Naturally sweetened, quick and easy, this Instant Pot Cranberry Apple Sauce will play a starring role at any holiday meal.
This recipe was first published in 2017. I’ve updated the recipe, images, and text to make it even better!
In my world, the only reason turkey is a star at any holiday table is because of the cranberry sauce that accompanies it.
My grandma, bless her sweet soul, was famous for dry, bland turkey, but next to a blob of her famous, jello-like, cranberry sauce (I didn’t know or care at the time that it came from a can), it was one of my favorite things to eat.
Now that we all know we can make a foolproof Instant Pot Turkey, we need to make sure we have an incredible homemade cranberry sauce to pair with it. Are you ever going to flip over this sauce!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS NATURALLY SWEETENED CRANBERRY SAUCE
- No splatters all over your stove top (hate that!)
- No more arm burns from said splatters
- Soooooo Easy! The hardest part is chopping the apple
- Instead of a pound of sugar to balance the bitter/sour taste of cranberries, we’re using apples, apple and orange juice, and a little bit of maple syrup, yay! Perfect balance of tart and sweet here!
- Leftovers are amazing in yogurt, on toast, over pancakes, etc, etc.
- Freezes like a dream
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CRANBERRY SAUCE
- Prep work: Zest an orange, peel and chop an apple . . . that’s pretty much it
- Add all your ingredients to the pot, stir
- Let cool, to thicken
This sauce will be perfectly thick, once it cools, so don’t stress when you open the pot. Serve it warm or cold, it’s amazing either way.
Whether you are on the chunky, smooth, or cylinder shaped cranberry sauce team, give this beauty a try. You will fall in love with it for the simplicity and again for the downright drinkable flavor. Your turkey just got a new best friend.
WAYS TO USE LEFTOVER THANKSGIVING CRANBERRY SAUCE
- My favorite panini of all time: Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey, smashed avocado, Bacon, Brie (or pepper jack), the best mayo in the world, and a huge spread of cranberry sauce – YUM!
- Melt Brie on a crostini, top with cranberry sauce
- Over ice cream or yogurt
- On top of this Hasselback Chicken – YES PLEASE!
- Stirred into Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal
TOOLS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT CRANBERRY APPLE SAUCE
Instant Pot Cranberry Apple Sauce
Made with maple syrup and the natural sweetness of a Honeycrisp apple, this cranberry sauce will take a starring role at any holiday table!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: About 2 cups 1x
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Pressure cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed
- zest and juice of 1 large orange
- 1 Honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
- ½ cup apple cider
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- Add all of the ingredients to the pressure cooker pot and stir well.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release for 5 minutes and then release any remaining pressure. If liquid sprays while releasing the pressure, quickly turn the valve to the sealed position and wait 5 more minutes.
- Stir well. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.
- Serve warm or chilled.
- Can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge. Freezes very well.
- Fresh cranberries freeze well. Buy extra bags and store them in the freezer for making this Cranberry Apple Sauce all year round.
- The addition of an apple, apple cider, and orange juice helps tame the bitterness of the cranberries without needing to add a lot of white sugar. Use between 1/3 – 1/2 cup of maple syrup, depending on your ideal sweet/tart level
Keywords: instant pot sauce, Thanksgiving, festive recipe
I have made this several times and our family just loves it! 🙂 However, for anyone else who thought “Sparkling Cider” could be used in place of regular, old apple cider. DON’T. EVEN. THINK. IT!!! I should have guessed something wasn’t quite right by the weird smell coming from my pot. Sigh! Just thought I’d throw this in the “not a good substitute” comment section. 🙂 🙂
Kat, oh goodness, haha! Your comment made me laugh even though I’m sorry that happened. Lesson learned, good to know 🙂
Just curious what is regular old apple cider: Is it apple juice, unfiltered apple juice, or something else? What we refer to as apple cider is a bubbly beverage that has alcohol. Not sure that is what the recipe is calling for…
Kara, I always get fresh apple cider from the produce section or farmers’ markets when it’s in season. No alcohol, just fresh juiced delicious apples 🙂
Tammy Isaacs says
I loved this recipe. The apple makes it so good. I was also glad it can be made ahead of time.
Tammy, yes the apple adds great texture and sweetness. I’m so happy you love it, thanks for letting me know!
Nancy Baquet says
Has anyone canned this recipe, so I can preserve it? I always make too much and would like to save it for year round.
Nancy, I’ve never canned it, but I freeze portions of it flat in the freezer so I can have it when I want.
Meg Magruder says
Total win! I did not have apple juice, so I made a strong apple cinnamon tea. 2 bags in the amount of water =to the apple juice. Added honey and Monkfruit to get the sweetnesses I wanted. I only had Granny Smith apple as, so the 2 I added made it a bit tart. So good. Will try to make again and work to reduce the carbs from sugars for my keto month in January.
Meg, what genius substitutions! Nice work!
Just made this. My husband liked it better with 1/2 c. Maple syrup. It’s so much better than what comes in a can, and easier than the jelled recipe I used to make. Love the Instant Pot. Thank you.
Barb, It’s wonderful, isn’t it! Enjoy!
Saw your recipe featured on instant pot’s instagram and am going to make it this Thanksgiving! If I double the recipe, what should I change the cooking time to?
Thanks, can’t wait to try it!
Tara, Awesome! You’ll love it! No need to change the time if you double it.
Im in Canada so asking a Christmas question. I do a community dinner at our church and we feed about 100 people. Can this recipe be multiplied so i can make a large amount? Is there anything special that needs to be done to make multiple quantities.
Love your recipes and love your Cookbooks. Keep the awesome recipes coming.
Sandi, I’ve doubled it in my 6 quart easily and I have a reader that says she triples it. I would keep the same cook time and just be careful when you release the steam that a bunch of fruity foam doesn’t spray out.
Am planning to make this to go with our turkey! I like it a little sweeter too. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!
April, save some leftovers for yogurt, so good! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!
Hi! So I erred on the side of “tart” and there is still quite a bit of bitterness from the cranberries, I’m guessing their skins. Is there a way to sweeten it up after it’s done or should I make another batch? Thanks!
Susan, yes, you could absolutely add more maple syrup after it’s cooked to sweeten it up more. Maybe 2-4 tablespoons I’m guessing would do the trick for you. Thanks for letting me know! I prefer things less sweet so I love to hear feedback from the sweeter side of this community 😉
I’m so excited to try both your cranberry sauce and turkey recipe. Why wait for Thanksgiving!
Thank you Marci for all your recipes. Thank you for taking the time to experiment until it comes out perfect. Thank you for sharing.
Jill, What a sweet comment! Thank you so much and I hope you get to enjoy this turkey soon!