3 Instant Pot Orange Cranberry Jelly (No Pectin)


Oh. My.  This is way better than the store bought canned jelly! 
Cranberries & orange juice make this a winning combination for making your own cranberry jelly, a MUST for your holiday meal!  

Cranberries naturally are rich in pectin, so if you cook this to the correct stage as described in the recipe, it will set into a beautiful, sliceable jelly.

The printable recipe below includes Instant Pot pressure cooker, stove top & canning directions. If you have a pressure cooker, it's even easier to make, so give it a try!
It's nice to be able to control the amount of sugar and you can create your own recipe by adding cinnamon or vanilla extract. Follow the recipe as directed if you plan to can this jelly. 

We enjoyed this cranberry jelly so much last year, that I doubled this recipe, enough to can seven jelly jars (8 oz each). You can use your Instant Pot to water bath (atmospheric) can this jelly. Look for 8 oz canning jars with straight sides for easy removal.

Step By Step Directions

1. Wash 3 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries and drain in a strainer
2. Zest and juice 1 large orange (1/2 cup)
3. Add orange juice, water, rinsed cranberries, zest & salt to your Instant Pot.
4. Cover, close pressure valve, select High pressure for 5 minutes.
5. When time is up, wait 5 minutes for a natural pressure release.
6. Open pressure valve, releasing any remaining steam. Open your cooker.

7. Puree cranberries using an immersion blender (food mill, food processor, or blender).
8. Push the cranberry mash with a silicone spatula through a strainer to remove skin and seeds. (Using a food mill will allow you to skip this step).
9. Return mixture to Instant Pot. (I used the stove to cook the jelly, while the Instant Pot kept my jars hot & ready for canning)
10. Add sugar and cook on Saute Medium (Normal), stirring constantly*, until mixture begins to drip from the spatula in a "sheet." *To keep bubbling from spattering, stirring constantly helps. I used a heat resistant silicone spatula.
"Sheeting" When mixture begins to fall from the spatula as a thick sheet instead of thin drips
11. Do the "plate test" to determine if jelly is thick enough to set. 
      ~Put a small plate to chill in the fridge.
      ~Put a small amount of jelly on the chilled plate.
      ~Put plate back into the freezer until it is cooled to room temperature (2-3 minutes).
      ~Remove plate from the freezer. Gently run a clean finger or spoon through the middle of the jelly.
      ~If it separates and slooooowly returns to its original form, the jelly is ready.
Plate Test 
12. Transfer jelly into clean jars to store in the fridge (10-14 days).
**Straight sided jars work best to get easily get jelly out in one piece. 
Canning Funnel

To Can the Jelly:
If you want to can your jelly for long term storage (2 years), 
1. Put the HOT mixture into HOT clean jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. 
2. Run a clean knife in the jelly to remove air bubbles or rattle the jar on the counter to bring up any air bubbles.
3. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, wet paper towel. 
4. Place canning lid and ring on jar, turning the ring "finger tip" tight. This means turning the ring till it stops. Do not tighten past this point.

5. In a water bath, steam canner or using this method with your Instant Pot, process jars for 15 minutes at sea level. Add more time if you are above sea level (see chart in printable recipe below).
  • 1,001-3,000 feet = add 5 minutes
  • 3,001-6,000 feet = add 10 minutes
  • 6,001-8,000 feet = add 15 minutes
  • 8,001-10,000 feet = add 20 minutes

6. Remove hot jars using a jar lifter and place on a wood cutting board or cooling rack.

17. Allow jars to completely cool. Overnight is great. Do not disturb jars. If jars do not seal, place in the fridge and enjoy the jelly over the next week. 

To remove jelly, run a thin knife or offset spatula between the jelly and the jar. Jelly will slide out and look so awesome on the plate!

You can now enjoy your homemade cranberry jelly with all your favorite fixings....even better the next day with turkey sandwiches on homemade rolls. YUM!

Homemade Orange Cranberry Jelly

Orange Cranberry Jelly

Yield: 3 1/2 cups
Author: Frieda Franchina
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time:  60 min
Orange juice elevates this simple cranberry jelly. Double the recipe to make a large batch and can them for holiday gifts or to enjoy year round. Recipe includes stove top, pressure cooker & canning instructions below.


  • 3 cups (one 12 oz bag) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (about 2 large oranges)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • pinch of salt


Orange Cranberry Jelly

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine orange juice & water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add cranberries, orange zest and salt and return to a boil over med-high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and boil gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring, until cranberries burst open. 
  4. Remove from heat & using an immersion blender, food processor or blender, puree the mixture until smooth.
  5. In a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, pour mixture into sieve and push mixture through the sieve with a silicone spatula until only skins & seeds remain.
  6. Transfer this mixture into a medium saucepan & add sugar. over medium heat, bringing it to a gentle boil.
  7. Over medium heat, continue a gentle boil, stirring frequently for about 20-30 minutes, until mixture passes the sheeting or cold plate test for gelling.
  8. Store jelly, covered in refrigerator, for 7-10 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Pressure Cooker: 
    1. Add orange juice, water, cranberries, orange zest & salt to cooker. 
    2. Close cooker, pressure valve, and select HIGH pressure for 5 minutes.
    3. At the end of cooking time, allow cooker to naturally release for 5-10 minutes (NPR). 
    4. Open pressure valve to release any remaining pressure. 
    5. Follow steps 4-7 above. You can use Saute Normal in Step 6.
Transfer hot jelly into hot jars with 1/4" headspace. Run a clean knife through the jelly to get rid of any air bubbles. Wipe jar rims clean. Place lid on jar & secure ring fingertip tight. Process in a hot water bath or steam canner according to directions for 15 minutes. Add more time if you are above sea level:
  • 1,001-3,000 feet = add 5 minutes
  • 3,001-6,000 feet = add 10 minutes
  • 6,001-8,000 feet = add 15 minutes
  • 8,001-10,000 feet = add 20 minutes


  1. Mille mercis ! 👍 😷

  2. I only got 2 8 oz jelly hats from a batch!

    1. It is possible that you may have cooked it down too much. You only need to cook it till the jelly begins to sheet from the spoon (not in drips, but begin to look like a sheet).
      I have made this recipe several times and get at least three 8 ounce jelly jars. :-)
      You can definitely double the recipe and make more.


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