ThanksgivingWhat to CookSide DishesCondiments & Sauces

13 Zippy Relishes to Balance Out Your Thanksgiving Plate

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Thanksgiving fare is, by and large, rich, comforting, and heavy—in a good way. Perhaps that's why the post-feast nap is, at least in many houses, as celebrated as the turkey. But sometimes the flavors can get a bit repetitive, and the heavy food might weigh down your palate.

Enter relishes! We all know cranberry sauce, one of the most well-established (and simultaneously one of the most polarizing) staples of the Thanksgiving table. Love it or hate it, cranberry sauce plays a vital role in the holiday spread; not only does it add a welcome pop of color, but it brings a bit of zip. Brightness. Pizzazz. Cranberry sauce takes the comforting flavors of Thanksgiving and punches them up. Its tart-sweet balance contrasts and complements everything from turkey to stuffing to my personal favorite, mashed potatoes.

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And cranberry sauce is just the tip of the Thanksgiving relish iceberg. Bring some zip to the table with a bowl of sweet-and-savory onion confit or roasted applesauce either in lieu of or alongside old faithful. We've rounded up a few of our favorite relishes (and relish-like sauces) from our Thanksgiving menu maker—and a bonus recipe or two—to get the ball rolling.

Cranberry Sauce (The Classic)

Cranberry, Onion, and Ginger Chutney
Cranberry, Onion, and Ginger Chutney
Cranberry-Currant Relish

Cranberry-Currant Relish by lastnightsdinner

Pear, Brandy and Walnut Cranberry Sauce

Pear, Brandy and Walnut Cranberry Sauce by lifeaswecookit

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish
Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish
Homemade Cranberry Jelly, In a Can
Homemade Cranberry Jelly, In a Can

All things onion & co.

Tuscan Onion Confit
Tuscan Onion Confit
Mushrooms with Caramelized Shallots and Fresh Thyme

Mushrooms with Caramelized Shallots and Fresh Thyme by Josh Cohen

Buttery Braised Leeks with a Crispy Panko Topping

Buttery Braised Leeks with a Crispy Panko Topping by amber wilson | for the love...

Balsamic-Roasted Shallots
Balsamic-Roasted Shallots

Sweeten the deal with fruit

Orange-Fennel Mostarda
Orange-Fennel Mostarda
Sweet and Spicy Grape Chutney

Sweet and Spicy Grape Chutney by Madhuja

Judy Rodgers' Roasted Applesauce (and Savory Apple Charlottes)

Judy Rodgers' Roasted Applesauce (and Savory Apple Charlo... by Genius Recipes

Raspberry Habanero Relish
Raspberry Habanero Relish

Do you have any go-to relishes to bring a pop of flavor to your Thanksgiving table? Tell us in the comments!

Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker!
Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker!

Tags: cranberry sauce, relishes