Cherry Cranberry Relish with Jello

5 from 7 votes

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This Cherry Cranberry Relish with Jello is the perfect addition to your next holiday meal. Tangy, sweet, and super easy to make, this recipe will boost the flavor of all your favorite classic dishes.

bowl with Cherry Cranberry Relish


Holiday season is swiftly approaching! The leaves are slowly beginning to change and potlucks are back on the schedule. One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting the chance to showcase and share some of my favorite recipes! 

I particularly love finding easy ways to make any dish more delicious, and that is why I am so excited to share this recipe for cherry cranberry relish with Jello. It is remarkably easy to make and enhances the flavor and presentation of literally every dish I have tried it with. Some of my top recommendations include Dry Brined Turkey Breast, Grilled Spatchcock Chicken, or Balsamic Pork Chops

The truth is that this fast, easy, and fresh condiment makes everything taste amazing — any time of the year. I actually buy bags of cranberries and freeze them for later use throughout the year if unavailable.

I have even found ways to enjoy cranberry Jello relish for breakfast! Put a dollop of deliciousness on top of your next serving of oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese (my favorite breakfast!). I’m sure you’ll love it!

side view of a bowl of Cherry Cranberry Relish With Jello

INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS 

  • Cherry Jello – This is my secret weapon. Cherry Jello adds sweetness and rich color while holding the whole dish together. Strawberry gelatin would also work.
  • Boiling Water – Cold water won’t dissolve the Jello so make sure it’s really nice and hot.
  • Cranberries – These tart berries are usually come into season in September or October, making them a popular feature during the holidays. I love to grab a few extra bags to keep in the freezer for when they are no longer sold in stores. For this recipe, you can use either fresh or thawed cranberries, but not canned. 
  • Orange Sections – Cranberry and oranges were made to go together! This citrus adds a lovely flavor boost while providing tons of vitamin C. Navel oranges are my favorite to use since you don’t have to worry about the seeds. 
  • Orange Zest – Don’t forget to zest first! A little goes a long way to add brightness and a great big flavor boost to this dish.
  • Sugar – Cranberries are wonderful but they are incredibly tart on their own. Sugar is here to sweeten the deal and balance out the tartness. 
  • Celery – Celery adds just the right amount of freshness and crunch to your relish. 
  • Pecans & Walnuts – Pecans help to balance out the tart relish by adding a warm, earthy flavor and irresistible crunch. Walnuts do the same job but with a slightly different flavor. I like using them together for maximum nuttiness.
dried jello in a dish with a spatula

HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY RELISH WITH JELLO

1. Prepare the Jello. Use the hot water to dissolve the Jello right in your pan of choice. I like to use an 8×8 inch glass pan. Stir the mixture until clear and completely dissolved. 

2. Chop remaining ingredients. Use your food processor to combine the cranberries, orange segments, zest, sugar, celery, and nuts. Pulse several times. It’s okay if the pieces end up being small, but be sure not to blend until smooth. 

3. Combine everything in the pan. Transfer your blended ingredients to the pan with the Jello mixture. Stir to thoroughly combine. 

4. Chill. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. After one hour, stir the mixture and return it to the refrigerator to continue setting. Once set, stir thoroughly before serving. Enjoy!

orange slices with Cherry Cranberry Relish With Jello in a bowl

How Do I Serve Cherry Cranberry Relish With Jello?

Any way you like it! Cherry cranberry relish with Jello is a great compliment to your next Thanksgiving and or Christmas spread, and it is just as good year-round. 

Try it with turkey, chicken, duck, or ham. It’s also great on top of yogurt, cottage cheese, or oatmeal for breakfast. 

Feel free to get creative and let me know your favorite way to enjoy this recipe.

Is Cranberry Relish the Same as Cranberry Sauce?

Cranberry relish is made with raw, fresh cranberries that are chopped and mixed up with sugar and other ingredients. It is never cooked — this makes it much fresher and really allows the naturally tart flavors to shine. 

Cranberry sauce, on the other hand, is cooked and is typically much sweeter. It’s often smooth, without the addition of crunchy ingredients such as nuts or celery.  

What Is Cranberry Relish Made Of?

Traditionally, cranberry relish is made from blending finely chopped cranberries with sugar, fruit, nuts, and other ingredients. Making my cherry cranberry relish with Jello makes the whole process much easier since the gelatin holds everything together. 

Can I Make Cranberry Jello Relish Ahead Of Time?

Absolutely! In fact, I think this recipe is even tastier after the flavors have marinated together for a few days. 

Once prepared, you can store your relish in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Be sure to keep it covered in an airtight container. This will keep it fresher and prevent it from absorbing other flavors from the fridge. 

spoon filled with Cherry Cranberry Relish With Jello
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This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking December, 2015, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in October, 2022.

Cherry Cranberry Relish with Jello

5 from 7 votes
With fresh fruit, nuts, and a secret ingredient, this cherry Cranberry Relish with Jello is brimming with the best flavors of the season.
Servings: 10 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 6 oz Cherry Jello
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 12 oz cranberries (fresh or thawed)
  • 1 medium orange zest and segments
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Instructions 

  • Dissolve jello in hot water, right in the pan. I use a glass 8x 8", and stir completely until clear.
  • Pulse the cranberries, orange segments, zest, sugar, celery and nuts several times in a food processor. Keep in mind this can be left chunky, but small. Do not over process until smooth!
  • Pour mixture into liquid jello pan and stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. After 1 hour stir the jello to mix it up, recover and refrigerate until set. Stir thoroughly to break it up prior to serving.

Serving

  • This is a fantastic side for any Thanksgiving table with turkey, you can also serve with chicken and I even have this for breakfast over cottage cheese or yogurt.

Nutrition

Serving: 1oz | Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 41.1g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7.8g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Sodium: 86.7mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 37.1g

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: condiments, side dishes
Cuisine: American
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
closeup of Cherry Cranberry Relish With Jello

Kevin

Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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34 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is just like the cranberry relish that my Nana used to always make in Texas. I’ve made it for years and many people have requested the recipe, too. The only difference in my recipe is that it also contains crushed pineapple, and does not contain nuts. I think the nuts sound like a great addition and I plan to make a batch with the nuts. Also, as a side note, my family was divided over the two preferred cranberry sauces: smooth (canned) or cranberry sauce “with twigs” (the name my dad’s uncle in West Texas came up with in the 1940s). I have always been strongly on “team twigs”.

  2. Hiya! Have you by chance made this with cranberry jello? Wondering how that would taste . Also, wondering if green apple would be a sufficient sub for celery ? Thank you :).

    1. A little homage to mom, ya know? The celery is just a great little crunch. Cool Whip, wow, hadn’t thought of that in ages. 🙂

      1. Along those lines, some people (my mom and some others in the South) put a small dollop of mayo on the cranberry relish. It might sound gross, but the salty-sweet-tart combo is great. As this relish is already on the sweet side (especially the way my family makes it, with crushed pineapple added), cool whip might take it into overly sweet territory.

  3. Agree. Nothing could beat a homemade cranberry sauce. I usually make it with orange juice and some spices (normally, cinnamon), and I do like the idea of incorporating a cherry flavor as well. Lovely!

  4. Hello Kevin, I love cranberry sauce, and find it very interesting! Never tried from the scratch! yours looks wow 🙂 and I love your new photography tyle too, really the photos stand out! Now the challenge is to find fresh cranberry here!

    1. Thank you so much Farida. Cranberries are just so versatile, I love them. I buy them fresh in bags and freeze them since they are seasonal. I hope you can find some quick!

  5. Kevin, I’ll take the “lump” for what it is: it’s own unique taste and texture. I like it. I love home made cranberry sauce for what it is: it’s own unique taste and texture. I can’t wait to try yours, I’ve not done one with Jello. Thanks much and Happy Holidays to you and David!
    K.

  6. Hey Kevin! My girlfriend recently gave me a recipe for a cranberry crumble pie that uses a can of whole berry sauce. This would make it SO much better! 🙂

    1. Hi Dorothy! While this is great as a side dish and served cold, I’m not sure how it would work in a dish that needs to be baked actually. Due to the fact the jello is in this, it may melt and make the dish uncooked and messy. Not sure if I would. Let me know if it does though if you go through with it. I just love it as a side and topping, like with the cottage cheese or with granola for breakfast. Have a great day!

  7. 5 stars
    Kevin, first of all, that is just a beautiful, festive photo. I can’t quit looking at it. And I was already planning to make this after first sight, but when you said to put it on top of cottage cheese, I want to make it right now! I stock up on cranberries and freeze them because around here I can only buy them through January and we love just about anything “cranberries” in my family. This is going to be breakfast very soon. Thanks for another amazing recipe!

    1. Thanks Sally. We are too similar! The cottage cheese breakfast with this is sensational and I freeze bags of them too. They are so good for you, too. Have a great day.

  8. So I’ve been a big fan of cranberry relish, but this looks delicious! To be fair, I think I’ve only ever had the stuff from the can. The mom-in-law went Thanksgiving shopping with me this year, and she sent me back to get a can of cranberry relish. Blech! But I’ll take a batch of your homemade version! #WolfpackHomemade

    1. Fresh is always better and this one is so good on so many different things, too. Win, win! Maybe it’s a generational thing? I love it, thanks Dave.