Easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce takes very little time to make, and is fuss-free. A delicate balance of sweetness and tanginess with warm touches of cinnamon and nutmeg.
cranberry sauce in a serving dish topped with orange peel and anise with naval orange in backround

Easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce takes very little time, and makes a great Thanksgiving side dish with turkey or ham. A delicate balance of sweetness with warm touches of cinnamon and nutmeg with a delightful zest of fresh Naval orange which also makes a wonderful yogurt topping. This would pair perfectly with my Instant Pot Apple Cider Turkey Breast!

overhead shot of rinsed cranberries in a metal collander

All about cranberries

Cranberries are native to North America, and are a favorite staple on Thanksgiving. This curious fruit grown in a bog are a bit sour on their own as they contain very little sugar naturally. They are good for you, and are considered a "super-food" because they are high in antioxidants.

Cranberries can be cooked on their own as a sauce. They can be dried then added to dressing side dishes, in main course dishes, or in desserts.

Not just a fruit for the holidays this Easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce can be used as a spread on toast, top your morning yogurt, or eaten with turkey day leftovers.

Prep the cranberries

Start by rinsing the cranberries, careful to remove any stems, and picking out the mushy ones as you go along.

close up shot of cranberries in a strainer

Combine the ingredients

Combine in the Instant Pot the rinsed and picked over cranberries along with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg (optional), grated orange zest, orange peel, and orange juice.

overhead view of cranberries with orange zest and peels in an Instant Pot

Cook the cranberries

Give the ingredients a bit of a gentle stir, and then close the lid to seal. Cook on high pressure for two minutes, followed by a 15-minute natural pressure release according to your manufacturers instructions.

Once complete, open the pressure cooker and stir the Easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce. Put on the saute function and stir for 2-3 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency.

overhead shot of cooked cranberries sauce in Instant Pot

Cranberry sauce can be kept in an airtight storage container for up to two weeks.

How to make it

If you enjoyed this recipe you may like Smoky Deviled Eggs, Italian Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms, or Instant Pot Monkey Crack Bread!


Easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

cranberry sauce in a serving dish topped with orange peel and anise with naval orange in backround
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce takes very little time to make, and is fuss-free. A delicate balance of sweetness and tanginess with warm touches of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Serving Size 12 servings (¼ cup)


  • 24 ounces fresh cranberries rinsed, and picked over
  • cups fresh squeezed orange juice roughly 2 naval oranges
  • 3-4 strips orange peel
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg optional


  • Rinse the cranberries, remove any stems, and pick out the mushy ones to throw away.
  • Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot, and give them a gentle stir to combine. 
  • Close and seal lid then cook on high pressure for 2 minutes, follow with a 15-minute natural pressure release.
  • Set to saute function, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. Stir constantly. 
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. 

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  1. 5 stars
    Hi Tina. I've just made your wonderful recipe for the big day tomorrow. It's such an easy recipe to make and adapt. I used half the amount of fresh Cranberries and used brown sugar rather than white. I also adjusted the spices to suit my taste. I made this in a normal pan as I don't have an Instant Pot. Runs away to hide. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I was never a fan of cranberry sauce until I started making it for myself. I quickly realized the store-bought stuff has nothing on homemade and it is now my favorite part of Thanksgiving!! I am loving the idea of this Instant Pot version. I always tend to spend a considerable amount of time stirring mine on the stove top first thing onThanksgiving morning because I want it to be perfect, this is such a great way to not only save time but also free up that coveted stovetop space!!

  3. 5 stars
    What a great way to use the Instant Pot during the holiday season! It's so convenient to be able to put all of the ingredients in the pot, set it, and not worry about it until it's done. Cranberry sauce with orange is my favorite variety, too. The flavors are just such a classic pairing, and that hint of cinnamon sounds like the perfect way to give it a note of warm spice. Beautiful!

  4. 5 stars
    Now why haven't I thought of making cranberry sauce in the Instant Pot? What a good idea. I really like that you use orange juice in your cranberry sauce. I always add orange zest, but I never thought to put orange juice in there in place of water. Nice!

  5. 5 stars
    I always thought cranberry sauce was cranberry sauce. Well, I certainly was wrong when I added the fresh ingredients to the cranberries. Your Instant Pot version looks delicious and super easy! And I don't think cranberries toot their own horn by saying how good they are for us. I'm going to have to put an Instant Pot on my Christmas list.

  6. 5 stars
    Right there with you on using the IP to save stovetop real estate. This recipe is no exception...it's perfect for the IP. I'm so happy to set it and forget it, and I really love that feature while holiday cooking. Thanks for sharing this variation of cranberry too...loving all those flavors! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    This is such a great idea! I think it’s crucial to use the Instant Pot for at least one thing for Thanksgiving dinner—or any big holiday dinner for that matter. It just alleviates so much stress! I usually alternate things every year when we host Friendsgiving. Last year I did our stuffing in the Instant Pot, this year, doing the turkey breasts in it. Next year, I’ll have to do the cranberry sauce in there!

  8. 5 stars
    I only recently got onto the cranberry sauce bandwagon, and it makes me question why I ever didn't like it. It is so bright and refreshing and a wonderful way to complement and otherwise heavy meal. I love that this is done so quickly in the instant pot and that I don't have to spend time staring over it making sure it doesn't burn!

  9. 5 stars
    Awesome that you've created this in the instapot. I don't use mine often enough and what a time saver. Especially during the holidays, when I'm pressed for time and stove space.

  10. 5 stars
    You know, I forgot that cranberries are a super food! Hooray! Also, you're right, they do take long on the stove top and take up valuable space! Great idea making them in the Instant Pot! Save time and space!

  11. 5 stars
    I can't wait to try and make this in my Instant Pot. I'm so over having to babysit the cranberry sauce so an IP alternative is great! I love the citrus added to your sauce - I totally need to try it.

  12. 5 stars
    Is there anything the Instant Pot can't do? Cranberry sauce is my daughter's favorite side dish at Thanksgiving and she's always begging me to make more. I think I'll buy her an Instant Pot for Christmas and give her your recipe so she can have her favorite any time she wants. LOL!

  13. 5 stars
    I don't remember if I have ever made this from scratch before. My daughter cooks this from scratch and she also adds citrus to hers. Making this in an Instant Pot sounds so easy. Thanks for the tips, maybe I'll give this a try, it's one of my favorite foods on TG day:)

  14. 5 stars
    I never knew what the big deal was about homemade cranberry sauce....UNTIL I made it for the first time. Since then (years ago) I NEV ER buy canned....ever!! Great post, and once people make it they will see just WHY you want to do it all the time. Have a great holiday.

5 from 18 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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