Cranberry and Red Onion Relish Recipe

putting cranberry and red onion relish in jars
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 Updated 03/07/2015

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Cranberry sauce is obviously the traditional accompaniment for turkey at Christmas. But if you are like me and want something a bit different now and again then this cranberry and red onion relish should hit the spot. It goes well with cold turkey or indeed any cold meats - a beef sandwich with a dollop of this relish is delicious. It's spicy, warming and zesty with a festive colour and best of all it's really easy to make. The red onions give a milder onion flavour and add to the colour of the relish. It also makes a nice gift for friends and family.

ingredients to make cranberry and red onion relish


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 red onions, peeled and sliced
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 8oz cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • pinch ground cinnamon
(see measure conversions for more information on quantites)


  1. Firstly melt the butter in a medium saucepan and fry the red onions gently until they become softened (see picture 1) - this should take about 8 - 10 minutes. Be careful not to brown or burn the onions as this will affect the taste of the relish.
  2. Next add the lemon zest and juice (see picture 2), and cook gently for a further 5 minutes.
  3. The rest of the ingredients now need to be added to the saucepan - the cranberries, sugar, wine, red wine vinegar and spices (see picture 3).
  4. Heat until just boiling and then reduce the heat.
  5. Simmer until the relish becomes syrupy, 15 minutes should be enough (see picture 4).
  6. Pot the relish in sterilized small glass jars.
  7. Place a circle of greaseproof paper over the surface of each one, and then seal and label the jars.
  8. Decorate the lids with fabric or butter muslin and tie with string or ribbon.
  9. Make this relish 2 - 3 weeks before Christmas if you like.
  10. Remember to store it in the refrigerator after opening and use within 2 weeks.
fry the red onion in the butter simmer until it becomes syrupy add the rest of the ingredients add the lemon juice and zest

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 small jars


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