Tired of the same holiday menu? Spice it up this year with cranberry salsa! It combines the tartness of cranberries with the fresh, spicy, and savory ingredients typically found in traditional salsas. It’s the ultimate combination of sweet, spice, and tang with a hint of citrus.
Serve it with crackers and cream cheese or tortilla chips for a crowd-pleasing appetizer!
This cranberry salsa is a great addition to any holiday menu. It’s one of those recipes that’s perfect for making ahead and only gets better with time! Isn’t that what we’re all looking for this time of year?
This unique dish is made from a simple combination of fresh cranberries, jalapeños, cilantro, green onion, sugar, and citrus juice that melds together to create a salsa packed with flavor.
It can be served alone with tortilla chips or poured over softened cream cheese and paired with buttery crackers like Ritz or Club crackers for a rich and creamy appetizer.
Next time you’ve got a holiday party or gathering, make this salsa to add a festive and vibrant touch to the table!
- Cranberries: Fresh cranberries give a better taste and more fresh flavor, but feel free to use frozen cranberries that have been fully thawed.
- Jalapeños: Adds a little kick to balance the sweetness of the salsa. I deseeded the jalapeños but feel free to leave the seeds in if you want it spicy.
- Orange and lime juice: These citrus juices add a hint of sweetness and acidity.
- Sugar: Fresh cranberries are fairly tart, so adding sugar helps add a little sweetness. I used 1/2 cup, but this can be adjusted to your liking by adding more or less.
- Cilantro and green onion: Adds a more savory and natural herb flavor to the salsa, but if you’re not a fan of cilantro feel free to omit it or use parsley instead.
- Cream cheese (optional): Serving this salsa over cream cheese is one of my favorite ways to eat this appetizer! It adds creaminess, balances out the tartness, and makes for a richer dish.
How to Make Cranberry Salsa
Prepare the cranberries: Using a food processor or blender, pulse the cranberries until they are finely and evenly chopped, but not fully blended.
Mix ingredients together: Add the cranberries, jalapeños, orange juice, lime juice, sugar, cilantro, and green onions into a large bowl and toss to combine all the ingredients.
Cover and refrigerate: Cover the salsa bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. The longer the salsa sits in the fridge, the longer the flavors have to marinate and meld together.
Serve: Once properly refrigerated, serve as salsa with tortilla chips or crackers. If using cream cheese, spread cream cheese on your serving platter and pour salsa on top.
- Refrigerating the salsa is crucial in developing flavor and allowing the sugar to dissolve and add sweetness. The longer it sits, the better the taste.
- Adjust the salsa’s sweetness to your liking by adding more or less sugar. If you’re concerned it will be too sweet, start with 1/4 cup, then add in more as needed.
- If you want it spicy, leave in the jalapeño seeds or substitute with a serrano pepper.
Food processor. I recommend using a food processor for this recipe for an even chop of the cranberries.
Blender. This recipe can also be made using a blender. You may have to work in batches to chop the cranberries evenly.
Glass mixing bowls. I love using glass mixing bowls when making salsa because they’re non-reactive and very sturdy.
To store, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.