Cranberry Relish with Pearl Onions

I have a confession. I had no idea what cranberry relish was when my best friend’s mother-in-law asked me to make it for Thanksgiving. Cranberry sauce, sure. But cranberry relish? Nuh-uh.

After doing some thorough research on my trusty Google, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just a fancy way of saying there’s more than just cranberry goodness in there. I found this recipe from Martha Stewart, and it’s the best cranberry sauce/relish I’ve ever had. Forget that canned stuff I grew up with. Yick. This is awesome and tart and has a kick from red wine vinegar. My friends who don’t like cranberry sauce loved this. So there.

Heap this stuff on your Thanksgiving plate and you’ll be a happy camper. I like a little bit of everything in each bite: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry. Yum. I might need to make a second Thanksgiving feast to get my fix again.

TW’s TIps

  • I couldn’t find fresh pearl onions so I bought frozen, which ended up being wayyyy easier. Just thaw 21 of them (random number — try 22 to be really rebellious) and slice them and throw in the pot. Bam.
  • Use fresh orange juice.
  • I recommend serving at room temp or warm.

Cranberry Relish with Pearl Onions


  • 21 pearl onions
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook onions 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain. Peel onions, and cut in half. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat until cranberries burst and onions are tender, about 40 minutes.

Relish can be refrigerated 2 days. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.


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