Spiced cranberry relish is a no cook cranberry sauce and a must-have Thanksgiving and Christmas condiment (that also bumps up a turkey or roast beef sandwich like nothing else!)
A low sugar, no cook, 10 minute spiced cranberry relish that tastes like the holidays and makes everything you cook taste better? Bring it on!
My eye goes right to the cranberries on any holiday table. That gorgeous ruby color signals a bright pop of acidity that every dinner plate (no, every bite!) cries out for. And cranberry relish is the brightest of the bright when it comes to cranberry condiments. There’s no cooking involved, just a few quick pulses in a food processor creates this sweet tart memory making flavor bomb.
I adore cranberry condiments
cranberry relish ingredients
- 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
- for cranberry relish I prefer to use fresh berries, but you can use frozen and thawed cranberries if you need to. Just be sure to drain off any moisture that accrues after thawing.
- the whole orange will be used, everything but the bitter seeds.
- a bit of sugar is necessary to balance the tartness of the cranberries. You can use an alternative sugar if you prefer.
- cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg. The spices are kind of up to you, you can adjust to your taste.
RELATED: Cranberry Orange Cake
cranberry relish method ~ 10 minutes tops!
Making cranberry relish takes all of 10 minutes ~ for real! It’s a pulse, pulse, mix, and go kind of recipe.
- Pulse the cranberries in a food processor.
- Pulse the sliced orange in the food processor.
- Mix together with sugar and spices.
step 1. Pulse the cranberries
step 2. Pulse the orange
Yes, that’s the whole orange, peel and all. The only thing that doesn’t go in are the seeds.
step 3. Mix with sugar and spices
I add just enough sugar to take the edge off the cranberry’s tartness, without over sweetening the relish. It’s that pleasant astringency that makes cranberry relish such a great palate cleanser.
cranberry relish is a raw cranberry sauce
Yes, you can absolutely eat cranberries raw, they’re delicious in this no cook-sauce. In fact fresh cranberries are the healthiest way to enjoy this superfruit: healthier than drinking cranberry juice and definitely healthier than eating dried cranberries.
cranberry sauce vs cranberry relish
Cranberry sauce is a cooked mixture of cranberries, sugar, and water, resulting in a thick, sweet, and slightly tart sauce. Cranberry relish, on the other hand, is typically made from raw cranberries mixed with other ingredients like oranges, apples, and sometimes nuts. It has a fresher, chunkier texture and a more complex flavor profile due to the combination of fruits and sometimes added spices, offering a contrast to the smoother, sweeter consistency of cranberry sauce. In other words, cranberry relish is cranberry sauce’s zippier cousin.
spiced orange is a classic holiday flavor
The tradition of spiced oranges can be traced back to medieval Europe when spices like cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg were highly valued and often used to mask less pleasant odors in homes. To make an orange pomander, you simply insert whole cloves into the orange’s peel. The cloves are usually pressed into the orange in decorative patterns or designs. As the orange dries, it releases a citrusy aroma combined with the spicy scent of cloves.
why we eat cranberry relish with holiday meals
Cranberries are native to North America and ripen in the fall, coinciding with Thanksgiving and winter holidays.
The natural tartness of cranberries balances rich holiday foods like turkey, gravy, and stuffing. This contrast in flavors adds depth and interest to the meal.
As a palate cleanser: the acidity in cranberries cuts through the fats and oils from other dishes, refreshing the taste buds and prepping them for the next flavor!
That pop of color wakes up those drab menus!
how to serve cranberry relish
Use this tart relish on sandwiches: turkey, ham, or roast beef in particular.
Spiced Orange Cranberry Relish
- food processor optional*
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed**
- 1 medium orange, washed and rinsed well
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger
- Put the cranberries in a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped but not pureed. Put in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Slice the ends off the orange and discard. Slice the orange and then cut the slices into quarters. Remove any seeds. Put the orange pieces, peel and all, into the food processor and process until finely chopped but not pureed.
- Add the processed orange, sugar, and spices into the mixing bowl with the cranberries and stir to combine well. Taste to adjust the sugar or spices.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. The relish can be made a day ahead.
fresh cranberry recipes
- Cranberry Apple Crisp
- Cranberry Cornbread
- Cranberry Orange Cake
- Spiced Rum Cranberry Sauce
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies