Cranberry relish is quick and easy to make, and is packed with tons of tart and sweet flavor. Made with oranges, apples, fresh cranberries, and just the right amount of sweetness, this holiday side dish keeps well, too, so it’s great to make ahead.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- Oh, this relish is GOOD. Tart cranberries, crisp apples, and citrusy orange are pulsed together for a bright, vibrant, flavorful relish, then a little sugar is added to play up the sweetness of the fruits. A pinch of cinnamon ties the dish together with warm, autumnal flavor.
- There’s zero cooking here! Cranberry relish is made entirely in a food processor. Just pulse everything together, then transfer it to a bowl and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. That’s it! So simple, but SO amazing.
- It’s SUPER versatile. Serve it with toasted baguettes or crostini with a little cream cheese (or without), dollop it on the side of roasted turkey (or chicken) and stuffing, or add a spoonful on top of oatmeal, waffles, or yogurt.
- If you’re looking for holiday recipes you can make ahead of time, you’re in luck! Cranberry relish will keep in the refrigerator up to 7 days as long as you store it in an airtight container. You could even freeze it up to 2 months!
Cranberries – Fresh or frozen cranberries will both work in this relish. If you use frozen, you don’t have to thaw them first.
Apple – I really like a tart apple in cranberry relish, but you could use a sweet apple if you prefer. Peeling it is totally optional. I used a green apple and left the peel on for a little pop of color.
Orange – Leave the peel on the orange! It adds a ton of flavor to the recipe and you really won’t notice the actual peel after you’ve chopped everything up. Just pulse the oranges separately from everything else first to help the peel break down better. If you’re worried about the white pith being too bitter in the cranberry relish, you can zest the orange first, then cut the pith away and process the flesh.
Sugar – The fruits are pretty tart on their own, so you’ll need a sweetener of some sort to balance things out. Our recipe calls for traditional granulated white sugar, but you could use any sweetener you like. Granular Swerve, coconut sugar, and honey would all work – just adjust the amount you use and taste after chilling, so you don’t go overboard. For a richer, warmer flavor, use brown sugar instead of white, or use a mix of the two.
- Don’t, don’t, don’t skip the chill time! One hour minimum. It gives the flavors time to develop and deepen, making the cranberry relish sweeter but also more tart and much more rich than if you serve it immediately.
- Be careful not to overdo the pulsing. You want the fruits to be chopped, not puréed. This dish should have a chunky relish consistency, not a liquidy sauce consistency.
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can still make this cranberry relish! You’ll just need some patience. Use a super sharp knife to chop the orange, cranberries, and apple into very, very fine pieces. Transfer the fruits to a bowl and stir in sugar and cinnamon as directed below. Chill and serve!
- If you’re not getting a good, chunky blend, try halving the mixture and pulsing it in 2 batches. A smaller amount of fruit in the processor bowl at a time will help with precision.
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- 1 orange unpeeled, cut into 4 or 8 wedges
- 1 tart apple cored, chopped
- 1 12-ounce bag cranberries fresh or frozen
- ¾-1 cup sugar plus more as needed, see Notes
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- Food processor (or very sharp knife and cutting board – see Notes)
- Large bowl
- Plastic wrap
- Add orange to food processor and pulse until just chopped. Orange peel should be in very small pieces.
- Add chopped apple and cranberries. Pulse until all fruit is roughly chopped.
- Transfer cranberry relish to large bowl. Stir in sugar and cinnamon, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- No Food Processor: You can make this relish without a food processor. You’ll need a really sharp knife, a cutting board, and a fair amount of patience. Chop the fruits by hand until they’re very, very fine. Place them in a bowl, stir in sugar and cinnamon, and chill at least one hour.
- Sugar: I typically use 1 cup sugar, which makes the relish nice and sweet while still keeping it a little tart.
- Pulsing: Be careful not to overdo the pulsing. You want the fruits to be chopped, not puréed. This should have a chunky relish consistency, not a liquidy sauce consistency.
- Make it Added Sugar Free: Use your favorite sugar substitute (like granular Swerve). Some sugar substitutes are sweeter than traditional sugar, so start with just ½ cup, then taste and add more if needed.
- Make it Paleo: Use coconut sugar or honey instead of traditional white sugar. Be sure to adjust the amount used depending on your specific substitute.
- Make it Low Carb: Use granular Swerve instead of traditional white sugar.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.