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A bowl of homemade cranberry relish

Delicious Cranberry Relish

  • Author: Adriana
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2.5 cups 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Cold prep


Cranberry relish is a homemade cranberry topping that uses a few whole ingredients for a tart, sweet, and delicious addition to your Thanksgiving spread. This recipe will show you the following:

  • How to make cranberry relish
  • How to store it
  • Ingredient variations & substitutions
  • Cranberry relish vs Cranberry Sauce– what’s the difference?
  • Ideas on how to use leftover cranberry relish


  • 1 apple (sweeter variety of apple works best like Honeycrisp or Fiji)
  • 1/2 navel orange (navel oranges are seedless, if using a different variety– deseed)
  • ⅓ cup sugar (or more depending on preference)
  • 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries


  1. Wash the cranberries and discard any berries that are spoiled.
  2. Slice the apple into 6-8 pieces in order to remove the core and seeds.
  3. Slice the orange in half and remove the main section of white pith (connecting tissue) that runs through the middle of the orange. If you are using a variety of orange with seeds, remove the seeds as well. (Navel oranges do not have seeds)
  4. Add the orange to the food processor and pulse 10-15 times until it’s finely chopped. Remove and set a aside in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add cranberries, sugar, and apple to the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, about 10-15 times.
  6. Remove the cranberry mixture from the food processor and add to the bowl with the chopped orange. Stir well to incorporate.
  7. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to use.
  8. Serve cold from the refrigerator or allow to come to room temperature, if desired.


This is best when prepared at least 6 hours, or one day in advance.

We do not recommend freezing this cranberry relish as the fruit becomes mushy and sheds water. Instead we’ve included ideas on how to use up any leftovers.

Cranberry relish is a great alternative to cranberry sauce.

We recommend processing the orange first as it’s difficult to finely chop when added at the same time as all other ingredients.