Vibrant sweet, savory, and tart Cranberry Chutney is bursting with flavor to accompany your holiday meals. This fruity chutney is full of warming spices for a festive addition to glaze hams, top cheese and crackers, or pair with a roasted turkey. It's ready on the stovetop in just 30 minutes!
Chutneys are a whole class of condiments or sauces from India that are sweet, savory, herbaceous, or tangy. They're made with an assortment fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs to serve with main dishes for an extra layer of flavor. Some popular chutneys are Cilantro-Mint Chutney that you'll often see in restaurants and South Indian Coconut Chutney.
This Cranberry Chutney is a savory, tangy alternative to classic cranberry sauce with similar flavors to mango chutney. It's a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving or holiday spread or for canning as a hostess gift!
Why you'll love this Recipe
Cranberry Chutney offers a bit of a variation from classic cranberry sauce. Most Thanksgiving or Christmas spreads tend to be fairly simple in terms of spices and flavors. This Cranberry Chutney adds bold flavor and color to any spread.
- It's ready in 30 minutes to make from scratch on the stove top, saving precious oven space.
- It's sweet, spicy, and tart and pairs with any main dish.
- It can be canned as a gift, used in appetizers, or as a sauce or glaze.
- It stays true to the ingredients and flavors used to make authentic Indian chutneys.
Ingredients - Notes and Substitutions
- Cranberries - Fresh or frozen cranberries will work for this recipe!
- Apple - Use a sweet red apple, like fuji, gala, or honey crisp. I don't peel mine, but you absolutely can if you'd like to.
- Golden Raisins - Golden raisins are common to fruit-based chutneys, like mango chutney. Raisins absorb a lot of liquid and break up the texture of the chutney. They can be omitted if you don't like raisins.
- Orange - A pairing that can't be denied - oranges and cranberries! Orange juice balances the cranberry by adding acidity, natural sugars, and brightness to the chutney.
- Ginger - Use freshly minced or grated ginger and adjust based off of preference. It pairs really well with the orange juice and cranberries.
- Green chili pepper - Serrano pepper, jalapeños, or Indian green chili peppers and a bit of heat, but not too much. Substitute with ½ teaspoon chili powder or red chili flakes to spice preference.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - This is my preferred vinegar for fruit chutneys but distilled white vinegar works as well.
- Sugar - Cranberries are incredibly tart and need sugar to balance it out. Adjust the amount in the recipe based off of personal preference. Also, feel free to use substitutes like honey, maple syrup, or sugar-free substitutes like Splenda.
- Spices - We're only using cumin seeds and garam masala for a bit of warmth.
How to make Cranberry Chutney
Start by prepping all of your ingredients:
- Dice the green chili pepper
- Mince the garlic
- Core and dice the apple
- Grate a 1-inch knob of ginger (about 5 grams)
On low to medium heat, add the oil into a saucepan. Toss in the grated ginger, minced garlic, diced pepper, and cumin seeds.
Sauté for 2-3 minutes until you can smell the aroma and the green chili pepper has softened a bit.
Now, add in the cranberries, raisins, apples, sugar, orange juice, and apple cider vinegar. Give everything a really good stir and let it come simmer, stirring in 2-3 minute intervals. Cover the sauce pan with a lid.
At about 12 minutes in, the cranberries will begin to burst and release their juices. The diced apples will have softened.
After another 12 minutes, the chutney will have reduced about half. Add the garam masala and stir everything together again. Remove the chutney from heat.
At this point, you can mash down the cranberries and apples with a spatula or potato masher for a thicker chutney, or you can leave it chunky with the softened apples and cranberries for some texture.
Let it cool to room temperature before serving.
What to Serve Cranberry Chutney with
You can use Cranberry Chutney as a sweet, savory option anywhere you would use cranberry sauce! Try these options:
- In a leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwich
- In a little bowl on a charcuterie board to top a cheese cracker
- In a cranberry brie cheese puff pastry
- To glaze a ham or chicken
- In a chutney grilled cheese sandwich
The possibilities are endless!
Cranberry Chutney can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
It can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight for use the next day.
More Chutneys and Achars to try
- ½ tablespoon neutral oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ serrano pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 12 ounce cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 honeycrisp apple, cored and diced
- 1.5 ounces golden raisins
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- To prep - Dice the serrano pepper and garlic clove. Core and dice the apple. Grated the ginger.
- In a sauce pan on low to medium heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, diced serrano pepper, minced garlic clove, and grated ginger. Sauté for 2 minutes until you can smell the aroma.
- Now, add the diced apple, cranberries, golden raisins, sugar, orange juice, salt, and apple cider vinegar into the sauce pan. Mix everything together really well.
- Let the chutney come to a simmer the chutney and cover it with a lid, stirring in 3-5 minute intervals. About 10-12 minutes in, the cranberries will start to burst and the apples will soften. Another 12 minutes in, the mixture will have reduced by about half.
- At about 25 minutes, stir in the garam masala. Remove the chutney from heat.
- Optionally, mash down the cranberries and apples for a thick cranberry chutney. Or keep it chunky for texture.
- Allow the chutney to cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
- Cranberry Chutney can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
- It can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight for use the next day.