Food & Nutrition

10-Minute Fresh Cranberry Relish

raw cranberry relish with text
raw cranberry relish with text
cranberry relish in a white bowl with orange leaves on the table
cranberry relish in a white bowl with orange leaves on the table
A bowl of Cranberry relish collage

Today I have my mom’s 10-minute recipe for fresh Raw Cranberry Relish for Thanksgiving. It is made with raw cranberries and orange. There’s no cook time so it is so easy! It is the perfect tangy sauce to go with your Roasted Turkey this year.

a table with orange foliage and a bowl of raw cranberry relish with a hand holding a spoon of relish

I originally published this recipe on November 22,2014. I have updated the text and images to reshare the recipe with you today. 

Table of contents

My mom’s cranberry relish was one of those Thanksgiving traditions that we could always look forward to every year when I was a kid.

There were usually a few different cranberry sauces on the table: a cooked cranberry sauce, my mom’s fresh cranberry relish and then someone always brought the canned kind too! I usually took a little of each! (Yes even the canned kind! What can I say? I love cranberry sauce!)

Fresh Raw Cranberry Relish Recipe Highlights

  • It only takes 10 minutes, maybe even a little less.
  • It can be made 5 days ahead and even freezes well.
  • Leftovers are amazing spread on homemade wheat bread with leftover turkey and gravy! (I even add on a little sausage stuffing on mine!)
  • This is a small batch, but it can easily be doubled
  • Sweeten it up to your flavor preference

What’s The Difference Between Cranberry Sauce and Relish?

Cranberry sauce is made from cooked cranberries. Cranberry relish is not cooked but instead made with ground or finely chopped raw fresh cranberries.

a close up overhead of cranberry relish

How To Make Raw Cranberry Relish

Use Whole Unpeeled Orange

  • I’d say the best part of this recipe is the flavor the orange rind adds to this recipe. To start, cut it into two halves. Then cut one of the halves into six chunks. If you see any seeds, remove them with the knife tip.
  • Process the orange chunks in the food processor by pulsing them until they are about the size of peas or small marbles. 

Add Whole Raw Cranberries

  1. Add in the cranberries, and pulse some more until the mixture is chopped up finely. Don’t forget to scrape it down. 
  2. If you want to use frozen cranberries, that is fine. I recommend thawing them first so they are easier to grind up. They will seem juicy, but that’s not a problem. Once the cranberries are ground and mixed with the sugar and jam and then refrigerated they will become juicier and juicier anyway, so the results will be almost identical. 

Add Jam and Sugar to Sweeten.

If you want to use an unrefined sugar source try maple syrup or honey. Also if you prefer a non-nutritive sweetener, just skip the jam and add your preferred sweetener to taste. 

  1. To add the jam, take a couple of tablespoons of raspberry jam and set them in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the jam to loosen it up.
  2. I use regular high-sugar jam (about 50 cal per tablespoon) for this recipe, since its purpose is to add sweetness. As I mentioned, only two tablespoons was sweet enough for me. If you like more raspberry flavor, add more jam and possibly a little less sugar.
  3. Add in sugar with the cranberry mixture and stir. Start with two tablespoons, taste and add more if you want. Just make sure to stir until the sugar is dissolved before you taste. 
a table from overhead with a white linen, a votive candle and fall foliage with a bowl of cranberry relish

How to Store Raw Cranberry Relish

  • Transfer the cranberry sauce to a resealable container and pop it in the fridge for up to five days before you serve it. 
  • This cranberry sauce will become moister, and let off liquid as it sits in the fridge. Stir it before transferring it to a serving bowl. 
Raw cranberry relish in a white bowl on a blue gray table with orange foliage and a votive candle

More Thanksgiving Recipes

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Description

Today I have my mom’s 10 minute recipe for fresh Raw Cranberry Relish for Thanksgiving. It is made with raw cranberries, whole orange that has been ground in the food processor, then mixed with raspberry jam and sugar. It can be made up to 5 days ahead!


  • ½ navel orange (with skin), cut into 6 pieces
  • 12 ounces cranberries, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoon raspberry jam, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste


  1. Remove any seeds from orange (if there are any) and place in food processor fitted with steel blade attachment. Process until chopped into pieces no larger than a pea. Add cranberries and pulse until the cranberries are finely chopped.
  2. Whisk raspberry jam in a medium bowl to loosen. Add cranberry mixture and sugar and stir thoroughly until the jam is incorporated and the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until serving.

Notes

It is fine to use frozen cranberries, but it is easier to grind them in the food processor if they are thawed first. They will be more juicy initially, but after everything is mixed together and refrigerated for several hours, will be indistinguishable from relish made with unfrozen cranberries.

If you do not like to use plain white sugar, sub in maple syrup or honey. If you prefer a non-nutritive sweetener, skip the jam and add preferred sweetener to taste.

Can be made up to 5 days ahead.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 43
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 2 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 0 g

Keywords: raw cranberry sauce,thanksgiving,cranberry,orange,cranberry relish

cranberry relish in a white bowl with orange leaves on the table
A bowl of Cranberry relish collage

About the Author

Katie Webster

Katie Webster studied art and photography at Skidmore College and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. She has been a professional recipe developer since 2001 when she first started working in the test kitchen at EatingWell magazine. Her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines including Shape, Fitness, Parents and several Edible Communities publications among others. Her cookbook, Maple {Quirk Books} was published in 2015. She launched Healthy Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial garden.

Source: healthyseasonalrecipes.com