My Cranberry Orange Relish recipe is the perfect easy and healthy holiday side dish that will shine on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. This bright, zesty, and simple recipe uses 5 fresh ingredients including apples, orange, and pecans and comes together in less than 5 minutes in your food processor. It's sweetened with honey instead of sugar!
Cranberry Orange Relish recipe
This Cranberry Orange Relish recipe is so fresh, light, and zesty that it is bound to be a surprising favorite at your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Sure, you could buy a can of regular cranberry sauce but when a recipe is this simple and tasty, it's hard NOT to add it to the menu. This easy 5 ingredient, 5-minute recipe will bring the humble cranberry to the center of your healthy holiday menu and have your leaving that canned stuffed behind for good.
This simple recipe is made with fresh cranberries (which are bursting with vitamins and flavor,) orange, apple, and pecans. Most cranberry relish recipes and cranberry sauces are made with sugar, but mine is sweetened with simple honey that is just sweet enough and brings the flavors alive. You can easily make this vegan by using agave nectar instead.
The simple flavors in this recipe shine and the bright color and flavor is a lovely addition to your holiday meal including mashed potatoes, stuffed butternut squash, vegetarian stuffing and sweet potatoes.
Why You'll Love This Cranberry Orange Relish...
There are so many reasons to love this Cranberry Orange Relish recipe! Here are a few.
- 5 Ingredients AND just 5 Minutes to make.
- No actual cooking! It's made in the food processor so you don't take up precious oven space on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- You can make this ahead. This can store in the fridge for up to 5 days!
- It doesn't use regular sugar like many cranberry relish recipes, making it a healthier choice.
- It's packed with vitamin and antioxidant-filled foods like fresh cranberries, orange, and apple.
What's the difference between Cranberry Relish vs Cranberry Sauce?
If you are new to making a Cranberry Orange relish you might be wondering what makes it different from the traditional cranberry sauce often served at Thanksgiving. Cranberry relish is often cooked with fresh cranberries, orange, and sugar to break down the cranberries and make more of a sauce.
Cranberry Relish is a raw recipe that is made in a food processor and lets the fresh ingredients shine. It's brighter and bolder than a sauce.
If you like cranberries, especially at the holidays, you will honestly probably love a Cranberry Sauce AND Cranberry Relish. You can serve just one of these at the holiday table OR both if you are big cranberry fans.
Is Cranberry Relish good for you?
Yes! Cranberries are naturally low in fat and high in vitamins and antioxidants. This relish not only has the health benefits of cranberries but also gets a big dose of vitamin C and fiber from adding the orange and apple. Since my version doesn't have plain white sugar, it is better for you than many other options including the packaged kind.
- Cranberries: You'll need a 12-ounce bag of cranberries for this Cranberry Orange Relish recipe. Wash them before making the relish. Cranberries are not only a Thanksgiving favorite but they are also a superfood. Fresh cranberries are low in calories but high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. It also has lots of antioxidants.
- Pecans: I like adding fresh nuts like pecans to my relish to add some depth of flavor. You can also use walnuts.
- Orange: I love using a bright Florida navel oranges for this recipe. Look for a medium orange. To prep, the orange just peel it and cut it into large chunks. Orange is also super healthy food and is filled with loads of vitamin C.
- Apple: I like to use a medium Honeycrisp apple. It's naturally the sweetest and the crisp texture is a lovely addition to the recipe. Apples add even more vitamins to this recipe. They are packed with fiber and even more vitamin C.
- Honey: I use a bit of honey to naturally sweeten by relish. Cranberries are actually a bit bitter and tart and NEED a bit of sweetener to give them that traditional flavor you love. Honey is the perfect compromise and cuts through the tartness. The flavor and sweetness pair perfectly with the other ingredients.
This Cranberry Orange Relish recipe is SO easy! Here's what you do.
- Put the fresh cranberries, chopped pecans, orange sections, apple, and honey into a food processor. I love THIS one because it has a food processor AND blender attachment. It works great and gets the job done without much fuss. It also cleans up easily.
- Process or blend the cranberry relish until it is all chopped up into small pieces that are uniform in size. You might need to use the pulse feature to break up some of the larger pieces. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
- For the best flavor, put the relish into an airtight container and store it in the fridge 2 hours before serving. That allows the flavors to combine. If you are in a rush, you can eat it right away but it tastes best with the rest time.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature much like your favorite cranberry sauce.
Variations & FAQ
- Switch out the pecans for another nut like walnut or almonds or leave it out. You can also garnish the recipe with fresh chopped pecans on top if you really like nuts.
- Want it juicer? Add an extra splash of orange juice or go wild with a splash of orange liquor.
- Do you love orange flavor? Add some extra orange zest to the recipe!
- Add some fresh herbs like rosemary to bring a different flavor profile.
- Make this vegan by using agave nectar or maple syrup instead of honey.
If I don't have a food processor, can I still make this?
Yes, just chop all of your ingredients super fine with a knife and stir it all together.
Can I make this ahead of time?
YES! This is actually a great Thanksgiving recipe to make ahead of time. It stores well for up to 5 days. In fact, it tastes better after resting in the fridge for a few hours.
How do I store this recipe?
Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Since it's not can and doesn't have preservatives it can last for 5 days. Serve it chilled or at room temperatures.
Can I freeze cranberry orange relish?
Yes, freeze it in a freezer safe container for up to two months.
How Do I Serve Cranberry Orange Relish?
- In place of or in traditional Cranberry Sauce at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- Put it on top of cream cheese and serve with crackers as a festive appetizer.
- Add it to your turkey sandwiches for leftovers.
- Serve it with yogurt for a festive yogurt bowl breakfast or snack.
Make it a Meal:
Serving this for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner? Add some of these healthy Thanksgiving dishes to make it a meal.
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash
- Vegetarian Stuffing
- Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
- Roasted Green Beans with Garlic
- Thanksgiving Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Cranberries
More Healthy Cranberry Recipes to Try:
- Fresh Cranberry Salsa
- Fresh Cranberry Smoothie
- Cranberry Walnut Energy Bites
- Cranberry Seed Energy Bites
- Cranberry, Almond and Vanilla Granola
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and a star rating ★ below. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook too!
Cranberry Orange Relish recipe
- 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries
- ½ cup pecans, shelled
- 1 orange, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 honeycrisp apple, cut into chunks
- ⅓ cup honey
- Put the cranberries, pecans, orange, apple and honey into a food processor bowl.
- Process or blend until the cranberry relish is chopped into small pieces that are uniform in size.
- For the best flavor, put it in the fridge covered for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Served chilled or at room temperature.
Pin for later!
Made it ahead it tasted fresh 2 days after
I never tried cranberries relish. Wow, looks really delicious. Perfect side for my holiday table. I will make it for sure. Thanks!
Ohhhh I'm loving this twist and it is a great change from classic cranberry sauce. Saving for later as Thanksgiving has passed in Canada.
Cranberry orange relish looks delicious perfect with Turkey