Sweet Onion Cranberry Marmalade

Sweet Onion Cranberry Marmalade

Sweet onion relish is one of my favorite, uber-versitile prepared foods. A dash of onion relish dresses up dishes as disparate as mac’n’cheese and fois gras.

I never thought to add mustard to sweet relish, but the extra zest and slight tartness actually add a great dimension of flavor. Though this was not the most talked dish at my first Thanksgiving dinner because it is a slightly sub-dued accouterment, but it was one of the most requested leftover.

Serves: 8-12 (as relish)
Prep time: 30-40 minutes
Adapted from
Bon Appetit


  • 3 large or 4-5 medium white or yellow onions
  • dried cranberries (sweetened variety)
  • white wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • sugar
  • white pepper
  • salt


  1. Chop or dice the onions. (If you would like a chunkier, more rustic final product, dice the onions. If you would like a smoother marmalade, you can chop the onions roughly now and puree them at the end.)
  2. Heat enough oil over medium heat to fill a 1/4 inch at the bottom of your pan.
  3. After the heat has been on for a minute, add 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds and cover the pan.
  4. When the seeds begin to pop, add onions and cook for 5-8 minutes till onions are soft. Stir frequently and do not allow onions to stick to the bottom of the pan or burn at all.
  5. Add 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 cup (or more if you prefer) dried cranberries and turn heat to high for about five minutes. Stir occasionally until most liquid is absorbed.
  6. Lower the heat to medium-low and add half a cup of white wine vinegar. Simmer and stir frequently until the marmalade thickens.
  7. Season with 1 teaspoon white pepper and salt to taste.
  8. If a smoother marmalade-like consistency is desired, puree the final mixture before serving.

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

About the Author