This Instant Pot cranberry sauce takes only 5 minutes to cook, and leaves your hands free to prepare other things! Made with three simple ingredients: cranberries, sugar, and water.
Holiday side dishes and dressings that can be made in the Instant Pot save so much time and effort. From Instant Pot mashed potatoes to Instant Pot brussels sprouts, the pressure cooker is such a time saver for holiday meals.
Fresh cranberry sauce that is made from scratch is simply the best. The stuff that comes from a can just is not the same! This easy Instant Pot cranberry sauce can be made 2-3 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Best of all, it requires very little prep time. Just dump all the ingredients in the Instant Pot, and pressure cook! After trying this method, we will likely never go back to stovetop cranberry sauce. Make Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner easy by preparing as many side dishes in advance as you can!
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Reasons you'll ♡ this recipe
- the Instant Pot means you don't have to watch the pot come to boil or stir it. Simply dump everything into the Instant Pot and let it do the work for you!
- it is the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and made with just 3 ingredients!
- you can make it 2-3 days ahead and store it in the fridge for when you're ready to serve
Watch the video below to see how to make Instant Pot cranberry sauce! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
- Cranberries - you can use fresh cranberries for this recipe and use the same cook time for each. Note that frozen cranberries seem to produce a wetter cranberry sauce (as in the photos for this post).
- Sugar - we used granulated white sugar, but for a refined sugar-free version - swap the sugar for maple syrup (reduce it by half and keep the water the same).
Step by step directions
Rinse the cranberries and pick out any bad ones. Place into the stainless steel insert of an Instant Pot and stir in the sugar and water.
Put the lid on the Instant Pot, set the valve to the 'sealing' position, then select manual (or pressure cook) for 5 minutes (high pressure).
Tip - this recipe works in a 6 quart Instant Pot or an 8 quart Instant Pot
When the 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.
Allow the cranberry sauce to cool completely; transfer to the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours before serving.
Important Note - 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.
- Fridge - store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days
- Freezer- store in a jar or meal prep container in the freezer for up to 6 months. Make sure that the sauce is completely cool before placing in the freezer to minimize risk of freezer burn and meal prep containers breaking.
Roughly 5 cups.
We were able to successfully prepare a half batch of this recipe in a 6 quart Instant Pot, but are unsure if it will work in an 8 quart. Keep the cook times the same if you attempt, and let us know in a comment below how it went for you!
I'd aim for ¼- ⅓ 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!
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.
Thanksgiving Meal Plan + Shopping List!
Take the stress out of your Thanksgiving by doing some of the prep work ahead.
- Check out this make ahead Thanksgiving meal plan which comes with a handy printable shopping and prep list
- 24 oz cranberries 2 bags; fresh or frozen
- 2 cups granulated sugar can also use maple syrup, *see note 1
- 1 cup water
- Combine - Rinse the cranberries and pick out any bad ones. Place in the base of an Instant Pot and stir in the sugar and water.
- Pressure cook - Put the lid on the Instant Pot, set it to 'sealing', then select manual (or pressure cook) for 5 minutes (high pressure).
- Release 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.
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