Fresh Cranberry Apple Relish

This version of fresh cranberry apple relish, using raw ingredients and no added sugar, is a whole food sensation!

Spiced with cinnamon and ginger, in less than 15 minutes from start to finish, you'll have a holiday sauce that's packed with flavor, not to mention health benefits!

Wash the skin of the apples and citrus. DO NOT PEEL, IT ALL GOES IN.

If you’d like, use a fruit and vegetable wash to remove any produce wax and handling residue.

For this no cook holiday sauce recipe, use fruit & veggie wash to get the nutrients in the fruit skin without the produce wax

What makes this holiday sauce recipe so healthy?

The skin of the apple contains substantial nutritional benefits, including being rich in prebiotic fiber and antioxidants.

The orange peel gives it a pop of flavanoids that reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol, strengthens your immune system, and improves digestion!

Ginger is well known to aid in digestion, among its numerous benefits to health.

While the skin of ginger is completely safe to eat and incredibly nutritious as well, it has a tougher texture which might be undesirable in your finished dish. If the outer layer of your fresh ginger is thin and tender, just rinse it and toss it in the food processor with everything else. Otherwise, scrape the skin with the edge of a spoon to remove the skin while preserving the majority of the flesh.

What is the difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry relish

Cranberry sauce is cooked and often much sweeter, usually from added sugar.

Cranberry relish, on the other hand, is made from raw ingredients blended in a food processor and has more of a tart flavor. The healthy holiday sauce below is sweetened with dates, so has no added sugars.

This is a great recipe to make ahead!

How long will cranberry relish last in the refrigerator?

Refrigerate until ready to serve (it tastes best after being in the fridge for at least one hour), or for up to 1 week.

Can cranberry relish be frozen?

Freezes well for 2-3 months. I like to freeze it in silicone cube molds, then store the cubes in an airtight container or ziplock so I can pull out single servings at a time. To use, thaw in the refrigerator.

Holiday sauce recipe - how to make a no-cook cranberry relish in less than 15 minutes

Uses for cranberry relish

This classic holiday sauce recipe is a perfect condiment for your dinner plate, yet you may find that you have cranberry relish leftovers (or maybe planned overs? 😋)

Cranberries can elevate almost any dish. Here's a few ideas of how to use it in other ways:

Dessert ideas:

  • pairs remarkably well with pumpkin pie
  • scrumptious as a drizzle or baked into a classic New York Style Cheesecake
  • mixed into a banana bread or carrot cake batter

Breakfast ideas:

  • Cranberry relish muffins
  • Cranberry relish steel cut oats or overnight oats
  • as a topping for waffles or pancakes
  • Cranberry banana smoothie
  • Cranberry relish yogurt - can you imagine a breakfast parfait of this layered with pumpkin pie?!!

Side dish and condiment ideas:

  • Baked into the center of an acorn squash
  • made into a Cranberry Vinaigrette dressing (served on a spinach salad with butternut squash)

A fantastic appetizer presentation:

  • Cranberry relish over cream cheese or goat cheese
  • Cranberry relish over baked brie

If you have other delicious ways you use your cranberry relish, tell us about it in the comment section below.

Mealtime conversation starters

Smiling blueberry with a cape, used as an icon for family conversation starters.

Talking with others is a great way to get to know someone better and grow your relationship. Several strides show that people who have satisfying relationships with others are happier and have fewer health problems. They also live longer.

Ask this question to start a conversation with your meal.

QUESTION: Which is the BEST Dr. Seuss book?

Be the first to know about news, updates and special offers.

Try this fresh cranberry apple relish, for the easiest no cook holiday sauce recipe
Print Share Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Fresh Cranberry Apple Relish

Spiced with cinnamon and ginger, in less than 15 minutes from start to finish, you'll have a holiday sauce that's packed with flavor, not to mention health benefits! 
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings: 16 1/4 c servings
Calories: 44
Course: Condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine: American

In case there's a piece of equipment or ingredient that you don't have, you can conveniently order it by clicking on the item. Balanced Healthstyles may earn on qualified purchases, which help maintain the free resources on this site -- Thanks for your support!


  • 2 large medjool dates pitted and soaked
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large seedless orange peel ON, washed and cut into sections. (Alternative tangarine or 2 small cutie mandarins.)
  • 2 medium apples cored and cut into chunks (Honeycrisp or Pink Lady are nice)
  • 2 cups raw cranberries rinsed

Optional add ins (included in nutrition data)

  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger peeled if the skin is tough
  • ¼ cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice


  • Add 1/2 orange (one of the mandarins or tangerines if using), dates, lemon juice, (and if using, ginger and spices) to food processor and run until pureed. Remove to a large mixing bowl.
  • Again using the food processor, pulse the cranberries until chopped to a fine texture, scraping down as necessary, being careful to avoid blending them into a mush. Add this to your mixing bowl.
  • Repeat this pulsing process with the remaining orange and apples.
  • Stir together the chopped fruit with the date puree, and let sit at room temperature for the juices to release and meld, around an hour, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Stir before serving.


You can use frozen cranberries if you prefer. You don't even really need to thaw them before using.
Can be made well ahead of time. If making in advance, stir in optional nuts just before serving. Refrigerate until ready to serve, or for up to 1 week.
Freezes well for 2-3 months
I like to freeze it in silicon cube molds, then store the cubes in an airtight container or ziplock so I can pull out single servings at a time. To use, thaw in the refrigerator.

Hand Size Portions

Nutrition Facts
Fresh Cranberry Apple Relish
Serving Size
0.25 cup
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Scan to add to MyFitnessPal food journal
Use this barcode to add a serving of Fresh Cranberry Apple Relish to your MyFitnessPal food journal.
Palm: 0
Fist: 0
Handful: .5
Thumb: 0

Hand Portions

When you look at the nutritional values of a meal to log what you are eating, that is called tracking macros. A lot of people use this method to reach their health goals.

Looking at hand portion size and using this method to gauge how and what you eat is also a great method to help you reach your health goals. Many people who use this method often think this form of tracking meals is easier and more sustainable for a lifetime.

Want to learn more about hand portion size and how to use it to reach your goals? Check out the article How to Get Started with Hand Portion Sizes.

Heather Lynn Darby helps office and tech professionals disrupt the cycle of chronic stress that undermines their health, and to recover from the negative effects of sitting at a computer all day. Find other articles written by Heather on her coach profile.

If you are largely sedentary at work and rely on your intellectual acumen for success, her take on body-mind interventions will help you find a balance between being "in the zone" and getting the amount of movement that will optimize your mental productivity and prevent health problems.