Instant Pot cranberry sauce leaves your hands free to prep other things! This easy homemade cranberry sauce recipe can also be made 2-3 days ahead.
When it comes to cranberry sauce, in my mind, there is only one way: fresh from scratch! The stuff that comes from a can (and retains it’s can shape) just freaks me out.
Ever since I was a kid, my job at Thanksgiving and Christmas has been to cook the cranberry sauce. Homemade cranberry sauce is reeeeally easy to make, but this year, after making it in the Instant Pot, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the stove top method.
Cooking cranberry sauce in the Instant Pot leaves your hands free to prep other things while it cooks. Not only that, but you can make this Instant Pot cranberry sauce a few days ahead and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve! This makes your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner so much easier to pull off.
Reasons to love Instant Pot cranberry sauce
- it has only 3 ingredients (and one of them is water!)
- the Instant Pot makes this recipe completely hands off so you can focus on prepping other courses
- you can make it 2-3 days ahead
How to make homemade cranberry sauce in the Instant Pot
This Instant Pot cranberry sauce recipe is the most basic, no-frills recipe out there, and to be honest, that’s the way I like it!
- rinse your cranberries and pick out any bad ones
- add to the Instant Pot with 1 cup of water and 2 cups of sugar
- pressure cook (high pressure) for 5 minutes
- natural pressure release for 10 minutes
- allow to cool
When you first open the Instant Pot, your cranberry sauce might look a bit soupy. As the cranberry sauce cools, it will thicken up. We always serve our homemade cranberry sauce cold and it is nice and thick that way.
What are some ways I can add extra flavor to this cranberry sauce recipe? This is a very basic homemade cranberry sauce recipe, and there are a number of ways you can add your own twist on it:
- add some citrus zest
- no refined sugar version- swap the sugar for maple syrup (reduce it by half and keep the water the same)
- add some balsamic vinegar (like this Raspberry Balsamic Cranberry Sauce recipe here)
- swap part of the water for orange juice
- add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
How much cranberry sauce should I make per person? I’d aim for 1/4- 1/3 cup per person if you don’t want leftovers. If you do want leftover cranberry sauce (to go with that leftover turkey!), I’d increase it!
Can I make this homemade cranberry sauce ahead of time? Yes! I like to make it the day before I serve the turkey, because it keeps great in the fridge (up to 5 days). You can even freeze it for up to 3 months.
Tips & equipment for Instant Pot cranberry sauce
- I used my 6 quart Instant Pot; this recipe has not been tested in an 8 quart
- I did try a half batch of this recipe and my Instant Pot came to pressure fine with only 1/2 cup water; keep the cook time the same
- looking for more Instant Pot Thanksgiving recipes? Try this Instant Pot Mashed Cauliflower, this Instant Pot Wild Rice Pilaf, and these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes will be posting tomorrow so stay tuned!
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- 24 oz fresh cranberries (2 bags)
- 2 cups granulated sugar (can also use maple syrup, see *note)
- 1 cup water
- Rinse the cranberries and pick out any bad ones.
- Place in the base of an Instant Pot and stir in the sugar and water.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot, set it to 'sealing', then select manual (or pressure cook) for 5 minutes (high pressure).
- When timer beeps, let the Instant Pot sit for 10 minutes to naturally release. After 10 minutes, release the remaining pressure and (wearing oven mitts) remove the insert from the base to cool completely.
- Store in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Serve cold or warm up if desired.