Cranberry Relish

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.

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


  • 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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  • 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.


  • AZ Girl

    I have been looking for a cranberry relish recipe like my mom’s, and I think this is it :) She made it every Thanksgiving, but she is now struggling with dementia, and I don’t know where her recipe is :( She always added chopped pecans to half of it, and left the other half plain. Thank you!

  • Linda

    My family and friends always ask me to make the cranberry relish for holidays. It does take some time to make but is always worth it. The ingredients include 1 bag of fresh cranberries, grind in food processor, finely chop an apple, 8 oz can crushed pineapple, untrained, 1 cup sugar, 2 small boxes of black cherry sugar free jello, 2 cups water, 1 large orange including zest, 1/2 cup chopped pecans or more if you like.
    I start by dissolving the jello and sugar in 2 cups water heated. Let cool completely. I chop the cranberries, apples, zest orange, separate the orange and put in processor to chop, discard the white of the orange. Add undrained pineapple, Mix all ingrediencies and add
    To jello mixture. Refrigerate until it sets, about 2 hours. So good.

  • Candiland

    I make this recipe every year! My family loves it and it’s become a tradition at our house. So fresh and tasty! So better than a cooked sauce…


  • Dee

    This is exactly how my mom made it, but she added jello. This is so good, makes thanksgiving complete.

  • S T P

    The orange peel is too much. Better without it or just a couple of pieces.

  • Lisa Weise

    What size Jello do you add to this recipe and do you use all the water it calls for, or no water at all?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Lisa, there is no Jello in this recipe.

      • Lauri

        Grandmother always added small package black cherry jello (no water) Didn’t make it solid but did make it delicious

  • Kris

    I followed the directions to the letter but my family and I found the orange to be the dominating flavor– it was overwhelming. I added two Barlett pears to try and tame it, but to no avail. We used it to make margaritas instead and it was a nice treat.



  • Constance

    WOW, great recipe for cranberry relish! This time I made just as directed and only needed 2/3 cup sugar (not the full 2 cups). Thanks for the heads up in the recipe about adding sugar to taste. I used a navel orange and Granny Smith apples. I also used my Kitchen Aid grinder and was really pleased with the results.
    I remember having celery in cranberry relish as a child and sometimes walnuts. Would you put the celery and/or walnuts through the grinder or just chop finely before adding to this awesome recipe?


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Constance, I think I would finely chop the walnuts and celery rather than putting them through the grinder.

  • Tim

    I made this last night for Thanksgiving today, and it was a huge hit. Crispy, tart, and very refreshing. I had two requests for the recipe, which is a sign of success. I will definitely make it again.


  • Janet

    This is my favorite recipe for Cranberry sauce (relish) I tell and share it with everyone and get so many compliments when I make it…And IF there are any leftovers, it’s good on vanilla ice cream and I even put it in a recipe that I have for cranberry orange bread :)


  • Tanylle C

    My daughter’s diabetic so I substitute 1 large sugar free raspberry jello packet for the sugar. It always turns out great!

  • Benita Gruchy

    Could you make it ahead and freeze it? I know it wouldn’t take a terrible long time to put it altogether, but I either have to freeze my cranberries now or make the relish now and freeze it. Would love to go ahead and make the relish (possible eat some…)

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Benita, it’s a relish made with raw ingredients which may or may not freeze that well. If you try freezing it, please let us know how it turns out for you.

      • Terri Larose

        I freeze my cranberry & orange relish and it comes out as good as fresh. It has kept at least 18 months without losing flavor. I lost one container in my freezer.

        • Roxanne Gregg

          I make a big batch every year to last through the holidays. My sister usually freezes it takes out portions for Christmas and New Year’s Day.

  • Marty

    Can this recipe be canned, processed in a water bath?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Marty, no, this relish is made with raw ingredients. You have to cook ingredients to can them.

  • 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

    • McCleery

      Thanks for your comment on using the medjool dates, a great alternative to sugar.

  • 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!

    • Margaret McCleskey

      I have used this recipe for years. In addition, I make Jimmy Dean sausage balls and an aunt’s banana bread.

  • 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.

    • Sheila

      This relish is delicious. I add chopped pecans.

      • THERESA

        How many pecans

  • 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!

    • Elise Bauer

      I just pitch the juice but you could add it back in if you want.

  • 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.

    • Mary kaszynski outain

      This is how our family has made it for over 50 years. As kids my sister at nd I had the job of attaching the old cast iron grater to the old wooden table and do the grinding. Now I use my food processor. And I use the jello too, but use about 1 cup of water, not two. The rest comes from the juices of the fruits. The best…

    • Diana

      My mom used to use orange jello.

  • Tom

    Great, easy recipe. I made this today, used 1 cup sugar and added a little strawberry liqueur too. Tastes great, the orange peel is not an issue if anyone is wondering. Used the Kitchenaid and it was too easy.

  • Marion in Maine

    I just finished making this for Thanksgiving tomorrow, with a bag of some really good Maine cranberries and a couple of gigantic navel oranges. I knew the oranges had very thick peel and weren’t terribly sweet, so I zested them, then cut the pith off and put them into the food processor with the berries. After pulsing them a few times and tasting, it was prohibitively sour and the apples I have are reserved for mince pie, so I added a couple of tablespoons of agave syrup instead of sugar. It’s chilling now, but this is going to be good!

  • Nancy

    Looks terrific, For the Cranberry Relish Novice, how long in advance can you make and how long can you store. Thanks

    • Elise Bauer

      You can make it a day in advance. It keeps for several days.

  • Edie

    Hi Elise. I’ll try this tomorrow. Intrigued by the version with marmalade too. I used to make a fresh cranberry relish with walnuts, pear and orange. I haven’t tried freezing these relishes — I imagine it might be better to freeze the cranberries whole and then blend up a new batch. I eat the leftover cranberry relish on toast (a tangy sourdough for instance) in the morning with my strong black tea. Think of the vitamins! Yummy! Edie

  • Jane Barron

    I also add chopped walnuts to mine have been serving this for years love the refreshing taste

  • Qing

    I halved the recipe and made it in my food processor since I don’t have a grinder. I really like the end result although everyone else found the orange flavor too dominating. I guess I just picked a good orange! I’ve been eating it just like that and it’s almost like a fruity dessert even though I only added 1/2 cup of sugar. :)


  • Barbara

    Wow! made this for the first time… The trick is to NOT eat it all before thanksgiving. :) P.S. my 3 yr old LOVES IT…


  • Nina

    I made this last Thanksgiving and everyone loved it. I used my Kitchenaid mixer with the grinder attachment. It worked great.I was suprised about how good ground the orange peel was. It lost its bitterness and was surprisingly good. When Christmas came, I made it again because I thought it would be as good with ham as turkey… and it was. Now it’s Easter and my family is “assuming” it will be on the table. I think it’s as new family tradition.


  • Karita

    I made this for the office Christmas luncheon… let’s just say that it was the star of the show! Everyone loved it and there was barely enough left over for the next day! So yummy!


  • Nancy

    I just made this recipe using a Cuisinart pulsing for less than a minute and stirring it once, then pulsing again. I used only 3/4 cup of sugar. It was so easy and delicious.


  • Stella

    I have made this recipe for the last two years ever since I found it, and just wanted to thank you, as it is AMAZING. I will be making it again this year when I serve up an early Thanksgiving feast to some of my husband’s fellow soldiers, so thanks for making our holiday feel more like home, even when we are so far away from it. :)


  • catherine

    I’ll give this 10 yums :). Made some and then had a hard time not eating it all on its own. Should be really refreshing with turkey dinner.
    Thank you for this.


  • Sophia

    Wow, this is the best cranberry recipe ever! I couldn’t stop ‘tasting’ spoonfuls of it. Add a little white wine vinegar and it might be the perfect summer salad dressing.

    Thank you so much for sharing Elise!


  • Kaloma

    This is really nice with crackers and a good quality blue cheese.

    I bet a dollop of this would be great on top of a creamy soup, too.

    It’s not often that you find a recipe that can be used for virtually EVERY course, from appetizer and cocktails, to holiday feasts and dessert! And it’s SO easy.

  • Colleen

    We had extra left over so we mixed 3 parts cranberry relish with 1 part vodka in a blender with ice. Then squeeze some limes in at the end. Good stuff!!

    Brilliant idea. I bet that was awesome. ~Elise

  • Marie M.C.

    I had this cranberry relish last night at a friend’s house — minus the apple. I believe he made it a day ahead (?) to let the flavors macerate. He used half a bag of cranberries and half an orange — the whole orange (cut-up) peel and all — so the food processor wasn’t over-loaded each time, then tossed it with one cup of sugar. The juices had started to release making it a little “soupy” but I liked that. Going to buy the ingredients and make it myself this weekend. I could eat it with a spoon — minus the turkey. It’s so delicious.

  • Nikki & Jaek

    I forgot to say we then stirred in the grated orange peel afterwards.
    Great that can be made without food processor!

  • Nikki & Jaek

    We made this last night! It was mine & my husband’s first Thanksgiving together. He said he has always had Cranberry Relish. I told him I was making Cranberry Sauce and it was the same thing. He said it was not, we argued about it until I looked it up on the net and he was right. He’ll like that :).
    Relish is raw, sauce is cooked, ok, lets make both. We did. He really liked his relish. Thank you so much for the recipe!!
    We didn’t have a grinder so we first tried a hand blender and then moved up to a regular blender. Oh, I had my husband grate the peels off the oranges, with a fine grater and then added the oranges sans peel, as to make it easier to blend up. It at first looked like a strawberry milkshake and we thought we’d messed up, but then we added the peel and it looked perfect!
    I first put 1 1/2 cups of sugar and he said it totally wasn’t enough. That was all we had, so he added some Sweet N Low.

  • Cecilia

    My husband is going camping since I have to work at my nursing job for Thanksgiving weekend. He is going with a group of friends and this was the dish he choose. Per my suggestion, he added 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier Liqueur. Très bien!

  • Mark

    I just made the recipe and it turned out great….whole orange peel and all! I didn’t want to put it in there at first but I’m glad I did, it’s delicious. One trick is that you may want to drain off a bit of the juice (not all of it) before you add your sugar. It was a bit soupy before I drained it and now it looks just like the pic.

  • Jerry

    This is just how my Mom used to make it when I was a kid. I’m going to attempt to do it this year for the first time in a food procesor. This is so much better than that weird canned jello like cranberry sauce that people get. I don’t even understand why that stuff exists. Anyway, I can’t wait to make this.

  • Hillary

    Hi Elise, I’m assuming if I were to use frozen cranberries i would want to defrost them first? Also, could I reconstitute dried ones if fresh or frozen are unavailable (asking from experience)? Thanks!

    Hi Hillary, yes, I think you would probably want to defrost and drain them first. As for reconstituted dried cranberries? no idea with this recipe. If you try it that way, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  • Ollie

    I’ve found that using whole clementines instead of the navel oranges is wonderful.

  • Kay

    This is the same recipe my grandmother made every Christmas for as long as my 90 year old mother can remember. It isn’t Thanksgiving or
    Christmas in our family without this relish on the table. Leftovers are great with yogurt, ice cream, in oatmeal, or with cottage cheese. When each of us three girls got married our mother gave us this recipe and a hand grinder. My kids grew up helping to grind the fruit just as we three girls did.

  • Kate's Mom

    I make extra relish, can it, and give it away to friends and family before T’giving so they can have it T’giving day. Keeps well on the shelf for up to a year (but doesn’t usually last that long). If you plan on canning it, be sure to cook it (bring it to a boil) and drop in a small dollop of butter when cooking – it smooths out the taste. Leave 1/4″ – 1/2″ head space and put in hot water bath for 15 minutes.

  • Carrol

    Love this relish!

    @Rita – I did substitute some honey for the sugar and it came out really well.

  • Rita Godin

    Can I use honey instead of sugar?

    I don’t recommend it, it would change the flavor much too much. ~Elise

  • Amy

    What a wonderful recipe! I have been canning up a storm this summer and would like to make this for Christmas gifts later this year. Have you tried canning these for storage rather than storing in the fridge/freezer? Thanks!

    This recipe uses raw ingredients, not cooked, so is not a candidate for canning as is. ~Elise

  • Hillary

    Delicious! My husband has me make this all the time for sandwiches, meats, whatever. It is a fave in our house!

  • Heather

    What are some useful and creative ways to serve this relish? My friend makes this for us every Holiday, but I wondered if there are other ways to serve it, other than with Turkey?

    Add some chopped fresh or pickled jalapenos to it and it becomes a salsa for tacos. ~Elise

  • Christie

    I went out looking for a meat grinder (granted, four days before Christmas) and found none. So I made it tonight in my food processor, and it was just perfect. Surprisingly no mush.

    Funny thing, though… I am cooking in the kitchen and my computer is in the living room, and I’m running back and forth to read recipes. I thought the recipe said 1-2 *tablespoons* of sugar, not cups! I kept adding “extra,” wondering if it would get better after sitting in the fridge. ;) It’s much better now, after a good dump of sugary goodness.

  • Nicky

    I’ve been making this for years. Never worry about the whole orange. That is what makes it so great! It keeps fine in the fridge for several days.
    James Beard (famous chef from the 60’s, 70’s, & 80’s) may have originated the recipe without apples. He put out a Cuisinart recipe book and his recipe is in it without the apples and added 3 Tbs of bourbon or Grand Marnier.
    Process all but the sugar to a consistency that is just like the grinder then add the sugar. I have made it without the apples and it’s still delicious. I’ve never tried the bourbon or Grand Marnier

  • Valentine Grammy

    Thanks for this great recipe. A food chopper works well. (My electric grinder has too small of holes with the blade.) Some folks in Texas add chopped pecans to cranberry relish. Also can be made without sugar and then stirred into Jello. ;-)

  • Michelle

    I make this every year, with no apples, but cranberries and whole tangerine and whole – yes – lime. YUM! It is so zingy and fabulous. I’ve never made it more than a day in advance, but I see here that some people make these relishes to sit for weeks, so I think I’ll be good if I make it tonight to get it out of the way.

  • Bridgette Boudreaux

    This type of cranberry relish has been in my family for years. I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving without it! I also can’t imagine that you just make 3 cups of it! That is about the size of my serving. Here is our families recipe for all those who could eat 3 cups of it by themselves (and even this can be easily doubled):

    1 bag of cranberries
    5 small apples
    1 small can FCOJ
    sugar as needed

    The method is the same, but our family just uses the Orange Juice instead of the oranges. I might try it your way this year, but double this recipe so I’ll need a few oranges.

  • Diana

    I was very hard hearted when it came to getting rid of unnecessary cooking untensils when I moved here to Washington a few years back. However, I kept the old grinder that had been passed down to me because it gives a texture I don’t think you can get other ways (e.g., meat for chili) and it just gives me pleasure using something not plugged in. In this case, the grinder is leaky so, as pointed out in the recipe, there’s juice that runs down the grinder base. You definitely will need something to catch it! However, that might explain why some cooks using other equipment felt that it was too runny and drained the mixture. Thanks, Elise, for sharing your recipe and I appreciate the comments of everyone else. I’m in my sixties and this is the first time I’ve ever made uncooked cranberry sauce. Your praise of this approach helped me make the decision and it is, indeed, delicious.

  • cassandra

    Many have asked how long this will keep, but I can’t find an answer – I would like to make it ahead of Thanksgiving Day, and wonder how far ahead I can go? Thanks Elise.

    The sugar acts as a preservative. The cranberry relish should last several days in the refrigerator. ~Elise

  • Jen

    I made this last year, and loved it so much I ended up eating most of it myself before Thanksgiving and had to make a second batch! I experimented with dried pitted dates as an alternative sweetener because I do try to avoid refined sugar. I prefer things less sweet than most other people do, but for those guests who do like more sweetness, you could use turbinado sugar or palm sugar if you are looking for a more natural choice. I can’t wait to make it for Thanksgiving again this year … doubling the recipe of course :)


  • DB

    This recipe is very similar to one my grandmother and mother have been making for years. Our recipe also adds diced celery and chopped walnuts. We use it like this as a relish or add it to some cherry or raspberry jello and serve it as a cold salad.

  • Frank

    I’ve been making an older version of this recipe for about two years. The old recipe didn’t call for tart apples or leaving the peel on and it was still delicious. My family loved it. I’ll try this recipe next time. Though, it’s hard to beat the old one.

    I’d be cautious about using two cups of sugar. One cup appears to be plenty. (Perhaps because I didn’t use tart apples.)

  • Pamela

    My mother in-law makes this recipe with a food processor and adds triple sec – Yum!

  • Sandy

    I made this for the first time last week for Thanksgiving, exactly as written, and it is DIVINE. Even people who don’t like cranberry just devoured it. I love the way it sets up from the pectin in the fruit…I don’t have an old-fashined meat grinder so used my KitchenAid grinder attachment. It worked okay, I think it might be better with the hand grinder but I can’t say for sure. Thank you for such a delicious recipe, it’s now on the “roster” for every Thanksgiving to come!

  • Libby

    Hi! I made this on Wednesday for Thanksgiving. After grinding the fruit, I decided not to mix the liquid that dripped out back into the relish–there was quite a bit and I didn’t want it to get soupy. I used about 1 3/4 c sugar and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Sarah

    Ditto on the sugar. I started with one cup and am glad I didn’t add any more. But this is a great antitode to all the heavy food! Thanks for giving us a great recipe to tinker around with.

  • sally wood

    I saw this recipe on the site yesterday and decided to give it a try. Added some toasted walnuts just for the heck of it. It’s nice, but WAY too much sugar. I added a bit of lemon juice just to cut the sweetness and it’s better. Next time I will start with 3/4 cup sugar and add more if needed.

  • Irene

    I couldn’t find my copy of the recipe my dad and his mom have made for thanksgiving ‘time out of mind’. We add chopped walnuts. Gives it a little more crunch. Enjoy!

  • Jen

    I made this recipe using only 3/4 cup of evaporated cane juice, and about 6 medjool dates for natural sweetness. Used a grinder, and it is absolutely delicious. It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and there may not be any left for tomorrow! Next year, I will try with more dates and even less sugar, if any.


  • anna

    OMG SOOOOOOOOOO good! I made this for tomorrow and I just tried it and it is delicious. The 45 min has not even elapsed for the sugar to melt and I can already tell you that this is by far the BEST cranberry accompaniment to turkey. Elise- I think I love you! Because of this site I seem to know how to cook …. all the time :)

  • Alyce

    I’m looking forward to making this relish this year. The one I have been making was to cook the cranberries with rasins and then adding other things to the mix. Very involved and my family did’nt care if it came out of a can or the bowl provided. This is the recipe I know will knock their scocks off. I will let you know. I’m 76 years old and have made a lot of relish in my day, This one will do the trick with not a lot of work. I have a kitchen aid and use that.

  • Anna

    Love this relish! I use one bag cranberries, 1 navel orange ( cut into large chunks with all the peel and seeded) 1 small apple, and very little sugar to start. You can add anything — I did jalapeno and a bit of ginger powder this year. (You can try tangerine for a different taste, if you like) and any of the additions other people mentioned above.

    But… you have to start in advance and let the ingredient marry overnight or longer in the fridge. It becomes more mild over time which is why I start with not more than 1/4 C of sugar and add to taste later on.

    Really good for you. Tons of vitamin C.

    Think of balancing sour, sweet, bitter and “hot.” And don’t judge final flavor by the first taste– it will mostly be sour in the beginning.

  • marty

    A day or two in advance of serving, make a double batch of rasberry or cherry Jello–When the Jello is quite thickened but not yet FIRM–fold this cranberry sauce into it and pour into a “cut-glass” bowl or Jello mold to firm up. It is a beautiful addition to the table–Kids and all will take a helping–and everyone wants second helpings. This Jello dish will never REPLACE the RELISH–but for a big dinner–is it a great way to serve it.

  • Kathy

    I was wondering if you have ever heard of using cherry Jello to sweeten the relish instead of sugar? Does this work?

    The main ingredient in Jello is sugar, so what you are doing is just adding artificial cherry flavoring to the cranberry relish. ~Elise

  • April

    I make this same recipe but I omit the apples and I cook the mixture with some extra OJ to make a delish cranberry relish. The leftovers are fabulous on a turkey sandwich with some sharp cheddar cheese!

  • David Staudacher

    This recipe is very similar to the one my mother used. She would clamp the food grinder to a kitchen chair and I would sit on the floor and grind the ingredients. She sometimes left the apple out and occasionally added extra orange peel. I leave the peel on both the apples and orange. Add sugar to taste…anything less than a cup is pretty sour. If there are any leftovers, it stores well in the freezer.

  • Laura Simmons

    As far as cranberries being seasonal goes, will dried cranberries work? I found some at whole foods that are organic. I like cranberries year round but not the canned ones.

    No, only fresh or frozen whole cranberries will do for this recipe. ~Elise

  • Kathleen in NYS

    I add a bit of Cointreau orange liquer to mine. Heavenly.

  • Meilin

    I recently discovered that this is delicious frozen and then partly thawed. I made it for last Thanksgiving, froze the extra and have recently discovered it as a dessert. It’s like a very exciting and cheerful sorbet… Hm, I wonder if blended, it’d make a good sorbet base.

    What a wonderful idea, thank you! ~Elise

  • Linda

    Looking for cranberry relish made with mustard seed, whole cranberries, sugar, orange zest, a little bourbon I believe, but not sure. Lost my original. Can you help me. Thanks, Linda

  • C Martin

    Every year I make this cranberry relish (less the apples) for Thanksgiving just like Mom used to do when we we growing up. It’s always been a favorite. I freeze half the batch to serve with our Christmas dinner. The cranberry relish freezes well, just thaw in the refrigerator the day before serving. Although apples were not used in our recipe, they could be added to the second batch thawing.

  • Me

    Variation from a lazy cranberry farmer:
    1 bag ripe cranberries.
    3 oranges or tangerines peeled and seeded.
    1 ripe apple
    2/3 cup orange marmalade.
    Chop or blend in a food processor or blender until finely chopped.
    Total time: about 1 minute to make.
    Simple & delicious New England variation.

  • Mardean

    I tried a cranberry sauce recipe at work that had onions, apples….. I’m not sure what else in it. Maybe it was more like a chutney. Has anyone tried this, or have a recipe for it?

  • MikeinSanJose

    Do you think this would work with either honey or brown sugar instead of the refined sugar?

    Note from Elise: You could try it. The honey would definitely change the taste. Much brown sugar is just white sugar with a little molasses mixed back in, so it should work. Again the taste would be slightly different.

  • Jennifer

    I use orange zest and juice, and lime zest and juice, red delicious apples and less sugar. My friends who practice a raw food diet LOVED this. “Hooray! One thing at the family holiday table we can eat!”

    Also really tasty with heavy cream poured over it. Or mixed into plain yogurt, for those who do not like commercial fruit yogurt’s over-sweetness.

    Cran-in-a-can is just wrong. Cranberry “stuff” should not have can ridges when it plops onto a plate. This cran relish has been on our table for forever, and it will be on mine as long as I can open a bag and push a button on the food processor.

    Note from Elise: When it’s July, and neither a fresh nor frozen cranberry is to be found, and you are craving cranberries, then it’s great to have those cans. Glad you like the relish, it’s probably the only raw food thing on this site.

  • Grace

    This is very similar to my grandmother’s recipe which also calls for using a grinder, however, I have successfully made it in my food processor for several years. The major divergence from the recipe is that mine calls for chopped pecans. A must in the south. It is excellent prepared a few days in advance. My children require this recipe at Thanksgiving. This year I garnished it with some excellent green grapes we had on hand. Nice red/green effect for the holidays.

  • Cheryl

    This has been a long-time favorite for us and I often get requests to make it for others. I don’t have a grinder so I freeze the cranberries. I then use my food processor to chop them. (lots of noise but it works well) Just be careful not to chop them into mush, leaving some pieces a bit large is ok. I do the orange (chop this fine so no large chunks of peel) Last is the apple so I can make each the right consistency. Peel and all, just not the seeds. Personally, I like to let the relish sit for 3 days in the fridge before we use it.

  • Vanessa Balchen

    I’m still eating this relish and I still love it! Today it was lunch, served over Greek yogurt. The best.

  • Terri

    I made your recipe with a food processor and it filled 2 cute glass jelly jars. I took it to my mom’s, where we had Thanksgiving dinner and everyone LOVED it and said it tasted just like the holidays! So refreshing to the palate whether on sandwiches or just to eat along with hot food. I am making a huge batch for Christmas to give to friends. Thanks for sharing!

  • Melissa

    I made this for Thanksgiving, and I love it! Next time, I’m going to use a little less orange and sugar, though. Thank you!

  • Tanya


    I have made a Cranberry Relish using the recipe published on the Simply Recipe site. I used old-fashioned meat grinder, but the whole relish was quite watery. Looking at the picture provided for this recipe, the relish looks as I wanted it to be for me. It created a lot of juices from the apples, orange and even cranberries and I wish it was a little drier. Is it suppose to be this wattery?



  • Colin

    I made the relish for this thanksgiving as I’m not a huge fan of traditional cranberry sauces. A few notes:

    (1) KitchenAid grinder worked fine. Mine has two blades, a coarse and a fine. I preferred the coarse.

    (2) Granny Smith apples worked very well. I wouldn’t choose any sweeter variety.

    (3) I’ll cut back to 3/4 sugar next time, just to bring out the tarter edges of the cranberries and apples.

    (4) I’ll grind into a colander next time, and add the juices back to the relish to achieve the desired consistency. Came out a bit too juicy, even after sitting with the sugar.

    Cheers, and thanks for the great recipe!

  • George

    Hi! Canberry relish has been a tradition in my family for over forty years (I can’t believe I’m that old!) You can find the basic recipe on the back of a bag of fresh canberries found at your local grocery store. Here’s our’s:

    – 1 12-16oz bag fresh cranberries (washed)
    – 1 seedless orange (quartered)
    – 1/2 cup rasins
    – 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    – 1 cup sugar

    Traditionally, we used the old meat grinder, but be warned to put a pot under the table/counter where you connect it in order to catch the juices (there is a lot). Place a handfull of berries in grinder, then a slice of orange, berries, some rasins, berries, etc. Catch everything in a bowl, add the sugar and walnuts and mix well. We found chilling overnight enhanced the flavor greatly.

    In the past 10yrs, we also found that using a food processor worked well also, although the finished product is completly different. Process small amounts at a time using the chop blade and a few pulses until evenly choped (and not pureed). The oranges do not chop as well and we would chop by hand into small pieces.

    Where the traditional method results in a “juicy” product, the food processor version is dryer. Both, however, are great!

    For those watching their diets, you can substitute your favorite pho-sugar instead, but start with 1/2 the rate and work up as needed.

    Final note. As I said, this has been a tradition in my family for some time. I can remember looking forward to this task as a kid. I think it was the facination of watching everything get smashed through the grinder. It was pretty cool! Now as a Dad of three, my boys help me each year, and you know what? It’s still cool!

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Carolyn – this recipe doesn’t call for jello. You’re on your own here.

    Hi Avivamagnolia – Actually, I think if you pushed this through a food mill it would end up more like a purée, which you don’t want. You’re better off finely chopping everything.

  • avivamagnolia

    I wonder if this would work with a Foley food mill? Perhaps the cranberries would need to be quickly parboiled first…? I don’t want to buy any new equipment, and have neither a meat grinder nor a food processer. But I do have one of those old Foley food mills (which look like a saucepan with holes in the bottom and grinder arm/blade assembly rotating from a central point). They’re SO easy to use, and so cheap, and require no setup, very little cleanup, and no more storage space than a saucepan.

  • Carolyn Weeks

    I couldn’t find my original recipe, this was the next best thing. Everything I needed was there except; enlgish walnuts and cherry jello. I would like to atempt with 1c less sugar (using a double batch) and add 1/2 c nuts, and 1 lg pkg jello. Do you think this would work. I probably won’t be able to freeze left overs using the jello. Please advise. Thanks

  • Lucy

    I have been making a similar relish for years (I got the recipe from my mother). The relish will keep in the refrigerator until a little after Christmas — if you have not been sneaking big spoonfuls and eaten it all by then. I think the acid and sugar content keeps the molds, etc. out.

    My mother’s version uses just the orange zest, and the orange pulp. I use less than a cup of sugar, and grind it in the blender, leaving a little chopped apple for texture.

    The picture does not do justice to the incredibly luscious color –this is really pretty food.

  • megan

    I’ve been making a similar recipe for the past few years at Thanksgiving (thanks to the back of the ocean spray bags of fresh cranberries). I cut down on the sugar some, only use an orange not an apple, and add in some cinnamon and cloves to taste. I really like those spices with the fruit!

    My partner also likes it with some chopped walnuts stirred in, which can help cut down on the acidity of cranberries and oranges.

  • Angela

    We always have a cranberry relish similar to this one for Thanksgiving. The only difference is we also add a pear. It was always my favorite dish to help make, because I got to use the food grinder!

  • Claire

    Try looking for a meat grinder at your local Goodwill or thrift store. That is where cooks unload what they no longer use and non-cooks tend to unload wedding gifts: small kitchen appliances, pots, pans and cooking tools. Great place to find a huge turkey roaster, ricer, spring form pans. It is where I found my best Le Crueset pot! Don’t forget to donate the meat grinder back to Goodwill when you are finished!!

  • William

    Your recipe is pretty much the same as the one my family has been using for over 80 years. The only difference today is that we use a blender instead of the old hand crank meat grinder. For those who asked abour storing for longer periods of time for what turns out to be a very large batch, freezing leftover relish works great. We freeze and then thaw it for our Christmas Eve and Christmas dinners.

  • Aileen

    I just made cranberry relish last night. It’s nearly the same recipe as yours (it adds a lemon), but I got it from an old cookbook I have. I did change the recipe slightly. I hate citrus pith (the white part) so I made sure to zest the citrus, then cut out the fruit (and some of the membranes), with very little pith. Then I pulsed it all in a mini-prep (I don’t have a grinder). It’s sitting in the fridge now the sugar mixed in. My version of the recipe says to make it at least a day in advance so that the flavors will blend.

    For Bill, with the orange allergy: Are you allergic just to oranges? My recipe has a variation using tangerines instead of oranges. Use 3 tangerines and be sure to seed them instead of 2 oranges. There is no other change in the recipe.

  • Cammie

    Hi Elise! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful recipes. Ditto on the question on using the Kitchen Aid grinder. Also, what kind of apples do you suggest I use? Many THANKS!

  • Melissa

    Hi Elise! I am planning on making this for Thanksgiving in a few weeks, and wanted to know if I could use my Kitchen Aid grinder attachment for this? I know someone else asked last year, but I didn’t see an answer. Thanks!

  • Maria

    I made this recipe and did not use a grinder. I did not have a grinder so I used my Pampered Chef chopper. It is just a hand chopper that you push the handle up and down on. Now days you can buy them at Walmart. Anyway it worked out great. I also peeled my orange and only put in a small amount of orange peel.

  • Suki

    The relish sounds wonderful but is there anything you can substitute for the oranges? I am allergic to oranges and most relishes i see call for oranges so i have yet to make them.

  • Bill

    I made the cranberry relish for Thanksgiving. Delicious. i did have to cut down on the sugar though.

    I have a grinder but the only setting I have is too small, so it was time to try something else.
    After some experimenting I discovered a very good substitute.
    I used the top blade on a food processor. The key to making it work was to fill the feed tube with cranberries and push them so they’re packed in tightly. Then use the “pulse” setting. It does a nice job on the cranberies.

    I had to cut the apples and oranges into cubes first before adding them to the food processor to have them come out about the same size as the berries

  • Betsy

    I made the relish yesterday and it is now my holiday favorite! Fabulously good!

    I would love to know how to can it for longer storage, since cranberries are so seasonal.


  • cd


  • Deb

    Thank you for the Cranberry Relish recipe. I’ve just posted our version which we have used year after year. It’s basically the same idea (with a couple additions) as the one you posted, although ours is sweetened with orange marmalade and brown sugar.

    Here’s the link if you’d like to view it:

  • Chris

    I’m looking forward to trying the cranberry relish Thursday.

    I use my grinder mainly to make a recipe of my mother’s called Godfrey Sandwichs. One onion, one green pepper, 1/2 lb bacon, and 1 lb cheddar. Grind, spread on Triscuits, and broil. The mix freezes well and always draws raves.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Anonymous – please do not peel the orange! Put the whole seedless orange in, peel and all. Believe me, it will work.

  • Anonymous

    This looks good, but what do the orange peelings taste like?

    Would it make sense to peel the orange? I am not questioning what looks like a great recipe that many here have made!!

  • linda

    My husband’s mom made a relish that starts like yours but then puts everything in lemon jello. It is wonderful but makes way too much for the 4 of us and is limited to turkey. I can’t wait to try your recipe. Yum! I think it will be good with pork too. Good to know I can still get the old fashioned grinder; ours is worn out. I’ve used the food processor and the grinder attachment for the mixer, they just don’t chunk it right. Thank you.

  • jenny

    Mom’s cranberry salad

    1 16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
    1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
    1 cup sour cream
    1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

    Combine and mash cranberry and pinapple together. beat sour cream and powdered sugar; add to fruit mixture and mix thoroughly. Line 8 or 9 inch pie dish with aluminum foil. Pour in friut mixture. Freeze until firm.
    To serve, turn out salad and let stand for a few minutes. Remove remaining foil and cut into wedges.

  • Nicole Kessler

    Am looking for an old recipe called “Cranberry Relish” made with bag cranberries and crushed pineapples. After 30 plus years, I have misplaced mine.

  • rabdra

    My mother used to make this relish and I could not find her recipe after she was gone. I tried to make but something was not right. This one made it. Thanks!

  • Joanne

    How much ahead of time can I make the relish for Thanksgiving – I usually make a cranberry orange relish which I make at least 2 weeks ahead of time so it has time to sit and blend flavors but I’m not sure with the apple if it will get mushy or go bad if I make it early.

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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 Bauer

    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.

  • 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?