This 5-minute pressure cooker cranberry sauce (with alternate directions for slow cooker or stovetop) is so easy and delicious! 

The world is quite divided when it comes to cranberry sauce from what I hear. Some of you like it in any form. Some of you detest it in any form.

Others of you are adamant it must be the concoction from the can. And yet another portion of you dear, sweet people insist it has to be homemade. We could dive even further into the jelled or chunky camp.

A white bowl of fresh cranberry sauce topped with a few fresh berries.

I heart cranberries in a big way, so you’d think that I would look forward to it at Thanksgiving, but because there are so many other fantastic dishes to love and anticipate, cranberry sauce isn’t really a must-have for me at Thanksgiving.

If it’s there, I often take a spoonful to be polite, but that’s it (unless it’s this cranberry chutney, and then I’m definitely in it for two spoonfuls, but just to eat by itself, because, yum).

Fresh cranberries sprinkled on a countertop.

So why am I posting a recipe for quick and easy cranberry sauce today? Because I know many of you do look forward to the sweet and tart nectar on Thanksgiving. But if I’m being honest, today’s recipe is mostly because I love cranberry sauce, the divine stuff, on just about everything else other than turkey.

Pancakes. Sandwiches. Spooned over cream cheese with crackers. On buttermilk biscuits. Swirled into oatmeal. Warmed lightly and served over vanilla ice cream.

The list is endless. Cranberry sauce, with it’s delightfully sweet, jammy consistency and notable tartness, is versatile and not meant just for Thanksgiving Day, trust me on this one. And this is my go-to recipe for “everything cranberry sauce.”

In fact, if you aren’t up to your elbows in pie dough tomorrow, check back to see my absolute favorite way to use up cranberry sauce and accompanying turkey day leftovers. It might be the Thanksgiving recipe I’m most excited about!

A white bowl of homemade cranberry sauce topped with a few fresh cranberries.

If you are a must-serve-cranberry-sauce kind of person on Thanksgiving but haven’t yet thought through the details, you’ll love this recipe.

It only takes a few minutes of cooking time if you use your handy dandy pressure cooker (Instant Pot for me). And I’ve also included alternate instructions for the slow cooker or stovetop.

Any way you make it, cranberry sauce should not be the dish that gives you trouble or causes you stress at Thanksgiving or any other holiday meal.

There’s nothing weird or fussy or complicated about this recipe. Fresh, tart cranberries, sweetened with sugar + maple syrup (a beautiful combo) and a hint of orange.

You must try cranberry sauce on something other than turkey this year – promise me you will, ok?

One Year Ago: Chocolate Cream Pudding Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
Two Years Ago: Buttermilk Potato Rolls {Fluffiest Most Delicious Rolls I’ve Ever Met}
Three Years Ago: Healthy Applesauce Carrot Muffins {a.k.a. Carrot Cake Muffins}


5-Minute Cranberry Sauce

4.72 stars (25 ratings)


  • 24 ounces (680 g) fresh cranberries
  • 1 ¼ cups (264 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • Zest of one orange, about 1 tablespoon
  • ¼ cup orange juice


  • Stir all the ingredients together in a stovetop or electric pressure cooker. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Let the pressure cooker naturally release pressure for 10-15 minutes. Release the rest of the pressure using quick release.
  • Stir the cranberry sauce and continue to cook (using the sauté function in an electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot) if you want to thicken the sauce further; keep in mind, it will thicken as it cools.
  • Mash the cranberry sauce with a spoon or potato masher (or use an immersion blender for a smoother consistency), if desired.
  • The sauce will thicken and gel as it cools; it can be made and refrigerated up to a week in advance.


Other Cooking Methods: if you don’t have a pressure cooker, never fear! You can combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. You can also combine all the ingredients in a pan on the stove and simmer over medium heat, stirring often so it doesn’t stick, until the cranberries burst and soften, 15-20 minutes.
Syrup: the pure maple syrup adds the perfect balance of flavor AND helps contribute to the liquid necessary to maintain pressure in a pressure cooker. I haven’t subbed pancake syrup; I’d recommend using pure maple syrup, if possible.
Halving the Recipe: I usually make the full batch – using 24 ounces cranberries – because we eat this on so many other things besides turkey. But you could definitely halve the recipe, keeping in mind that the rule of thumb with pressure cooking is you need at least 1 cup of liquid for safety reasons and to help the pressure cooker come up to pressure. Halving the recipe leaves you with 3/4 cup liquid (pressure cooking a half batch has always worked for me with no issues, but I want to give you fair warning).
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 136kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 3mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 30g

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe