The World's Easiest Cranberry Relish Your Family & Guest Will Love

November 24, 2022

One of the (very few) dishes my husband taught me is a Thanksgiving side-dish recipe that has been handed down from his grandma Henrietta.  She passed long before we got married, soInever had the honor of meeting her nor eating her dishes.  However, her husband - Keith’s grandpa - Park who lived till 101 told me how great of a baker Hanky (that’s what he called her) was, and excruciating details of her German cakes which he missed dearly.

This is actually a very simple cranberry relish recipe using a box of jello, yet the power of this should not be underestimated. It is very refreshing, and can double as a dessert. Both children and adults love it alike.  On top of that, it’s healthy — it has a lot of fruits such as apples, pears and oranges, in addition to cranberries, and doesn’t require cooking - I can say this is highly optimized. And it’s bright red, it’s festive and surely adds color to the table. If you have a food processor, it’s super easy.  It requires all familiar ingredients that are really cheap! Probably the most exotic and expensive ingredient is cranberries.

Whenever we make it, people always ask for the recipe and nowadays it became so famous, we get Thanksgiving invitations with the requests for this.

So I decided to post the recipe on my blog. My husband first resisted — “Nooo! It’s MY family’s secret recipe!”.  But those who eat it always ask for this recipe! And I grew up in Japan where’s there’s no traditional Thanksgiving celebration, I needed this for my readers!  So I asked “Wouldn’t it be great if your grandma’s recipe is enjoyed by more people in the world, not just by your immediate family?”

So here it is.  Kitchen Wizard is revealing another cooking secret, this one from her extended family.

Tasting… mmm….

Grammy Hanky’s Cranberry and Fruit Relish


  • 1 Small box of red jello (we like raspberry. Strawberry is a bit too sweet.)
  • 1 cup hot water (Do not add the second of batch of water, which is suggested on the box.)
  • 1 bag cranberries
  • 2 large oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 2 large apples, cored and cut in bite size pieces
  • 2 large pears (should be relatively firm), cored and cut into bite size pieces


  1. Mix jello with hot water to dissolve. Put bit-size pieces of fruit in the food processor and pulse several times to grind roughly to about 1/4″ cubes or smaller.  Make sure the cranberries are ground up well — if they are not, it could be tart.  Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to do it in two batches.
  2. When the jello is room temperature, add all the fruit including its juice. Mix well.  Chill in the refrigerator until set. (Because of the amount of fruit, it may not set completely.)

We love serving it with turkey in place of regular cranberry sauce or relish, or you can eat it as dessert as well, with or without whipped cream. We normally make a double batch, using the large jello box, and using 1/2 - 2/3 for the actual Thanksgiving, and save the rest for us to eat later.

Oh, this is also great when you are sick! When I had flu and pneumonia 2 months ago and didn’t want to eat, I asked my husband to make this, and I ate it everyday.

So there you have it.  Try it and leave me a comment on how you and your guests loved it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Taste Tests November 25, 2022 at 11:46 pm

This DOES look fast and easy! Happy Thanksgiving!

2 Rose fr November 30, 2022 at 12:58 pm

That sure sounds like a delicious recipe.

Too bad there are no cranberries to be found here in Italy….

3 mari November 30, 2022 at 3:55 pm

Hi Rose, thank you for your comment!
You can substitute with other fruits. Let us know what you use and how it turn out!
I’ll also try subsitution for non-cranberry season and post it later. (Cranberries are pretty seasonal in the US too… But this is great all year round!)

4 Sam December 2, 2022 at 12:10 pm

Looks great-I will try it with latkes, too for Chanukah!

5 mari December 2, 2022 at 12:14 pm

Hi Sam! Thanks for your idea to serve it with latkes for Chanukah! Don’t forget to serve it again for dessert with or without whipped cream too! Let me know how you guys like it!

6 Lourdes Adame January 11, 2023 at 2:09 pm

Hi Mari,

I’ve beeb meaning to tell you that I made this recipe for a Christmas potluck party at work and everybody loved it.

Keep posting more recipes.

7 mari January 11, 2023 at 2:29 pm

Hi Lourdes,
Thanks for letting me know that your colleauges loved the Cranberry relish! Feel free to share the link of the recipe with them. Maybe they can make some for other potlucks and at home.

8 Sue Duda January 25, 2023 at 1:51 pm

Grammy Hanky happens to be MY GRANDMA and I can tell you from personal experience that this is the BEST way to eat cranberries!!!! It balances the tart with sweet scrumdilyishiously. (Nonesense words run in the family genes!) We live in cranberry country of northern Wisconsin and are blessed with fresh cranberries at our local bogs!

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