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

Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 cup mandarin oranges I used a jarred variety not in syrup or 1 orange
  • 1/3 cup honey warmed to make pourable
  • 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.