My Cranberry Orange Relish with Walnuts recipe is perfect for your holiday table…
…and the best thing is that you don’t even have to cook it! I mean, it looks festive AF, does it not?!
That’s right: This recipe is raw, brimming with flavor, and comes together in just five minutes. If you’re looking for a stupid-easy Thanksgiving accompaniment, this is it.
Recently, I published another cranberry recipe: my Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce. In that one, you cook the cranberries together with apples and cinnamon. It thickens thanks to the natural pectin in the apples, and it’s totally delicious.
That being said, if you’re looking for something a bit more zangy and less traditional, my Cranberry Orange Relish with Walnuts may be just the thing.
I remember having a relish like this many years ago. Pretty sure it had about a pound of white sugar in it! Okay that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it was sickly sweet for sure.
So, I set out to make a lower sugar version for you here that still ticks all the flavor boxes.
Cranberries are notoriously tart and astringent; they make your mouth a bit dry and pucker-y. It’s part of their charm, in my opinion, so I’ve tried to strike a balance in this Cranberry Orange Relish with Walnuts.
Tip: Buy a couple extra bags of cranberries in the fall and freeze them for use throughout the year.
The end result is a nice mix of sweet, tart, astringent, and fragrant.
Cranberries are are packed with Vitamin C. They’ve also got Vitamin B6, manganese, Vitamin E, copper, and a good amount of fiber. Of course, oranges are very high in Vitamin C, too, so you’re getting a nice double dose.
Walnuts are high in magnesium. A one ounce serving has 11% of your daily value of this critical nutrient. And, they’re a good source of Vitamin B6, calcium, iron, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).
In particular, walnuts are a good source of the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid, and a relatively good source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linoleic acid (ALA).
Tip: Store walnuts in the freezer. Their high PUFA content makes them prone to going rancid.
If walnuts aren’t your thing, pecans or almonds would be super tasty. Change it up if you’d like!
And this Cranberry Orange Relish with Walnuts really could not be easier to make.
You just throw all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until everything is the size of large crumbs.(This is the food processor I have.) Yep, that’s it.
If you don’t have a food processor, you could use a blender. If that’s the case, I would work in small batches so the blender pitcher isn’t overloaded.
The key is to pulse the mixture so it retains some texture and doesn’t turn to mush.
I’ve used honey in this recipe as written, but feel free to change it up. To make this vegan-friendly, simply swap out the honey for maple syrup, coconut crystals, or dates. And to make this Whole30-friendly, swap out the honey for dates. Easy peasy.
The best part is that you can make this Cranberry Orange Relish with Walnuts ahead of your big feast. It’ll stay good in the refrigerator for a week! And it’s great for tossing onto a plate of holiday leftovers to add some zing.
I think the flavor gets better the longer it sits.
Can’t get enough of cranberries while they’re in season? Try these:
- Paleo Cranberry Apple Sauce
- Apple Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake
- Cranberry Orange Turkey Thighs
- Crock Pot Turkey Breast
- Pomegranate Spritzer (just swap the pomegranate out for cranberry)
Cranberry Orange Relish with Walnuts Recipe
Cranberry Orange Relish with Walnuts is a refreshing raw alternative to traditional holiday cranberry sauce. Low sugar, paleo, and plant-based.
- 12 oz cranberries
- 1 large navel orange stem end trimmed off
- 2 tbsp raw honey *
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract optional**
- In a colander, rinse the cranberries under water. Pick out any squishy or rotten cranberries. Add to the food processor bowl.
- Wash the orange. Leave the orange unpeeled. (Yes, keep the rind on.) Chop into chunks so that it fits into the food processor more easily. Add the orange to the food processor bowl.
- Drizzle in the honey. Add the walnuts.
- If desired, add the vanilla extract. This gives the relish an orange-vanilla flavor. I like it, but it may not be what you're looking for.
- Put the lid on the food processor bowl. Pulse in quick pulses. You want everything to start breaking down to the size of large crumbs. Don't let it go too far or it will turn into mush. It's okay to have a little texture, but you probably don't want the pieces too big. Use your judgment.
- Store for up to a week in the refrigerator.
*For Whole30, use two large pitted Medjool dates instead of honey. I recommend chopping the dates up a little before adding them to the food processor since they can get gummy. For a vegan dish, swap the honey for maple syrup, coconut crystals, or dates.
**For Whole30, do not add vanilla extract.
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