Cranberry Orange Relish + 6 Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe

This post is sponsored by Ocean Spray®
Decades ago, before I was born, my mom decided that Ocean Spray® canned, jellied cranberry sauce was the only cranberry sauce the world ever needed. And that was it–case closed on cranberry sauce! For the next fifteen or so years, my family was committed and completely content, slicing our cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving. It’s not like we talked it through, or even said it aloud, but we all seemed to have this pact: no new cranberry sauce.

Recipes Using Fresh Cranberries and Leftover Cranberry Sauce!

When I was in my early twenties, though, just before Thanksgiving, I bought my first bag of Ocean Spray® cranberries and tried making my own. I added orange juice and zest. I was a convert immediately, and so was the rest of my family. True to our traditions (or predictability), we’ve spent nearly 10 years now making that same recipe.

Recently, I experimented with an updated cranberry sauce: a cranberry orange relish, and it was even easier than my long-standing favorite recipe. It required absolutely no cooking at all–just a quick pulse of cranberries and orange segments in a food processor. I loved the zippiness and chunky texture. It reminded me more of a salsa than a sauce. It was still sweet of course, from the sugar added to it, but overall, this cranberry topping is much brighter and more tart, which is what’s so appealing about cranberry sauce to begin with–the contrast it offers from all the richness of the other dishes.

Cranberry Orange Relish

This homemade cranberry relish is perfect for the holidays!
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cold cranberry relish, cranberry relish with orange, holiday cranberry side dish
Servings: 12 servings (about 3 cups)
Calories: 67kcal


  • 1 orange peeled, segmented, and seeded
  • 12 ounce package Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
  • ¾ cup sugar


  • Combine half of the cranberries and half the orange segments in food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining cranberries and orange segments and transfer them to the bowl. Stir in the sugar. Store the relish in the refrigerator.


Recipe slightly adapted from Ocean Spray


Serving: 1g | Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 9.6mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Regardless of what kind of sauce you like–the jellied can-shaped kind that tastes like every year of my childhood (and that I love to this day!), the homemade whole berry version, or something a little less traditional–cranberries and cranberry sauce are two foods whose leftovers never get old and never go to waste. If anything, the cranberry sauce is the first to get used up–just one reason I always make triple batches. Last year, my mom told me to make 4 batches and I thought she was insane, but I made it anyway. Guess what we had none of 2 days later?

Maybe this year you’ll make a quadruple batch and have leftovers to use up. Here are some of my favorite ways to use both cranberries (ever have a fresh bag on hand?) and cranberry sauce–after Turkey Day:

6 Ways to Use Cranberries & Leftover Cranberry Sauce

6 Ways to Use Fresh Cranberries and Leftover Cranberry Sauce!

1. Use leftover sauce or relish as a topping for oatmeal, toast, or pancakes.

2. Use leftover sauce or relish on top of chicken, pork, or beef, and mix it with a fresh herb for a more savory flavor (basil, thyme, mint, or rosemary).

3. Layer sauce or relish with greek yogurt and granola, along with cinnamon and nuts, for an autumn parfait

4. Add fresh cranberries to a pitcher of water for decorative serving. Or, halve a handful of cranberries, add them to a glass of water, and muddle them to release some of the cranberries’ nutrients

5. Freeze fresh cranberries and use them to make a Cranberry Banana Smoothie: In a blender, combine: 1 cup frozen cranberries, 1 banana, ½ orange, ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Blend until smooth.

6. Spread leftover cranberry sauce on blue or brie cheese (with or without crackers) for a snack or appetizer (use it on a cheese plate!).

What do you do with leftover cranberry sauce?

Ocean Spray® Bogs Across America 2015

ocean spray bogs across america 2015 nyc

Ocean Spray® is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year by exploring how Thanksgiving traditions – and cranberries’ place in the meal – have evolved over the years. Last week, I joined Chef Curtis Stone for a pre-Thanksgiving feast with Ocean Spray® cranberry growers in a cranberry bog in Rockefeller Center.

ocean spray bogs across america 2015 nyc

I loved getting to eat and talk with the farmers and hear all about how the cranberries are harvested. I was shocked to find out that many of them were from Massachusetts. How have I lived 30 years not knowing that there are cranberry farms about 30 minutes from my hometown? I chatted for a long long time with one farmer, who was just about the nicest person in the world, all about her genius recipe for cranberry sorbet, and we even gushed about our shared love of White’s Bakery in Hingham, MA. Why am I so prideful about a bakery I don’t own? You really have to wonder sometimes.

ocean spray bogs across america 2015 nyc

To show the changing traditions, our meal was a mix of classic dishes and contemporary ones–from the mainstay green bean casserole to a modern spinach, quinoa, and cranberry stuffing. It was all delicious, and such a creative way to celebrate the cranberry!

ocean spray bogs across america 2015 nyc



9 thoughts on “Cranberry Orange Relish + 6 Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce

  1. Barely Vegan

    Ha! Your mom sounds like my dad. My entire life we have never EVER celebrated thanksgiving or christmas without Ocean Spray canned cranberry sauce!! One holiday we had to search a bunch of grocery stores to find it because my mom forgot to buy it and my dad was NOT happy! lol. I love your homemade cranberry sauce recipe. You can never go wrong with orange and cranberry. Perfect combination!

  2. Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

    It’s funny that my 5 & 3 year old love cranberries most about Thanksgiving. It’s their favorite food. I did a trial run turkey with all the trimmings this past week and they loved it, but it was the cranberries they gobble down like hungry turkeys. Those kids!!!! Love your idea of topping oatmeal/pancakes/even waffles with them. They be be thrilled.

  3. Judy

    Hi Andi, My mom also only bought Ocean Spray and I continued that family tradition. Are there really other brands? I never even noticed, just went for the tried and true beloved Ocean Spray.
    Will you be sharing that cranberry sorbet recipe with us? Thanks for all your great blogs. -Judy

  4. Alma

    There’s never leftover cranberry sauce. Actually never ever in my entire history of Thanksgiving. Mostly because I eat it all. I even eat it in the summer. I’m a cranberry loving weirdo.

  5. Pingback: Five Twelve Little Things for Thanksgiving + Scenes from The Better Blog Retreat 2015

  6. Pingback: Five Little Things from Better Blog Retreat 2015 + Twelve Little Things for Thanksgiving | Kitchen Confidante

  7. Judy

    Hey Andie,

    Thank you for the recipe and I wonder would you be able to post your family recipe you have made for the last ten years too? Or just send it to me on e-mail?

    I love having family recipes. Happy Thanksgiving.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.