Cranberry Relish

No-Cook Cranberry Relish

The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo 

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Cranberries are a common theme on every Thanksgiving table and opinions are often strong about jellied versus chunky cranberry sauce. We’re throwing another idea into the mix for your holiday menu with this classic no-cook cranberry relish that's ready to serve in five minutes.

Free up a burner on the stove and use your food processor or mini-chopper to make this easy recipe for a cranberry sauce you’ll be craving year-round. All you need are three ingredients: cranberries, sugar, and a pinch of salt. 

Unlike most frozen berries, cranberries retain their shape and signature pop even once thawed, so stock up when they’re on sale and freeze them so you’ll be ready to make this cranberry sauce and all your other favorite cranberry recipes at a moment’s notice. Storing them is as easy as tucking the unopened bags in the freezer (no need to rinse them before storing). 


  • 1 (16-ounce) bag fresh cranberries (or frozen, thawed overnight in the refrigerator)
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 pinch salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for No-Cook Cranberry Relish
    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo
  2. Add cranberries, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine until coarsely chopped, or longer to reach desired consistency.

    Pulse mixture in the food processor
    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo 
  3. Serve immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Will keep for up to one week stored in the refrigerator.

    No-Cook Cranberry Relish
    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo

Recipe Variations

  • We love this classic cranberry relish because it’s all about the cranberries taking center stage without any spices or citrus flavorings. But hey, it’s your kitchen so be your own cranberry sauce boss. Add some orange zest, go for a chutney-like relish by stirring in some chopped walnuts, diced apples, and cinnamon, or turn it into a salsa by adding finely chopped onion and cilantro.
  • If you’re looking to keep this refined sugar-free, try using maple syrup, agave syrup or honey in place of regular sugar. Start off with 1/4 cup and adjust from there based on your taste preference.
  • To make a cranberry aioli, stir some cranberry sauce into mayonnaise for a holiday-inspired spread to use on all those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.
  • Ready for some salsa with a twist? Turn your cranberry sauce into a cranberry salsa by stirring in some finely chopped raw onions, salsa, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


  • For a quick dessert, fold leftover cranberry relish into freshly whipped cream for an easy cranberry fool.
  • Both fresh or frozen cranberries will work in this recipe, just be sure to thaw frozen cranberries in the fridge overnight before making the recipe.