Instant pot cranberry chicken is sweet, tart, savory, and delicious. This chicken dinner is the perfect recipe to make during the holidays in the cool fall and winter months. It's quick and easy to make in just 30 minutes in the pressure cooker (hello busy weeknights!), loaded with flavor from some simple ingredients, and is one of the best ways to use up any leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving. Pair this tasty last-minute meal with with Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Green Beans, or Honey Roasted Carrots.
Why You'll Love Instant Pot Cranberry Chicken
- It’s so quick and easy to make. We’ve all been there. It’s getting late, and you remember you need to cook dinner — but you’re already hungry. Luckily, like most instant pot recipes, you don't have to choose between quality food and fast food when it comes down to this pressure cooker cranberry chicken. You can have a delicious dinner ready in just 30 minutes with minimal prep.
- It’s sweet and savory. And don’t think for one second that the short cook time means you’ll need to sacrifice flavor. Cranberry sauce chicken finds the perfect balance between the tart sweetness of cranberries and the savory bite from ingredients like balsamic vinegar, paprika, garlic, and black pepper. It packs on flavor in every bite.
- Chicken is a healthy go-to protein. Of all your protein options, chicken is one of the healthiest, not to mention delicious. And it’s a blank slate that you can customize to your heart’s desire. If you are craving something creamy make Creamy Lemon Chicken Piccata, spicy make Butter Chicken, a better than takeout recipe make General Tso's Chicken. The options are endless.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this easy and delicious Instant Pot Cranberry Chicken, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in recipe card below):
- chicken breasts
- seasoning - we season this chicken with salt and pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.
- vegetable oil - any vegetable oil will work. Try avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil.
- cranberry sauce - feel free to use leftover cranberry sauce or store-bought sauce — whichever is easier! We used our Easy Cranberry Sauce.
- ketchup - or substitute with tomato sauce.
- balsamic vinegar
How to Make the Best Instant Pot Cranberry Chicken
- Season the chicken. Use a paper towel to pat the chicken breasts completely dry. Season and rub in salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder evenly. Set aside on a plate for at least 10 minutes.
- Sear the chicken. Turn on the Sauté function on high on the Instant Pot. Heat oil until it starts to sizzle, about 1 minute. Place chicken breasts on a single layer in the pot and sear for about 3-4 minutes on each side until the breasts are no longer pink. Note that the chicken breasts don’t need to be fully cooked at this point.
- Add remaining ingredients. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 1 minute. Stir in cranberry sauce, ketchup, and balsamic vinegar until evenly mixed.
- Pressure cook. Switch to pressure cooking mode on manual pressure and seal the lid (the steam release knob must be turned to the sealed position). Set the chicken breasts to pressure cook for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, you can let the instant pot slowly release the pressure, about 15 minutes or quick release the remaining pressure by turning the steam release valve to the venting position. Serve immediately.
How to Serve Cranberry Chicken
Serve instant pot cranberry sauce chicken with starchy sides like our favorites:
- How to store: Keep leftover instant pot cranberry chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- How to reheat: There are a few ways that you can reheat any leftover Reheat leftover cranberry sauce chicken. I recommend wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil, with enough room for air to flow around the chicken in the foil. Then, place chicken in a 350F preheated oven for 10-20 minutes, until warmed through. For faster reheating, pre-cut chicken. You can also reheat it over the stove on medium-low heat until warmed through.
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.