No cook cranberry sauce has been a tradition in my family for decades Add this easy, sweet-tart ruby relish to your Thanksgiving table. Even someone who doesn't cook can make this recipe!
No Cook Cranberry Sauce - A Family Tradition
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday to cook for. Get the coffee going early, ease into a day of cooking and and turn on the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I love tradition. Puttering all day in the kitchen preparing to delight everyone with a feast to come is a joy.
My family had a strict tradition with our Thanksgiving menu and woe to you if wanted to mess with it. You risked excommunication from the family. The tradition was roast turkey with dressing and gravy, mashed potatoes, green vegetable (yes, the ever present green bean casserole), creamed pearl onions and ruby colored cranberry "salad", really a cranberry sauce or relish.
Family Cranberry "Salad" (compote or relish)
Although I have fooled around with my Thanksgiving menu a bit over the years, it’s still a close variation to what my mom and my Aunt Rose used to do. I’ve long passed on doing green bean casserole with canned mushroom soup, but I always make the cranberry salad. Mom called it a salad, not a sauce.
Digging through my mom’s old metal recipe box I came across the original recipe card. It was from my Aunt Rose. She called it Cranberry Relish. There are no directions, just a simple, short list of ingredients and a note to top with whipped cream. One warning, this recipe is very high in sugar, so of you want a lower sugar alternative, try my cranberry pomegranate relish. It's great.
Cranberry Sauce, No Cooking Involved
The best part about this salad or relish is that there is no cooking involved. Just draining and mixing. Even a person with no cooking skills can do this one! It’s simply whole berry cranberry sauce, oranges, pineapple and walnuts.
Mom always used fresh oranges. I've used canned Mandarins. She always topped it with freshly whipped cream flavored with a little sugar and vanilla (Chantilly Cream). Why would you put whipped cream on cranberries I don't know.
Leave off the whipped cream and serve it in a glass or crystal bowl. The jewel-like colors are beautiful on the table.
If you are looking for something fresh and easy, I hope you’ll try this family tradition from my home to yours. I’ve been making it for as long as I can remember. Please let me know how you like it. If you are not big on turkey, it goes great with roast pork, ham and roast chicken.
Last Note - Save the Juices
Save the juice that drains from the fruit. It tastes wonderful mixed with a little ginger ale, sparkling mineral water, or club soda for the kids. That was a treat I always looked forward. These days I’d rather mix it with Champagne or sparkling white wine for a sort of Thanksgiving Kir Royale.
- 2-16 oz cans Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
- 1-20 oz can pineapple chunks in water pieces cut in half
- 2-3 oranges or use a small can of mandarin oranges in water, drained, peeled, sectioned, and cut in half
- ½ cup chopped walnuts toast them if you’d like for more flavor
- ¾ cup sweetened whipped cream optional
- Set a large strainer or colander into a deep bowl. Pour cranberries, pineapple and mandarin oranges (if using canned) into the strainer and drain for three to four hours, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated.
- Add chopped walnuts and orange segments (if using fresh), and gently mix to combine. Transfer to a glass or crystal bowl to show off the pretty color of the salad. Spoon or pipe whipped cream on top of the salad around the edges (if using)