Cranberry Relish

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.

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.

From the recipe archive, first posted 2006

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 107 Comments

  • Judy Pierorazio

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

  • Kayla

    I’m so happy to have found this cranberry relish recipe right in time for Canadian Thanksgiving. I’ve always searched for a “sauce” recipe only to find out it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for-needed a “relish” instead. Even after all these years of people commenting about the recipe, seems as though it’s still a hot menu item! Yummy!!

  • Sammy

    Whoa! This was the star of our Thanksgiving feast! We might have labored harder for the turkey and the stuffing and other side dishes, but this was the BEST!
    Unbelievably good. Seriously!

  • Jackie

    Went through boxes in my basement and dug out my Gram’s old grinder to make this. Only found one “cutter” blade– but it was the same as the one in your picture–the medium grind. Yay! Glad you mentioned the part about the bowl underneath to catch the juices. . .Whoa! Still had to drag out the Swiffer and wipe down the dishwasher. Don’t remember that when I was a kid. Lol. A lot of the orange juice pooled in the bottom of the grinder and the catch basin. Do you pour the caught juice back into the fruit or just pitch it to keep the relish more dry? Thank you for all the info and the yummy recipe. Happy Thanksgiving All!

  • henry

    This is really close to my family’s cranberry salad recipe. The biggest difference is that after grinding the fruit and mixing in a bit of sugar, we add it to red (cranberry if you can find it, otherwise strawberry) jello and let it set up for a day or two. My mom made this since I was little, and now it’s a favorite with my wife and kids.

View More Comments / Leave a Comment