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The Cranberry Relish that practically makes itself! Are you intrigued yet? This cranberry relish needs just 2 minutes of hands on time then it is baked in the oven for an easy Thanksgiving and holiday side dish that can be made ahead of time.
I love anytime I can make a recipe in the oven, especially when I have guests coming over for a big meal, like umm…thanksgiving?! I’m not hosting this year, but my mom is, and I know how crazy the kitchen gets the day of the festivities! So, cranberry relish is always an easy make-ahead dish you can count on. If you’re looking for a traditional Cranberry Orange Sauce, I’ve got you covered with that one as well!
A hands-free cranberry relish recipe
Cranberry relish is easy to make, but what if it was even easier than simply making it ahead on the stovetop? What if all you had to do was dump the ingredients in a pan and let it slowly bake in the oven? Umm…yes. Sign me up for this hands-free easy recipe. Please and thank you!
How to make this baked cranberry relish recipe
Combine the cranberries, sugar, vanilla extract, water, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a 9×9″ baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, then stir the sauce to help dissolve any sugar, and return to the oven covered for an additional 30 minutes, until the cranberries are tender and bubbly.
Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle with the fresh orange zest. Let the dish cool to room temperature, then chill for at least one hour to enhance the flavor before serving.
Top tips to make baked cranberry relish
- Learn how to freeze fresh whole cranberries so you can make this recipe with frozen cranberries. It’s the same technique and great way to use up extra cranberries.
- Be sure to cover the pan with foil for the first half hour of cooking. This traps the moisture in the pan so that the relish doesn’t dry out or burn.
- Let the relish cool to room temperature and put in the fridge for an hour before serving. This will help to enhance the flavor and makes it a great make-ahead recipe.
- Serve the relish hot or cold. Simply reheat it on the stove top or in the oven if you prefer it hot, but we always eat it cold during out Thanksgiving meal.
Frequently asked questions
This thick baked cranberry relish goes perfectly with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and the whole nine yards. And if you have leftovers for the next day, this is a condiment queen! Just slap it on some toast or muffins or in oatmeal. It’s a wonderful balance of tart and sweet flavor.
When it comes to make ahead side dishes, cranberry sauce has to be the king! Once it has cooled to room temperature, store it in a sterilized and air tight jar in the fridge and it will last for 3 to 4 weeks. It’s also a great option to give as a gift to friends and family.
To lessen the sweetness after it’s cooked, I recommend adding a tablespoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt and give everything a good mix.
This is a simple delicious relish that requires no time spent on the stove-top stirring to get the saucy consistency. It all just dissolves and cooks perfectly in the oven. Goodbye to canned cranberry.
More Cranberry Sauce Recipes:
More Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes:
- Vegan Mushroom Gravy
- Melting Sweet Potatoes
- Healthy Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Autumn Pear Salad
If you make this healthy-ish feelgood Cranberry Relish recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Baked Cranberry Relish
- 1 12 oz bag cranberries
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ to 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- Orange Zest for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Combine the cranberries, sugar, vanilla extract, water, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a 9×9″ baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then stir the sauce to help dissolve any sugar, and return to the oven covered for an additional 30 minutes, until the cranberries are tender and bubbly.
- Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle with the fresh orange zest.
- Let the dish cool to room temperature, then chill for at least one hour to enhance the flavor before serving.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks.