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Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

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This Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce has a beautiful cinnamon-orange flavour that will go perfectly with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Your house will smell heavenly while this cooks!

If you’re looking for more Instant Pot holiday ideas, you might like my Instant Pot Stuffing!

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Cranberry sauce garnished with orange peel curls in a white bowl placed on a wooden board with winter greens.

We absolutely love making our own cranberry sauce, because we can customize the level of sweetness and the flavour profile. Cranberry sauce is easy to make on the stovetop, but it’s even more hands off in a pressure cooker.

This Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce recipe has a beautiful orange-cinnamon flavour that is ideal for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas, but you can also change up the spices or add different fruit (see our suggested variations below). Not only is this sauce great with turkey and chicken, you can pair it with other meats, use it as a spread for appetizers, use it as a pastry filling, or add it to breakfast and desserts!

Ingredients

Below is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make pressure cooker cranberry sauce. See the recipe card below for all the details!

  • Fresh cranberries – frozen will also work in this recipe. We stock up on the bags of fresh berries and put some in the freezer to have on hand.
  • Orange juice – freshly squeezed (you’ll need an orange to zest anyway!); you can sub store-bought juice, but I suggest using a 100% pure variety.
  • Honey – for sweetness. To make this recipe vegan, you can substitute maple syrup.
  • Orange zest – to enhance the orange flavour.
  • Cinnamon – I use ground cinnamon because I always have it on hand, but you could also use one cinnamon stick and remove it after pressure cooking.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce on a round wooden serving board.

How to make it

It couldn’t be easier to make cranberry sauce in the Instant Pot! Simply layer in the cranberries, orange juice, honey, orange zest and cinnamon. Don’t stir the ingredients.

Cranberries, cinnamon and orange zest in an Instant Pot.

Close the lid, set the vent to the sealing position and pressure cook on High for 3 minutes, then allow the pressure to release naturally (let the pin drop on its own). Open the lid and stir the cranberries, squishing a few as you go. You can squish them all for a smoother sauce, or leave some whole.

Transfer the cranberry sauce to a storage container. Let it cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. I like to leave it overnight. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Variations

  1. Cranberry/apple – add a diced sweet apple (Fuji, Gala and Honeycrisp are all great options).
  2. Cranberry/blueberry – omit the orange zest (unless you want to keep the enhanced orange flavour) and add a pint of blueberries.
  3. Spiced – to the existing recipe, add 1/4 teaspoon of all spice, 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves and 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger.
A spoonful of cranberry sauce being taken from a bowlful, garnished with orange peel curls.

Common Questions

How long will homemade cranberry sauce last in the refrigerator?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. For the best taste, eat within 4 days.

Can I freeze homemade cranberry sauce?

Yes! To freeze, be sure it cools to room temperature before you seal the container or put it in a freezer bag (this will help prevent freezer burn). Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Can I double this recipe?

Absolutely! Double all the ingredients and keep the same pressure cook time. Allow for the same natural release.

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Cranberry sauce garnished with orange peel curls in a white bowl placed on a wooden board with winter greens.

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

Laura Lawless, BASc
This Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce has a beautiful cinnamon-orange flavour that will go perfectly with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Your house will smell heavenly while this cooks!
Servings 10
Calories 73
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Inactive time 15 mins
Total Time 23 mins

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup honey (or sub maple syrup for vegan; use ⅓ cup for more tart)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • Wash the cranberries and pick out any that don't look firm. Place cranberries in the Instant Pot insert, then add the orange juice, honey, orange zest and cinnamon. Do not stir.
  • Close the lid and set the valve to sealing. Pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 3 minutes (your Instant Pot may have a "Pressure Cook" button rather than a "Manual" button). Allow for a full natural release (leave it until the pin drops).
  • Once the pressure is released, open the lid and give the cranberries a stir with a wooden spoon, squishing a few until you get your desired consistency (squish more for a smoother texture, or leave some berries whole).
  • Transfer the sauce to a storage container. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then cover and place in the refrigerator to chill, at least 6 hours or overnight. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Notes

  1. To make ahead: for the best taste, this sauce can be prepared up to 4 days before serving.
  2. To store leftovers: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
  3. To freeze: allow the sauce to cool to room temperature completely, then seal in an airtight container or a plastic freezer bag. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. It is best eaten within 2 months. 
  4. Inactive time indicates the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure. 
  5. This recipe was tested in both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot models. 
  6. See post for suggested flavour variations.

Equipment

Instant Pot (6qt)
Microplane
Juicer

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 46IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
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Portrait of Laura Lawless in a green sweater standing in front of white shelving filled with food photography props.

Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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