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Easy Cranberry-Orange-Apple-Walnut Relish

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Refreshing and palate-pleasing, a bite of Easy Cranberry Orange Apple Walnut Relish is the divine soulmate to a bite of turkey. It’s also the perfect foil to so many of the *heavy* fat-laden dishes, that cause our heavily-laden Thanksgiving tables to groan under the weight thereof.

Easy Cranberry Orange Apple Walnut Relish is the easiest, quickest recipe you'll make for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but it's so delicious that it will become a family tradition.

Easy Cranberry Orange Apple Walnut Relish is the easiest, quickest recipe you’ll make for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but it’s so delicious that it will become a family tradition.

An additional reason I adore this dish is because my Mommy made it, and “ah hay-elped “! (Shoutout to those old enough to remember that old Shake and Bake commercial.)   I remember helping her crank the handle of the food grinder/food mill that was braced around the edge of the table in our basement, and tucking the slices of apple and orange into the feed tube.

How Easy Is This Cranberry Relish?

First of all, all the ingredients are raw. So, clearly, that’s easy.

Secondly, and happily for ALL of us, somebody invented the food processor in between the time when I used to make it with my mom, and now. So this dish takes all of about 30 seconds to prepare, once your ingredients are prepped. So that should tell you how truly EASY it is.

 Is Cranberry Relish Really Better than Cranberry Sauce?

This is one of the recipes that nearly always sends at least one of my Thanksgiving guests over the moon to Happy Tongue Heaven.

It’s sweet, tart, fresh, juicy, and crisp. It makes your taste buds stand up, salute, and break into the Hallelujah chorus. With all the carb-heavy, butter-laden dishes we typically serve on our Thanksgiving menus, this dish provides a welcome palate cleanse, in between bites. And none of my guests one can believe how easy it is to make!

Mom didn’t leave me a written copy of it, so I had to go hunting for a recipe that would approximate what I remembered her making, and happily, I found something similar in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

I have altered their recipe somewhat by adding an apple, and reducing the sugar, to suit our taste. This year, I also toasted the walnuts, just to deepen their flavor a bit, and I like that change as well. (350º for about 8 to 10 minutes)

One Important Recipe Note: I make this EARLY in the week of Thanksgiving: usually on Monday. By that time, the vivid red color of the cranberries has penetrated all the apples and the oranges, and dish becomes a VIVID crimson! So it’s prettier than it was when you first made it, and all the flavors have a chance to mingle, and marry. 

So here it is, my easy-peasy, amazing cranberry relish. (Dedicated to my dear daughter, my sister-in-law Kim, and my friend Rich, who each would like to have their very own bowl, please.)

Easy Cranberry Orange Apple Walnut Relish

Please: pin this on Pinterest!

The Recipe for Easy Cranberry Orange Apple Walnut Relish

Yield: 12 servings

Easy Cranberry-Orange-Apple-Walnut Relish

Easy Cranberry Orange Apple Walnut Relish is the easiest, quickest recipe you'll make for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but it's so delicious that it will become a family tradition.

Easy Cranberry Orange Apple Walnut Relish is the easiest, quickest recipe you'll make for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but it's so delicious that it will become a family tradition.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 4 cups of cranberries (about 1lb.)
  • 2 medium oranges, and their grated zest
  • 1 apple (like a Honeycrisp, or a Gala: something sweet and tart and crisp), peeled and sliced
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. toasted, and then chopped walnuts


  1. With a microplane zester, zest the outer peel off of two oranges. (Use the orange part only, not the bitter white of the pith underneath).
  2. Then peel and section the oranges. Put cranberries, orange sections, zest, and apple slices into food processor and pulse until mixture is finely chopped, but NOT puréed.
  3. Add most of sugar and taste, adding more sugar to suit your taste. Stir in walnuts and refrigerate.
  4. Serve cold.


If you make this the day before (or a few days before), the color will be an even more brilliant red, as the juices of the cranberries work their way into the apple and orange. I usually make this on Monday or Tuesday of Thanksgiving week (but then, I have to keep my daughter out of it all week, till Thursday). Prepare early at your own risk: it may be hard to stay out of it.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 22gProtein: 2g
If you enjoyed this post or would like to save this recipe, I’d really appreciate it if you’d pin it on Pinterest!

Other Scrumptious Thanksgiving Dishes

These are the dishes I serve at my OWN Thanksgiving celebrations. Not a loser in sight! Each one is over the top fabulous!


Wednesday 1st of November 2023

Can I use blender, or chop? Do not have a food processor.

Susan Williams

Saturday 4th of November 2023

I would chop. Part of the joy is the chunky texture.


Monday 25th of November 2019

So you don't cook The cranberries you Dice them up in the procescollmsor whole fresh?

Susan Williams

Tuesday 26th of November 2019

That’s right.


Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

How many servings in this recipe? I need to serve 10 so not sure if I need to double or triple. Thanks.

Susan Williams

Wednesday 22nd of November 2017

I wouldn't even double it. It serves all 6 of us easily, with lots left over. But to be safe, you *could* double it. It's a relish, so a little bit goes a long way.


Friday 16th of December 2016

I'm gonna try this next week!


Wednesday 18th of November 2015

why can't I print this receipe

Susan Williams

Thursday 19th of November 2015

Dear Steve,

This post was from my old blog, that didn't have the fancy recipe card software. Just for you, I transferred my recipe to the new software, so you, and others after you, wouldn't find it frustrating not to be able to print it. Thank you for reminding me that it would be helpful to folks to be able to have that one button to click, rather than copying and pasting the recipe. I hope you'll see this note, and come back and visit my blog again.

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