Spiced Cranberry Relish

spiced cranberry relish 2This has forever been my favorite cranberry recipe and it’s all thanks to my mom. I don’t know how many years ago she first made this recipe, but prior to it, I never really cared for cranberries. I wanted to like them and always scooped some on my plate because they looked pretty and fruity, but would soon be disappointed. I’d probably like a more standard cranberry recipe now, but back then, it was too tart for my taste buds. This one is by no means overly sweet, but the orange juice and spices add a nice variety to the sauce. I love the dried cherries too, especially because they plump up during the cooking process. I can’t wait to eat these cranberries on top of the local, pasture-raised turkey I’ll be cooking … my first time cooking a whole turkey!

This has been modified slightly from my mom’s original recipe, but only in terms of the sugar. It actually calls for much more sugar than I put in (2/3 cup) and also in the form of white sugar. I used raw honey to sweeten it and cut the amount down by quite a bit because I don’t like things as sweet. Plus, I always opt for as little sweetener as possible (granted, you’d use less when opting for liquid sweetener over dry anyway since it’s more concentrated). There’s added sweetness from the orange juice and cherries (if using) too, so it really doesn’t need anymore sweet.


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup 100% pure orange juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened cherries, optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine juice, honey and spices. Cook, stirring frequently, until honey is dissolved.
  2. Add cranberries and dried cherries, if using, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer 3-5 minutes, or until cranberries pop. Remove from heat and stir in nuts. Chill for several hours before serving.





17 thoughts on “Spiced Cranberry Relish

  1. lifefullofjules November 12, 2012 / 11:33 am

    This looks absolutely delicious.. I am going to have a hard time finding a turkey but I will give it a try!!! I LOVE cranberry mayo also, have you made it with this?

    • paleoinpdx November 12, 2012 / 11:35 am

      Cranberry mayo? I’ve never heard of such a thing! I have some homemade mayo in the fridge that I could try mixing with the relish, but I’m not sure if I’ll like it or not…

      • lifefullofjules November 12, 2012 / 11:36 am

        There is a local restaurant up here, they put it on a club sandwich, I was hooked ever since. Mind you, I had to wrap my head around it first!

  2. paleoinpdx November 12, 2012 / 11:37 am

    Interesting combo. I bet it’d be good to make chicken salad (or turkey) with. I’ll have to keep that in mind. Thanks for enlightening me!

  3. Brandyn Miller November 12, 2012 / 12:00 pm

    I was looking for a good cranberry sauce recipe…I think I found it!

    • paleoinpdx November 12, 2012 / 12:32 pm

      Fantastic! Hope you like it 🙂

  4. SCD Griddle November 12, 2012 / 12:08 pm

    This is going to be my contribution for Turkey day – thanks!

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