Skip to Content

Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish

This Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish is so easy to make and will definitely become a staple at your Thanksgiving table.

white serving dish filled with cranberry orange relish

Save this recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish to Pinterest!

Homemade Cranberry Relish Recipe

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is tomorrow! In my opinion, Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without a little cranberry sauce on the side. This recipe for cranberry orange relish is one of my sister’s favorite recipes, so I thought I’d share it again!

I personally can never decide which I prefer on Thanksgiving: cranberry relish, cranberry sauce or gravy. I love gravy on mashed potatoes and turkey.

I like to have cranberry sauce and cranberry relish on turkey and rolls. And I usually have to have a little bit of each.

I love this cranberry orange relish for a little something extra special. Cranberry sauce with orange juice is so simple to prepare at home, taking only about 15 minutes from start to finish.

cranberry sauce with orange juice in white serving dish next to spoon

Save this recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish to Pinterest!

There is really no reason to use the canned stuff, unless of course you happen to really love it. You’ll appreciate how much fresher homemade cranberry relish tastes compared with the store-bought canned varieties.

This cranberry orange relish recipe is chunky thanks to golden raisins, walnuts, and of course cooked cranberries.

If you prefer a smooth cranberry sauce, you’ll want to try this Red Wine Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce.

Cranberry Orange Relish Ingredients

This cranberry sauce recipe with orange juice uses only a few ingredients. I tried to make this cranberry orange relish recipe as simple as possible, and I think the ingredients list reflects that.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this homemade cranberry sauce:

  • Orange juice
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Real maple syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Orange zest
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Golden raisins
  • Walnut pieces

Tip: If you have leftover cranberries after preparing this recipe, you can easily freeze cranberries and use them at a later date! Head over to my How to Freeze Cranberries tutorial for all the details!

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

woman with red shirt holding a white bowl of cranberries

How to Make Cranberry Orange Relish

After you gather all of the ingredients, this recipe comes together in 5 super quick and easy steps. It’s so easy that my kids can make it themselves, which is always nice to spread the Thanksgiving day tasks out.

  1. Combine all of the liquids, sweeteners, and seasonings. 
  2. Cook the orange juice mixture to heat it and dissolve the sugar.
  3. Add cranberries and raisins.
  4. Continue to cook until cranberries “pop.”
  5. Turn off heat and add the walnut pieces.

You can serve this Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish warmed, just after preparing. Or, you can chill it for 2 hours, or up to 3 days, before serving it on Thanksgiving Day with your meal.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

cranberry orange relish in white serving dish on baking tray next to spoon

Save this recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish to Pinterest!

Can You Freeze Cranberry Relish?

Yes, most definitely!

Let the cranberry orange relish cool completely, then pack it inside freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. When you’re ready to eat the frozen cranberry sauce, pop it in the fridge overnight to thaw.

Can I Use Frozen Cranberries Instead of Fresh?

Yes, you can use frozen cranberries instead of fresh in this cranberry orange relish recipe.

I have used both fresh and frozen cranberries to make this cranberry orange relish recipe with great results either way, so feel free to use what works best for you.

Sometimes, I like to buy my fresh cranberries ahead of time to avoid the Thanksgiving rush. Then, I’ll stash the bag in the freezer until I’m ready to make this recipe.

cranberry sauce with orange juice in white serving dish next to spoon

Save this recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish to Pinterest!

Tips for Making the Best Cranberry Relish

I don’t recommend adding less sugar than the recipe calls for or substituting a sugar-free sweetener. You need all the sugar to balance out the tartness of the cranberries.

Also, make sure you’re using real maple syrup and not pancake syrup in this recipe. Pancake syrup is usually just flavored corn syrup, which isn’t what you want.

Once the cranberry orange relish is cool enough, taste it to see if you’d like to add more spices. Every palate is different, so use your best judgement.

What Readers are Saying about this Cranberry Relish Recipe:

Awesome!!!!! I made a batch and for tarts and butter. Tarts for hubby’s work and the butter to be served with warm bread when my parents arrive from a long winter drive. Thank you so much.

cranberries in a white mug on a rustic background

More Fresh Cranberry Recipes:

In addition to gracing your Thanksgiving table, there are all sorts of fun recipes you can make using any leftover cranberry orange relish that you have after Thanksgiving.

One of the best parts of making homemade cranberry relish is that there is some leftover to make something else yummy with! 

Here are a few fun recipes you can make using any leftover cranberry relish after your Thanksgiving celebrations.

If you polished off all the pie on Thanksgiving Day, but are craving something sweet go to with leftover, make these cute Bite Sized Cranberry Walnut Tarts. Super easy and so cute!

Make this Whipped Cranberry Butter. IT IS SO GOOD. You will want to put it on everything, but I especially love it on a warm roll.

Add it to Leftover Turkey Sandwiches. One of my favorites post-Thanksgiving things to eat!

Instead of using whole, fresh cranberries, add thick cranberry sauce to Deep Dish Apple Cranberry with Oatmeal Pecan Crumb Topping

Stir some of this cranberry sauce with orange juice into maple syrup to make Cranberry Orange Maple Syrup. It will be so good poured over pancakes and waffles for a post-Thanksgiving brunch.

Make a fun Thanksgiving flavored cranberry ice cream by preparing this No Churn Vanilla Frozen Yogurt with Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb, but instead of using the balsamic strawberry rhubarb mixture use cranberry sauce or relish.

Make this Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Pecan Crumble Topping and add some throughout.

Do you have to have cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving? Or are you more of a gravy person?

Love this recipe for Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish?
Sign up for Good Life Eats email updates and never miss another recipe!

This Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish is so easy to make and will definitely become a staple at your Thanksgiving table.

Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish

Yield: serves 8 - 10
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish is so easy to make and will definitely become a staple at your Thanksgiving table.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup Golden raisins
  • 2/3 cup Walnut pieces

Instructions

  1. Combine orange juice, water, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, vanilla, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Stir in the cranberries and golden raisins.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 3-5 minutes - or until the cranberries pop.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the walnut pieces.
  6. Cover and chill 2 hours before serving with turkey.

Notes

Storage Tips

  • You can serve this Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish warmed, just after preparing. Or, you can chill it for 2 hours, or up to 3 days in a sealed container, before serving it on Thanksgiving Day with your meal.
  • This cranberry relish can also be made ahead and frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving. If serving warm, heat on the stove over medium-low heat until desired temperature is reached.

CAN I USE FROZEN CRANBERRIES INSTEAD OF FRESH?

Yes, you probably can use frozen cranberries instead of fresh in this cranberry orange relish recipe. I haven’t actually used frozen cranberries in this recipe before, but it should be fine!

TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST CRANBERRY RELISH

  • I don’t recommend adding less sugar than the recipe calls for or substituting a sugar-free sweetener. You need all the sugar to balance out the tartness of the cranberries.
  • Also, make sure you’re using real maple syrup and not pancake syrup in this recipe. Pancake syrup is usually just flavored corn syrup, which isn’t what you want.
  • Once the cranberry orange relish is cool enough, taste it to see if you’d like to add more spices. Every palate is different, so use your best judgement.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 182Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 35mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 3gSugar 26gProtein 2g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

This Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish is so easy to make and will definitely become a staple at your Thanksgiving table.

Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish

Yield: serves 8 - 10
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish is so easy to make and will definitely become a staple at your Thanksgiving table.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup Golden raisins
  • 2/3 cup Walnut pieces

Instructions

  1. Combine orange juice, water, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, vanilla, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Stir in the cranberries and golden raisins.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 3-5 minutes - or until the cranberries pop.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the walnut pieces.
  6. Cover and chill 2 hours before serving with turkey.

Notes

Storage Tips

  • You can serve this Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish warmed, just after preparing. Or, you can chill it for 2 hours, or up to 3 days in a sealed container, before serving it on Thanksgiving Day with your meal.
  • This cranberry relish can also be made ahead and frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving. If serving warm, heat on the stove over medium-low heat until desired temperature is reached.

CAN I USE FROZEN CRANBERRIES INSTEAD OF FRESH?

Yes, you probably can use frozen cranberries instead of fresh in this cranberry orange relish recipe. I haven’t actually used frozen cranberries in this recipe before, but it should be fine!

TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST CRANBERRY RELISH

  • I don’t recommend adding less sugar than the recipe calls for or substituting a sugar-free sweetener. You need all the sugar to balance out the tartness of the cranberries.
  • Also, make sure you’re using real maple syrup and not pancake syrup in this recipe. Pancake syrup is usually just flavored corn syrup, which isn’t what you want.
  • Once the cranberry orange relish is cool enough, taste it to see if you’d like to add more spices. Every palate is different, so use your best judgement.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 182Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 35mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 3gSugar 26gProtein 2g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Be sure to follow Good Life Eats on Instagram. Tag @goodlifeeats and include the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think of it by leaving a comment below.

Original image from this recipe’s original posting date – November 10, 2011

This Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish is so easy to make and will definitely become a staple at your Thanksgiving table.

Save this recipe for Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish to Pinterest!

For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How to Make Cranberry Orange Walnut Relish Story.

Jodie

Sunday 20th of November 2022

I'm just wondering if you could sub honey for the maple syrup. Or do you think it would be too sweet?

Katie

Monday 21st of November 2022

I haven't tried it myself, but it would probably be fine. Or you could use granulated sugar or brown sugar.

Joyce

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

Doesn't say when to use the 2 tablespoons of water

Katie

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

Thank you for pointing that out. I'll edit the typo. Add it at the same time as the orange juice.

Carolyn

Tuesday 25th of June 2019

I make cranberry sauce/butter all year, it's delicious on toast & chicken salad sandwiches. We freeze extra bags of cranberries during the holidays. Thanks for a great recipe :-)

Katie

Wednesday 26th of June 2019

Great idea! I love cranberry sauce mixed with a little maple syrup on pancakes too.

Carolyn

Saturday 25th of August 2018

Every winter we freeze 6-8 bags of cranberries, they're in season such a short time. Today l made cranberry sauce in the middle of August, it'll go good on a chicken salad sandwich.

Katie

Sunday 26th of August 2018

yummy!

carolyn

Thursday 3rd of September 2015

I recently made this relish, I added 1/4 cup more of sugar & also a splash of balsamic vinegar. Very good redirection :-)

Skip to Recipe