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Cranberry Orange Relish

5 from 3 votes
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posted: 11/25/19

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Cranberry Relish is the easiest Thanksgiving recipe. It comes together in less than 10 minutes and can be made the night before. This Cranberry Orange Relish will add the perfect bright flavor to your holiday plate.

up close picture of a white bowl full of cranberry relish being spooned up by a golden spoon

Recently we posted this Homemade Stuffing recipe on our Facebook page and commented that it is the true star of the show. No joke, I could eat only stuffing on Thanksgiving and be a happy happy girl.

I was shocked when SO many people commented that it wasn’t true. That Cranberry Relish was, in fact, the actual star. Additionally, Cranberry Relish, the fresh and raw cousin of Cranberry Sauce, is perfect eaten with Thanksgiving Turkey.

Fair enough, guys! It’s time to add a Cranberry Relish recipe to our Thanksgiving plates.

Reader Review

Fantastic!!! My family loved it!!! I will definitely make this again. So so good, better than cranberry sauce.

WHAT MAKES CRANBERRY RELISH PERFECT

When you start with bright, plump, fresh cranberries, you are bound to create something amazing.

Cranberry Relish is essentially chopped up cranberries with orange juice and zest and some sugar. The raw cranberries combined with the other ingredients truly shine.

overhead view of cranberry orange relish that is in a white bowl and garnished with three cranberries, a little rosemary, and some orange zest

HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY RELISH

All good cranberry relish starts with very finely chopped fresh cranberries. I made this Cranberry Orange Relish very simply in my food processor. If that is the method you plan on using, make sure to not over pulse your cranberries.

You want your relish to have some texture to it and not be a pile of cranberry mush.

An alternative, if you don’t have a food processor, is a grinder that you attach to a stand mixer.

I wouldn’t recommend chopping by hand. This will be very difficult with the cranberries as you want them chopped very fine.

After your cranberries are chopped you simply add the three remaining ingredients.

I love how simple this recipe is.

For best flavor, refrigerate for an hour before serving to allow the flavors to fully combine.

CRANBERRY RELISH VARIATIONS

If you want to change things up there are a few things you could try. I wouldn’t recommend trying all of these! Pick one variation. I love experimenting with recipes.

  • Add apple slices to the food processor when you chop the cranberries.
  • Or pull in another flavor completely by adding pear slices. Be sure to choose a pear that is still somewhat firm.
  • Really take things down a different path by adding a few fresh jalapeño slices.
  • Add the orange zest, but not the orange juice and replace that with pomegranate juice.
  • Throw in a pinch of cinnamon at the very end!

HOW TO EAT CRANBERRY RELISH

Cranberry Relish is delicious eaten straight just like cranberry sauce.

Or pop a little on a piece of turkey and get a delicious combo of flavors.

But if you want to get creative here are some ideas!

a white bowl full of cranberry relish recipe on a cutting board, garnished with three cranberries, orange zest, and a little rosemary

STORING CRANBERRY RELISH

This is a great recipe to make ahead of time. It will last in your refrigerator up to one week and is best served cold.

While I personally would recommend making this the day of or the day before serving, you can freeze cranberry relish. Store in an airtight container and freeze. Use within one to two months. Let thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

OTHERE GREAT THANKSGIVING RECIPES

If you are following along you know that this week I’ve been adding tons of Thanksgiving recipes. You can find them all here.

Here are some from previous years that I still love:

If you try this cranberry orange relish recipe or any of my other holiday recipes please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

And I’d love to hear if your family eats Cranberry Sauce or Cranberry Relish!

close up picture of cranberry orange relish recipe in a white bowl on a cutting board with fresh cranberries and rosemary around it
up close picture of a white bowl full of cranberry relish being spooned up by a golden spoon
5 from 3 votes

Cranberry Relish

Serves: 8 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Cranberry Relish is the easiest Thanksgiving recipe. It comes together in less than 10 minutes and can be made the night before. This Cranberry Orange Relish will add the perfect bright flavor to your holiday plate.

Ingredients

  • 1 orange (or 2 teaspoons orange zest and 1/4 cup orange juice)
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries (thrown in raw)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Zest the orange peel with a zester. You want to zest just until you begin to see the white under the skin and not further. You will need 2 teaspoons of zest.
  • Cut the orange in half and juice it. You will need 1/4 cup of orange juice.
  • Add the cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, and sugar to a food processor and pulse just enough to finely dice the cranberries. Be careful not to over pulse.
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for an hour before serving for best flavors.
Serving: 0.25cup Calories: 71kcal (4%) Carbohydrates: 18g (6%) Sodium: 1mg Potassium: 52mg (1%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 15g (17%) Vitamin A: 1IU Vitamin C: 13mg (16%) Calcium: 1mg Iron: 1mg (6%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
up close picture of a white bowl full of cranberry relish being spooned up by a golden spoon

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Cranberry Relish

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Judy says

    Relish should be made at least 3 days in advance for flavors to blend. It will keep in the refrigerator for months and even improve.

  2. debbie says

    can this be warmed?

    • Lisa Longley says

      There are some Cranberry Relish recipes that are served warm. I wouldn’t do that with this recipe, personally. I think it is delicious cold.

      • Jo Jo says

        This is awesome on turkey, ham or chicken sandwiches! I keep this relish in my fridge most of the time, it keeps very well.

  3. Judy says

    Please don’t warm it

  4. Jo Jo says

    5 stars
    I forgot to mention this is also good with fine chopped celery or chopped apples, nuts, ect. added, just use your imagination and change it up. Sometimes I also use water instead of orange juice to make it. Cranberries are amazing in so many ways. Yummy sandwiches with the relish instead of mayo or mustard.

  5. Brenda says

    We always had this at Thanksgiving as I was growing up. I now make it every year. It is delicious, but I’ve always added an apple and sometimes chopped walnuts.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Those sound like great additions!

  6. Jan says

    5 stars
    So very good! I also like it on OATMEAL! It’s delicious!

  7. AnneMarie says

    Try this same recipe with a can of crushed and drained pineapple juice. Yum

  8. Susan says

    This recipe says 1 orange, do you use the whole orange, peeled? Whole? Or just the zest and juice?

    • Lisa Longley says

      That was super unclear as written! I just clarified it. You need 1/4 cup of juice and 2 teaspoons of orange zest.

  9. Marlyn says

    In my family, we use the whole unpeeled orange. We cut it into chunks so it will fit into the grinder (my grandmother) or the food processor. If we add fresh jalapenos, we swap the orange for apples (peeled and cored). My dad hated turkey so he would coat his single slice of breast meat with an inch of cranberry relish. If he couldn’t have Mexican food for Thanksgiving, at least he could have jalapeno cranberry relish.

  10. Tammy says

    Oh how I love this relish it is so good think it goes well with pork chicken or turkey with your meal, on a sandwich or by its self. I added a half cup of toasted pecans and add a toasty taste to it but its wonderful eigther way. I will be making it as soon as cranberries are in season.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m glad you liked it! I never thought of it with pork, but that would be delicious!

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