We love watching fresh cranberries pop on the stovetop when making cranberry sauce, but we understand the appeal of a recipe that requires almost no effort – simply dump, mix, and cook! This Instant Pot cranberry sauce takes away all of the guesswork of determining when the recipe is done!
Culinary Tips for Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
When measuring brown sugar, pack it in the cup. You can reduce the sugar in the recipe to ½ cup, but the cranberry sauce will be pretty tangy! You can also put ½ cup in the Instant Pot as a start, and mix in more sugar to taste immediately after cooking.
If using fresh-squeezed orange juice, zest the orange before juicing and add 1 teaspoon to the pot. If purchasing orange juice, make sure it is 100% juice.
The sauce will thicken as it cools, so don’t worry if it seems a little thin at first. It will continue to cook while it remains in the hot pot, so transfer it to another dish to cool.
Make this easy cranberry sauce a day or two in advance if preparing for a holiday meal. It will thicken overnight and will be one less thing that you have to cook the day of!
- Brown Sugar: substitute white sugar or coconut sugar.
- Orange Juice: substitute water, apple juice, or a combination of water and lime juice.
- Dried Cherries: use sweetened or unsweetened. Dried chopped apricots, diced prunes, currants, or raisins would also work.
- Candied Ginger: substitute 1 tablespoon fresh ginger for a more pungent flavor or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger.
- Cinnamon: substitute 1 cinnamon stick, pumpkin pie spice, or apple pie spice. If using pumpkin pie spice, don’t add ground cloves.
If you are looking for a cranberry sauce without orange juice, consider using ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice and ¼ cup water to create a cherry lime ginger flavor.
For a vanilla variation, add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
If you want to create your own Instant Pot cranberry sauce variation, start with 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, ½ – 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup of water or juice, and whatever spices or other flavors you like. Remember, you can start with ½ cup sugar and then add more to taste once finished cooking.
The recipe title says it all in this one; in order to cook cranberries in a pressure cooker, you will need a functioning Instant Pot. We like the six-quart option best. Be sure to read the instructions thoroughly before use to ensure safety and proper function.
Is Cranberry Sauce Good For You?
Cranberry sauce isn’t exactly a health food, unless made with low or no added sugar. However, not every food that we eat needs to be textbook “healthy.” When determining the healthfulness of a diet, we look at a person’s overall intake and not each individual food. Also, cranberry sauce is simply a condiment – not something people usually pile up on their plates!
Regardless, this Instant Pot cranberry sauce features some healthy ingredients: cranberries, dried cherries, and ginger.
Cranberries are rich in polyphenols that help prevent cancer and reduce inflammation in our bodies. (1) Cranberries may also provide heart benefits and are linked to reduction in urinary tract infections. (2, 3)
Like cranberries, cherries may also reduce inflammation. They are a good source of polyphenols and vitamin C. (4) For optimal nutrition, choose varieties with no added sugar, although these varieties may be harder to find.
This is a perfect cranberry sauce for turkey, but it also goes well with other meats such as chicken or duck.
Cranberry sauce can also be spread on sandwiches or wraps, used as a topping for waffles or pancakes, or served with goat cheese as an appetizer.
Once cooked, transfer cranberry sauce to a bowl or container. Cool at room temperature no more than 4 hours, then cover and place in the refrigerator. Cranberry sauce can be stored for up to 1 week.
Homemade cranberry sauce can also be frozen. To freeze, allow to cool and place in a freezer-safe container. Store for up to 3 months for best quality.
Want more tasty holiday recipes?
Try out these favorites!
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce with Cherries and Ginger
- 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup dried cherries
- 2 Tablespoons chopped candied ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Dash cloves
- Dash salt
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a 6-quart instant pot. Stir to combine.
- Select the manual setting, adjust pressure to high, and set the time for 3 minutes. When done cooking, allow pressure to naturally release. It should take approximately 20 minutes. Pour into a bowl or storage container.
- Let cool completely within 4 hours. Store in airtight container in fridge. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.