Why this easy recipe works
This cranberry salsa with jalapeño is the perfect holiday appetizer! It’s sweet, tangy, and has just the right amount of heat. Plus, it’s super easy to make, too!
All you need is some cranberries, a jalapeño pepper, and a few other simple ingredients. Just pulse it all in a food processor and you’re done! Serve with tortilla chips for an easy holiday appetizer. You can also serve it over some softened cream cheese as a dip with gluten-free crackers.
No matter which way you serve it, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next holiday party! It’s a great Christmas or Thanksgiving appetizer for family gatherings and holiday parties!
You’ll love this fresh cranberry salsa recipe because:
- Fresh cranberries – Use fresh cranberries for best results. During the late fall and winter months, cranberries are sold in 12 oz bags at your local grocery store in the refrigerated area of the produce section. Sort through the cranberries and remove any that are mushy or soft before using.
- Jalapeño – This will add just a bit of heat to your cranberry salsa recipe. I used 1 jalapeño that I de-seeded for a little kick. If you like your salsa spicier, use 2 jalapeños instead to increase the heat level.
- Green onion – I typically use just the green part of the green onion because I like the color that it adds to the salsa, but you could also use the white parts. The green parts are a bit more mild than the white parts of the onion.
- Granulated sugar – You need granulated sugar to tone down tart cranberries. You could use a little less sugar if you like your salsa a bit more tangy, but I think the amount specified is perfect. You will need to let the cranberry mixture sit in the sugar for an hour in the refrigerator so that the sugar can help the cranberries release their natural juices.
- Fresh lime juice – Use fresh lime juice for best results. There is about 2 tablespoons of lime juice in one lime, so you can just juice one lime for this recipe. If you’d like a little extra zing, you can add the lime zest from the lime into the recipe as well.
- Cilantro – I love the flavor that fresh cilantro brings, but if you are one of those people who thinks cilantro tastes like soap you can leave it out.
Be careful while cutting your jalapeños. I recommend using gloves or making sure you wash your hands thoroughly right after cutting. Capsaicin is the compound in jalapeños that makes them spicy. Once you get it on your hands, it can cause your skin to be irritated and feel like it’s burning. It’s easy to transfer to your eyes and mouth, so be sure to wash your hands, cutting board and utensils very thoroughly after cutting your jalapeños.
This festive cranberry salsa is so easy to make and you only need a few fresh ingredients! Just follow the step-by-step photos with matching instructions to help you see the recipe at various stages. You’ll be ready for your next Christmas party in no time!
For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe, and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.
If you’re getting ready for the holidays and want to freeze cranberry salsa, you can freeze it! After making the salsa, let it still sit in the refrigerator for an hour to let the cranberries release their juices. Then, transfer to an airtight container that is also freezer-safe and freeze for up to 2 months.
While fresh cranberries do work much better, you can use frozen cranberries if you cannot find fresh cranberries or if they are out of season. Let the frozen cranberries thaw completely before using and drain off any excess liquid. The cranberries will be mushier than fresh cranberries so you may get a slightly smoother salsa instead of a chunky cranberry salsa.
hints & tips
- Storage: You can store leftover salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, making it a great make ahead appetizer to add to your holiday spread.
- Freezer Option: Freeze salsa in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator for about a day before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know! Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also share your pictures and tag @adashofmegnut on Instagram.
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries (340g)
- 1/4 cup green onion (roughly chopped (from 3-4 green onions, 18g))
- 1 jalapeño (deseeded and roughly chopped)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150g)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 cup cilantro (12g)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Place cranberries, red onion, jalapeño, granulated sugar, cumin, lime juice, cilantro, and salt in a food processor.
- Pulse until the mixture is almost smooth, but still has some chunks.
- Place the cranberry salsa mixture into a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the cranberries release their natural juices.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature with tortilla chips.
- If you want a little more zing, you can add the zest of the lime into the salsa as well.
- If you prefer your salsa chunkier, leave the jalapeño and green onion out of the food processor. Pulse the cranberries until they are chunky and then pour them into a bowl and stir in finely diced jalapeño and thinly sliced green onion.