If you love cranberry sauce, make sure to try making it at home! This extra-easy Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce is made with bourbon and maple syrup, and makes a delicious fall and winter side dish.
I saw something exciting at the grocery store.
Cranberries are back in season!
Cranberry season is oh so short, but it is THE BEST.
These pretty little red berries are perfect for all kinds of recipes, but there’s one recipe that’s a classic.
It’s the cranberry recipe that rises above all other cranberry recipes.
Yes, you guessed it– cranberry sauce.
And guys, I love cranberry sauce.
However, I like to use cranberry sauce in more surprising ways.
It’s just that good. It goes with all the things.
So, when I walked into my kitchen with bags and bags of cranberries, and then found myself staring at my Instant Pot– I knew what had to happen.
This Instant Pot cranberry sauce is sweetened with orange juice and maple syrup, with a little bourbon added in to make things more interesting!
Don’t have an Instant Pot yet? Make this stovetop version of my bourbon cranberry sauce!
Why Make Cranberry Sauce in an Instant Pot?
First things first, you should know that making cranberry sauce on the stovetop is actually about five minutes faster than making cranberry sauce in an Instant Pot.
I know, it’s shocking.
However, you might still prefer to use your Instant Pot!
For one thing, it means you don’t need a stovetop to make this cranberry sauce.
That means that if you don’t have a stovetop, if you DO have a stovetop but it’s currently cooking other things, or if you simply prefer using your Instant Pot— this recipe is for you!
The good news is that the stovetop version and the Instant Pot version taste equally delicious!
Can I Make This Cranberry Sauce Sweeter?
You sure can!
This sauce starts out slightly less sweet than traditional cranberry sauce.
I prefer my sauce tart.
That said, I definitely recommend tasting the cranberry sauce after it cools.
If it’s not sweet enough, add a little more maple syrup and stir.
How to Make Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
Start by adding fresh or frozen cranberries to your Instant Pot.
Add the orange juice.
Put the lid on the Instant Pot, and turn the valve to the sealing position.
Press the pressure cook (or manual) button, and set the time for two minutes.
Some Instant Pot models have a pressure cook button, and others have a manual button. They do exactly the same thing.
The Instant Pot will take a little time to come to pressure– eight minutes for fresh berries, fourteen minutes for frozen berries— and then it will count down for two minutes.
Once the countdown finishes, allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for five minutes.
Next, place a (preferably old) kitchen towel over the valve, and use a long-handled spoon to turn the valve to venting.
I recommend an old towel because it’s entirely possible that a little red cranberry foam will shoot up through the vent. Don’t ruin your favorite towel.
When the pressure releases, press the cancel button.
Add the maple syrup and some bourbon, and then press the sauté button. Set the sauté timer for five minutes, and let the sauce simmer, stirring as it cooks.
If you want an extra-boozy cranberry sauce, go ahead and add a little more bourbon now.
Next, let the cranberry sauce cool to room temperature, and then chill it in the fridge for at least two hours.
Once the sauce is chilled, taste it, add more maple syrup if you want, and it’s ready to serve!
Want more Instant Pot ideas? Check out all of my Instant Pot recipes.
Looking for more ways to serve this cranberry sauce? Try adding it to this turkey cranberry sandwich from Girl Heart Food
Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce with Bourbon
2 Weeks (Fridge), 2 Months (Freezer)
- 12 oz cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- ¾ cup orange juice
- ⅓ cup maple syrup (plus more to taste)
- ¼ cup bourbon, plus 1 TB (optional)
- Add cranberries and juice to the Instant Pot.
- Seal the lid and turn the steam valve to the sealing position.
- Set Instant Pot to pressure cook/manual, high pressure. Set the cook time for 2 minutes.
- The Instant Pot will take about 8 minutes to come to pressure for fresh cranberries or 14 minutes for frozen berries, and then will start counting down the cook time.After the cook time is finished, the machine will begin the natural release process, and the countdown timer will start counting up. Allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for 5 minutes.After 5 minutes, cover the venting spout with a kitchen towel., and carefully quick release the remaining pressure by using the handle of a long spoon (I use a wooden spoon) to turn the steam valve to venting.Tip: Quick release can be messy– the vent may shoot some liquids out with the steam. Lay a kitchen towel over the top to keep your kitchen clean. (Don't use your favorite towel— this liquid will be red!)
- Wait for the steam to escape and the pin to drop down. Then, carefully remove the lid.
- Press the cancel button to end the pressure cooking setting.
- Add the maple syrup and ¼ cup bourbon.
- Press the sauté button. Leave the adjustable temperature setting at normal. Set the timer to 5 minutes.
- Simmer the cranberry sauce for the full 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove from heat. Optionally, add the remaining tablespoon of bourbon.
- Store in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
- This sauce is somewhat less sweet than traditional cranberry sauces. Once the sauce cools, taste it, and add more maple syrup if desired.
- Leftovers / Make Ahead + Refrigerate:Store sauce in the fridge, and use within 2 weeks.Make Ahead + Freeze: Freeze in an air-tight container for up to 2 months.
- Swap the bourbon for Grand Marnier
- Skip the bourbon (and don’t replace it) for a traditional cranberry sauce