Serves a Crowd

Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney

November  3, 2009
17 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

I've never been much of a fan of straight-up cranberry sauce, in fact, the jellied kind makes me want to gag. I much prefer a condiment like this, that is more than just cranberries and a lot of sugar. This chutney gets its sweetness not just from sugar, but from raisins, some OJ and dried black mission figs. The cider vinegar and lemon juice lend a sparkling acid note, and the ginger and red pepper flakes bring heat. I finished it with some chopped, toasted hazelnuts to add an earthy crunch, and some freshly minced thyme for a hint of herbal complexity. I love the way it turned out, I'll definitely reserve a spot for it on my Thanksgiving table. —Oui, Chef

Test Kitchen Notes

This chutney is perfect for those looking for something zippy and less sweet than a typical cranberry sauce. It combines the elements of a great chutney (mustard seeds, spices, vinegar, sugar) with other carefully selected ingredients (among them cranberries, dried figs, fresh ginger, red pepper flakes, fresh thyme and toasted hazelnuts); the result is a sophisticated, jewel-toned "cranberry sauce" with just the right ratio of sour to sweet that's just as well-suited to roast pork or beef as it is to Thanksgiving turkey. Be careful not to cook the chutney for too long -- you want it luscious and thick, not sticky. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, skinless, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 8 dried black mission figs, cut into eighths
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely minced
  1. Add all the ingredients, with the exception of the chopped hazelnuts and fresh thyme, to a heavy bottomed pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to bring the mix to a simmer, and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occassionally, until the chutney thickens some. Remove from the heat, stir in the nuts and fresh thyme and let cool slightly before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Peggy Griswold
    Peggy Griswold
  • SophieL
  • I_Fortuna
  • Jacob K Thomas
    Jacob K Thomas
  • marsiamarsia
I am a father of five, who recently completed a two year professional hiatus during which I indulged my long held passion for cooking by moving to France to study the culinary arts and immerse myself in all things French. I earned “Le Grande Diplome” from Le Cordon Bleu, studied also at The Ritz Escoffier and Lenotre cooking schools, and completed the course offerings of the Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin. About six months ago started "Oui, Chef", which is a food blog that exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my children a few things about cooking, and how our food choices over time effect not only our own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences through the blog, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals as a family, passing on established familial food traditions, and perhaps starting some new ones.

68 Reviews

Peggy G. December 4, 2022
Adding Pomegranate to this recipe would be fun too.
Can this Chutney be preserved or saved in glass canning jars and how long would it last?
jenny P. November 23, 2022
so excited to make this but i am using dried turkish figs...this will be fine, right?
Oui, C. November 23, 2022
Yes, Turkish figs will work well. Enjoy! - S
SophieL December 13, 2019
Deliciously different - savory, sweet and goes with so many holidays meats, as well as on sandwiches. I subbed grapefruit juice for the orange and lemon juices because my grapefruit tree was laden with fresh fruit, and crystallized ginger for the fresh ginger. I gave jars of this in my Food52 Holiday Swap this year, as something a little different than cookies.
whmcdevitt November 18, 2018
I’ve been making this for years! Best ever.....great on your turkey sandwiches the next day!
I_Fortuna December 24, 2017
My instinct today was to put onion in my cranberry sauce. Alas, I did not. I will make it again for New Year's Day using this recipe. I have all the ingredients on hand except for the cranberries. Instead of raisins, I will probably use black currants or zante currants. This looks terrific, I can't wait to make it! Thanks for this special recipe.
Jacob K. November 24, 2017
This turned out well, I didn't have figs, but like a lot of commenters, I subbed in apricots, also put apples in, and used walnuts, instead of the hazelnuts. Everyone for my dinner enjoyed it. This is definitely something to try and better than the standard cranberry sauce.
learnoff November 25, 2016
This was excellent and despite the long list of ingredients it is really easy to make. It was a huge hit among the cranberry sauce traditionalists and those who like something new. I cut down on the red pepper flake by half and it still had quite a kick but not too spicy! YUM!
beejay45 October 19, 2015
This is a cranberry sauce/chutney that can stand up to the Christmas goose, or a pork roast, as well as a turkey! My mom would have loved this on her leftover dressing and gravy sandwich the day after. Never could get into the regular cranberry sauce that way myself, but this! If I have the ambition, I'm going to make a huge batch and can it, some for giving, lots for the pantry. I can totally see this as the center of a cheese board. And it will also go well with our frequent curries. /;)
marsiamarsia December 4, 2014
I made this chutney for the first time for Thanksgiving 2014, a week in advance, and it's divine! Definitely will be a holiday staple in my house. My grown son said he's never been fond of cranberry sauce of any sort, but that this was fantastic. I had to sub dried apricots for figs (will start now scouring the city for dried figs for our December 25 dinner), and chopped pecans for the hazelnuts, which we never see in Austin, TX. Hats off to "Oui, Chef"!
Andrea H. November 28, 2014
Thank you! This was such a hit, I adjusted the heat a touch to accommodate my 94 year old grandma but the flavored were amazing I got comment after comment!! This will now be my staple.
Oui, C. December 1, 2014
So glad you like it, and thanks for letting me know. FYI - it also freezes really well. In fact, this year for Thanksgiving I pulled last year's leftovers from the freezer and they were still delicious!
Adelucchi November 26, 2014
Made this today. Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to use this on left over turkey sandwiches.
June January 12, 2014
Thank you for sharing. I adapted this recipe using Sorrel which is sometimes called Hibiscus flowers and other Caribbean fruit in season and it was a major hit!
FabricPusher November 27, 2013
This is delicious, I just made it for the second Thanksgiving in a row. While I do love it, this amount of ginger is overpowering to me. I cut it in half this year and it still seems like a lot. Still delicious though!
Oui, C. November 29, 2013
So glad you like it and have tailored it to your own tastes.
EmilyC November 27, 2013
Made this last night and it's fantastic! I substituted dried Turkish apricots since the figs in my pantry were a little past their prime, and Aleppo for the red pepper flakes. Can't wait to have it with turkey!
Oui, C. November 29, 2013 the idea of the apricots.
Rupal P. November 24, 2013
Planning to make this today but with certain substitutions. Because my pantry is much more filled with Indian ingredients (and we will be an Indian family at the table) I wonder if there is any objection to using some dried red chilis instead of the chili flakes and black mustard seed (slightly lower quantity) rather than the yellow mustard seed. My local store didn't have black mission figs but the dried turkish figs smelled good so I bought them.
Oui, C. November 24, 2013
Your substitutions sound pretty wonderful f me, I'm sure it will turn out terrific! Happy Thanksgiving!
Laura A. November 25, 2012
Made this for Thanksgiving and both my husband and I agree that it was the most delicious thing on the table! Made exactly as is and will certainly make this a holiday tradition in our house!
Oui, C. November 26, 2012
I love being a part of new holiday traditions, thanks!
madhatrk November 19, 2012
This recipe will make its 3rd year return on our table. Although it was already in the plan, it was specifically requested by 2 return guests! I make it a few days ahead to let the flavors blend. It's so so good! Also really tasty on your day after left overs sandwich!
Oui, C. November 26, 2012 glad you enjoy it!
broccolirose November 18, 2012
I got a head start on Thanksgiving prep and this was the first thing I made! I love this alternative to traditional cranberry sauce.
Oui, C. November 19, 2012
Funny, I just made mine for Thanksgiving last night too. It gets better as it sits for a few days before the feast. So glad you like it!
durun99 November 25, 2011
I have been making the dried cherry chutney from The New Basics Cookbook every year at Thanksgiving for years. Usually I try out one new chutney as well, but nothing ever fares as well with my family. This year, I tried this cranberry-fig chutney and it was the first time just as many people liked the new chutney as much as the dried cherry. I will definitely make this again, it is really outstanding.
Oui, C. November 27, 2011
Thanks, I'm really glad you enjoyed it!
jlsm November 21, 2011
I made this last year and again last week. Hands down the best cranberry sauce I have ever made. Last year I used regular figs and liked them better than the black mission I used this year.
Oui, C. November 27, 2011
Awesome! I've used both black mission and calmyrna figs and liked them both, certainly you can use whatever you prefer.