Apple Cranberry Chutney

Sweet and tangy chutney with apples, cranberries, onion, vinegar, sugar, orange zest, and ginger.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 2 cups


  • 2 good cooking apples (2 cups, peeled and chopped)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Small pinch of ground clove


Put all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for a few minutes more, to reduce any remaining liquid.

Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

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  • Mary Tetreault

    Fantastic recipe! I must begin by saying that I am from an ethic background that usually steers FAR away from recipes that use vinegar as an ingredient. (Yuk!) However, my husband loves foods such as mincemeat pie and British “Branston Pickle”, and appreciates vinegar as a food item. I was intrigued by this recipe, so I gave it a whirl. I’m so glad I did (even though I had all I could do to pour apple cider vinegar all over perfectly nice apples and other yummy ingredients!).

    I made this recipe with “Opal” yellow apples and fresh cranberries. The “Opals” cooked up really nice and, as another reviewer said, with the peelings left, on they added a cheerful yellow color to the red cranberries. My family is avoiding sugar these days, so I used nearly 1/2 c. maple syrup instead of sugar, which was a lovely substitution. (I also used ginger paste instead of freshly grated ginger, which is much more convenient.) Lastly, I threw in a slight amount of cayenne pepper, as another reviewer suggested — another great addition.

    My only quibble was the tablespoon of orange zest, which I personally find a bit over powering. Instead, I added this last item a pinch at a time, and didn’t use very much, not nearly a whole tablespoon. I may omit it entirely next time….

    The smells in the kitchen during cooking were wonderful and very festive. I loved the ease AND pleasing end result of this delicious recipe. 5 stars! I plan to serve this chutney with chicken or pork. It is also great as a healthy snack or dessert.

    Bring on the apple cider vinegar!!


  • Mylify

    This is my second year making this recipe. The first year everyone loved it, however there were comments about the cinnamon being a bit much and too much vinegar.
    This year I’ll be replacing the vinegar with lime juice and cutting back on the cinnamon. Hope it goes over well. Wish me luck!


  • Colorful Canary

    Looks amazing! Thanks for the lovely cranberry recipe! I featured it on today’s roundup :)

  • christie

    I too am new to chutney experimentation, although I have been a long time lover of a not-too-sweet cranberry sauce, often using onion and garlic for intrigue.

    I made this recipe this evening with fresh cranberries and gala apples, and while I loved the way all of it cooked up together, I found there was too much cinnamon. With 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon the dish was grainy. I’m wondering whether tossing it in the food processor briefly might salvage the texture while maintaining the taste.

    At any rate, next time I’ll be adding less cinnamon, and perhaps a little less vinegar as well.

    Thanks for the recipe though!

  • Tina

    This was great! I took it to Thanksgiving dinner last night. Everyone asked for the recipe. I added about 3/4 c. toasted pecan pieces and didn’t peel the apples (organic golden delicious.) They held up well and provided a nice color burst. Thank you so much!

  • Rosemary

    This is awesome! My mom has always made a cranberry apple dish with Jello and orange juice, which was my favorite as a kid. Nowadays I think it’s too sweet, but this reminds me of it in a spicy, sweet and sour way.

    I made it with finely diced celery (instead of onion) and the juice from the zested orange instead of some of the sugar. It rocked. Thanks so much for posting!

    I used Gala and Gingergold for the apples and they stayed pretty firm, btw.

  • Terrie Lahti

    I was looking for apple recipes when I came upon this recipe. I will tell you the truth, I have never tasted any kind of chutney, so I was going to skip over this recipe, but then I saw all the comments, so I thought I should give it a try, since I have a piece of left over pork loin and really tasty onion ciabbata bread, and was thinking about panini’s… so I now have the chutney made, and tasted it! Delicious!!!!! I am going to assemble the panini’s using thin slices of the pork tenderloin, grated white cheddar with cranberries in it… which is really tasty with the pork, so I will now use some of the chutney as well…… can’t wait to taste them. Thanks for a great recipe!!!

  • Elizabeth Robertson

    I have just made this with a slight variation.. I was unable to get any frozen cranberries, so I used 2 jars of whole cranberry sauce, and omitted the sugar. I used Granny Smiths, and they went half mushy and half kept shape, which looks good. It was a bit sweet so I squeezed the juice from the orange it to it and that cut the sweetness…Tastes yummy warm so looking forward to having it with tomorrows lunch… Thanks again Elise for a great recipe…

  • Linda

    I just finished making this. It is delicious and will be a wonderful change from OceanSpray, that’s for sure. I used Granny Smith apples but put them in the last ten minutes of cooking. They didn’t mush up at all. I also sprinkled some chopped pecans on top of my portion, but I would skip that next time. Thanks for another great recipe! Happy Thanksgiving, Elise and family.


  • Ti

    Yum! Great polenta last nite from your site…and today?! I’m taking this to a lunch we are going to. The menu is grilled pork burgers on onion bread, an arugula salad with blue, pecans and pears, and a custard baked in pumpkin for dessert! This will top the pork perfectly!

  • Michelle

    This looks delicious and I want to try it for Thanksgiving this year, but my sister can’t stand cinnamon (long ugly story). Do you think this would work without the cinnamon? Do you have a recommendation for a substitute?

    You can either skip it or use a little nutmeg (just a little bit) or allspice. What I like to do when deciding what spice to add is to take a taste of the dish without the spice and then open spice jars and smell which ones work best with what I just tasted. You might want to give that a try. ~Elise

  • Steph

    Perfect timing for me too! I was looking for something “holiday-ish” to use on top of crostini and camembert. Since everything I’ve ever made from your site is always the BEST, I always pick your recipes first!

  • Gina

    What apple did you use? I get the impression you’re saying NOT to use granny smith but which other varieties are tart (not an apple person)? Recipe looks great and I plan to serve it as an alternative to my traditional cranberry vidalia onion sauce.

    Great question. I’ve changed the ingredient list to say good cooking apples. For some reason the granny smiths we grow always cook up mushy. It could be just our trees. I think I used a Jonagold when I made this because I love the way that apple cooks. Anything but a red delicious, those don’t cook well. ~Elise

  • Praj


    I just made this chutney. What a clever recipe! Ginger and cloves work so well with cranberries and apples. I also added a dash of chili flakes as I love spicy chutneys. Thanks!


  • Nina

    I have been making a similar apple-cranberry chutney for years. (I HATE sweet cranberry sauce.) Mine has more onion than yours and some garlic, too – – although no ginger; I’ll have to try that. Mine has more apples but yours has more cider vinegar, which I love. I put a little bit of golden raisins in mine, too, and a pinch of salt. My mouth is absolutely watering now for a leftover turkey sandwich with chutney and cheese. YUM!

  • Ordinary Blogger

    Elise, do you think I could try it with less sugar? Looks YUM but I really don’t like cloyingly sweet cranberry sauces. How sweet is this one, and do you think I should reduce the sugar a bit?

    I suggest you try it with less sugar and then add sugar to taste. Some apples are sweeter than others, so part of the overall sweetness depends on how sweet your apples are to begin with. You will need some sugar to balance out the tartness of the cranberries. ~Elise

  • mantha

    Yes, pork for sure; and maybe an oilier bird like duck would get a nice lift from the tartness as well. The spices and orange zest combo is perfect. It’s really pretty on the table, too!

  • Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

    I am over cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and am experimenting with chutneys this year. So far I have made a green tomato chutney and am looking for more good recipes. One nice thing about chutneys is that you can preserve a pint or so for later use.

    This recipe looks like a keeper!

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I gave up traditional sweeter cranberry sauce years ago, and now make several variations of chutney for my Thanksgiving table. Everyone seems to love leftover turkey sandwiches with chutney and cheese (good cold, or as panini).