Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry Chutney

I don’t know how food bloggers make full holiday meals ahead of time in order to post recipes, and then do it all again for the real thing! Needless to say, I am not making an extra turkey just to post it on this blog.

However, I will post a recipe or two as I prepare for Thanksgiving. This year, my parents are coming to Chicago and we are going to have a small four-person Thanksgiving cooked in my tiny oven. I haven’t figured out our full menu but one thing is certain that there will be cranberry chutney.

Sometime in the late 1970s my grandmother clipped two recipes for cranberry chutney, eventually combining them to create the recipe my family uses today. The original clippings can still be found in her recipe box, along with the version we now favor, which my Dad typed up at some point so it could be more easily shared.

My grandmother’s clipping of a chutney recipe, which she used as the base of this recipe.


A second chutney clipping from my grandmother, which she borrowed from to create our current version of the recipe.


For as long as I can remember, our Thanksgiving table has included this cranberry chutney in addition to, or sometimes instead of, normal cranberry sauce. When I was a child I was known to eat it by the spoonful.

The tart cranberries are balanced by the sweetness of apples, orange zest and juice, and sugars. Winter spices of ginger, cloves, and cinnamon complement the cranberries nicely. Celery and onions provide a surprising tang and help the sauce remain savory instead of a sweet jelly. Chopped nuts and golden raisins provide the chunky consistency of a typical chutney.

This chutney will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks or can be canned if you are into that sort of thing. It goes as well with chicken as it does with turkey and I imagine would make a nice addition to a cheese plate or baked Brie.

The recipe itself is very simple. We start by cooking the cranberries, raisins, sugar, and spices in some water for 15 minutes until most of the berries have popped and the mixture has thickened.

Cranberries, raisins, sugar, and spices.


Cook until thick and most berries have burst, like this.

Then, we add the rest of the ingredients: onion, apple, celery, orange zest, and orange juice, and simmer for another 15 minutes.

After cooking for another 15 minutes, the chutney will be thick and flavors combined.

Let it cool and then refrigerate until ready to eat!

5 from 1 vote

Cranberry Chutney

This tangy, tart, savory, spiced chutney is a Thanksgiving favorite in our house. Pairs well with roasted turkey or chicken. Would also be lovely on a cheese plate or with baked brie. Chutney will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Makes 2.5 cups.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author the brave radish


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (1/2 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 apple (about 1 cup after chopping) peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • zest and juice of 1 orange totaling about 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts optional


  1. Combine cranberries, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and water in a medium saucepan. Simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes until most of the berries have popped and the mixture has thickened, stirring occasionally to keep the bottom from burning.
  2. Add the onion, apple, celery, orange zest and juice, and nuts if using. Simmer for another 15 minutes until the mixture is thick.
  3. Cool and refrigerate. Serve straight from the refrigerator or room temperature.