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

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

Homemade cranberry sauce is so easy 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? Yes, it’s easy cranberry sauce, but it’s also a culinary 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 electric 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 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. Or, make a batch of Cranberry Jalapeño Dip.

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 the cranberry sauce 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.

four steps showing how to make pressure cooker cranberry sauce


  • 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.
  • Make use of frozen oranges if you don’t have any fresh on hand.
  • Make the sauce pop even more by adding in a few pieces of dehydrated oranges during the cooking process. Discard prior to serving.
  • If you like a thicker cranberry sauce, add some chopped or grated apple in with the other ingredients. The natural pectins in the apple will help the sauce “gel”, almost like homemade jam. Related: How to Freeze Apples.

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 Side Dishes

5 from 3 ratings

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 minute
Pressurizing/depressurizing: 10 minutes
Total: 16 minutes
a dish of pressure cooker cranberry sauce with orange zest
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.


Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 86kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 114mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 103IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!


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About Sarah

Helping you serve up budget-friendly sustainable recipes with a side of balanced living.
Come for the food. Stay for the snark.

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  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

    1. Awesome! I’m glad to hear it worked out for you! Remember if you have any leftover you can freeze it for Christmas. 🙂