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A white bowl filled with homemade orange cranberry relish with pumpkins in the background.

Orange Cranberry Relish


Making your own cranberry sauce is not only easy, but also incredibly rewarding. This homemade Orange Cranberry Relish recipe combines the tartness of fresh cranberries with the sweetness of oranges and zest of lemon, creating a relish that will tantalize your taste buds. Plus, it’s a fantastic alternative to store-bought canned cranberry sauce.



  • 24-ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • juice of two oranges plus enough water to make 1 cup
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 lemon peels 
  • 2 orange peels
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • orange and lemon zest for garnish


  1. Combine sugar, apple juice, orange juice/water, and citrus peels in a sauce pot.
  2. Heat to medium and allow the sugar to melt.
  3. Add in the cranberries, salt and cinnamon sticks. 
  4. Cook, stirring often, until most of the cranberries have popped (about 10 minutes).
  5. Remove and discard the cinnamon sticks and citrus peels.
  6. For a smoother texture, mash the cranberries with a masher, or back of a spoon.
  7. The cranberry relish will continue to thicken upon cooling.
  8. Garnish with fresh citrus zest. Chill in the fridge before serving.
  9. ENJOY!


  • Opt for fresh ingredients, if possible.
  • Rinse the cranberries and toss any that do not appear fresh.
  • Adjust the sweetness to your preference.
  • Easily substitute the granulated sugar with brown sugar, maple syrup, agave or honey. 
  • For a lower-calorie version of this Orange Cranberry Relish, use Stevia or other artificial sweeteners.
  • Try not to overcook as the cranberries may become too bitter. 
  • Stir often to ensure the sugar and sweetness released from the cranberries does not burn.
  • Feel free to add additional spices; nutmeg, allspice, clove or even ground ginger will add another depth of flavor.
  • Add fresh herbs (rosemary or thyme).
  • For a smoother texture, use a masher or the back of a spoon to crush the cranberries into your desired consistency.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Side dish, Condiment
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: American

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