Cranberry and Orange Relish

This cranberry and orange relish is made simply with cranberries, sugar, oranges, and water, and comes together in just 5 minutes of your time. Because we know you have other stuff to think about on Thanksgiving.

Cranberry and orange relish in a white bowl on a baking sheet

We interrupt the planning of your lovely Thanksgiving menu for a public service announcement: This sweetly tart cranberry and orange relish is lovely alongside more than just turkey. It’s also a sassy complement to many a roast, whether chicken, pork, or duck, including weeknight chops and cutlets.

Not only is the condiment versatile in its application, but in its very incarnation. We’ve been dabbling with adding various ingredients, depending on our mood and what’s in our pantry, and we’ve yet to have it go awry. You’ll find a list of them beneath the recipe.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Cranberry and Orange Relish

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 5 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes 2 cups
5/5 - 4 reviews
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Toss all of the ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the mixture thickens somewhat, about 10 minutes. (For a runny, saucy sauce, let it simmer just a few minutes less. For a more jellied version, simply let it simmer a few minutes longer.)

Let the sauce cool to room temperature before serving and, ideally, cover and refrigerate it for up to several days. This not only affords you more time and stovetop space on Thanksgiving morning, but gives the flavors time to meld quite nicely. Originally published November 5, 2012.

Print RecipeBuy the Margaret Fulton Christmas cookbook

Want it? Click it.

    What You Need To Know About Varying Up This Cranberry and Orange Relish

    • Listed here are things we’ve been stirring into this cranberry relish to magnificent effect. Just not all of them at once:

      Toss in a cinnamon stick

      Pour in a scant shot of Grand Marnier at the last second

      Add a few smashed slices of ginger

      Dispense with the orange and swap in ginger beer and crystallized ginger

      Substitute a splash of red wine, port, or bourbon for the OJ

      Stir chopped pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts just before dinner

      Swap apple cider for the OJ

      Mix finely chopped pineapple in along with everything else

      Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds

      Add a star anise (and don’t forget to remove the choking hazard prior to serving…or make certain it finds its way onto your mother-in-law’s plate).

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This cranberry and orange relish recipe uses the same ingredients my mother used to make her cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving, so I’ve fond memories of this. It couldn’t be simpler to make and results in a very nice, fresh change from canned cranberry sauces.

    While the recipe calls for frozen cranberries, fresh ones can be used when in season and the amounts of ingredients can be adjusted to your taste. I liked it best after it had been in the fridge overnight and the flavors had really blended.

    Although this is a basic cranberry relish, it’s simple to prepare with so few ingredients. And the orange juice and zest add a nice contrast of flavor. Ten minutes is the perfect amount of time to cook it, as the majority of the berries pop but still have plenty of texture. Perfectly sweet and tart!


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      1. Thanks, Brin! We’re delighted that you enjoyed this so much and appreciate you taking the time to let us know. Great tip on the cinnamon stick; we’ll definitely have to try that next time.

    1. This was a big hit at our Thanksgiving table. Everyone loved it, including me. It’s a perfect combination of tart and sweet. I especially loved the addition of cinnamon and ginger, which, between us, David forgot to take out.

    2. Very excited to try this recipe for Xmas this year. Has anyone added in the fresh ginger? How did it turn out?

      1. Hey, Kristen, how lovely to see you here. I personally have not tried it with ginger yet, but I’ve queried our recipe testers to inquire if anyone gave that variation a twirl at Thanksgiving, and will let you know what I hear. In the meantime, all my love to you, Dave, Hunter, and Baby Ruhlig….

        1. Thank YOU Renee. I look forward to hearing back from you as a hint of ginger sounds like it could be just delicious, but has the potential to also take away from the tart sweet. Really loving this website! Lots of love right back at you, E, and Inca.

          1. Kristen,

            I did try a batch with ginger, ginger beer, and the candied ginger. I used about a scant tbsp of fresh grated ginger, a splash of ginger beer, (start with less and add more as you go along), and about a 1/2 tbsp of chopped candied ginger. It was divine—and it tasted even better the next day. I would suggest starting with small amounts depending on your preference for ginger and adding more, but the flavors do deepen overnight so please keep that in mind. Please post how you made out. Sita

            1. So I doubled the recipe and added a little over 1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger. I made it in advance so it sat in my fridge for two days before eating. It turned out delicious and was well received by the entire family for Xmas dinner. Will definitely be making it again and may even add a tad more ginger. Delicious, thank you!

            2. i couldn’t agree more with Renee. i wondered if my suggestions helped, and phew i am relieved and thrilled for you. happy holidays, Sita

            3. So I’ve made this several more times since my initial post about a year ago, it’s now a family favorite, and to make it even more tangy and delicious in addition to the tablespoon of freshly grated ginger I also doubled the amount of orange zest. Perfection!

          2. Yup, I see what you’re saying. We’re thinking with the ginger it’ll still be tartly sweet but with a little sweet heat thrown in…? Will get back to you as soon as we know for certain….

    3. This so reminds me of my brother’s recipe for tart and sweet cranberry orange relish though a bit more simple. But now I have to go make some…

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