Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 5 reviews

Christmas recipes Instant Pot Recipes Sauces Dressings Marinades Thanksgiving Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 10 minutes

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce is so easy to make, cooked for only 1 minute on High Pressure. Flavored with orange juice, orange zest, and lemon zest.

Cranberry Sauce is such a Thanksgiving staple that I can’t imagine the holiday without it. The best part is that you can also make it in advance, and with this Instant Pot version it will only take you minutes to fix some. Other delicious Thanksgiving side dishes that we enjoy are Sweet Potato Casserole, Crispy Roasted Potatoes, Creamed Corn and Sweet Potato Soufflé.

The Best Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

Making Cranberry Sauce just got so much easier, forget about standing by the stove and having to stir it constantly. Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce takes only a few minutes to make and minimal prep work. Now your Thanksgiving prep just got easier, as you can make this recipe in advance as well.

After you add all the ingredients to the pressure cooker, you cook everything on High Pressure for 1 minute only, followed by a 5-minute Natural Pressure Release. After which you add more sugar and juice if needed, and cook the cranberries on Sauté mode for a few more minutes. Easy like that, the Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce is done.

This Cranberry Sauce is so good, you can just eat it with a spoon. Made with orange juice, orange zest and lemon zest for a beautiful citrusy flavor. If you intend to add it to desserts, you can stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract as well.

How do you make Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce?

One of the easiest and fool-proof ways to make cranberry sauce is by using your pressure cooker.

Cranberry Sauce Ingredients:

  • Fresh cranberries
  • Orange juice
  • Orange Zest
  • Lemon Zest
  • Sugar
  • Pinch of salt


Please feel free to watch the short recipe video attached. It shows all the steps taken to make this easy, yet delicious dish.

  • First, in a small bowl combine the warm orange juice with 2 tablespoons of sugar, until sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Add the orange juice mixture to the Instant Pot.
  • Then, add the rest of the ingredients: cranberries (reserving about 1/2 cup), orange zest, lemon zest and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook on High Pressure for 1 minute, followed by a 5-minute Natural Pressure Release.
  • Open the Instant Pot, stir the mixture, and add the remaining sugar 1/2 cup at a time and remaining cranberries. Stir to combine until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Also, if you want the sauce thicker, add more sugar and keep cooking it to reduce the liquid. If you want the sauce thinner, add more orange juice, 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Once the sauce is thick enough and as sweet as you like it, turn off the pot and add it to a serving bowl.
  • Fully cool the sauce before refrigerating it.

How long do you cook Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce?

You cook the sauce for 1 minute on High Pressure, followed by a 5-minute Natural Pressure Release. After this, you switch to the sauce and continue to cook for a few more minutes.

Is Cranberry Sauce served warm or cold?

Cranberry sauce can be made as early as a week before Thanksgiving, as it keeps well in the refrigerator. The sauce can be served chilled or at room temperature. But there is no harm if you want to heat it up a little before adding it to some warm turkey.

How to thicken or “jell” the Cranberry Sauce:

  • You can thicken cranberry sauce by adding more sugar. Usually, if the sauce is too watery, it means you added too much liquid and not enough sugar. A solution is to add more sugar and continue to cook and stir to reduce the liquid.
  • Another solution, in case you don’t want to sweeten the sauce more, is to add a mix of cornstarch and water. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of water until cornstarch is fully dissolved. Then, add the mixture to the sauce and stir to combine. If it’s still too thin, repeat by adding another round of cornstarch slurry. Simmer for a few minutes and keep in mind that the sauce will thicken more once it cools.

How to store Cranberry Sauce?

  • Cranberry Sauce keeps well in the refrigerator and can be made one week in advance.
  • First, let it fully cool at room temperature.
  • Then, place it in a covered container in the refrigerator.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature.

How to Freeze Cranberry Sauce?

  • Cranberry Sauce freezes well, so if you have leftovers, you can easily freeze them.
  • First, let it fully cool at room temperature.
  • Then, place it in a covered airtight, freezer-safe container or freezer bags. If using freezer bags, press to remove excess air before closing the bag.
  • Transfer to the freezer. If using freezer bags, lay them flat in the freezer.
  • Freeze for up to 3-4 months.

How to thaw it?

  • Remove sauce from the freezer and place it in the fridge overnight.
  • Another method is to place the bag with frozen sauce in a casserole dish under running warm water.
  • Once thawed, add the sauce to a saucepan and bring to boil. If needed add either more sugar or more juice. Stir to combine.

Watch Recipe Video:

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5 from 5 reviews

Easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce is so easy to make, cooked for only 1 minute on High Pressure. Flavored with orange juice, orange zest and lemon zest.

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 20 mins


To Cook The Cranberries:



Nutrition information

Calories: 194 Carbohydrates: 50 Protein: 0 Fat: 0 Saturated Fat: 0 Cholesterol: 0 Sodium: 2 Potassium: 140 Fiber: 3 Sugar: 43 Vitamin A: 110 Vitamin C: 35.6 Calcium: 18 Iron: 0.3
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Thanks for sharing this recipe! I make cranberry sauce every year, and it's always a big production to let it simmer and cook down. I have to try this.


Anne Marie

I much prefer recipes with whole cranberry, like yours, although my children like the plain jelly. I'm going to add this to my "to try" list!


Allison Cooper

I honestly wait all year long for the cranberry sauce that's served on Thanksgiving - it's my absolute favorite part of the meal. I've always made in on the stove top, but we just recently go an instant pot and what a great way to streamline dinner!


Jeni Hawkins

Whaaaaaat!? You can make cranberry sauce in an instant pot!? This is TOO COOL! I'm totally using this recipe for Thanksgiving this year!



I love cranberry sauce so much! I have never made it in the crockpot before!



Can you believe I've never actually tried cranberry sauce before. This does look amazing too. I think I'll have to make some for the holidays and give it a try!


Lisa Joy Thompson

I've never made cranberry sauce before. I'm not a fan of cranberries, so I just normally buy cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. Maybe this year I'll up my game and impress our company!



I love that you add orange juice to your recipe - perfect! My dad loves a good cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving so I'll have to give this a try!


Toni | Boulder Locavore

I definitely need to give this a try! Perfect for Thanksgiving!



This looks super easy. I guess I always assumed that cranberry sauce was hard to make since everyone buys it in a can.



I loved the sauce, its Really easy to make it in the Instant Pot. It is flavorful and delicious!


Glad that you tried it and liked it!



I'm not supposed to eat cane sugar so I substitute honey or maple syrup when needed. Any suggestions on how to substitute honey in this recipe and still make it thick enough?


You can totally use honey, add half a cup first and if needed add more, taste and adjust. To make it thicker, please check the blog post for the cornstarch slurry suggestion, that will do the trick beautifully.


Donna Eaton

I love pecans in my cranberry sauce. Can you add them to this recipe? Better to add before or after processing in the Instant Pot?


I would add them after, to preseerve the nice crunchiness!


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