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National Cranberry Relish Day – Fresh Cranberry Relish Recipe & More…

Did you know that there’s a National Cranberry Relish Day? Celebrate this day by reading on to learn interesting cranberry facts, and get our fresh cranberry relish recipe at the bottom of the post.

Our recipe for fresh cranberry relish is quick, easy, and only uses three ingredients. Plus it doesn’t involve any cook time. It’s a perfect last minute dish to bring to any fall gathering.

National Cranberry Relish Day is a day that occurs annually on November 22nd. Fittingly, this day falls right before Thanksgiving

If you’re looking for a recipe to bring to your next Thanksgiving gathering, try making this easy cranberry relish.

A white background with a line of cranberries and a heart of cranberries with a text overlay that reads "celebrate National Cranberry Relish Day, facts about cranberries, cranberry relish recipe".

What is cranberry relish?

Before we start celebrating National Cranberry Relish Day, let’s go over what cranberry relish is!

Chances are you’ve seen some sort of cranberry dish at your Thanksgiving table, but it’s probably not fresh cranberry relish.

A bowl of fresh cranberry relish with chips around it on a green plate to illustrate what is cranberry relish.

It’s important to mention that there are two different cranberry side dishes that can sometimes get confused for one another – cranberry relish and cranberry sauce.

Cranberry relish is a raw side dish that uses three main ingredients – fresh cranberries, oranges and sugar.

Cranberry relish vs cranberry sauce

If you find yourself wondering what is the difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry relish, don’t worry they’re very easy to tell apart!

A white porcelain dish of cranberry sauce to illustrate the difference between cranberry relish vs cranberry sauce.

As mentioned above, cranberry relish is made from all raw ingredients, and blended in a food processor. It is more tart and tangy than cranberry sauce.

Cranberry sauce also uses fresh cranberries, but it is cooked over heat instead of being made in a food processor. It often has a sweeter flavor profile than cranberry relish.

The history of fresh cranberry relish

Cranberry relish was invented in New England in the early 1900s, but didn’t start gaining popularity until the 1950s. 

In 1959 Craig Clairborne published a recipe for fresh cranberry relish in his New York Times food column. A woman dubbed “Mama Stamberg” made the recipe and shared it with her family.

A white ramekin filled with an easy cranberry relish recipe sitting on a green plate surrounded by tortilla chips.

Her daughter in law, Susan Stamberg (an NPR special correspondent) went on a nationally syndicated radio program called The Splendid Table hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and shared the recipe.

This particular cranberry relish recipe includes not only cranberries and sugar, but also horseradish, raw onions and sour cream! Another difference is that this recipe is made through using a meat grinder.

Since 1971, Susan Stamberg has been sharing Mama Stamberg’s cranberry relish recipe with NPR readers and listeners annually during Thanksgiving.

While Craig Clairborne is the author of the recipe, this variation of cranberry relish is commonly referred to as “Mama Stamberg’s cranberry relish recipe”. 

Easy cranberry relish recipe

If you feel intimidated by Mama Stamberg’s fresh cranberry relish recipe that uses a meat grinder to combine cranberries, sugar, sour cream, horseradish, and raw onion, don’t worry, we have an easier alternative for you.

A food processor filled with fresh cranberry relish on a white wooden table next to a grated orange, some raw cranberries and jalapenos.

To make our easy cranberry relish recipe, just grab your food processor, sugar, cranberries and oranges. That’s all you need, it’s really that simple.

Check out our recipe card at the bottom of this post for step by step instructions to make this fresh cranberry relish recipe. 

How to observe National Cranberry Relish Day

There are lots of obvious ways to celebrate National Cranberry Relish Day. Here are a few other creative ideas to help honor this day.

A green plate with tortilla chips arranged in a circle around a ramekin of cranberry relish with a text overlay that says "3 ingredient fresh cranberry relish recipe".

  • Try making the cranberry relish recipe at the bottom of this post! 
  • Want to make a different cranberry recipe? Try this recipe for slow cooker spiced wine with fresh cranberries.
  • Get our free Thanksgiving word search and find the word “cranberry” hidden within it. 
  • Decode the word “cranberry” from our Thanksgiving word scramble.
  • Read on to learn some fun facts about cranberries!
  • Check out the New York Times food columns, after all, that’s where the recipe for fresh cranberry relish originated!
  • If you don’t like the taste of cranberries, you can still celebrate the day by wearing something that is the color of cranberries!
  • Use the hashtag #NationalCranberryRelishDay to spread the word about the day on social media. Here is a tweet to get you started:
Celebrate National Cranberry Relish Day with by learning more about his delicious food, and trying our delicious cranberry relish recipe! 🍁 👩‍🍳 Click To Tweet

Fun facts about cranberries

Celebrate National Cranberry Relish day by reading these cranberry facts. Some may surprise you!

A bowl of fresh cranberries on a wooden table with some cranberries scattered around the bowl.

  • There are six main Thanksgiving symbols, and cranberries are one of them! Check out our post on the symbols of Thanksgiving to learn more.
  • Cranberries are one of the few fruits native to North America.
  • There are approximately 450 cranberries in a pound.
  • Only 5% of cranberries are sold fresh, the other 95% are processed.
  • In the 1880s, a New Jersey cranberry grower named John “Peg Leg” Webb discovered that cranberries bounce.
  • Americans consume 400 million pounds of cranberries every year. 20% of that amount (80 million pounds) are consumed during the week of Thanksgiving.

If you enjoyed learning these fun facts about cranberries, make sure you head over to our page dedicated to cranberry facts! There’s tons more interesting info on cranberries, and some FAQs there too.

This post may contain affiliate links. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you purchase through an affiliate link. 

What is a national day?

National days of the year are a fun way to celebrate odd and unusual foods, animals and items that you come into contact with. Be sure to check out this national day’s guide for more fun days to celebrate.

There are almost 2000 national days in the year and over 150 of them are celebrated in November. To see them all, have a look at this post to discover more about the national days in November.

Like National Cranberry Relish Day, there’s food days to be celebrated. There’s also drink days, and days dedicated to people, places, animals, or items you may come into contact with. 

If you’re interested in food and drink days this month, make sure view the full list of November food holidays.

There’s even monthly observances to be celebrated. For example, one of the observances of November is National Gratitude Month!

A blank November calendar with a leaf on it next to a pumpkin, twine, leaves and twigs.

If you enjoy doing puzzles, be sure to check out the November word search printable of national days, and our autumn word search and word scramble.

Be sure to also check out these other national days this November:

More November 22 national days

Did you enjoy learning about National Cranberry Relish Day? Well you’re in luck, November 22 is host to more than just one national day! 

A calendar page that says November 22 against a colorful rainbow confetti background.

Here is a complete list of all the November 22 national days:

  • National Cranberry Relish Day
  • Go for a Ride Day
  • Humane Society Anniversary Day
  • Stop the Violence Day
  • Start Your Own Country Day

Pin this post on National Cranberry Relish Day for later

Would you like a reminder of this post for National Cranberry Relish Day and corresponding fresh cranberry relish recipe? Just pin this image to one of your recipe boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

You can watch our November national food days video on YouTube for more special days this month.

Two bowls of cranberries against a blue background with a text overlay that reads "celebrate National Cranberry Relish Day, facts about cranberries, easy cranberry relish recipe".

Yield: 3 cups

Fresh Cranberry Relish Recipe

A white ramekin filled with an easy cranberry relish recipe sitting on a green plate surrounded by tortilla chips.

Looking for an easy recipe to make for Thanksgiving, or National Cranberry Relish Day? Look no further than this 3 ingredient easy cranberry relish recipe.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 unpeeled orange
  • 1 cup granulated sugar


  1. Leaving the peel on the orange, cut into sections.
  2. Take the seeds out of the orange.
  3. Put the cranberries, orange and 1/2 cup sugar into a food processor.
  4. Blend until no large chunks remain.
  5. Add more sugar to taste.


Some people prefer using less sugar in their fresh cranberry relish. I recommend starting with 1/2 a cup, and then adding more. You can always add more, but you can't take it out!

This recipe yields 3 cups of fresh cranberry relish, (six half cup servings).

Also, this is a very simple recipe, don't be afraid to experiment with different variations of it! Add jalapenos for some heat, or apples for a multi-fruit relish!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 167Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 3gSugar: 38gProtein: 0g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

Jess author photoAbout the author

Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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