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 Cranberry sauce is a staple at most Thanksgiving dinners– learn how to make cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries in under ten minutes using your Instant Pot. This Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce will be a delicious accompaniment to your Thanksgiving feast! 

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce | Instant Pot Thanksgiving Sides | Thanksgiving sides | Cranberry sauce

It’s time for recipe #3 in my Instant Pot Thanksgiving series! In case you missed it, so far we’ve done Honey Herb Carrots and Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes. I’m all about making Thanksgiving a little easier on all of us. The Instant Pot (affiliate link) is my FAVORITE new kitchen appliance. I bought it several years ago on Black Friday and didn’t touch it for a whole year due to lack of recipes on the internet– but now, there’s a ton! The IP also comes with a manual which has cooking times for different meats, grains, vegetables or fruit. 

This was my first time cooking fruit in the Instant Pot and it came out great! Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal. When I was little, I never touched it. I’m not sure why– it’s so sweet and tangy! Usually, cranberry sauce is bought in a can or is made by simmering on the stove top. I’ve made it easy for you and created a cranberry sauce that can be made in under TEN minutes using your handy dandy Instant Pot.  

Here’s a video to show just how easy it is: 

See how easy it is? :) It shouldn’t be hard to find fresh cranberries– most grocery stores begin to stock them in the fresh produce section near the end of October. My local Sprouts just set out a display this week. I love the orange juice + zest in this recipe. It adds a lovely citrus note. 

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce | Instant Pot Thanksgiving Sides | Thanksgiving sides | Cranberry sauce

I am completely aware of the half cup of sugar in this recipe– I put it there on purpose. :) Cranberries are very sour, so they need sugar to sweeten them up. Thanksgiving is definitely not the time to try to “healthify” things that shouldn’t be “healthified”. Enjoy your sugar-sweetened cranberry sauce alongside roasted turkey, a big pile of mashed potatoes, buttery carrots, green bean casserole, etc. All the favorites. <3 

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce | Instant Pot Thanksgiving Sides | Thanksgiving sides | Cranberry sauce

Now, I want to hear from you! 

Do you have an Instant Pot? What’s your favorite thing to make? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? 


Here’s the recipe for Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce: 

5 from 4 votes

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce

Servings 6 (small side dish serving)
Author Emily Weeks, RDN, LD


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 granny smith apple, diced
  • juice + zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  1. Place the cranberries, apple, orange juice, and orange zest in the Instant Pot. Close lid and press "Manual" and set for 1 minute. Let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure for 7 minutes, then use the quick release valve. 

  2. Press the "Saute" button on the Instant Pot. Add the sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt to the pot. Stir to combine and use a spatula to break the fruit into pieces. Cook for two minutes, then remove from heat. 


  1. Denise G. says:

    Yum I’ll definitely be making this as we are hosting this year and I am excited to utilize my brand new, but beloved Instant Pot.

    You didn’t mention how many the recipe serves?

    1. It makes about 4-6 side dish servings. Really depends on how much you love cranberry sauce, haha. This would feed my family of 5 who use small amounts of cranberry sauce.

  2. Amy says:

    How soon ahead can I make this?? Or can I make in ahead and freeze it??
    So excited to try it! My mom and father in law love cranberry sauce – they will be so impressed it鈥檚 made fresh!!!


    1. You could make it 2-3 days in advance– and you could definitely freeze it! Just reheat in a pot on the stove.

      Hope you enjoy it! :)

  3. Rita N. says:

    5 stars
    Thank you for this! My husband’s favorite recipe includes a cubed apple and pear, in addition to the orange zest and juice. I tend to add too much sugar. Your half cup of sugar and two tablespoons of maple syrup were just right. Being able to do this in the Instant Pot freed me to get dinner started, in time to saute at the end of the prep.

    1. I’m glad you liked it!! Thanks for commenting!

  4. Julie R says:

    Can you double it and still cook it for the same amount of time?

    1. I haven’t tried this– but my gut feeling would be that yes, it should probably work? :)

      1. Ali says:

        I believe with most IP recipes, the general rule is that you keep the time the same when you double. The only time you need to increase the cooking time is if you’re using larger ingredients than a recipe calls for. (For example, small chunks of potatoes take much less time than whole potatoes.)

        Looking forward to trying this!

  5. Kay says:

    5 stars
    Just made this. I left out the salt & added vanilla (after cooking) and used some fresh squeezed tangerine juice because my oranges were pretty dry. It came out great!

  6. Kay says:

    5 stars
    I forgot to mention that I doubled the recipe and set the Instant Pot for 2 minutes instead of one. It came out so delicious that I’ve had a hard time not eating a big bowl of it right now! 馃構

  7. Andrea says:

    5 stars
    Oh my gracious !! How delightful. Followed recipe except used fresh pineapple instead of sugar because my adult sons have a personal ban on refined sugar. A tad more work with the fresh pineapple, but was able to please my picky guests.

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