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A Recipe for a Momma’s Legendary Cranberry Relish Salad

A Recipe for a Momma’s Legendary Cranberry Relish Salad

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My momma’s cranberry relish salad is legendary. She has been making it for as long as I can remember for every fall holiday and we all looked forward to it. It’s so good that people came to our house specifically to eat this dish!

A Recipe for a Momma's Legendary Cranberry Relish Salad

Let’s face it – there is nothing like the tart balance of cranberries to balance out that turkey Thanksgiving dinner with an abundance of carbs. Mashed potatoes, dressing, sweet potatoes, and even those hand-popped dinner rolls all taste a bit better with this crunchy gem alongside it.

Momma’s Legendary Cranberry Relish Salad


The recipe is simple, but there are a few tricks you need to know before jumping in. Follow these steps and you’ll have a cranberry Jello salad fit for a king or queen on your holiday table in no time!

This is a great dish to make ahead of time. It holds up well in your fridge for about three days – though I doubt it will last that long at your house!

Cranberry relish salad with Jello

This is a GREAT option for those of us who are kind of tired of the jellied cranberries that plop out of a can…it has a neat texture from the raw cranberries and beautiful color for your holiday table! I know I need to take a better picture of this, but trust me, Momma’s Cranberry Relish Salad is a winner that will have everyone begging you to bring to the family potluck for years!

What kind of Jello to use for cranberry salad?

Two different kinds are the trick here: 1 6oz box Raspberry Jell-O and 1 6oz box of Cranberry Jell-O. Cranberry Jello is usually only available during the fall holiday season so I suggest you pick up a few extra boxes if you run across it. Being mostly sugar, it has a longer shelf life than what the date stamped on the box says. Trust me, after you have this for your Thanksgiving table, you are going to want it at Christmas dinner too!

Keep in mind that you will not need any kind of Jello mold for this fresh cranberry relish – just a large bowl to showcase it.

Easy Cranberry Relish Salad

I am a firm believer that the ingredients in this make for an incredible texture and blast of flavors across your tongue when you taste it. The celery gives it the crunch, along with the chopped walnuts. The pineapple and cranberries play off of the Mandarin Oranges. I know cranberry Jell-O is hard to find, it usually only pops up around the holiday season so grab a few extra boxes of this to have on hand for the ability to whip this up the rest of the year.

thanksgiving relish

Why are cranberries a great side dish for roast turkey?

Cranberries are low in calories and fat, but high in fiber. They contain antioxidants that may help prevent cancer-causing free radicals from damaging cells.

The cranberry’s tartness makes it a nice balance to the richness of turkey meat so if you don’t want cranberry sauce with your bird – try this simple easy cranberry salad instead.

What is Raspberry Orange Relish?

You CAN find jars of it at gourmet stores, but it is pretty easy to make yourself. Simply take half a cup of fresh raspberries, and half a cup of either whole orange slices or Mandarin oranges. Pop those into your food grinder with a little of the orange zest and you have the perfect raspberry orange relish sitting in your food processor.

This really adds an incredible layer of flavor to your cranberry salad recipes – don’t skip this step!

If your grocery store has that salad bar back (most killed them off during Covid) you can pick up the right amount of fresh fruits in a smaller size and for a decent price.

This has a lot of Vitamin C

Just look at the ingredients! From the cranberries, you get vitamin C as well as antioxidants from the cranberries, of course, the Mandarin Oranges, and also the raspberry orange relish!

You have to use canned pineapple

Fresh pineapple never works in gelatin recipes. This is simply due to the chemistry of fresh pineapple. It contains a chemical called bromelain, which contains two enzymes capable of digesting proteins, called proteases. Jell-O and other gelatins get their structure from links formed between chains of collagen, which is a protein…so using FRESH pineapple will keep the Jello from setting up and you will want that with this fun cranberry mixture.

Cranberry Relish Salad Recipe Ingredients

Cranberry Relish Salad Recipe Ingredients

Most of these are simple ingredients – and you will see that there isn’t much sugar except for the natural sugar in the fruit and of course, what is in the Jell-O

  • 1-2 stalks Celery, diced
  • 1 bag of fresh Cranberries (usually about 2 cups cranberries in a red mesh bag of the produce section), half of them chopped or lightly run through an old fashioned grinder.
  • 1 6oz box Raspberry Jello
  • 1 6oz box of Cranberry Jello
  • 3/4 Cup of chopped Walnuts
  • 1 small can of Crushed Canned Pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup Raspberry Orange relish (see above)
  • 1 small can of Mandarin oranges, drained

How to make this fresh cranberry and orange relish recipe

How to make this fresh cranberry and orange relish recipe

In a large bowl, mix both of the jello flavors together using 2 cups of hot water and stir until the powder is completely dissolved. Then add 4 cups cold water and stir until well combined. Place it in the fridge to chill until it is just beginning to set up.

How to make this fresh cranberry and orange relish recipe

Fold in the remaining ingredients: celery, cranberries, walnuts, pineapple, raspberry-orange relish, and Mandarin oranges.

Cover the bowl with and chill until completely set.

How to make this fresh cranberry and orange relish recipe

Notes: if you can’t find fresh cranberries, you can use a can of whole berry cranberry sauce

While the cranberry relish may be only a small part of a perfect holiday meal, there are many other recipes I have to share with you:

Yield: 12

Momma's Legendary Cranberry Relish Salad

How to make this fresh cranberry and orange relish recipe

This tart and crunchy salad is perfect for the fall holiday season!

Prep Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-2 stalks Celery, diced
  • 1 bag of fresh Cranberries (usually about 2 cups cranberries in a red mesh bag of the produce section), half of them chopped or lightly run through an old fashioned grinder.
  • 1 6oz box Raspberry Jello
  • 1 6oz box of Cranberry Jello
  • 3/4 Cup of chopped Walnuts
  • 1 small can of Crushed Canned Pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup Raspberry Orange relish (see above)
  • 1 small can of Mandarin oranges, drained

Instructions

    In a large bowl, mix both of the jello flavors together using 2 cups of hot water and stir until the powder is completely dissolved. Then add 4 cups cold water and stir until well combined. Place it in the fridge to chill until it is just beginning to set up.
    Fold in the remaining ingredients: celery, cranberries, walnuts, pineapple, raspberry-orange relish, and Mandarin oranges.
    Cover the bowl with and chill until completely set.

Notes

If you can't find fresh cranberries, you can use a can of whole berry cranberry sauce

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