge for up to two weeks. In fact, homemade cranberry sauce actually tastes better if made a few days prior to serving. That’s why we call it make-ahead cranberry sauce! 🙂

Can You Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

You sure can! This means if you’re reading this a week or even months before a major holiday, make a batch today and freeze it for later. You’ll also love my free Thanksgiving Checklist printable for all your Type-A holiday planning needs!

I freeze mine in wide-mouth canning jars. I use pint jars for smaller servings and quart jars for large gatherings.

Just allow the sauce to fully cool before adding it to the canning jars. And leave 1-inch of space between the top of the food and the top of the jar.

For more information on which kinds of jars to use, check out these posts on Canning Supplies and Zero Waste Food Storage.

four steps showing how to make pressure cooker cranberry sauce


  • Want a boozy cranberry sauce? Reduce the orange juice by 1 tbsp and cook as directed in the recipe card. Add 1 tbsp of Grand Marnier or bourbon to the sauce after it has finished cooking. Cook the sauce on saute for 2 minutes to cook off some of the alcohol.
  • Add 1-2 cinnamon sticks to the pot prior to cooking if you prefer spiced cranberry sauce.
  • Sub in maple syrup, honey, or even coconut sugar in place of the regular sugar.
  • Stir in a little homemade Strawberry Puree to take your sauce to the next level.

a dish of pressure cooker cranberry sauce with orange zest

Pro Tips/Recipes Notes

  • Want to double or even triple this recipe, the cooking time remains the same. Just make sure you don’t fill the inner pot more than half full.
  • If you want to turn this into a whole cranberry sauce, don’t mash the berries after cooking.
  • The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

More Thanksgiving Instant Pot Recipes

More Thanksgiving Side Dishes

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a dish of pressure cooker cranberry sauce with orange zest
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5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce {Make-Ahead Cranberry Sauce}

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 min
Pressurizing/depressurizing10 mins
Total Time16 mins
Whip up a batch of Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce in a flash. Use fresh or frozen cranberries and just a few ingredients for this make-ahead cranberry sauce. 


  • 12 oz cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange zest



  • Add the ingredients to the Instant Pot in this order:
    1) Orange juice
    2) cranberries
    3) orange zest
    4) sugar
    ***Do not stir***
  • Lock the lid into place and set the steam release handle (valve on top) to “Sealing”. Press Manual>High Pressure>1 minute.
  • When the cranberry sauce has finished cooking, the Instant Pot will beep and switch to ”keep warm". Allow it to sit with the lid on for 10 minutes and then do a manual release with the nozzle set to venting.
  • The sauce will look a bit "soupy" when you open the lid. Use a potato masher to lightly mush the cranberries to your desired consistency.
  • Taste the sauce and see if the sweetness is to your liking. If you want to add additional sugar, add 1 tbsp at a time, tasting with each addition.
  • Put the lid back on with the Instant Pot at "keep warm" for 5 minutes to allow the additional sugar to dissolve.


Store in the fridge for 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you double or triple this recipe, the cooking time remains the same. Just make sure you don't fill the inner pot more than half full.
The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce {Make-Ahead Cranberry Sauce}
Amount Per Serving (0.25 cup)
Calories 86 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 114mg3%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 103IU2%
Vitamin C 26mg32%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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4 comments on “Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce”

  1. This was a great cranberry recipe! We added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a 1/4 teaspoon of cloves.
    It was super easy, super quick and is a great side for turkey, chicken, pork or fish.
    We love it and it is now our go to recipe for cranberries.5 stars

  2. This recipe was super easy and very tasty.  I used sugar and only needed to add a little bit more to taste.  10/10 will make it again using this method.  5 stars