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Cranberry Orange Relish is a delicious way to spruce up your holiday dinners. It’s a sweet, tangy, bright, versatile condiment made in your food processor with 5 simple ingredients in just 15 minutes. Enjoy with roasted meats, sandwiches, and even as a stand-alone snack (really, all you need is a spoon). Once you try it, you’ll be hooked!

Cranberry Orange Relish served in a white bowl with a silver spoon.

The holiday season is upon us, and that means time to enjoy all of our favorite comfort foods with friends and family. And no holiday meal is complete without bright and delicious cranberries. Instead of the standard cranberry sauce, this robust relish with tangy cranberries, bright orange zest, and honey has quickly become a Thanksgiving staple in our household. If you’re looking for a new cranberry recipe to try this year, this is the one – your loved ones will thank you!

Ingredients You Need to Make Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Orange Relish Ingredients on a white marble board.
  • Navel Orange: or other fresh orange, ideally organic since you’ll be using the zest
  • Whole Cranberries: ideally fresh cranberries, but frozen cranberries work well too
  • Walnuts: or pecans 
  • Honey: or maple syrup or agave nectar
  • Orange Liqueur: such as Cointreau brand, optional

Why this recipe stands out from others like it.

  1. Some Cranberry Orange Relish recipes include the entire orange peel. The problem is that the white orange pith from oranges can be very bitter. Here I’ve opted for orange zest instead of the whole peel for a relish with plenty of pop without the powerful bitterness of all that orange pith.
  2. Instead of refined sugar, this recipe uses honey for its natural sweetness and complexity.
  3. An optional splash of orange liqueur adds subtle warmth and depth of flavor. 


How are cranberry sauce and cranberry relish different?

Cranberry sauce (also called cranberry jam) is soft and smooth, made from cooked and pureed ingredients. Cranberry relish is crunchy and juicy, made with raw ingredients that are very finely chopped and combined. 

How can I thicken my cranberry relish?

To thicken cranberry relish, just strain off any accumulated liquid either with a lid or fine mesh strainer.

Is cranberry relish served hot or cold?

Serve cranberry relish cold from the refrigerator.

How long can you keep Cranberry Orange Relish in the refrigerator?

Store for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Can you make cranberry relish in advance?

Yes! it’s even better the day after you make it and holds up well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Options

  • Add a teaspoon or more of grated fresh ginger to add flavor and a subtle heat.
  • Vary your sweetness by swapping in maple syrup, agave nectar or brown sugar for some or all of the honey.
  • Toss in peeled, diced apple for added flavor and texture.
  • Swap pecans or hazelnuts for the walnuts.

Serve With

Cranberry relish makes a wonderful companion to roast turkey, ham, pork, lamb or chicken (a few recipe ideas listed below). It’s terrific served as an appetizer with baked brie; with crackers and cream cheese, mascarpone, or goat cheese; or as a spread for turkey sandwiches. You can even spoon it over your morning yogurt or stir it into oatmeal.

How to Make Cranberry Orange Relish

Remove just the orange zest with a vegetable peeler (avoiding the white pith) and chop. Remove the remaining peel and cut the orange into quarters. Add zest, quartered orange, cranberries, walnuts, honey and orange liqueur (if using) to food processor bowl and pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate (ideally a day in advance of serving). 

Cranberry Orange Relish

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Calories: 200
Servings: 8 servings
You need just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to make this versatile condiment that's essential during the holiday season.


  • 1 navel orange
  • 12 ounces whole cranberries fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur such as Cointreau brand, optional


  • Wash orange and pat dry. Use a vegetable peeler to remove zest in thin, wide strips (leaving the thick, white pith intact). Coarsely chop the zest. Remove the remaining peel and discard. Cut the orange flesh into chunks, discarding any seeds.
  • Add orange chunks and zest, cranberries, walnuts, honey and orange liqueur (if using) to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Transfer relish to a bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (Best made at least a day in advance.)


  • If relish is too watery (more likely with frozen cranberries), scoop it out of the food processor with a slotted spoon to reduce the liquid.
  • Keep refrigerated and enjoy within 2 weeks.


Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 63IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Ben | Havocinthekitchen says:

    5 stars
    Such a wonderful, fresh, and festive relish! I’ve recently made cranberry sauce with Cointreau (Although I didn’t limit myself with one or two splashes lol), so I can confirm this combination is terrific! Loving the use of honey, too.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thanks so much, Ben!

  2. angiesrecipes says:

    So festive, fruity and delicious!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thanks Angie!

  3. David @ Spiced says:

    5 stars
    I love how easy it is to make homemade cranberry relish…and it’s SO much better than the canned stuff in the store. Happy Thanksgiving, Marissa!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thank you, David – I agree! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!