Instant Pot cranberry sauce is an incredibly easy version of your favorite traditional holiday side dish, freeing up your stove for other items!
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Confession time: Cranberries are one of my absolute favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. I know that, for many people, they take a backseat to some of the other show stoppers on the holiday table.
And I get it, because I also love stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and homemade rolls. YUM.
But for me, it would not be Thanksgiving (or Christmas!) without cranberry sauce. You gotta have a little bit of sweet to go with all of the savory! That’s where cranberry sauce comes into play. I mean, I love cranberries so much that I even make this cranberry streusel pie for the holidays!
And just to be clear, I’m not referring to the jellied cranberry sauce that comes in a can. Nope, not happening around here.
Whole berry cranberry sauce is the only way to go, in my opinion. Traditionally, I’ve made cranberry sauce on the stove top, as most other people do. It’s easy and doesn’t take a lot of time.
But recently, I decided to make some cranberry sauce in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. And it was even easier!!
Reasons I Love Making Cranberry Sauce in the Instant Pot:
- The cooking process is hands-free. With traditional stove top preparation, you have to stir it every so often while it cooks. Not difficult, but it requires me to remember to do something. 😂
- It’s self-timed. Once I program the pressure cooker, I can set it and forget it. I don’t have to watch it–just let it do it’s thing.
- It frees up my stove top. We all know the juggling that comes with preparing a big holiday meal. By using the Instant Pot, my stove top is freed up for other items to be prepared.
How to Make Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce:
Okay, so this is seriously the easiest set of instructions EVER, because this is such a simple recipe.
First, you’ll add a bag of fresh cranberries to the insert pot of your Instant Pot. Then, add in some sugar, orange juice, water, a cinnamon stick, and a small pinch of ground cloves.
Give everything a good stir and lock the lid into place, setting the vent to the sealed position.
Cook for 3 minutes at high pressure, then allow a natural pressure release (cranberries foam a lot when cooking, so don’t do a quick release here).
Once the pressure has released and the valve has dropped, you can carefully remove the lid. Remove the cinnamon stick and stir the sauce.
Then you just need to chill the cranberry sauce for a while, until it’s nice and cool. Then voila, your cranberry sauce is taken care of!
Notes and Adaptations for Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce:
- I love using a mix of orange juice and water, but if you don’t have orange juice on hand, you can just use a full cup of water. If you want a stronger orange taste, you can also add in some orange zest prior to cooking.
- The small pinch of cloves gives a very subtle hint of clove taste, but it’s not strong at all. In fact, I don’t think anyone would ask, “Are there cloves in here?” Really, I think it definitely enhances the flavors of the cinnamon, cranberries, and orange. I never make cranberry sauce without it! But if you are particularly averse to cloves or if you don’t have any, you can leave it out.
- What else can you use cranberry sauce for? Well, I’m glad you asked. Because I use it for SO MANY THINGS. I stir it into my Instant Pot oatmeal in the morning. I add it to Instant Pot yogurt, along with my favorite chocolate cranberry granola. It makes a fabulous topping for turkey sandwiches. You can use it on top of baked brie. Add it to your smoothies. Spread it on a bagel or English muffin. Spoon it over pancakes or waffles along with a dollop or whipped cream. SO many options!
- Cranberry sauce freezes wonderfully! This allows you to make it even farther in advance, or simply freeze the leftovers for later!
- Instant Pot (I have the DUO60 model, which I love!)
More Instant Pot Recipes for the Holidays:
- Quick and Easy Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes
- Southern Style Green Beans in the Pressure Cooker
- Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake
Instant Pot Preparation: Stove Top Preparation: As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Instant Pot Preparation:
Stove Top Preparation:
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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