Spiced Pear & Cranberry Relish

November 15th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Every Thanksgiving table would be incomplete without a dish of ruby red cranberry sauce or relish to grace it. Last year, I shared a recipe (that I still love) for Cranberry Pear Sauce. It’s delicious spooned over turkey, casseroles, or other hearty dishes any time during the fall and winter.

But if you want something a bit more refreshing with a pop of zing and a little crunch to jazz up your holiday dishes—something a touch more tart than sweet—you’ve got to try making raw cranberry relish.

It’s even easier than sauce, believe it or not. As long as you’ve got a food processor, it’s just a quick zip-zip-zip and you’re done. Like most holiday leftovers, the flavor of this cranberry relish improves with time. Make it a day in advance if you can, giving it a quick stir before serving.

With so many rich and heavy dishes taking center stage at the holidays, I like to balance out that weight with lighter sides and condiments like this relish. It’s amazing how something so simple can complement old favorites so perfectly.

With Thanksgiving just over a week away, here are few more of my favorite dishes you might like to include in your holiday recipe arsenal:

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu this year? Share in the comments!

(P.S. In case you missed it, last week The Pure Kitchen made it’s TV debut! Click here to watch me demo the Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Clusters from the book.)

Spiced Pear & Cranberry Relish

Serves 4

2 cups fresh cranberries

1 medium shallot, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 tablespoons finely grated orange zest

2 teaspoons finely grated ginger root

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 medium ripe Bosc pear, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons pecans


In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, pulse the cranberries, shallot, honey, orange juice, orange zest, ginger, and cinnamon until finely chopped. Add the pear and pecans and process until chopped small.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, or up to 2 days.

Find more healthy seasonal recipes at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday!


  1. I adore cranberry relish and I love the idea of adding fresh ginger YUM! I am curious about your addition of shallot…how does it impact the flavor profile of the relish? Thanks!

    • Emily – Great question! Because there are a good amount of sweet, fruity ingredients going on here (pear, cranberries, honey, and orange), I think the shallot helps to balance it out with some savory flavor. The ginger definitely adds some nice kick, too!

  2. Looks Good! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. What a unique and healthy recipe. Pears and cranberries-can’t wait to try it!

  4. I’m loving the many dimensions in this cranberry sauce. Makes all others else seem so flat!

  5. Delicious relish. I love the combination of pear and cranberry.

  6. This looks so good and I want to make it for Thanksgiving!! However my nephew is allergic to oranges… any suggestions on a citrus or other flavor to replace the orange? Lemon maybe? Grapefruit? Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Jamie – Because lemon juice is so much more tart than orange juice, I would recommend using a bit of 100% apple juice instead here. You could try leaving it out altogether, too, since it’s such a small amount. You won’t get that orange undertone, but I think it would still be good. You could use 1-2 teaspoons of lemon zest in place of the orange zest.

  7. Laura of Brooksville, FL said on November 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    We tried this yesterday at Thanksgiving, needless to say, I have tons of this leftover, as I had doubled the recipe. My mother in law said it would have been better minus the shallots. I thought it was good, and the rest of my family does not even care for cranberries. My mother liked it, and father in law tried a small portion. I will be eating this every day at work til it’s gone!

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

The Pure Kitchen Books

In Hallie’s cookbooks you’ll find gluten-free, dairy-free recipes made with whole, natural foods.

The Pure Kitchen: Amazon | Hallie's eStore

Super Healthy Cookies: Amazon | Hallie's e-store

Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free: A Whole Food Starter Guide and Cookbook

About me

I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.