Cranberry Relish with Horseradish and Sour Cream is an adaptation of a 1959 Craig Claiborne recipe made famous as Mama Stamberg’s cranberry relish on NPR’s All Things Considered. It’s a fabulously unique fresh cranberry sauce you need on your Thanksgiving table this year!
This easy cranberry relish is my favorite kind of recipe to share with you ~ unusual, colorful, super easy, and insanely delicious.
If this looks odd, I understand, so let me explain…the cast of characters might sound odd to you at first, but reserve judgement, this creamy spread will transform your holidays, guaranteed.
My relish is an adaptation of a relish that originated with a 1959 recipe from Craig Claiborne of the New York Times, and became well known through Susan Stamberg of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, who’s mother-in-law used to make it every Thanksgiving. It’s that kind of recipe…once you taste it you’ll be telling everybody you know about it.
This gorgeous pink sauce will command attention on your holiday tables, but be sure to stash a jar in the fridge for those leftovers, this stuff is awesome on turkey or roast beef sandwiches.
The jars I use in these photos are from a German company called Weck, and they make canning jars of all shapes and sizes that can be used for everything from storage to gifting as well.
You’re probably used to cooking your cranberries for cranberry sauce or jelly, but in this recipe the berries are used raw. Don’t be afraid of raw cranberries ~ this way you can really experience the vivid taste of the fruit. The tartness is balanced by the rest of ingredients in this relish.
Ingredients for cranberry relish with horseradish and sour cream
These are the ingredients for the relish, but the secret is in how you combine them…not too much sugar, and plenty of horseradish! Note, all the ingredients are raw.
- cranberries, you can use fresh or frozen
- sour cream
- prepared horseradish or horseradish cream (I love Stonewall Kitchen’s Horseradish Cream)
What’s fun about this relish, aside from its incredibly bombastic flavor, is its stunning color.
You’ll start with a dark mash of cranberries and as you begin to stir in the sour cream you’ll see it slowly transform into a glowing pink. Taste it and adjust the flavor until it’s just the way you like it.
make this cranberry relish your own ~
use fresh horseradish
- if you can find it, fresh horseradish packs quite a kick. Finely grate it, and use a little at first and taste as you go, it’s potent.
use frozen cranberries
- no need to thaw, use them straight from frozen.
make it lower fat and calorie
- use a good thick Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream.
make it low carb and keto
- plain cranberries are low in sugar and carbs.
- use the alternative sweetener of your choice, to taste.
make it dairy free and vegan
- use a non-dairy sour cream in place of regular sour cream.
How to use cranberry relish ~
- it belongs on your holiday tables as a refresh for your tired old cranberry sauce
- spread it on leftover turkey sandwiches
- pair it with roast beef, tenderloin, or steak
- serve it as a dip for crisp veggies and crudité
- make it a part of a spectacular winter cheese board
Can you freeze this cranberry relish?
- Unfortunately sour cream doesn’t freeze well, so I don’t recommend it, but luckily this recipe is a snap to make, so just keep cranberries in your freezer and you’ll be good to go.
Cranberry Relish with Horseradish and Sour Cream
- food processor
- 2 cups whole cranberries (frozen is fine)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, rough chopped
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 2 Tbsp prepared horseradish or horseradish cream, or more to taste.
- Pulse the cranberries and onions in a food processor until finely ground. Watch carefully because you don't want to create a puree, you want some texture remaining.
- Stir in the sour cream, sugar, salt, and horseradish. Taste to adjust any of these ingredients.
- Store your relish in an airtight container in the fridge and plan to use within 10 days.
notes and variations