Fresh cranberry salad

Cranberry sauce is one of those Thanksgiving staples that has never actually been a staple in my family.

I can’t really remember ever eating it to be honest.  Especially not the jellied cranberry sauce from the can.

While that speaks tradition to many people, it doesn’t to me.  I do however love a good cranberry salad made with fresh cranberries.

Fresh cranberries have a very distinct bitter taste and definitely don’t taste very good on their own.  My daughter wanted to taste one, and I tried to warn her.  The bright red color fooled her though into thinking it would be sweet.  Boy was she in for a surprise.  She spit that puppy out extremely fast!

This fresh cranberry salad is sweetened with other naturally sweet fruit and honey.  It still has a bit of a tart and bitter bite that cranberries are known for, but it’s hidden in the background instead of front and center.  I like pecans in my salad, an entire cup in fact, but you can leave them out and it’s still a tasty salad.  I personally love the crunch and nutty flavor that they give to add some interest to the salad.  My daughter on the other hand is highly allergic to pecans and other tree nuts, so I leave a small portion without pecans for her to enjoy.

This is perfect to accompany your traditional Thanksgiving dinner, to take to a potluck, or to just enjoy on its own.  It comes together extremely fast if you have a food processor.  Dump everything in, pulse, pulse, pulse, and add some honey.  It doesn’t get much easier than that. If you don’t have a food processor, you will have to finely chop everything by hand and it will take a few minutes longer, but it’s still easy.

Fresh cranberry salad
Serves 8
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Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
169 calories
24 g
0 g
9 g
2 g
1 g
107 g
2 g
19 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 169
Calories from Fat 76
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 1g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 2mg
Total Carbohydrates 24g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 19g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 cups fresh cranberries
  2. 1 cup fresh pineapple
  3. 1 apple
  4. 1/2 cup mandarin oranges (I used a jarred variety not in syrup) or 1 orange
  5. 1/3 cup honey, warmed to make pourable
  6. 1 cup pecans
  1. Cut up pineapple and apple in large chunks and place in food processor.
  2. Add cranberries and pulse several times until evenly chopped.
  3. Add mandarin oranges and pulse a couple more times.
  4. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. Pulse pecans in the food processor to chop them.
  6. Add them to salad.
  7. Pour honey over salad and stir together.
  8. If you don't have a food processor, just chop everything finely by hand and stir together.
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  1. brandi rea November 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Could you sub maple syrup for the honey?

    • Tara Buss November 14, 2018 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      I’ve never tried it, but I’m assuming you could.

  2. Christy November 14, 2018 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    Can you make this the day before?

    • Tara Buss November 15, 2018 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      Yes. You might want to add the nuts the day of though so they don’t get too soggy. I like them to be really crunchy.

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