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Cranberry-Orange Relish


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I am one of those people that has to have cranberry sauce with their turkey on Thanksgiving.  The canned stuff will do but fresh cranberry sauce is always THE BEST!  It is so simple to make and can be made ahead of time. This year I decided to give a cranberry-orange relish a try.  

This relish recipe has some fresh cranberries cooked in it along with some fresh ones that are raw. Cranberry sauce usually has a nice fresh flavor, but this relish has an even more fresh flavor with addition of the raw cranberries.  You get the sweet and soft texture from the cooked along with the tart and crunchy texture with the raw berries.  It is refreshing fresh in flavor.

Now, not only is this cranberry-orange relish good served with the Thanksgiving bird but this relish is also yummy top on crackers with a nice schmear of cream cheese.

If you want a more traditional sauce these are also great – Cranberry Apricot Sauce or Cranberry Sauce (my favorite go-to recipe).  Make your own sauce, trust me on this one!

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Cranberry Orange Relish | realmomkitchen.com

Cranberry-Orange Relish


Units Scale
  • 2 (12 oz) bags fresh cranberries
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 cup sugar


  1. In a sauce pan, combine 1 bag of the cranberries along with zest and juice of one of the oranges. Mix in the sugar.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for 3 minutes. Allow to Cool.
  3. In a food processor, add the remaining bag of cranberries.
  4. Cut the remaining orange into 8 pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse the cranberries and and orange together until finely chopped.
  5. Combine this mixture with the cooked mixture and serve or refrigerate for up to 5 days.
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Adapted from Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen by Sara Foster as seen in Better Homes and Gardens Nov. 2011 issue.

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Karin Cote November 20, 2021 - 4:11 pm

We make a similiar relish but try to avoid using sugar. We use jar(s) of LOW SUGAR Orange Marmalade from Publix which makes it easier than the fresh oranges, mixed with the two bags of raw chopped cranberries. We have also added pecans in half of it. It will be tart even though the marmalade is both tart and sweet and it’s great with the raw chopped cranberries. We do several “taste tests” to get a good tart/sweet combination. I have seen some recipes that also add half cup of drained crushed pineapple. We have experimented with different combos and all are good! This is just some different options to experiment with to discover which you like best.

Joni November 23, 2016 - 4:53 am

Do you leave the orange peel on the second orange?

Nancy December 20, 2015 - 11:20 am

Leave orange peel on 2nd orange?

Tamara p. November 16, 2015 - 11:36 pm

I too, love me some fresh cranberry relish. This looks like an easy recipe…thanks!
Do you think I could also add walnuts to this?

Kayakdrm November 18, 2016 - 3:00 am

You could add your favorite nuts

Debby August 1, 2014 - 5:50 pm

I once had a cranberry sauce that was made like this but then it was frozen and then mixed than refrozen. Eventually served in 1/2 orange cups. Have you ever heard of this? Can you help me find this recipe?

DD January 1, 2013 - 8:39 pm

Made this recipe tonight and it was the best thing about the meal! Best cranberry relish I’ve ever made. I used blood oranges and also added pecans along with a couple tablespoons of honey to round out the sweetness. Going to have it on oatmeal tomorrow morning. Jodie, you probably didn’t process the raw ingredients fine enough.

Kat December 31, 2012 - 8:40 pm

Like Emily & Rhonda, our traditional family recipe did not cook anything, just ground up berries, oranges, & apple, added sugar, then split into 2 bowls…one with pecans, one without! Yummy! Great on turkey, dressing, leftover sandwiches! 😉

NickN November 18, 2012 - 4:29 pm

The variation I’ve used for years;
Quarter navel orange (don’t Peel) Pop seeds if easy
squeeze juice from a third orange, save peel
Toss in food processor and coarse chop
add cranberries and pulse till coarse chopped
add 1 cup or more to taste of fine graunulated sugar
add 1/4 cup of grand marnier or cointreau
refrigerate in a covered bowel overnight.
garnish with an orange peel
Fresh, tasty, only the food processor to clean
just be sure and warn people it’s alcoholic

Dianne January 10, 2012 - 4:27 pm

I used this recipe for the first time & it is very tasty & easy! Didn’t have enough cranberries so halved the recipe. To “Jodie” – had to tweak it a bit the end to make it a bit more sweet. You’re right, the cranberries are very tart. I think the type of orange you use can make a difference, too – mine were very sweet. I forgot to save half the cranberries to go into the food processer w/the orange but it still turned out great. In fact, think better because you don’t have all those raw berries. I would definitely make this recipe again – yummmmy!!

jodie December 25, 2011 - 11:01 pm

I absoloutly love cranberry sauce. Seriously, its one of my favorites…any type made any way. Except this preperation. Yick! It started off great. Boil cranberries, add sugar, orange juice and zest? Yes yes and yes. Process a whole bag of raw berries and a whole orange? Ok…maybe….Then I got a mouth full of raw cranberry and orange peel, not what I was expecting. I added it all back to the sauce pan and tried to boil it down and added more sugar to make it more palletable. It didnt work. If you make this recipe dont expect a soft, gummy, gelatious substance, expect crunchy and raw taste.

Spurs November 16, 2016 - 10:56 am

This recipe did not call for orange juice.

Emily November 8, 2011 - 7:12 pm

Our family has made this for years — but with the addition of apples! We put all of the ingredients, non cooked, thru the grinder and add sugar once it’s all mixed together. Chill in the fridge and add more sugar if needed. Super good!

Rhonda Darbro November 8, 2011 - 3:17 pm

This is how my mother and Grandmother always made our cranberries. I still make them like this. However, we always add in some chopped pecans. My son also likes it with some miniature marshmallows added in.

Lisa @ Life is Crazy Beautiful November 8, 2011 - 11:11 am

The recipe doesn’t mention when to add the sugar. I’m guessing in step 1??

Laura November 8, 2011 - 12:26 pm

Oh, thank you Lisa for noticing that. That’s how life goes when typing recipes with helping kiddos with homework.The kiddos come first. I fixed it. It is in step 1.