Pomegranate Cranberry Relish is a mouth-watering, holiday spread made with pomegranate, fresh cranberries, and sugar. It’s a sweet and tart spread you can scoop over a wheel of warm, brie cheese, or serve as a twist on the classic holiday side dish
Pomegranate Cranberry Relish
We’ve lived with a pomegranate tree in our yard for the past eleven years.
Someone pinch me because it’s really too good to be true!
Every time October rolls around, I’m inundated with fresh, tree-ripened pommies and I get a lot of time in the test kitchen with them.
So, every year for holiday feasts, I make this cranberry relish with pomegranate. In fact, it’s one of the first holiday recipes to ever hit my blog back in 2015.
Here’s what sells me on this cranberry relish every year:
- the perfect balance of tart and sweet
- it pops with flavor and texture
- uses raw cranberries and pomegranate arils together
- makes me obsess about it when I’m not eating it
What’s the difference between cranberry relish and sauce?
Cranberry sauce is traditionally cooked, while cranberry relish is typically raw.
That’s pretty much it!
It really depends on your preference. I love BOTH!
In fact, I like to have both options available on the holiday table.
How to make cranberry relish
Step 1. Pulse whole cranberries with white sugar in a food processor, a high-speed blender, or a standard blender. Be careful to not purée or liquefy the cranberries.
Step 2. Fold in whole pomegranate seeds and white sugar.
Step 3. Chill overnight (preferably one-day minimum in advance of your event).
If you don’t have a high-speed blender, a standard blender works just fine.
When should I make cranberry sauce or relish for holiday dinner?
TIME (and chemistry) are what brings out the best of any cranberry sauce.
So, whip it up a day or two before your holiday throwdown goes down.
You can set-it-and-forget-it in the fridge. Unless you’re me and you taste it every other hour for a few days because you’re a cranberry-obsessed weirdo who eats it straight out of the bowl.
That’s cool too!
Oh, but it’s so much better when you serve it over warm brie, like this…
But be careful to not overbake it, because it will do this…
But it still rocks, y’all! Even when it turns into Brie River, your people will devour it!
What’s the best way to sweeten cranberry relish?
I tested these sweeteners:
Honey – this overpowered the cranberry relish with honey flavor.
Turbinado (Raw) Sugar – a close second to white sugar, but still too caramel-ey tasting for my cranberry sauce preferences.
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.
Plain white 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.
I know, I know, we’re supposed to steer away from processed sugars, but it’s the holidays, so let’s chill.
Cranberry Relish Ingredients
Raw Cranberries – Fresh (or frozen) whole cranberries are a must for any cranberry sauce. In other words, you would never want to try and rehydrate dried cranberries.
Pomegranate Seeds – Also called pomegranate arils and found in most grocery stores from September – January. When you add these to the relish, keep them whole as they will literally pop with each bite…an experience to NOT be missed!
Sugar – I have tested several sugars and sweeteners with this recipe, and I always land on plain white can cane sugar.
Customize your cranberry relish
- walnuts, or pistachios
No matter what, you’re getting a dose of Vitamin C, Fiber, and minerals with this dish. So, live it up!
- 7-cup food processor
- mixing bowl
- stirring spoon
Grab these easy holiday recipes!
Pomegranate Cranberry Relish
- 12 oz bag Fresh Cranberries 3 cups
- 1/2 cup Pomegranate Arils
- 3/4 cup White Sugar
- In a food processor, pulse CRANBERRIES until coarsely chopped; transfer to a bowl; fold in POMEGRANATE ARILS and SUGAR.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight (or up to three days before serving).
- Add small amounts of sugar if needed.
Make a few days in advance for a full, flavor experience; store up to 4 days.