Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Carne Diem
Origin: North American, AmericanJump to Recipe
With grilled apples, oranges, and fresh cranberries, this cranberry salad has been a Thanksgiving tradition in our family for generations. With only 4 ingredients it is super easy to make and can be made a day ahead of time to free up more time to spend with your family.
This Grilled Apple Cranberry Salad has been a tradition in our family for several generations. This year we decided to change it up a bit and grill the apples before adding them to the fruit salad. I think we like this version even better (sorry Grandma).
Table of contents
Making the Grilled Apple and Cranberry Salad
This Thanksgiving fruit salad is super easy to make requiring only 4 ingredients. Even better is that it improves with a night in the refrigerator so you can make it ahead of time. To make the Grilled Apple and Cranberry Salad you will need 2 red apples, 6 ounces of fresh cranberries, an orange, and ¾ sup white sugar. The recipe is easily doubled if you are expecting a lot of people over. The recipe as written should serve about 6-8 people as a side dish.
Prep your fruit
First you will need to rinse and prepare your fruit. Core the apple and cut each apple into quarters. You will need about ⅓ of an orange. We find it best to cut into slices prior to chopping in the food processor. You will be using the entire orange slices, peel and all.
Grill the apples
Heat your grill or a cast iron skillet over medium high heat (about 400 degrees). Grill the apple slices for about 2 minutes per side. You want the outside nicely grilled, but don't want the center of the apple to get mushy. Once the apples are grilled remove from the grill and allow to cool. Once cool, halve the apple slices and add to a food processor. We love the slightly smoky flavor grilling the apples adds to this Thanksgiving side dish.
Finely chop the Grilled Apple Cranberry Salad
Add the cranberries and orange slices to the food processor. Pulse the fruit several times, then scrape the sides of the bowl and pulse a few more times.
Ideally you want the fruit salad finely chopped but not mushy.
Place the fruit salad in a bowl and stir in the sugar. Cover and refrigerate overnight. This Holiday fruit salad really improves after a day or 2 in the fridge. Give the Grilled Apple and Cranberry Salad a quick stir just before serving.
Enjoy your Grilled Apple Cranberry Salad along with your other Thanksgiving favorites like Smoked Turkey, Sausage and Sage Stuffing, Smoked Turkey Roulade: Rolled Turkey Breast with Fresh Herbs, Black Garlic, and Prosciutto, or our Fried Mashed Potato Cakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, this recipe is gluten free and free of major allergens.
Yes, in fact we recommend making the cranberry salad at least 24 hours ahead of time for the flavors to meld. The salad should keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
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Grilled Apple and Cranberry Salad
- food processor
- ⅓ Orange, Plus Peel sliced
- 6 ounce Cranberries
- 2 Apples unpeeled but core removed
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- Heat your grill or a cast iron skillet over medium high heat (about 400 degrees). Grill the apple slices for about 2 minutes per side. You want the outside nicely grilled, but don't want the center of the apple to get mushy.
- Once the apples are grilled remove from the grill and allow to cool. Once cool, halve the apple slices and add to a food processor.
- Place the remaining fruits in a food processor or blender and chop until fine.
- Stir in the sugar until well combined.
- Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.