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
Print RecipeBuy the Margaret Fulton Christmas cookbook

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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. Has anyone tried this with Splenda or some other sugar substitute? We have both type 1 and type 2 in our family, so I’m always looking for ways to cut the sugar.


      1. I made this with Splenda this weekend, and it tastes all right, but I think I will try half and half next time. A little bit of an aftertaste. Everyone seemed to like it though.

        1. Susie B., I think especially with such a tart berry as cranberry you really need true sugar, because I can see how that metallic Splenda smack and the tart berry could collide. Also, try letting the relish rest in the fridge for at least 24 hours, as that tends to allow the flavors to mellow and meld. Finally, let us know how it goes….

      2. Susan, to my knowledge, all of our testers used straight-up sugar, though we’ll check in with them to be sure. Has anyone else used a sugar substitute in a similar cranberry sauce? And, if so, how’d it go?

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