Best Cranberry Relish Recipe (2024)

By: Author Diana Hansen

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Create this fresh cranberry relish with nuts for your holiday gathering. People will think it is the best relish they have ever tasted.

Best Cranberry Relish Recipe (1)

I make a raw cranberry salad with oranges and apples for Thanksgiving every year. My friends and family always request it.

I usually double the recipe and share it with friends and neighbors. They await this for their meal each year. Yes, that is a lot of cranberrychutney since this recipe makes 8 cups.

This is truly the best cranberry relish with pecans that I have ever had! It is also tasty when you make it with walnuts, but it works without nuts at all, too.

Cranberry Relishwith Nuts Recipe

You will love this cranberry sauce recipe because:

  • no cooking is involved
  • can be made with or without nuts
  • you will get so many compliments and requests for the recipe
  • goes well with all sorts of dishes

Plus it is the perfect use for a bag of cranberries.

Fresh Cranberry Chutney Ingredients

Gather the following ingredients for this recipe:

  • a bag of fresh cranberries
  • two different apples (Granny Smith and Fuji)
  • an orange
  • mandarin oranges
  • can of crushed pineapple
  • sugar

The inclusion of pecans or walnuts is optional.

How to Make Fresh Cranberry Salad

This Thanksgiving recipe is so easy to make! It is the perfect make-ahead side dish, as the flavors blend together nicely when made a day or two in advance.

  1. Chop the cranberry in a food processor and place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Core and the apples, then process them into small pieces. Move to the bowl.
  3. Peel and section the orange and chop it in the food processor for a very short time.
  4. If using fresh mandarin oranges, peel and section, then add them to the orange above. Otherwise, drain the can and add directly to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the entire can of crushed pineapple to the bowl.
  6. Stir all the fruit together until well combined.
  7. Mix in the sugar.
  8. If using nuts, chop and stir them in.
  9. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The same preparation technique is used for Cranberry Salsa.

The diagram below shows you how I make this recipe layer by later in a 2 Qt Glass Bowl. This is the bowl I refrigerate the relish in.

Best Cranberry Relish Recipe (2)

This is what the recipe looks like, all stirred up. Can you believe how much of the red from the cranberry comes through when it is mixed? Yum!

Best Cranberry Relish Recipe (3)

Crazy for Cranberries

Cranberry season is one of my favorites of the year. I cannot seem to get enough cranberry. I have also made Cranberry Pepper Jam.

This cranberry-orange apple relish goes with just about anything. I have added it to a salad, eat it for breakfast, and put it alongside various casseroles. You can even eat it with Cranberry Muffins.

My sister and I text each other whenever we find a new food or dish that goes well with it. It is not too tart or sweet, so it goes with many different foods.

I made several batches of this in November and December. This Fresh Cranberry Relish is perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What would you eat this cranberry orange pineapple relish with? Check out my Cranberry Apple Crisp.

Best Cranberry Relish Recipe (4)

Yield: 8 cups

Best Cranberry Relish Recipe (5)

This is the best cranberry relish, made with fresh cranberries, pecans, and other fruit.

Prep Time20 minutes

Total Time20 minutes


  • 1 bag fresh cranberries (12 oz)
  • 1 fuji apple
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 orange or tangerine
  • 1 small can of mandarin oranges or 2-3 fresh mandarin oranges
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 – 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pecans


  1. Rinse off the cranberries and apples.
  2. Coarsely chop the cranberries in a food processor.
  3. Core the apples and place them in the food processor. Chop the cranberry and apple together.
  4. Peel the orange and pull the sections apart and place it in the food processor. Chop for a very short time.
  5. Pour the cranberry mixture into a 2 Qt glass bowl that has a lid.
  6. Drain the mandarin oranges and add them to the bowl.
  7. Dump the can of crushed pineapple into the bowl.
  8. Stir all the fruit together, combining well.
  9. Add the sugar to the bowl and stir.
  10. Optional: finely chop the pecans and stir them into the cranberry relish.
  11. Refrigerate. Stir once a day.


This recipe tastes best if made at least 24-48 hours before eating.

I love it when readers share photos of my recipes! Upload one here on Pinterest.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/4 cup

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 165Carbohydrates: 1.34gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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Best Cranberry Relish Recipe (2024)


What is the difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry relish? ›

Typically, "cranberry sauce" refers to a cooked product while "cranberry relish" is uncooked (the cranberries instead are broken down in a food processor or other manner)—however, some recipes use these phrases interchangeably.

How long will homemade cranberry relish keep? ›

To make-ahead: Cranberry relish can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To freeze: Store cranberry relish in a freezer safe container for 2-3 months. To use, remove it from the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator.

How do you get the bitterness out of cranberry sauce? ›

Add A Splash Of Vinegar

While citrus is a natural pairing for cranberry sauce, bright, savory vinegars like sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and apple cider vinegar play well with the bitter-tart berries. Start with a little, then add more gradually. It's easy to overdo it when in comes to bold vinegars.

How do you thicken cranberry relish? ›

Try reducing the sauce down even further so more of the liquid cooks off and the mixture thickens. If that doesn't work, add a thickener like gelatin, pectin or a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch whisked into juice or water). Let the sauce cool before refrigerating to completely set.

Do you eat cranberry relish hot or cold? ›

Either! Some prefer to have it served fresh and warm, straight out of the pot, while others need it completely cooled down to enjoy the flavours. Personally, we prefer cooled sauce.

What do you eat cranberry relish with? ›

Simple Appetizers

Top your favorite cracker with whipped cream cheese and a dollop of Cranberry Relish for the ultimate speedy starter. If you have a little more time you can try this Three-Ingredient Cranberry Relish Appetizer with white cheddar cheese.

Can I freeze leftover cranberry relish? ›

Yes, you can freeze homemade cranberry sauce—and it works well. It's best to store it in the freezer for up to 3 months; the taste may be affected due to its water content if frozen longer. Keep this in mind when putting away your leftover sauce and use it during this optimal period as part of an easy weeknight dinner.

Can dogs eat cranberries? ›

Both fresh and dried cranberries are safe to feed to dogs in small quantities. Whether your dog will like this tart treat is another question. Either way, moderation is important when feeding cranberries to dogs, as with any treat, as too many can lead to an upset stomach.

Does homemade relish go bad? ›

It's best to follow the date printed on packaging of store bought relish. Unopened containers can probably last for around 30 months and up to 3 months once opened. If you make homemade relish, it should last a week, unless you have some hardcore canning capabilities.

Why does my homemade cranberry sauce taste bitter? ›

Dear Evelyn: I had the same problem when I first started making my own cranberry sauce. I found out that you should cook them just until they pop. Further cooking will make them bitter, and once that happens, you need to start again.

Why is my cranberry sauce so tart? ›

And like lemons, if you add enough sugar it can be palatable. The gelled cranberry juice you find in cans at Thanksgiving time is quite tart because they don't add as much sugar to that. You can also find bags of whole natural cranberries at that time and make your own cranberry sauce.

Why do you open cranberry sauce upside down? ›

But why? Ocean Spray says this is to get the cranberry sauce out in one intact piece. “The rounded part of the can that looks like the bottom has an air bubble in it,” Ocean Spray's representative explains. The bubble is there so you can “break the seal the sauce makes with the can.”

Why is my homemade cranberry sauce watery? ›

Mistake #2: Your Cranberry Sauce Is Too Runny

You may have added too much liquid to the cranberries. In addition to pectin, cranberries contain water, which means you only need to add a splash of liquid to get the cooking going. Add too much and you'll be stirring at the stove much longer than expected.

How long does cranberry relish last? ›

How long will fresh cranberry relish keep? As long as it's refrigerated, cranberry sauce is fine for 2–3 weeks if you have any left over once eaten with the hot turkey and the cold turkey sandwiches the next day/s.

What if I put too much water in my cranberry sauce? ›

If you inadvertently added too much water, simply bring the cranberry sauce back to the stove top and bring it to a low boil, cooking it down just a bit to help thicken it up.

What is the difference between sauce and relish? ›

Relish can consist of a single type or a combination of vegetables and fruit, which may be coarsely or finely chopped; its texture will vary depending on the slicing style used for these solid ingredients, but generally a relish is not as smooth as a sauce-type condiment such as ketchup.

What is cranberry relish made of? ›

There's no cooking involved, just using a grinder or a food processor to grind up and mix together raw cranberries, tart green apples, a large seedless orange, and sugar. It's amazing how good it is! Great with roast turkey, or for leftovers on turkey sandwiches.

What does cranberry relish taste like? ›

Here are a few reasons why Cranberry Relish is the way to go: It's sweet, a little tart, and totally refreshing – almost like a palate cleaner. It's SO quick and easy to make! It can be prepared in just 5 minutes!

What is the difference between cranberry sauce and jellied cranberry sauce? ›

Cranberry sauce can be served either as a gooey liquid or as a solid jelly. The jellied version is solid enough to retain the shape of the container in which it's placed whereas the sauce version is much more fluid.

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