Why cook your Thanksgiving cranberry sauce or load it up with sugar when you can make this incredibly easy, raw cranberry relish recipe in just five minutes? After the feast, enjoy leftover relish with your morning oatmeal or as a spread in a sandwich or wrap. This three-ingredient cranberry relish recipe gets its natural sweetness from dates and and needs no cooking whatsoever. In fact, it’s so good you’ll want to freeze some fresh cranberries when they’re in season so you can enjoy this treat all year ’round.

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By Chef AJ,


  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • Zest and fruit of 2 large oranges
  • 1 cup pitted dates (or more, to taste)


  • In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade, process all ingredients until the desired chunky texture is reached.

Comments (15)

(5 from 10 votes)

Recipe Rating

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I love this on my hot breakfast cereal! I suggest making the relish very soon after buying the fresh cranberries. Otherwise you can get spoilage of many of the berries, and food waste is not a good thing.


I added a few dashes of ground cloves and crushed pineapple.


Fabulous! I’ve made or had this recipe for a few years, so naturally sweet & yummy


Can this be made ahead and frozen?


Yes, it freezes really well. I prefer to thaw it in the refrigerator.


Been making something very similar for years. I only use 1 orange and leave the peal on. So even simpler to make. My mom use to make this relish with white sugar instead of dates and is happy to eat this version now

Melissa M. Sherlock

Hi Wendy. How much sugar would you sub for the dates in this recipe? I'm preparing for a low income group where dates may not be easily available or affordable.


Hi, Wendy -- I do the same thing and skip both the sugar and the dates. I find naval oranges are naturally sweet enough. I do, however, remove any seeds!


I have been making this for years on Thanksgiving and X-mas, but I add chopped walnuts for the crunchiness and some date sugar (instead of dates) and some orange juice. It's always a refreshing side dish

Lynn Sargent

This was very good and I enjoyed that it had no sugar in it. Friends liked it too!


Holy F this is amazing. Just made to have as a Thanksgiving side. It may not make it until dinner.


Is it sweet or sour?Don't Cranberries seem to be very sour without some kind of sugar?

Melinda Hill

Sooooooo easy and delicious! I added a little apple and pineapple!

Joanne Gillespie

Made this for Thanksgiving dinner and it was a big hit! Then I used the leftovers to dip apple slices and to top an oatmeal bake. So versatile and so delicious. Best part is how easy it is to make

Melinda Hill

What is oatmeal bake? Sounds delicious

About the Author

Headshot of Chef AJ

About the Author

Chef AJ

Chef AJ has been devoted to a plant-exclusive diet for over 44 years. She is the host of the television series Healthy Living with CHEF AJ airing on Foody TV. A chef, culinary instructor, and professional speaker, she is author of Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight and the best-selling books The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss and Own Your Health. Chef AJ was the executive pastry chef at Santé Restaurant in Los Angeles where she was famous for her sugar-, oil-, salt- and gluten-free desserts. She is the host of YouTube show Chef AJ Live. She is proud to say that her IQ is higher than her cholesterol. In 2018 she was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.
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