No-Cook Cranberry Relish…Woo Hoo!

I don’t really like cranberry sauce.

But wait, that was before I found this excellent no-cook cranberry relish.

Well, it was back in 2001, I believe, when Gourmet (R.I.P.) published this very simple no-cook cranberry relish. I was dead set against it. In 2002, my friend and co-worker at the time, Heidi, said she had made this and was thrilled with the results. The taste, said Heidi, was tart and the texture was crunchy, not soggy.

I sat down and thought through the pros and cons of cranberries. It occurred to me that I’ve been drinking cranberry juice for years and loved it. The thought also crossed my mind, though, that all other ways that cranberries were ever presented to me did nothing for me, and even turned me against this particular berry.

But, I promised Heidi I’d make it. She was right. The relish is nothing like the canned cranberry (or fresh cranberry) sauce I’d previously eaten. And, so, this has become a standard in my Thanksgiving repertoire.

Wait, wait, there’s even more. Every year, I get the ingredients to make this, and somehow have convinced myself of a few things from the previous year:

  1. There are shallots and fresh ginger in the original recipe (there are not, but they are now featured in my version).
  2. You have to cook this recipe. (Nope, just pop everything in the food processor and that’s it!)
  3. Everyone at my sister’s table loves this relish. (Not so much, but a few of us do love it, while others just want the traditional version).

This relish gets better over a couple of days, so make it today and it will wow your guests on Thanksgiving.

No-Cook Cranberry Orange Relish

Recipe adapted from Epicurious (Gourmet magazine, 2001)


  • 1 navel orange
  • 1 (12-oz) bag fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 small shallot, chopped coarsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated fresh ginger


  • Finely grate 2 teaspoons zest from orange.
  • Cut away and discard peel and pith from orange, then cut sections free from membranes.
  • Pulse cranberries with zest, orange sections, sugar, cinnamon, shallots and ginger in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  • Chill, covered, at least 2 hours to allow flavors to develop.

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  1. Posted November 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm by Susan | Permalink

    Hmmm . . . I’ve got two bags of cranberries in my fridge . . . I just might have to try this recipe (it looks really good!) in addition to making the “traditional” sauce.

    • Posted November 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm by natasha | Permalink

      yes, it’s really good! make it today so it’s good and tasty by Thanksgiving. enjoy!

  2. Posted November 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm by H cake | Permalink

    The relish is divine! It’s not as sweet as the “regular” cooked marmalade-like cranberry sauce. This one is a perfect combination of slight tanginess, bitterness, sweetness and lots of flavor.
    I made it last night and it gets better over time.

    • Posted November 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm by natasha | Permalink

      Hello! I’m so glad you made this recipe. and, today is actually National Cranberry Relish day. Who knew?? #nationalcranberryrelishday

  3. Posted December 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm by jani | Permalink

    I’m with you, it’s so much better than cranberries that are cooked to death. This uncooked relish is amazing! My guy Kevin makes it every year and it blows my mind how perfect it is with the turkey meal. I grew up with the cooked sauce so this is a wonderful change!

  4. Posted November 19, 2012 at 8:21 am by Katydot | Permalink

    I’ll try. Why not?

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