Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce is the easiest way to make this classic holiday side dish. All you need is four ingredients, 20 minutes *plus resting time, and an Instant Pot to whip up this easy Cranberry Sauce for your next holiday dinner.
I started making my own cranberry sauce years ago and haven’t looked back. People either love it or hate it. If you love it then you are in two categories; either you like it from the can or you prefer it homemade. My easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce recipe will have you embracing a classic side dish made from scratch.
My biggest pet peeve when making cranberry sauce is that I have to stand by the stove to ensure it won’t bubble over and make a huge mess. Lot’s of stirring and staring at the cranberries.
The beauty of the Instant Pot is that you dump everything in it and you let the pot do all the cooking. No stirring, no watching diligently. Instead you can start working on dishes, or prepping another item like dessert! My recipe for cranberry sauce in the Instant Pot will have you never making it on the stove top again.
- Cranberries – Fresh cranberries are best for this recipe. I have used frozen in a pinch and they work just as fine.
- Sugar – You need sugar to take the tartness out of the cranberry sauce!
- Orange Juice – I like how the acidity from the orange juice helps cut the tartness from the cranberries!
- Orange Zest – This gives a little extra texture and a deeper orange flavor to the cranberry sauce.
Rinse and drain the cranberries. Then place the cranberries in the Instant Pot followed by the white sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. Do not stir.
Place the lid on top of the Instant Pot. Close the lid, making sure the valve is set to “sealing”. Set on “manual” pressure for 2 minutes.
After the timer beeps. Let the cranberry sauce in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes. Then, carefully force any remaining pressure from the pot. Remove the lid, and stir.
Using hot pads, remove the pot from the base. Let it sit for 1 hour to get to room temperature. Then pour the cranberry sauce into a container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce without Orange Juice
My recipe calls for orange juice and a little orange zest. But don’t stress. If you can’t have orange juice or maybe you don’t want to use orange juice or even you ran out. Don’t stress! You can still make homemade cranberry sauce from scratch. Here are a few substitutions for the orange juice.
- apple juice
- apple cider
- pineapple juice
I’ve had this question come up before but I’ve been asked what cranberry sauce is used for on Thanksgiving. Cranberry sauce is considered more of a jelly/relish that is served next to turkey. I prefer to top my turkey with gravy, and then scoop a little cranberry sauce on to each bite of turkey.
I always love to serve cranberry sauce chilled. However, I know a lot of people prefer it at room temperature. I personally never warm cranberry sauce unless I use it as a topping for a dessert like on top of cheesecake!
Unlike most foods you can actually store homemade cranberry sauce in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. After that, I would store it in the freezer. To store it in the freezer you can transfer it to an airtight freezer safe container or a freezer safe bag.
Did you know you can freeze cranberry sauce? If you want to make this turkey side dish staple ahead of time for the holidays, freezing is a great option to preserve it’s freshness and add less stress to your plate. Place in a freezer baggy or container in the refrigerator to get to room temperature. Then transfer to the freezer to be frozen up to 3 months!
This also works if you make it fresh the day before or day of your feast and find that you have a lot leftover. You can freeze the leftovers for your next holiday meal.
Pro tip: If you decide to freeze leftovers, make sure you lay your cranberry sauce flat in the freezer so it doesn’t take up much room!
If you are looking for turkey to go with your homemade cranberry sauce I have quite a few recipes for you.
- Roasted Turkey Breast
- Instant Pot Turkey Tenderloin with Mushroom Gravy
- One Pot Thanksgiving Dinner for Two
- Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Carrots & Parsnips
- Garlic & Thyme Turkey Breast
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast with Carrots and Homemade Gravy
- Grilled Barbecue Turkey Breast
If you love the taste of homemade cranberry sauce, but don’t like sitting by the stove top to ensure it doesn’t boil over you can use your Instant Pot to simplify holiday dinner prep! My Instant Pot cranberry sauce recipe is sure to be a new favorite. Have leftovers? Make my turkey and cranberry flatbread the day after your delicious holiday meal! Or mix some of the leftover cranberry and make my cranberry mustard dipping sauce!
If you make this cranberry sauce with orange juice recipe, I would be honored and love for you to take the time to leave a star rating and comment! I spend hours developing and testing these recipes, and always love to hear feedback and user experience!
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- 12 oz. fresh cranberries
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- Rinse and drain the cranberries.
- Then place the cranberries in the Instant Pot followed by the white sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. Do not stir.
- Place the lid on top of the Instant Pot. Close the lid, making sure the valve is set to "sealing". Set on "manual" pressure for 2 minutes.
- After the timer beeps. Let the cranberry sauce in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes. Then, carefully force any remaining pressure from the pot. Remove the lid, and stir.
- Using hot pads, remove the pot from the base. Let it sit for 1 hour. Then pour into a container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- Freezing Pro Tip – If you freeze leftover cranberry sauce make sure you lay your cranberry sauce flat in the freezer so it doesn’t take up much room.
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