Cranberry Orange Relish

Cranberry Orange Relish: the best homemade fresh cranberry relish for your Thanksgiving dinner is made with orange zest and Cointreau in just 20 minutes!

Cranberry Orange Relish: the best homemade fresh cranberry relish for your Thanksgiving dinner is made with orange zest and Cointreau in just 20 minutes!

So can I make a confession? I used to only enjoy the cranberry jelly out of the can. You know the one? With the ridges from the shape of the can that you had to shake like crazy to get it out?

It’s only in the last three to four years that I have come around to the idea that fresh cranberry relish is delicious too. Once I found one with orange zest though, that was it. I was sold!

Last year, I bought one for Thanksgiving from Publix. I was worried it took a lot of work and I just didn’t have the time. Then after Thanksgiving, we wanted more and the store was out.

Cranberry Orange Relish: the best homemade fresh cranberry relish for your Thanksgiving dinner is made with orange zest and Cointreau in just 20 minutes!

So I tried my hand at making some Cranberry Orange Relish and WOW. Homemade was SO much better….and it was incredibly EASY. I had no idea!!

I felt like a lightbulb went off in my head. No wonder everyone always said they would bring the cranberry relish. It’s crazy simple to make, you can make it days ahead of time and everyone thinks you did something super difficult. Win – Win.

Cranberry Orange Relish: the best homemade fresh cranberry relish for your Thanksgiving dinner is made with orange zest and Cointreau in just 20 minutes!

This Cranberry Orange Relish only takes twenty minutes to make, but it does take a while to cool. I know some families who like it warm, but we like ours chilled. So if you likes yours cold as well, plan for about 2 hours of chilling time in the fridge.

It is honestly best made days before though! You can whip it up a few days before Christmas/Thanksgiving and store it in an airtight container for up to a week. The flavors meld together — the tartness and sugar both level out as it cools — and it’s just wonderful.

Plus, making it ahead saves you extra prep the day of the big meal!

We make our Cranberry Orange Relish with a little orange liquor — Cointreau. If you don’t have that on hand, another one that works wonderfully is Grand Marnier.

The alcohol burns off while boiling, so I promise this is safe for your children to enjoy. However, if you would prefer to skip it completely, just add a little extra cranberry juice!

I hope you add this side dish to your families holiday dinner table, I promise it will be a new family favorite!

Cranberry Orange Relish Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup pure cranberry juice
  • 1/3 cup Cointreau (or Grand Marnier)
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • zest of 2 large oranges

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, combine sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt and cranberry juice. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add cointreau and cranberries, return to a boil.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the berries start to pop, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Add orange zest and stir.
  5. Serve warm or refrigerate until cold and serve chilled. Can be made up to a week ahead and stored in fridge.

Cranberry Orange Relish: the best homemade fresh cranberry relish for your Thanksgiving dinner is made with orange zest and Cointreau in just 20 minutes!