Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry Chutney has been my favorite cranberry for relish for more than twenty years. It's cranberry for grown-ups, thick with cranberries, dried fruit and toasted nuts, deepened with a splash of brandy. And it's a season-spanning chutney, good for Thanksgiving but also as a side (or a hostess gift!) during the weeks before Christmas.

Cranberry Chutney | Cranberry relish recipe with pecans, raisins, dried apricots, ginger and spices,  perfect for Thanksgiving or hostess gift | Weight Watchers PointsPlus 3 | Kitchen Parade

Thanksgiving tables call out for cranberries, especially when turkey is the main course. While canned cranberry sauces are easy, a few simple recipes can make the difference between 'convenient' and 'delicious and convenient'.

For Thanksgiving this year, consider serving a duo of cranberry condiments.

For the traditionalists in the family, the first choice is your home’s customary cranberry dish, whatever it is. If it's a can of jellied cranberry? Go for it, it's tradition. But then stretch to something new.

May I suggest Cranberry Chutney both for the table and for a homemade food gift for teachers, neighbors and friends? My friend Cindy says she invites me to Thanksgiving dinner, knowing I'll bring an extra just for her! And one cranberry lover, who shall remain anonymous, has been known to take spoonsful straight from the fridge. It's that good!

ALANNA's TIPS Cranberry Chutney should be made at least a few hours in advance so the rich flavors have the chance to meld but it keeps so can also be made days, even weeks ahead of time. My four-quart Dutch oven is the perfect size for making either a single batch or a double batch of Cranberry Chutney. It's big enough to allow room for the cranberries to puff up and pop a bit as they cook.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food writer Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. What’s the favorite cranberry concoction at your house? Share your recipe via If you like these Kitchen Parade recipes, consider a free e-mail subscription. Once or twice a week when a new recipe is published, you'll be notified via e-mail. This column was published in print in 2002 and published online for the first time in 2007.


My traditional Thanksgiving cranberry
Makes 4 cups
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 20 minutes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries (or 16 ounces if you prefer more cranberry taste)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • 1 cup dried apricots, diced (or other diced dried fruit)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (about 1/2 knob), optional
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, dark rum or other spirit, optional
  • Additional toasted pecans and cranberries

Place water and sugar in a heavy four-quart kettle and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, rinse berries, removing any bruised or bad berries. Add berries to syrup and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and let simmer until berries begin to pop.

Add remaining ingredients (except spirits) and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens.

Add spirits and simmer another 1 - 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before serving or storing.

Can be made ahead of time, keeps for several weeks. Makes a great hostess gift!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per 1/4 cup: 102 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 19g Carb; 2g Fiber; 5mg Sodium; 0mg Cholesterol; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 3

More Ideas for Cranberry Relishes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Fresh Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Apple Cranberry Orange Relish with Fresh Ginger Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce for the Slow Cooker

More Long-Time Thanksgiving Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Squash Puff Sausage Stuffing Turkey Wild Rice Casserole

Still More Cranberry Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Fresh Cranberry Drop Cookies Cranberry Apple Crisp Cranberry Pudding with Butter Sauce

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(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

This Recipe Has Moved

The recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish has moved,
please see
Cranberry Orange Relish with Fresh Ginger

© Copyright 2002, 2007, 2008, 2011 & 2015 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous10/28/2007

    Alanna -- I've been making a delicious Cranberry Chutney ever since my husband worked for Ocean Spray cranberries in the mid-1990s. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but doesn't a true chutney have to have some vinegar in it?

    Anyway, here is the Ocean Spray recipe, and it's foolproof!

    Cranberry Chutney

    1 - 16 oz. can Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
    1/2 c. golden raisins
    1/2 c.+ 2 T diced and peeled apple
    1/4 c.+ 2 T sugar
    1/4 c. + 2 T vinegar (I use rice vinegar - it's milder)
    1/8 teas. allspice
    1/8 teas. ginger (powdered)
    1/8 teas. cinnamon
    Dash of ground cloves
    Juice of 1/2 lime

    Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, uncovered, until apples are tender and sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes. Makes 2 1/2 cups. Keeps in fridge about 2-3 weeks. Great with roasted fowl or pork, and on turkey sandwiches, too. Makes a great hostess gift. ENJOY!

  2. Hi Heidi ~ Thanks for your recipe!

    As for whether chutney 'officially requires' vinegar, you may well be right. This is such a favorite old recipe that it's one of the very first recipes published in Kitchen Parade, when I was still learning my way around food writing and kept recipes' titles as I found them. I'm still learning, of course, so thanks for adding this tidbit!

  3. I've got cranberries in my freezer, picked by myself :) Thank you for a recipe - and may I just add that this is a gorgeous serving bowl!!!

  4. I just sent my newsletter readers a cranberry chutney recipe I've been making forever -- it's based on one from a little book called Condiments! by Jay Solomon. I love chutney, because it's more tart and complex than cranberry sauce.

  5. If I had to pick only one food to eat at Thanksgiving, it might be the cranberry chutney. I am crazy for it. This recipe with raisins and pecans is fabulous. I make one with dried cherries and walnuts last year. Looks like I'll have to make two this year.

  6. Pille ~ What, you mean cranberries don't grow in plastic bags? Amazing! And thanks for noticing the bowl. It's a piece by Raymond Loewy, the famous modern designer from the 1950s.

    Lydia ~ Ah yes, this is a 'forever' recipe for me too. Last year I broke down and tried something new, but as a third option!

    Susan ~ Really! I wonder how many more there are like you that choose cranberry first.

  7. I do so love cranberries...more and more each year! Because I can't get them here... There's a small red berries that some people call 'cranberries' but .... nope~!
    Last year I was in MN for Christmas and pigged out on them - it was wonderful! I'll enjoy them, vicariously, through your recipes!

  8. Anonymous11/04/2007

    My favorite cranberry chutney is from Madhur Jaffrey - I heard it on an NPR show around Thanksgiving more than a decade ago, and have made it every year since! (often for Thanksgiving AND Christmas, or any other time we have turkey!) I might have to try yours as well, because I'm always looking for ways to use up pecans. You can see the Jaffrey recipe at this NPR page (along with that infamous Mama Stamberg one):

    and here's where I blogged about it last year:

  9. I used to make a wonderful cranberry-pear-nut chutney that used curry powder as one of the spices. Anyone have such a recipe; mine is lost.

    Also, Allana, where are you from? My mother is a Kellogg too (originally from Michigan but far distant from those folks now)

  10. Hi Jan ~ Good luck with your recipe search, I'll keep my eyes peeled. If your mother's a Kellogg, we're related! All the Kelloggs descend from three brothers and a cousin who came to North America in the 1600s. If your mother doesn't know, there are amazing books of family genealogy going back even further. E-mail me and I'll send you the info.


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