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.
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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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Sage Sausage Stuffing
- Whole30 Mashed Potatoes
- Crispy Fried Onions
- Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
- Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Amazing Vegan Gravy
- Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- Add the ingredients to the Instant Pot in this order:1) Orange juice2) cranberries3) orange zest4) 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.