This Cranberry Apple Relish is a sweet, tart condiment made up of fresh cranberries, apple, orange, maple syrup and pecans. It’s a delicious and easy to make side dish to accompany your holiday meal!
Looking for a more traditional cranberry sauce? Try my Bourbon Orange Cranberry Sauce!
Why you’ll love it
Easy to make – As long as you have a food processor, this is one of the easiest side dishes you’ll make this holiday season. No peeling, cooking, or baking required.
Alternative to cranberry sauce – If you’re looking for a new way to use that bag of fresh cranberries, this cranberry relish is a great option. It’s sweet, tart, and raw as compared to cooked cranberry sauce.
What is cranberry relish?
Cranberry relish is a raw, uncooked condiment made with fresh cranberries and sugar. Often times apples, oranges, and nuts such as pecans are added to it as well. The relish is finely chopped, usually with a food processor. Cranberry relish differs from cranberry sauce primarily in that it isn’t cooked and from a textural standpoint.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Fresh cranberries – Extremely tart, which is why they generally need a fair amount of sweetener.
- Apple – I like to use a tart apple such as a Granny Smith. You could also use a sweeter variety, such as Honey Crisp. Make sure whatever variety you choose that it’s a crisp apple.
- Orange – Navel orange is recommended so you don’t have any seeds to deal with.
- Maple syrup – Instead of sugar I went with maple syrup. I love the maple flavor paired with the fresh winter fruit.
- Pecans – Nuts are optional, but I love the crunch and flavor they add.
- Cinnamon – Another optional ingredient, but it adds a nice warm spiced flavor to the relish.
How to make cranberry apple relish
To make this cranberry apple relish it’s best to have a food processor. You can chop it all by hand, but as you can see from the photos, it needs to be very finely chopped.
Add the bag of cranberries, Roughly chopped apple, and orange to the food processor. You don’t need to peel the orange, the entire thing, rind and all goes in. Trust me on this one, it won’t taste sour or bitter because of it.
Pulse all of the ingredients in the food processor until they’re finely chopped. Add in the toasted pecans, scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse again until the nuts are chopped.
Pour the mixture into a serving bowl and stir in the maple syrup and cinnamon if you’re using that. Give it a taste and add more maple syrup and cinnamon if needed.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for at least an hour before serving. You want to give the flavors in the relish time to marry before eating it.
Can it be made ahead of time?
Yes. You can make the cranberry relish 2-3 days ahead of time. You will want to make it at least an hour before serving so that the flavors have time to marry together.
Store the relish in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you plan to serve it.
Ways to use cranberry apple relish
- Serve it as a side dish alongside roast turkey, chicken, ham, lamb, or even prime rib.
- Put it on top of a block of cream cheese or a log of goat cheese and serve it as an appetizer.
- Use it as a topping for Greek yogurt.
- Eat it with crackers or tortilla chips.
- Use it as a topping for crostini.
More cranberry recipes
Did you make these cranberry apple relish? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 granny smith apple, core cut out and roughly chopped
- 1 orange, roughly chopped (keep the skin/rind on)
- 1/3 cup toasted pecans (optional, but recommended)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- Add the cranberries, apple, and orange to the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment. Pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the pecans. Pulse again until the nuts are chopped and then pour the mixture into a serving bowl.
- Stir in the maple syrup and cinnamon. Taste and add additional syrup or cinnamon if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 101Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.