This Instant Pot cranberry sauce is a show stopper! The best cranberry sauce I’ve ever made in just 1 minute using only 4 ingredients. A Christmas and Thanksgiving side dish must have!
Are you ready for the holidays??!! We are! Bring on the good stuff like this easy Instant Pot cranberry sauce made with just 4 ingredients and takes just a few minutes to cook from start to finish. Cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving and Christmas time but that’s what they’re known for so we added this to our long list of easy Instant Pot recipes so you can make them year round. (originally published 10/18, affiliate links present)
- Have you ever made homemade cranberry sauce on the stove top? I hadn’t until a few years ago and it was a game changer!!
I always thought that red blog in the middle of the table that came out of a can was just ehhhhh, until I made it myself. OH MY Goodness cooking cranberries fresh was a difference from canned!
If you’ve yet to attempt homemade cranberry sauce I promise I will convince you how easy it is. This Instant Pot cranberry sauce recipe takes no time and is great.
This is literally all you need……
Ok so there are a lot of recipes out there and you may have one of your own you love but you just want to make it in your pressure cooker this year. Then all you need is the instructions on timing. That is totally fine, take a peek at that below and have at it!
If you have never made this on your own and looking for the best cranberry sauce recipe to use, then try mine!
I have made my Instant Pot cranberry sauce 2 ways:
- Using spiced apple cider
- Adding fresh squeezed orange juice and/or orange zest
- Including a fresh cinnamon stick
- Eliminating cinnamon all together
My favorite combination is using spiced apple cider vs. 1/2 cup water for added flavor as the liquid. I put a whole cinnamon stick in when I pressure cook this too. It doesn’t give it an intense cinnamon flavor, don’t worry about that, but it does give it a hint and I think that is nice.
I preferred the apple cider to orange juice just because it makes it a bit sweeter and again it includes more of that Fall flavors I love, but I give you those swaps in case you want to try it a few different ways or you LOVE orange then go for fresh squeezed juice for goodness sake. 😉
How much sugar do you add to homemade cranberry sauce?
- It depends on how tart you want it
- Tart cranberry sauce = 24 oz. cranberries add 1/2 to 3/4 c. sugar
- Sweet but still has a hint of tartness (my fave) = 24 oz. cranberries add 1 cup sugar
- you can always add more sugar depending on your preferences
I would suggest adding 1/2 cup right when you press saute, stir, allow it to dissolve and then taste it. If you want it sweeter add 1/4 cup at a time allowing it to dissolve in between to see how much you want up to 1 cup. I wouldn’t add more than that.
When you first lift the lid your Instant Pot cranberry sauce will be somewhat soupy and frothy.
This will change once you add the last 4 ounces at the very end. This will give it more texture when it is done and there’s some whole(ish) cranberries in the mix. It looks better that way and provides an array of consistencies.
- The whole cranberries will begin to POP when your cranberry sauce starts bubbling on the saute step which is kinda’ fun.
You will see the skins crack open. I allow 4-5 or so of them to pop open and then it is my sign to turn my pressure cooker off.
- It will continue to bubble and cook a bit once it is completely turned off, and more will pop during that time too.
- I don’t want my Instant Pot cranberry sauce to be complete soup so it is important if you want some whole cranberries and some cooked down to not leave it on the saute much longer than directed once it begins bubbling.
This is what it should look like when it is done……and it will continue to thicken as it cools down too a lot!
All you need to make this easy Instant Pot cranberry sauce recipe is:
- Bag of fresh cranberries – found in the produce section, they usually have them at the end of October
- Spiced apple cider – or you can use fresh squeezed orange juice if you’d rather
- Maple syrup
- Cinnamon stick
- Sparkling cranberry sangria – cocktail or mocktail
- Chilled sparkling apple cider – use the rest of your spiced apple cider to make this
- Cheesy Instant Pot cauliflower
- Instant Pot corn casserole is a holiday must
- We have a bunch of other great Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes here and Instant Pot side dishes too
Then if you do have some left here’s a great leftover cranberry sauce recipe we call cranberry apple cobbler you’ll have to try!
Can you use frozen cranberries too?
- I haven’t done that, and fresh is always better. If that is all you can find it would still be way better than canned so go with that.
Tips for getting the best results:
- Do not cook longer than 1 minute on high pressure, or it will be mush
- Allow to naturally release the steam for 3 full minutes
- Add some whole cranberries at the end to bring some texture to the dish
- Remember that once it cools completely it will be much thicker than when it’s hot
Here is a video showing you how we made it and the printable recipe for you as well:
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- Add your spiced apple cider and 20 oz. of your fresh cranberries into your pot.
- Drizzle your maple syrup on top and put your cinnamon stick in the middle.
- Close your lid and steam valve and set to high pressure for 1 minute.
- Allow to naturally release for 3 minutes.
- Release rest of steam and lift lid making sure water/steam on inside of lid doesn't dump into mixture.
- Turn pot off and then set to saute, normal.
- Sprinkle in your last 4 oz. of fresh cranberries and cup of sugar, stir.
- Allow to bubble for about 1-2 minutes, stirring intermittently, until a few of the fresh cranberries begin to pop (you will literally hear them start popping open).
- When you hear 3-4 pop open turn your Instant Pot off and allow it to continue to bubble and thicken your cranberry sauce as it cools down and sits.
- Serve immediately or let it sit and thicken more before serving.Makes a total of about 2 cups, so if you want to double it for a larger crowd feel free.
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