Fresh cranberry salsa with cilantro, jalapeño and citrus has big, bright flavors and comes together in just 5 minutes! Goes great with crackers or bread with cream cheese for an appetizer, served with chips, over baked brie or on sandwiches!
We had such an amazing Thanksgiving holiday! Here's just a few of the highlights:
- Lots of shopping, prepping and cooking time with my mom in the kitchen. Makes it so much more fun! ❤️
- Our first family 5K turkey trot. Normally my husband and I run it, but this year we walked it and had the kids along with us. We all made it to the finish line so that was a win!
- We got in a boat ride, fishing from the dock, some beach time, a visit to the Children's Museum that our kids just adore and lots of good family time.
- On Saturday, we returned home in time to catch Home Alone set to our local symphony orchestra, which was a fun - although late - night with the kids.
So, with both my belly and my heart full, I'm ready to dive back into real life, work, school and all the laundry this week. 😂
Today’s recipe amuses me because I never used to like cranberry anything.
I didn’t eat cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving until I was well into my 20s. I'm not really sure if I had tried it and didn’t like it or if I just passed it by without a taste.
But now I love the stuff!
I make a 15-minute easy cranberry sauce at least a couple of times during the holiday season.
Today I’m taking cranberries for a fun spin with this easy fresh cranberry salsa!
It’s a little bit sweet, a tad bit spicy with all kinds of bursting-in-your-mouth citrus flavor!
Wondering how to make a cranberry jalapeño salsa?
It’s SO easy!
You put all of your ingredients into a food processor and pulse it to break everything down.
You want the mixture to be a little bit chunky, so don’t let the machine just run until it's all mush.
But otherwise, that’s it! Add to the food processor, pulse a few times and serve it up! It really takes just 5 minutes!
You can make this a spicy cranberry salsa by adding in a second jalapeño or just leaving the membranes in from the jalapeño. Taste and adjust as you want. 🌶
Notes on fresh cranberry salsa:
- I prefer using lime juice and zest, but you could substitute a lemon instead. I’ve also seen a cranberry orange salsa so I think even orange zest and orange juice would work here.
- As mentioned, you can leave some membranes in or add a second jalapeño if you want to spice this up a bit. As is, it’s pretty mild.
- You need to prep this ahead of serving it because it needs to go in the fridge for at least an hour to help the flavors combine and mellow.
- You could possibly get away with just ⅓ cup of sugar in this recipe, if you are looking to reduce it, but I wouldn’t go below that. (It also will depend on how tart your cranberries are.)
- This salsa will release more juice as it sits. You can strain it a bit or used a slotted spoon if you need it to be drier when you go to serve it.
I love that this is such a beautiful, festive dish too! ❤️
And while it of course works for Thanksgiving, with the cranberry tie-in, it’s also a great dish to use for a holiday appetizer.
That bright, gorgeous red color and the pop of green from the fresh herbs gives it such a Christmas and holiday-time vibe!
(Which is lovely, too, cause I don’t know about you, but I feel like I need ALL kinds of appetizer ideas and recipes during the holiday season. There's always so many parties!)
As for serving up this easy cranberry salsa, you’ve got lots of options!
I think my favorite is to pair it with cream cheese.
I think cranberry and cream cheese go so well together because they really balance each other out and make a great creamy, but bright combo.
You can use crackers or baguette slices to put those two together for a party appetizer. Everyone will love it!
But that’s not the only option!
Ways to serve cranberry salsa:
- Serve with tortilla chips or buttery crackers for dipping.
- Top baked brie with the salsa and some fresh herbs for a beautiful and festive appetizer. (I am SO doing this over the holidays!)
- Use it as a garnish for turkey sandwiches or wraps.
- Make nachos with your leftover Thanksgiving turkey and use this salsa on top.
- And as mentioned, my go-to is to pair it with cream cheese on some crackers or baguette slices. You can add some extra fresh herbs or green onions for a garnish.
Lastly, I should mention that this keeps for at least a week in the fridge.
The herbs begin to lose their color after a few days, but I’ve had this 10 days later and it still tastes great!
I hope you have a warm and wonderful holiday season, with plenty of good eats!
- 1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup green onions, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (see notes)
- Zest and juice of 1 lime (see notes)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place all ingredients into a large food processor and pulse until well mixed. Be careful not to over mix, you want a slightly chunky consistency and don’t want it to turn into liquid mush.
- Transfer the cranberry salsa to a bowl cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving. (This helps the flavors blend and mellow.)
- Serve with crackers or chips, or with cream cheese over baguette slices. Or serve over baked brie for a holiday appetizer or use to add to a sandwich or wrap.
You can add a second jalapeño or leave some of the membranes in if you want to spice this up a bit. As is, it’s pretty mild.
I prefer using lime juice and zest, but you could substitute a lemon or even an orange instead.
You could possibly get away with just ⅓ cup of sugar in this recipe, if you are looking to reduce it, but I wouldn’t go below that.
This salsa will release more juice as it sits. You can strain it a bit or used a slotted spoon if you need it to be drier.
This salsa keeps for at least a week in the fridge. The herbs begin to lose their color after a few days, but I’ve had this 10 days later and it’s still great!
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