Cranberry Chipotle Chutney

Thanksgiving cranberries are too often served from a can, with barely recognizable berries, still jiggling around on your plate in the same shape as the can, ridged sides and all.

While some people find this image disgusting, to others it is somehow comforting and actually somewhat delectable. After making my own cranberry chutney, I realized what an absolute travesty that is.

This chutney is a classy savory/sweet mix with the (somewhat copious) sugar offsetting the bitter cranberries and flavorful garlic and chipotle chilis keeping the relish from heading into Candyland.

Serves: 8-12 as a relish
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Adapted from Bon


  • 1 small can chipotle chilies without added sauce (from the Mexican food section in most big name grocery stores)
  • 1 12 oz package fresh cranberries (they tend to show up at most grocers this time of year, but you can go frozen if need be)
  • juice of one lemon
  • sugar
  • garlic
  • cinnamon
  • cumin


  1. In a large saucepan, set 1 cup of sugar over medium heat.
  2. Finely chop 3-4 drained chipotle chilies and 2 cloves of garlic.
  3. As sugar starts to dissolve, add the chopped garlic and chilies and stir continuously for 1 minute.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and cumin and stir.
  5. Immediately add the entire bag of cranberries and mix to coat.
  6. Juice the lemon over the mixture and continue to cook over medium heat for several minutes until cranberries begin to pop (and stand back or your clothes will be decorated with deep burgundy splatters).
  7. Reduce heat and simmer until chutney reaches desired consistency. For something more sauce-like, another five minutes or so will suffice. I prefer to leave the chutney simmering for another twenty minutes or so to achieve a thicker final product.


Looking for more thanksgiving recipes? Check out the rest of the Thanksgiving Test Kitchen or our Holiday page for menus!