A glass bowl filled with finished cranberry orange relish. Bits of red, orange, and white are visible in the mixture.

Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry orange relish is different than your usual cranberry dish for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a raw dish. You don’t need to turn on the stove. It’s also a very forgiving recipe. If I’m making this for people who don’t use sugar, it’s a simple matter to swap the sugar for the non caloric sweetener of their choice without any negative effect on the recipe. Since pectin requires both sugar and acid to work correctly, I’ve had some runny cranberry sauce when I’ve tried to use splenda or stevia when I’ve made the cooked version. Cranberry orange relish also has a very short ingredient list.

I love cranberries, but it wasn’t always that way. As a child I had no interest in them. They were too sour. They looked strange, but as I grew, I began to appreciate the complexity of their flavor, and I learned to love the way they complemented and contrasted the different foods on my Thanksgiving plate. Now, I adore cranberries, but I think I might have become a convert sooner if I had tasted this relish on top of a cracker spread with cream cheese back then. In fact, a friend who doesn’t like cranberries liked this recipe because of it’s light and fresh flavor. “Crisp and refreshing” were the words one of my taste testers used to describe it.

What you will need to prepare cranberry orange relish

From the Pantry

  • Sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • Oranges

From the Refrigerator

  • Fresh Cranberries.

How do you prepare cranberry orange relish?

The process is very simple, but it does require the use of a food processor.

Strips of brightly colored orange zest sit atop a cutting board.

1. Remove the zest from two medium sized navel oranges.

If you’re not sure what zest is. It’s the outside, colored part, of the peel of citrus fruit. It’s loaded with essential oils which boost the flavor of the orange in your recipe. I like to use a microplane or a zester, but you can use whatever you prefer. For years, I used the small side of a hand grater, and that worked just fine.

The important part here is to avoid getting the pith or white part of the orange into your relish. It has a bitter taste, and you don’t want bitter relish.

An orange in the process of being peeled exposing the white pith that's inside the peel.

2. Peel the oranges that you just zested and divide them into sections.

Don’t get different oranges. That’s wasteful. It will be a little more difficult to peel the zested oranges, but it’s easier to remove the zest while the skin is still on the oranges. There’s nothing wrong with the orange on the inside, so we’re going to make use of them.

Close up of section of a peeled orange.

3. Wash your cranberries and put them into the food processor.

Add the zest from the oranges and the orange sections to the food processor with the cranberries. and pour sugar over the top.

Cranberries and oranges are visible in the bowl of a food processor, sugar has been sprinkled over the top and is clearly visible in the photo.

4. Pulse the food processor until the cranberries and oranges have been finely minced.

You don’t want this too runny, and you want it to still have some texture, so keep an eye on it as you pulse. Once it’s reached your desired consistency, remove it from the food processor and store in a container in the refrigerator. This recipe yielded a about a pint of cranberry relish.

A glass bowl filled with finished cranberry orange relish. Bits of red, orange, and white are visible in the mixture.

How do you serve cranberry relish?

You can be like me and just eat it by the spoonful, but if you want to be “normal,” you can use it like you would a cooked cranberry sauce and put a dollop on your plate to enjoy with your turkey dinner. It’s also delicious spooned onto your favorite cracker that’s topped with cream cheese, stirred into your oatmeal, or spooned onto your breakfast toast in place of jam.

A two photo collage with the top photo shoing the ingredients for the cranberry orange relish sitting in a food processor.  The bottom image has the finished relish with bits of orange, red, and white visible in the mixture.  In the middle if s a banner which reads "cranberry orange relish."

What do you think of this recipe? Does it sound like something you’d like to try or do you prefer to have your cranberry relish cooked? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Orange relish is crisp and refreshing. Fresh cranberries and oranges are combined in a food processor to create a delicious relish that's become our new favorite way to eat cranberries. We also love that this recipe is very inexpensive to prepare. The total cost for this recipe was $2.10 or about $0.27 for an 1/8 cup serving.
Prep Time 10 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Calories 92 kcal


  • Food Processor


  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries washed, rinsed, and drained. ($0.99)
  • Zest from two navel oranges
  • 2 medium sized navel oranges peeled and divided into sections ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup sugar ($0.11)


  • Wash and rinse the cranberries.
  • Pour them into the bowl of a food processor.
  • Remove zest from two medium sized navel oranges.
  • Place the zest in the food processor on top of the cranberries.
  • Peel the oranges to remove the pith and divide them into sections.
  • Place the orange sections on top of the cranberries and zest in the food processor.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of sugar (or equivalent amount of sugar substitute) on top of the fruit in the food processor.
  • Pulse until the desired relish consistency is achieved.
  • Serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Keyword cranberries, navel oranges, sugar

The following nutritional information was calculated for one serving (one-eight of the recipe) prepared according to the recipe above using granulated cane sugar.

Disclaimer:  Nutritional information is calculated using online tools such as those available at cronometer.com or verywellfit.com.  We make every attempt to ensure that the information is calculated correctly, but this information should be considered estimates.   Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe.  In addition, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition-fact sources, databases, and the algorithms used.   You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.  Under no circumstances will PattyCakesPantry.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information provided. 

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