This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Bring something new to your Thanksgiving Dinner this year with this Fresh Cranberry Chutney, both tart, sweet, and spiced with just a touch of nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and mustard seeds for a nice texture. And would you look at that color?

Homemade cranberry chutney will wow your taste buds — It’s a staple for our holiday table, and I hope it becomes a cherished tradition for you, too!

After all, it’s an excellent twist on the traditional cranberry sauce recipe.

Why you’ll love this delicious cranberry chutney recipe!

  • Easy Recipe. Made quickly and easily with simple ingredients, heating, and stirring.
  • Festive Dish. Cranberry sauce with orange juice goes well with all your festive holiday meals, like leftover turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving Day, roast chicken flavored with warm spices, and more!
  • Easily Adjusted. With this recipe, it’s easy to adjust the sugar or spices to your taste. If you prefer extra sweet chutney, increase the amount of sugar. If you like it a little spicy, add extra ginger or cloves.
ingredients for cranberry chutney on a table.

Ingredient notes

  • Fresh cranberries | Have a bag of cranberries ready to cook! 
  • Sugar | While the berries are packed with sweetness, adding sugar helps to make the tart cranberry flavor milder.
  • Water | Pour in some water to thin the tangy cranberry chutney.
  • Orange | Add freshly squeezed navel orange juice and orange zest to brighten the flavors and add citrus notes.
  • Mustard seeds | Nutty mustard seeds bring texture and a subtle heat.
  • Warm Spices | Make the taste especially fit for the holiday season with fresh ginger, ground cloves, and nutmeg.

How to make this Fresh Cranberry Chutney Recipe

Now, you can make quick and easy cranberry chutney, no matter how busy the holidays get!

STEP 1 | Add ingredients to a pot

ingredients for fresh cranberry chutney in a saucepan to be cooked.

Start by rinsing the whole cranberries and placing them in a large pot or medium saucepan. Add the zest and juice from the oranges along with the remaining ingredients.

STEP 2 | Boil, cook, and chill

cooked cranberry sauce in a saucepan on a trivet on a table.

Next, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the temperature to medium heat, and cook until most cranberries pop and the mixture is thick.

Lastly, let the chutney cool completely and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

tips

  • When you hear the popping sound, indicating the berries are bursting to release the flavor and sugars, you’re on your way to finishing the recipe. Not all berries need to pop, but the majority of them will.

Check out my favorite Thanksgiving recipes, like delicious Apple Crumble Pie, creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie, and cozy Hot Apple Cider Yum!

a bowl of cranberry chutney on a wooden trivet on a table scattered with cranberries and orange slices.

Variations and substitutions

  • Swith the Sugar. Produce a deeper and richer flavor by swapping the white sugar for brown sugar.
  • Instant Pot Method. You can also make the recipe in an Instant Pot! Just prep, combine the ingredients, then cook at medium heat until the sauce is thickened and the cranberries pop.
  • Canned or Frozen Berries. If preferred, use canned cranberries, drained and patted dry, or frozen cranberries thawed. Either way, you may need to adjust the cooking time and the water added– These substitutes often require a different cooking time and add more moisture to the original recipe.

Storage and reheating tips

  • Keep leftover cranberry chutney fresh, or make it ahead of time by storing it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for about ten days.
  • You can freeze the chutney for up to three months and thaw it before serving again.

Love this recipe? Bookmark it for the future!

Simply tap the heart symbol located in the lower right corner of your screen, and the recipe will be securely stored in your own recipe box.

a spoonful of cranberry chutney with the bowl in the background.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry relish?

Primarily, cranberry sauce is cooed and often sweeter. Cranberry relish is made of uncooked and finely chopped ingredients, usually apples and other fruits.

Is cranberry sauce the same as cranberry chutney?

The two names are often used interchangeably. Some say a cranberry chutney is a bit more complex than a classic cranberry sauce, containing a few more ingredients to boost the flavor, like orange zest. Also, you usually cannot see any whole pieces in cranberry sauce, like the consistency of apple sauce. On the other hand, chutney keeps some of the chunks of ingredients for texture.

Why didn’t my cranberry sauce thicken?

There are a couple of reasons why your cranberry sauce may not thicken well. First, you must have patience. The cranberries take some time to pop. Without them bursting, the pectin is not released, which is a major component to thickening the consistency. 

If this isn’t the issue, check the water measurement. You may have put too much water by reading the recipe wrong or mismeasuring it.

Serving suggestions

This recipe is the perfect accompaniment to a juicy and tender slice of turkey. Try my Citrus Herb Smoked Turkey Breast, Cider Roasted Turkey with Sausage Apple Stuffing, or Brined and Roasted Turkey Legs.

closeup image of a bowl of cranberry chutney on a table.

Looking for more Cranberry Recipes?

There’s no shortage of cranberry recipes, here! Try my Orange Cranberry Muffins for a festive breakfast, this mouth-watering 5-Minute Orange and Cranberry Relish, or sweet Cranberry Fluff made with a block of cream cheese and fluffy whipped cream.

Behind the recipe: My Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Growing up in the 70s, my family’s Thanksgiving dinner always included my grandmother’s pumpkin pies with Cool Whip, sweet potatoes, green beans, a BIG turkey (we had a BIG family!) with homemade cornbread dressing, and a can of jellied cranberry sauce sliced on a plate.

I’d never had homemade chutney until after I married and dined at my in-laws for Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law made a marvelous chutney full of cranberries, oranges, apples, nuts, and other good things, but it was time-consuming.

I very quickly became a big fan of homemade cranberry sauces and chutneys. This year, I’m trying a new recipe for a chutney that is so easy and quick to prepare – I love saving time when there’s a big menu to get ready!

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows, and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or Pinterest!

Like this recipe?

Don’t forget to comment below the recipe and please give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating!

fresh cranberry chutney in a bowl on a table.

Fresh Cranberry Chutney

This easy homemade Cranberry Chutney is both tart and sweet at the same time and spiced with just a touch of nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Condiments & Sauces
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 114 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 medium navel oranges juice and zest
  • 3 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions
 

  • Rinse cranberries and place in a large pot. Add the zest and juice from the oranges along with the remaining ingredients.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook until most of the cranberries "pop" and the mixture is thick. Cool completely; then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

  • When you hear the popping sound, indicating the berries are bursting to release the flavor and sugars, you’re on your way to finishing the recipe. Not all berries need to pop, but the majority of them will.
  • Keep leftover cranberry chutney fresh, or make it ahead of time by storing it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for about ten days.
  • You can freeze the chutney for up to three months and thaw it before serving again.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 1gSodium: 21mgFiber: 3gSugar: 22g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword chutney, cranberry, cranberry orange, cranberry sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating