Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce! Made in only a few minutes and you can use fresh or frozen cranberries. No stirring, no fuss and make it up to 2 weeks ahead. It's sweet and tart and makes the perfect accompaniment to your holiday feast. Stovetop instructions are included in the recipe notes.
If you have never made Cranberry Sauce in an Instant Pot Before, this is your time! It is so easy. Throw it all in, set and forget. One pot, 3 minutes cooking time, done.
It frees up space, because one less pan on the stove top, and it means you don't have to keep an eye on it or stir it either.
Want to know something interesting too? Cooking in an Instant Pot is the perfect method for creating a jam-like cranberry sauce because it extracts more pectin during the cooking process, which in turn means that less sugar is needed to create a jammy consistency.
How to make Cranberry Sauce in an Instant Pot
The basic Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce ingredients are:
- maple syrup
- orange zest
- orange juice
- fresh rosemary
- and a little red wine or port to take it up a notch - It is the holidays! ;O)
And this is how it's going down:
Everything goes in, except for 1 cup of cranberries which you'll reserve until the end.
Out comes foamy, slightly strange looking cranberry sauce. It's normal, stick with me. It doesn't stay that way for long.
Add the reserved cranberries (hello pretty!) and give it all a good stir. At this stage it might look a little runny but don't worry because as it cools it will thicken up and become "jammy" and the residual heat will cook the newly added cranberries to perfection before it cools down.
Please note that this recipe has only been tested in a 6 quart Instant Pot. Despite the relatively low volume of liquid it comes to pressure just fine. This might not be the case in an 8 quart.
See the recipe notes for how to make this recipe on the stovetop.
Reasons I love this Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- It's low to no effort
- You can use fresh or frozen cranberries
- It's super quick to make
- You can make it up to 2 weeks in advance
- It's sweet and tart and delicious
- It elevates any holiday meal
How to store Cranberry Sauce
Once decanted into jars, this Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge. I am sure you could can it too although I haven't tried.
Can you freeze cranberry sauce?
Cranberry Sauce freezes very well.
First, allow it to cool completely in the Instant Pot, then transfer it to freezer safe, airtight containers. It can be frozen for up to 4 months.
When you need it simply remove from the freezer and allow to defrost in the fridge overnight. At this stage you can serve it as it is, but if you feel it needs thickening, transfer to a saucepan and heat over a medium heat. Allow to simmer, stirring frequently until it has thickened to your liking. Remember though that it will thicken more as it cools.
Ways to use leftover cranberry sauce
There are no shortage of ways to use cranberry sauce.
Here are a few ideas:
- With your vegan roast (see pic above for drool factor ..)
- With your Vegan Meatloaf or Mushroom Lentil Loaf
- With leftovers of all the above
- in vegan gravy to add extra flavour
- add a few tablespoons to your barbecue sauce for a fruity twist
- bowl meals
- as a glaze for seitan or tofu or tempeh
- in smoothies
- with vegan cheese
- Choose plump, firm cranberries with a deep red colour. Fresh or frozen are fine. No adjustments need to be made if you use frozen ones.
- Don't forget to reserve the 1 cup of cranberries to add once the rest of the sauce has cooked. Doing this provides the perfect combination of jamminess and cooked, but slightly firm whole cranberries.
- I don't recommend subbing more sugar for the maple syrup if you are making this in an Instant Pot because the liquid is necessary for it to come to pressure. If however you are cooking it on the stovetop, you can use sugar in place of the maple syrup.
- I don't recommend switching the sugar for more maple syrup as the finished sauce won't end up jammy enough, especially when cooked in an Instant Pot.
- I don't recommend reducing the sweeteners in this recipe. The finished sauce is slightly sweet and quite tart. Less sugar and maple syrup and it will be too tart. Also using less sugar will affect the consistency.
- Use white or light cane sugar. Darker sugar will affect the colour and taste of the sauce.
- If the cranberry sauce gets a little too thick, simply add a tablespoon or two of water and heat it over a low heat, stirring as you go.
Can I double this recipe?
You can double the recipe but do not fill your Instant Pot more than half way. The cranberries create a lot of foam for some reason and if you fill the Instant Pot too much that foam will start escaping through the vent as it cooks.
Can I make it alcohol free?
The wine or port adds a lovely richness to the cranberry sauce, but if you don't consume alcohol, simply replace the wine with more orange juice or water.
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Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- 24 oz / 680 g fresh or frozen cranberries
- ½ cup / 100 g sugar , granulated white or cane sugar is best
- ½ cup / 120 mls maple syrup , (real, natural maple syrup, not pancake syrup)
- ⅓ cup / 80 mls red wine or port , orange juice for an alcohol free alternative
- 1 large orange , zest and juice of
- 1 medium cinnamon stick
- 1 approx 3 inch piece of fresh rosemary
- Mason Jars 16 oz
- Wash the cranberries and pick out any soft ones. Scoop out about 1 cup and reserve until the end. Put the rest in the Instant Pot.
- Add the sugar, maple syrup, red wine, orange juice and zest and give it a stir. Put the cinnamon stick and rosemary on top.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and seal the vent. Cook for 3 minutes on high pressure and leave the pressure to release naturally. Once the pin has dropped, open the lid, discard the cinnamon stick and rosemary, and add the reserved cranberries. Stir well and have a quick taste. Be careful as it will be very hot. If you find it too sour, now is the time to add a little more sugar because it will dissolve in the heat. Keep in mind though that a little tartness is good as it works really well with your festive foods.
- Allow to cool completely. The lid can be on or off at this point but it will cool more quickly with the lid off. Once cool, decant into jars or freezer safe containers.
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