A simple and delicious condiment for Thanksgiving… or any time of year!

Click here for the full recipe and nutritional information.

As I have mentioned before, I am rather partial to cranberry relish or chutney over jellied cranberry sauce. There is so much more to it, both in texture and flavor. I remember the first time I tried to make it was when I was about 10 years old. I found a recipe in a magazine and decided to give it a shot. Unfortunately, that particular recipe made about a gallon of relish. Yup. A gallon. Plus it was terrible. I promise you that you will be much happier with this recipe than I was with that one, both in quantity and quality. So let’s get cookin’!


I don’t want to shock you, but the first ingredient we need is fresh cranberries. Groundbreaking, I know. Now I like a lot of relish, and I want to have plenty left over, so I’m making about a cup of cranberries per person. I’m just making enough for one in this recipe, but you can definitely multiply the quantities as many times as you’d like.


In a way, my recipe is halfway between a relish and a chutney, because although the cranberries remain uncooked, they are pulsed with a hot, richly flavored syrup. To make the syrup, combine the juice and zest of one orange, a small handful of toasted walnuts or pecans, maple syrup or apple cider, and pumpkin pie spice. You can of course mix up your own spice blend, but for the sake of simplicity, I’m sticking with the pre-packaged stuff, with a pinch of ground cardamom for variety. Gently reduce this over medium heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.


Now you can throw your cranberries and syrup, along with a shot of whiskey (and since it’s Thanksgiving, why not go with Wild Turkey?), into a food processor and process until it’s your desired consistency.

And that’s it! It’s best if you give it a day or two for the flavors to meld and the cranberries to exude their pectin, but if you forget to make it before the big day, it’s still delicious.



I hope that you’ll give this a try, and let me know what you think!


Be sure to also check out Cranberry Relish Lip Balm!

Cranberry Relish | Printable Version

Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


Zest and juice of 1 orange
½ c maple syrup
½ c apple cider or juice
¼ t pumpkin pie spice
½ t vanilla bean paste or extract
1 c fresh cranberries
1 T whiskey or red wine

  1. In a small saucepan, combine first 5 ingredients and simmer over medium heat until syrup coats the back of a spoon.
  2. Blend syrup and remaining ingredients until desired consistency. Chill until ready to serve, preferably at least a day. Stores up to a week.


One thought on “Vegan Recipe: Cranberry Relish

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