Instant Pot cranberry sauce frees up a burner this holiday season. This easy recipe yields a delicious fresh cranberry sauce with no fuss. A little sweet and a little tart thanks to some orange zest and orange juice, it pairs nicely with turkey or ham.
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Holiday confession time.
Store bought cranberry sauce in a can creeps me out. It’s so jiggly. Unnatural. Maybe a little evil.
Did you think it would be a juicier confession? I’m sorry. That’s all I got for you today.
However, homemade cranberry sauce? That I can get behind all the way.
This Instant Pot cranberry sauce is a super delicious, dump and go recipe that is a million times better than the store bought jiggly stuff. This is the perfect combination of tart cranberries, bright orange flavor, a little cinnamon and a lot of holiday taste. So delicious!
Why make cranberry sauce in the pressure cooker?
Yes, cranberry sauce is very easy to make on the stove. That’s true. But, whenever I get to the point of a holiday dinner where I am making my cranberry sauce, my kitchen is like a 3 ring circus. I’m using all the burners and juggling gravy and things going in and out of the oven. The last thing I want to do is babysit another pot.
With this recipe, you can dump everything right in the Instant Pot, set it and forget it. Nothing to babysit or watch. And that’s a lifesaver to me on the holidays.
Ingredients and Kitchen Tools
To make this, you’ll need:
- Orange juice
- Cinnamon sticks
- Orange Zest
That’s it for ingredients.
For kitchen tools you’ll need:
How to Make
Making this is incredibly easy. To do it:
- Add the ingredients to the inner liner of the Instant Pot.
Put the cranberries and orange juice to the inner liner of the Instant Pot. Pour the sugar on top of the cranberries. Make sure you don’t stir after you add the sugar or you will get a burn notice. After you add the sugar, carefully place the cinnamon stick on top.
- Pressure cook.
After all the ingredients are in the Pot, secure the lid. Pressure cook on high for 2 minutes. When the pot beeps, turn it off. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes to allow the cranberry sauce to stop bubbling. After 5 minutes, quick release in short busts. When the pressure is released, open the lid and spoon into a dish.
- Let it cool and enjoy!
Let cool. The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Garnish with fresh orange zest if desired and serve.
Add the cranberries into a saucepan with sugar, orange juice and the cinnamon stick. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries burst, 10-15 minutes. Stir in the orange zest and remove the pot from the heat. Let it cool before serving.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes! This is the perfect thing to make the morning of or the day before your holiday meal. The sauce needs to cool so it can thicken and set. If you make it ahead of time just spoon it into an airtight dish and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure to add the ingredients in the order they are listed in the instructions and do not stir the cranberries after the sugar is added. Stirring will allow the sugar to touch the bottom of the liner, which gets very hot and may burn the sugar or give you the burn notice on the pot.
- Do not quick release right away. If you don’t want to make a huge mess, let the Pot cool down for at least 5 minutes so the cranberry sauce stops boiling.
- You can adjust the amount of sugar for a sweeter sauce if desired.
- If you aren’t a fan of the orange flavor in the background, substitute the juice for water.
Other Holiday Cranberry Recipes
Cranberries are such a pretty part of the season. Here are a few of my favorite holiday recipes with cranberries:
- Sparkly Christmas Cranberry Champagne Cocktails are the prettiest way to celebrate the season with a little bubbly!
- Cranberry Apple Crumble is one of my family’s favorite sweet holiday side dishes.
- To use up extra cranberries in the fridge, I love making seasonal twist on the classic takeout dish with cranberry orange chicken.
- This Cranberry Wild Rice Stuffing is a lighter take on bread heavy stuffings.
- Cranberry Orange baked pancakes are a perfect Christmas morning breakfast
- Last but not least, this holiday flatbread with balsamic cranberries is such a delicious and elegant appetizer.
- 12 ounces of fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- orange zest or peel for garnish* optional
- Add the cranberries and orange juice to the inner liner of the Instant Pot.
- Then add the sugar on top of the cranberries. Do not stir.
- Set 1 cinnamon stick on top.
- Secure the lid on the pot. Pressure cook on high for 2 minutes
- When the pot beeps, turn it off. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes to allow the cranberry sauce to stop bubbling.
- After 5 minutes, quick release in short busts.
- When the pressure is released, open the lid and spoon into a dish.
- Let cool. The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Garnish with fresh orange zest if desired and serve.
See post for notes.