Cranberry Relish

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.

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


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Cranberry Relish

Showing 4 of 108 Comments

  • ryan

    This reminds me of a recipe I made many years ago that involved part of the orange peel.

    In your recipe are you supposed to peel the orange, or put the whole thing into the grinder?

  • elise

    Hi Ryan, you put the whole orange into the grinder. Best to use a navel orange which is seedless. Otherwise, cut your orange into sections and remove the seeds before putting through the grinder.

  • Meilin

    Hey Elise, thanks for this recipe! I made this and it was tasty. :-) Interestingly, I didn’t have a grinder so I used a blender. I bet it’d be better and easier with the grinder but this is just to let you know the results are actually pretty good even without one. I had to reserve some apples to dice by hand just to have *some* texture.

  • Elise

    Hi Meilin, well that’s good to know! Thanks for telling us. I guess you would have to be careful about not overblending it, maybe just a few pulses, or you would have fresh cranberry puree, not relish.

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