Cranberry Relish

Holiday and Thanksgiving Cranberry Relish recipe. Fresh cranberries ground up with apples and orange. Great with turkey sandwiches.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

One of my favorite things to make for Thanksgiving and the holidays is raw cranberry relish. 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.

Cranberry Relish

The sugar balances the natural tartness of the raw cranberries, and helps the mixture macerate, releasing juices that bind everything together. The recipe is as sweet as you want it to be. 2 cups of sugar will yield a very sweet result. 1 cup much less so.

Cranberry Relish Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 3 cups

You can use either a grinder (an old fashioned one or a KitchenAid attachment) or a food processor to grind up the relish. We prefer using a grinder to a food processor because a grinder does a better job smooshing the cranberries, orange, and apples together while it cuts them up. But either way will work.


  • 2 cups rinsed raw cranberries
  • 2 skinned and cored tart green apples, cut into thick slices
  • 1 large, whole (peel ON) seedless orange, cut into sections
  • 1 to 2 cups granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you would like your relish to be)


1 If you are using an old fashioned grinder, use the medium-sized grinder plate and set the grinder on the edge of a table with a large bowl or pan to catch the fruit mix as it is ground. Old fashioned grinders tend to leak juice down the grinder base, so you may want to set up a bowl underneath to catch the drips.

If you don't have an old fashioned grinder, you can use the grinder attachment to a KitchenAid mixer, or you can use a food processor. If you use a food processor, be careful not to over-pulse! Or you'll have mush instead of relish.

You can also just chop very finely by hand, but that's difficult, especially with the cranberries.

2 Push the cranberries, orange sections, and apple slices through the grinder. Include the orange peel! Alternate the fruit as you push it through the grinder so that different fruits get ground together.

3 Stir in the sugar. (Start with less than a cup and keep adding 1/4 cups until you reach your desired level of sweetness.) Let sit at room temperature until the sugar dissolves, about 45 minutes. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Cranberry Relish on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!


Old fashioned cast iron grinders are easy to find and cheap to buy on ebay. Click here to find a meat grinder on eBay.


Cranberry Sauce recipe

Spicy Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir

cranberry-relish-method-1   cranberry-relish-method-2

Cranberry Relish

Showing 4 of 112 Comments

  • Blanche

    Our ancient family recipe includes finely chopped celery. Otherwise, this is very close to ours. Sometimes my sister and I include one more orange without adding the peel. The orange flavor is so mesmerizing in the mouth when mixed with the cranberries.

  • Laurel

    I have made this for years, but am now using Medjool dates instead of sugar, and it is really good – for the full recipe (2 cups cranberries), I use 12 dates pitted and chopped slightly before adding to food processor – you need to add them at the beginning or they do not get chopped properly

  • Burton

    I’ve made this for more than 40 years, but only about 10 years ago did I discover that if you freeze the cranberries before grinding you eliminate the juice problem. I grind in the Kitchenaid grinder which I find easier than hauling out the antique hand grinder I inherited from my mother. A thanksgiving staple!

  • Cheryl Perry-Walker

    This recipe is very close to my grandmother’s . Except we broke it down to 1 bag of cranberries, 1 tart apple, 1 Orange.
    Wash everything, cut the apple and orange into wedges. Then grind everything making sure to catch all the juice. Everyone is shocked to see us grinding everything. Then add sugar to taste. It’s best to make a week before your event. So the juices and sugar merge together, there’s nothing like it. Thanks for listening. Oh this recipe is now passed down to the 5 th generation.

  • Judy Pierorazio

    I make this every year but I put in some chopped walnuts.

View More Comments / Leave a Comment
Recipe you may also like
To Top
Cranberry RelishCranberry Relish