Fresh Cranberry Chutney

I wasn’t planning on posting today. But then I made this gorgeous chutney.

And I couldn’t resist telling you. If you don’t have plans for a bit of tart cranberry on your Thanksgiving table, I think this one is probably speaking to you…so listen up.

Fresh Cranberry Chutney

It’s a bit outside the cranberry sauce box but oh man, does it work. I’ve been sitting on this recipe for a year before deciding to make it. Initially I wasn’t so sure about the addition of savory notes like onion and celery. My fears were unfounded. Because the cranberries are overpowering (in a good way) in color and texture, the other ingredients absorb the goodness from the cranberries and it becomes the perfect concoction of sweet-tart cranberry sauce, warm spices, and other lovely textures.

It morphs from a boring ol’ cranberry sauce to a fantastic cranberry chutney. I ate it with some baked chicken tenders last night and it was heaven. I can only imagine how a little dab will be on turkey. So there you go. Here’s my contribution to cranberries at Thanksgiving (many of you have asked if I have a go to cranberry sauce recipe and I’m declaring this as my new fave for 2013).

Here’s a link with many of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes if you still need some inspiration and don’t forget about the step-by-step menu planning guide.

Fresh Cranberry Chutney

Yield: Makes about 4 cups of cranberry sauce

Fresh Cranberry Chutney

While I have only made the recipe as is, I have a feeling it is really adaptable. If you want less savory ingredients, try omitting the onion and celery (but I'd leave the apple and maybe add a tad of orange zest).


  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup finely minced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, raisins, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer over low heat until the berries start to pop, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, apple, and celery; continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture begins to thicken, 5-10 more minutes. Transfer to a container and cool slightly. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to meld.

Recipe Source: from Anna G, a reader who sent it to me all the way back in 2012, thanks, Anna!

45 Responses to Fresh Cranberry Chutney {My Fave Cranberry Sauce}

  1. Sue says:

    Could you freeze or can this?

  2. Liz says:

    I’m in the minority here, but didn’t care for this as written: too sweet and too cinnamon-y (and I love cinnamon).

    I saw Spikeygrrl’s comment above and had a head smacking moment … checked my own rhubarb chutney recipe which has similar proportions of everything and yep, vinegar. I dumped my leftover back in a saucepan, added 1/2 cup of cider vinegar, brought to a boil, simmered 15 minutes and after cooling it tastes to me what I think of when I think of chutney: sweet-sour-tangy.

  3. Chrys says:

    Only things I changed were: I used minced crystalized ginger instead of fresh, and 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate and 3/4 cup water. Also added 1Tbsp balsamic vinegar stirred in after it cooled.

  4. Abby Hanson says:

    Could I add orange zest to the existing recipe or would it be better to drop the onions and celery if I do that?

  5. Spikeygrrl says:

    Where’s the vinegar? This looks like a nice relish or compote, but it just ain’t a chutney without vinegar.

  6. Ellen says:

    Perfect, just perfect! And easy!
    Thanks for making my thanksgiving turkey that much better:)

  7. Erin says:

    Made Brie filled phyllo dough and put a little of this chutney on top and baked it for a holiday appetizer party. It was a hit, and SO delicious! Thanks :).

  8. Meridith says:

    What about frozen cranberries? I have a whole bag I need to use up.

  9. Amanda says:

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it is oddly addictive. I keep thinking things like, “I won’t add the onions next year,” or, “maybe a touch less cinnamon next year,” yet I keep going back into the fridge for the leftovers! And, obviously, I’m making this next year for sure!

  10. Laura says:

    I just made this & it smells amazing! It is in my frig now. Do I serve it warm or cold? I can’t wait to taste this addition to our Thanksgiving meal!

  11. LisaS says:

    Made this for Thanksgiving, and I am a convert! Thank you for this recipe, we loved it! I added orange peel to it, and cooked it a little longer as I can only stomach squishy cranberries. Served it with ham and it was amazing! Had it with ham sandwiches-delicious! Then added crushed pineapple to the leftovers and served it with almond crusted chicken later in the week. What a treat. Thank you!

  12. Terry says:

    Mel, I was thinking about making this and giving it in small jars for Christmas presents. How long do you think it will keep in the fridge?

  13. Shannon says:

    I made this for Thanksgiving instead of homemade cranberry sauce and it was a total hit. We had a house full of people and everyone loved it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  14. Soonhee says:

    So glad you posted this before Thanksgiving! It was so pretty and tasted so good with the turkey. My son who is hesitant to try new foods loves it. It is great on sandwiches too. Thank you for making our Thanksgiving prettier!

  15. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! Hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving, Mel!

  16. Katie says:

    I made this for Thanksgiving and we really enjoyed it! I left out the onions due to a dietary issue but kept the rest of the recipe the same. When I tasted it right after I finished making it, I really was unsure about the celery – I even started picking it out. But the next day when I served it I thought the celery was a nice addition. So I guess I would recommend keeping the recipe as is but make it the day before. 🙂 Thanks Mel and Anna!

  17. darlene nicolopoulos says:

    This was absolutely delicious! My husband normally does not like cranberries and He loved this.

  18. Lien says:

    This was delicious! Next time I won’t add as much sugar. I think one or the other for sugar, or 1/2 of each would make it plenty sweet. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Jo says:

    I made this the day before Thanksgiving and let the flavors meld together. It is soooo tasty! I wasn’t sure I would like the celery/onions but boy is this good! Thank you!

  20. Beth Douglas says:

    I have been following your blog for a couple of months now and let me just say, I love your recipes! I never would have made this if you didn’t convince me. We just finished Thanksgiving dinner and I am soooooo glad I made it. This will be a staple at Thanksgiving dinner from now on! Thank you!!!

  21. Sheryl Bohn says:

    Could you please tell me where you have hidden the recipe with the sweetened Condensed milk that you put in bottles and cook for several hours. I looked all over your web site and can’t find it. Maybe I am blind. I think you had it on your web site just recently, earlier this month. Thanks. Sheryl

  22. Anne Schofield says:

    Yum. I am fascinated by this addition of onions and celery of which you speak. And in case anyone wants to know, cranberry relish is wonderful as an accent to pot pie. Oh my.

    I did a cranberry sauce for our homeschool co-op last week sweetened with honey. So if you are wondering if replacing all the sugar with honey with work, it will! It was so delicious. I kept it super simple since we were serving it to kids, but threw in a whole vanilla bean pod, which I think really made it magical.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  23. I got the ingredients today and am starting to make this recipe right now – it looks SO good. I always do a homemade whole berry sauce w/brown sugar that is phenomenal… but this just looks amazing. Must try. I will post again with the end result review! Thanks so much for your mouth watering recipes. I will admit, I have never posted before, but I have tried a few. Happy Thanksgiving!!! 🙂

  24. Anna Gordhamer says:

    Glad you finally tried it! I made mine this morning and it is as beautiful as it is delicious. I am making your goat cheese wild rice stuffing tomorrow. Excited to try it.

  25. Making this right now! Looks so yummy and just what I want. I went to the store to buy only the granny smith apple since I had everything else. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, my friend. I just got off the phone with Amanda and she was wondering if you’ll be home for Christmas. <3

  26. Tahnycooks says:

    On my way to the store….. Delish!

  27. Nan says:

    I made this last year only no onion and a bit less brown sugar. It was so good I gave some out as gifts but of course, it had to be kept refrigerated. I just made a batch for tomorrow- kitchen smells delicious!

  28. Sheila says:

    Dear Mel . . . .thank you for all the blessings that your blog places into the lives of your readers. Happy Thanksgiving to you! May all the wonderful blessings of family flow over you and yours and saturate your day in many loving memories. . . .

  29. Never paid much attention to cranberry chutney but just spotted a recipe in a cookbook today and was planning on making it. Now I must try it if it’s that good. Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. Amy V says:

    Mel, do you think this would be good in baked brie with puff pastry? I was going to make homemade cranberry sauce and use it. This would be fancier! Thanks!

  31. Kelly says:

    That looks and sounds great! I’m not a big jellied cranberry sauce fan either, but this looks like the perfect compliment to a turkey dinner. Thanks!

  32. Bethany says:

    Wow! This looks delicious! I am not a cranberry lover, but I really want to try this. It sounds heavenly!

  33. Lella says:

    Wow, I just made this and it is amazing! I was a bit skeptical about adding the celery and onion, but I went with it and I am so glad I did. It was quick and easy to make and I know at least one of my guests who is going to go crazy over this dish. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Barbara says:

    Our cranberry offering is also out of the box, and even cranberry naysayers like it. I never cook the cranberries. I make a fresh cranberry salad, with the cranberries chopped in a blender full of water, then drained, and added to 2 flavors of Jello, along with crushed, drained pineapple, chopped pecans, and grapes. All the fruit is mixed together and heavily coated either in sugar for the regular folks, or Splenda (I feed a diabetic, so I use as little sugar as possible) to macerate while the Jello partially sets up. Then the fruit is added to the Jello. It’s a great salad or even do as my youngest son does, and have it for dessert, with some homemade whipped cream! I am going to try making sugar-free cranberry jelly from juice, but after the holidays. I wish they sold fresh cranberries year ’round, because my cranberry salad is a great summer dish to have when it’s hot outside. I just have to buy extra and freeze it.

  35. Teeesa says:

    I make something similar only with strawberries and oranges, but you replace 1/2 the water with sangria… It is a party in yoir mouth!!

  36. Rachel R says:

    This looks sooo yummy. Glad you posted today!:) happy thanksgiving!

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