Cranberry relish recipe – the juiciest, mouth-watering cranberry sauce that pops with pomegranate and SO much flavor. Serve on brie crostini, as a holiday side or sandwich spread, or right from the jar. Watch out! It’s code named ‘cranberry crack’.
Pomegranate cranberry relish in glass jar with serving spoon next to cranberry brie crostini
Fresh cranberry relish with pomegranate is a mouth-watering cranberry recipe that, like cranberry sauce, you can serve as a side, condiment, sauce, or customize with add-ins. Since this relish is a no-cook recipe and the cranberries are macerated (which basically means do nothing and wait patiently), it gets more juicy and delicious by the day.
I prefer the texture and flavor after day two, but it starts being pretty darn delicious only a few hours after it’s made once the sugar dissolves.
CRANBERRY RELISH INGREDIENTS
- cranberries – use frozen or fresh cranberries for this recipe.
- pomegranate arils – also called pomegranate seeds. Available as whole fruit in grocery stores from Sep – Jan and always packaged in the refrigerated produce section.
- sugar – I have tested several sugars and sweeteners with this recipe…cane sugar wins (see more about this below).
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRANBERRY RELISH AND CRANBERRY SAUCE?
Cranberry sauce is traditionally cooked and cranberry relish is typically raw. That’s pretty much it! I love BOTH! In fact, I like to have both options available on the holiday table.
FRESH CRANBERRIES VS FROZEN CRANBERRIES
I have tested both frozen and fresh cranberries with this recipe and either will work perfectly. If you use frozen cranberries, no need to thaw … just toss them into the food processor like I did here and blend into coarse crumbles.
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY RELISH
- Blend whole cranberries in a food processor, high-speed blender, or standard blender until coarsely chopped.
- Fold in pomegranate seeds and sugar.
- Cover and chill until sugar dissolves for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight.
HOW TO SERVE CRANBERRY RELISH
- as a side dish (like cranberry sauce)
- as a condiment on turkey sandwiches
- as a spread on Cranberry Brie Crostini
CAN I MAKE CRANBERRY RELISH AHEAD?
Yes you can. Since this is a no-cook cranberry recipe, I recommend making it a day (or two) before your holiday throwdown goes down since it get’s better with each day. Also, make plenty, because you’ll eat a bunch of it before your holiday dinner even rolls around.
I TESTED THESE SWEETENERS WITH THIS RECIPE AND HERE’S WHAT I FOUND…
- cane sugar – This was the WINNER by a longshot! It doesn’t interfere with the flavors of the cranberries and the pomegranate like the other sugars did. Instead, it keeps the flavor bright, which is exactly what I want in a cranberry condiment.
- honey – overpowered the cranberry relish with honey flavor.
- coconut sugar – Are use coconut sugar for many many things. Cranberry sauce is not one of them. I simply do not care for how it flavors this recipe.
- brown sugar – Just like raw sugar, the flavor was too deep and dark for cranberry sauce.
- turbinado (raw) sugar – a close second to white sugar, but still too caramel-ey tasting for my cranberry sauce preferences.
CRANBERRY RELISH ADD-INS
I’m pretty crazy about cranberry relish recipe as it is, but here’s a list of ingredient options for you to customize it to your heart’s content.
- fresh jalapeño or Serrano peppers
- fresh mint
- walnuts or pistachios
- 7-cup food processor
- mixing bowl
- stirring spoon
- airtight storage container
Pomegranate Cranberry Relish
Yield: 3 cups
- 12 oz bag Fresh Cranberries, same as 3 cups
- 1/2 cup Pomegranate
- 1 cup Cane Sugar
7-cup food processor
airtight storage container
In a food processor, blend CRANBERRIES until coarsely chopped and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Fold in POMEGRANATE and SUGAR.
Cover and refrigerate a few hours, preferably overnight or two nights.
Serve chilled. Refrigerate 5-7 days in an airtight container.
Cranberry relish make-ahead tip
Like any macerated fruit, it takes a few hours for the sugar to dissolve before you can eat it. After that, it only gets juicier and tastier by the day. I prefer to make mine a few days ahead of serving it, but it’s still amazing on day 1. Enjoy!
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.