This no-cook cranberry relish with pomegranate was nicknamed cranberry 'crack' for a reason. Blend it in only 5 minutes and, in time, it becomes a juicy, mouthwatering, holiday sauce like no other!
I love classic cranberry orange sauce with every Thanksgiving holiday dinner, but raw cranberry relish sure does compete for my attention. It's juicy, crunchy, sweet, a little tart, and goes with everything savory!
The recipe takes 5 minutes to make because it's raw, but it also needs time to rest. Instead of cooking cranberries for a traditional sauce, they're macerated, which means they're blended with sugar that softens them and releases their natural juices. As a result, the relish becomes juicy and more delicious by the day. It's the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, but also makes a great spread for crostini appetizers.
Cranberry relish vs sauce
Simply put, cranberry sauce is made with fresh cranberries that get cooked with sugar and liquid, and thickens into a sauce as it cools. Cranberry relish is made with raw cranberries that are blended and macerated with sugar.
- cranberries - Use frozen or fresh cranberries for this recipe.
- pomegranate - Available as whole fruit in grocery stores from Sep - Jan. Pomegranate arils are usually available all year in your grocer's produce cooler.
- sugar - You can use any sugar for this recipe. I prefer plain white sugar over the others I've tested.
How to make cranberry relish with pomegranate
Step 1: Place whole, fresh or frozen cranberries in a food processor, high-speed blender, or standard blender.
Step 2: Blend the cranberries until coarsely chopped.
Step 3: Fold pomegranate seeds and sugar into cranberries. The sugar won't dissolve immediately, but it will happen.
Step 4: Refrigerate in an airtight container until it becomes juicy with balanced flavors. This takes a minimum of 8 hours, but the flavor and texture will continue to improve with each day. I find it to ideal on day 3 and beyond.
- Thanksgiving side dish just like cranberry sauce
- condiment on turkey sandwiches
- spread on Cranberry and Brie Crostini
- Since this is a raw cranberry relish, I recommend you make ahead 2 or 3 days before serving, if possible. This is because the flavor only develops further with each day the cranberries are macerated.
- I have tested several sugars and find cane sugar to be the best for this recipe. It doesn't mask the flavor of the cranberries or pomegranate the way other sugars did. I tested honey, coconut sugar, brown sugar, and raw sugar.
- Use frozen or fresh cranberries for this recipe. If you use frozen cranberries, no need to thaw because they'll blend in the food processor and thaw in no time.
Cranberry relish add-ins
I'm pretty crazy about this 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
- oranges or lemon
- apples or celery
- ginger or cloves
- fresh mint
- walnuts or pistachios
Essential holiday recipes
- Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
- 10 Minute Gravy
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- French Bread
- Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Basic Crostini Recipe
- 5-Minute French Onion Dip
- Garlicky Roasted Mushrooms
Fresh Cranberry Relish with Pomegranate
- 12 oz Cranberries (fresh or frozen), equals 3 cups
- ½ cup Pomegranate Arils
- 1 cup Cane Sugar, or preferred sugar
- In a food processor, blend CRANBERRIES until coarsely chopped and transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Fold in POMEGRANATE ARILS and SUGAR. Toss until well-combined.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container until it becomes juicy with balanced flavors. This takes a minimum of 8 hours, but the flavor and texture will continue to improve with each day.
- Serve chilled. Enjoy within 7 days from the day it's made.
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.