Cranberry Relish

VideoSide DishCondimentCranberryRelish

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.

How to make cranberry relish (video)

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 peeled 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 Prepare your grinder: 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 fruit through grinder: 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. If you do not have a grinder, pulse fruit in a food processor.

3 Add sugar: 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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

144 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Lee

    My grandmother recipe also called for unsweetened pineapple and a small box of strawberry jello In its dry state instead of the sugar.

  2. Ginger

    The balance of sweet, tart and freshness makes these a winner in my kitchen. I’m not much of a chef, but I dabble. I’m wondering if anyone has adapted this recipe for preserves. Any recommendations?

  3. Kristilyn

    I make it every Thanksgiving. So easy and such bright flavors.


  4. Tina Smith

    This is the recipe that I’ve been looking for, it’s how my mother made cranberry relish, but she also added a can of drained crushed pineapple and less sugar. Thanks for posting this !

  5. Esther Clarke

    This is my grandmother’s recipe, except that she used to use two oranges instead of one, and she peeled them. Also, she was a great fan of Tang, and sometimes she substituted 1-2 cups of Tang for the oranges and sugar. I made this recipe today for the first time in years, and even though it has not yet “mellowed,” I pronounce it still delicious. Naturally I did not use Tang!! I dug out and cleaned my mother’s ancient Universal grinder and put the cranberries and unpeeled orange wedges through it, with a dish on the floor to catch the drips of course (!), and it worked a charm. The apples I didn’t peel because I like texture. I grated them on my box cheese grater…it only took a minute or two. (Peeled apples go to mush in a Universal grinder, which I didn’t want, and there’s no question of putting unpeeled apples through it. The apples go through, the peels do not.) I don’t like sweet so I only added one cup of sugar, but that’s just me. This is a wonderful relish. Grandmother used to prepare hers ahead and freeze it, and I have done that too.


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