Pressure Cooker / Instant pot Cranberry Turkey Wings

 pressure cooked turkey wings
Poultry wings don’t get much respect – they are small, bony and often chucked into stock.  Turkey wings, because of their size, are the exception. The meat from a turkey wing is equivalent to (often more than) the meat of a whole chicken leg.

Turkey wings can be fully cooked in 15 minutes under pressure. The legs (almost 6″ across) require a good 25-30 minutes under pressure. While sliced turkey breasts only need about 5-7. Wings are right in the middle. I recommend using only the same cut of turkey for this recipe to compensate for these differing cooking times.

What to do if you have a whole turkey to pressure cook? Use the phased cooking technique: First, brown all of the pieces. Then, pressure cook the thighs for 10-15 minutes. Next, add the wings and pressure cook for another 15 minutes. Finally, add the breast and pressure cook for another 5. It’s laborious but doable.

Cranberry Briased Turkey Wings - pressure cooker recipe

This type of recipe is where the pressure pan (a low, wide pressure cooker) excels. They are roomy enough to brown everything at the same time and allow for all of the meat to stay in contact with the bottom of the pressure cooker (where there is the most heat).

You can absolutely make this recipe in the standard 6-8qt pressure cooker – though it will be difficult to have all of the meat perfectly cooked – as some of it will be boiled in the braising liquid and some of it will be steamed. I recommend “standing” rather than stacking the wings to achieve similar results to the pressure pan.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
Pressure Pan or larger  none 15 min.  High (2)  Natural

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cranberry Braised Turkey Wings - Pressure Cooker Recipe
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Oil
  • 4 Turkey wings (2-3 lbs)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Dry Cranberries or "Crasins" (soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes) or 1½ cup Fresh Cranberries or 1 cup of canned cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 med Onion, roughly sliced
  • 1 cup shelled Walnuts
  • 1 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange juice (or prepared juice with no added sugar)
  • 1 bunch Fresh Thyme
  1. In the pre-heated pressure cooker, on high heat without the pressure cooking lid, melt the butter and swirl the olive oil.
  2. Brown the turkey wings on both sides adding salt and pepper to taste. Make sure that the skin side is nicely colored.
  3. Remove the wings briefly from the pressure cooker and add the onion, then on top of that add the wings (pretty browned skin side, pointing up), cranberries, walnuts, a little bundle of Thyme.
  4. Pour the orange juice over the turkey.
  5. Close and lock the pressure cooker. Turn the heat up high and when the pan reaches pressure, lower the heat and count 15-20 minutes cooking time at HIGH pressure.
  6. When time is up, release pressure using the Natural method - move the pressure cooker to a cool burner and do not do anything, wait for the pressure to come down on it's own (about 10 minutes). If the pressure has not come down in 10 minutes, release the rest of the pressure using the Normal pressure release - push, twist or lift the button or valve to release pressure.
  7. Remove the thyme bundle and carefully remove the wings to a serving dish (they may be so tender they could fall apart). Slide the serving dish under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the wings are sufficiently caramelized.
  8. In the meantime, reduce the cooking liquid to about half.
  9. Pour the reduced liquid, walnuts, onions and cranberries over the wings and serve.

Cranberry Briased Turkey Wings - pressure cooker recipe

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  1. My SO is scoffing at this, saying the skin won’t be crispy. Will it be crispy or soggy, because otherwise, it looks fab!

  2. kcunning, you can tell him he’s right. It’s not exactly soggy but not crispy either – the color comes from the browning prior to pressure cooking. HOWEVER, you can stick the serving dish under the broiler to get a little crisp and more color.

    The results will not be as it would be from the oven. The pressure cooker turkey meat will be juicier and more flavorful not dried-out and woody.

    Pressure cook first, then broil before serving and get both delicious skin AND meat!



  3. I never thought of turkey wings – I never cared much for chicken wings too much work, too little meat – this is a great idea

  4. This recipe has been on my mind since you published it; it sounds amazingly good! How long would I cook using bone-in chicken thighs?

  5. Firefly, can’t wait to hear what you think of it! The pressure cooking time depends on the width of the thighs. If they are super-wide 30 minutes, “average” 25. If you’re not sure go for 25 with natural release and then check the meat of one of the thighs next to the bone to see if it’s fully cooked. If not, put them under pressure again for 5 more minutes, and open with normal or quick release!

    Don’t forget to slide them under the broiler for a few minutes before serving to give them even more color.



  6. Lori, Lorna… just saw your comments. Thanks!!


  7. That looks & sounds like it would be really good! I will definitely try making this.

    1. Come back to tell us how you liked it!



  8. OK, I made this tonight. I omitted the walnuts & it was still awesome! This is definitely a keeper.

  9. Just received my brand new Instant Pot 6 quart today and this was the first dish I made in it. Absolutely loved both, although the pot does have a little bit of a learning curve for me (it’s much more complex than my old pressure cooker).

    I love turkey wings, and these are just yummy. Adding this to the “make frequently” list.

    Thanks Laura!!

  10. Just made these again. Have a question though.

    I’ve been following the recipe as written here, but I noticed in the Instant Pot Duo recipe book that there’s the addition of 1 cup of vegetable broth. Not sure which way is correct, or if it’s got to do with Paleo?

    So far, I find there’s plenty of liquid, even after pressure cooking and reducing, so I think this question is just my curiosity more than anything else.


    1. Instant pot has a higher minimum liquid requirement than most stove top pressure cookers.

      Since the water content in the turkey can also vary depending on how fresh the meat is I added the extra cup in the recipe book that comes with the DUO to ensure success no matter how fresh the turkey meat is.

      If the amount of liquid stated here works for you that’s fantastic and you’re not doing anything wrong.



  11. I just made this today and it tasted amazing! My only issue was that when it was done, everything in the pot looked brown.. Is it supposed to all look like a buddy brown color? I took the turkey out and put it under the broiler and was left with a brown soup in the pot to reduce down. Everything tasted and smelled delicious.. I’m just wondering if I was not supposed to put everything in the pan together, or put the onion, cranberry, walnuts on the little shelf in the pot??

    1. Everything should be cooked together. You can add more color by soaking and adding the cranberries later, and sprinkling some fresh thyme on top before serving.



  12. Made this recipe using turkey bone-in thighs. Omitted the walnuts, just too expensive here, and cooked it for 27 min. Tucked them under the broiler after cooking for 5 min. and tricked the gravybwith a slurry of cornstarch. Will serve with Basmati rice.

    1. Jonilyn – it sounds like you haven’t served them yet – definitely check if the thighs are cooked to the bone before you do. They are very thick and need 35-40 minutes to be fully cooked!

      Otherwise it sounds great!



  13. Hi Laura:

    The thighs were very small, they cooked beautifully, fall off the bone tender. I will remember to cook thicker ones longer.

    Thank you.


  14. I make this all of the time. Here’s how I’ve perfected it: Instead of browning first, when the wings are done cooking, I remove them and put them in a 450 degree oven for about 5 minutes (or until super brown on top), then flip and do it again. While the wings are in the oven, I use an emulsion blender on the sauce and add some arrowroot slurry to thicken it to gravy. Serve over sauteed cabbage, mashed cauliflower, or spaghetti squash. YUMMM

    1. Tara, thanks so much for sharing your variation – sounds delicious and I love the idea of thickening the sauce, too!

      Ciao & Welcome!


  15. Can we double this recipe? Any tips on doubling recipes for pressure cookers in general? Thank you!

    1. I generally make this with 5 wings…if you stand them up (thick ends down), you might be able to fit 6, but that’s it…depending on the size of the wings. No matter how many wings you add, there’s plenty of sauce.

    2. bmvanness, Tara already gave you some great advice! There is not much more I can add other, than linking to my article about the general tips for doubling pressure cooker recipes:



  16. Thank you Tara! So, do you double the walnuts, cranberries and thyme too, or just add more wings?

    1. I just add more wings! If you see my comment above about removing the wings, blending and thickening the sauce…it really makes quite a bit.

  17. thanks so much! I am going to try this tonight!!!

  18. I just prepared it and I’m eating now … excellent recipe!

  19. The smart script for this recipe is not working. Is it possible to add it back? Thank you! This looks amazing.

  20. I so want to make this recipe, but I haven’t been able to find any turkey wings in any of the stores. I’m thinking of just using chicken drumsticks. Would I think cook them like in your Chicken Cacciatore recipe?

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