Cranberry Salsa | A New Salsa Recipe

This sweet and tangy cranberry salsa turns a traditional salsa on its head. Bringing the smells and tastes of the season straight to your meals with this perfect holiday appetizer!

Festive Cranberry Salsa

I love making this salsa during the holiday season (aka cranberry season). The fresh ingredients stand out and are a nice, tangy addition to other rich and heavy holiday foods. Fresh cranberries are easy to find and are usually right front and center at the grocery store this time of year. Not to mention, the aroma that the chopped cranberries bring to our kitchen when preparing this salsa is delightful!

I’ve been making cranberry salsa for a while now, and this year, I decided to serve it with our traditional employee holiday appreciation lunch. I served it up in individual containers so everyone had their own. It was a big hit and many asked for the recipe.

cranberry salsa served individually

Bold and Tangy

This easy holiday appetizer recipe is as simple as washing up the produce ingredients and chopping everything up. I love using my little kitchen aid mixer for this job. I did dial back on the jalepenos this time, but usually leave it most of the seeds for a bit of a kick.

The best way to serve cranberry salsa is with a heap of salty tortilla chips but don’t just stick with putting this salsa on chips or a chicken taco! Cranberry salsa is tasty on hot dogs, with turkey, over top of a baked potato, or along with our Harvest Chicken Casserole.

(This post may contain affiliate links which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you)

Why you’ll love this salsa as apart of your holiday spread

  • The unique flavors in this fresh cranberry salsa recipe provide an alternative to traditional cranberry sauce especially at Thanksgiving dinner!
  • You can play around with the measurements of every ingredient in this recipe – less ginger, more onion, etc.
  • This recipe comes together very quickly! All of the ingredients go from the food processor into one large bowl and voila!


Cranberry Salsa Recipe


  • 1 Ib. Cranberries (usually just one bag of cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup Peeled Fresh Ginger
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Jalapeno (take seeds out for less heat)
  • 1 bunch Scallions or 1/2 Large Red Onion
  • 1 bunch Cilantro (remove most of stems)
  • 1 Lime Juice + zest
  • 1 1/4 cup Sugar


  • Rinse produce
  • Chop all produce (cranberries, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, scallions/red onion) separately in food processor
  • Add into a large bowl
  • Add lime juice, zest, and sugar
  • Stir and serve with your favorite crackers or chips 

ingredients for salsa


  • Flavor Additions. Other ingredients that pair nicely with cranberries include apple, pear, mint, orange, and cinnamon. You also can’t go wrong with adding fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of salt on top! Try adding some of these to your fresh salsa to experiment with flavors. I also recommend doing a sprinkle of salt on top!
  • Cream Cheese. One of my readers said they make this recipe and mix it with softened cream cheese or mascarpone cheese. It’s a heavenly way to serve it this delicious appetizer ! Serve on top of a block of cream cheese, or just serve it with cream cheese and crackers.
  • The Peppers. I’m using jalapeno peppers, which are my favorite peppers for this recipe. They have a nice level of heat for most people and I love the flavor. If you’re looking for a milder version, either core out the jalapenos before using them, or use bell peppers instead for a no-heat version. If you’d like a spicier version you can experiment with other hot peppers, bring in a serrano pepper, or several, or use spicier peppers, like a habanero pepper. Did I hear somebody say ghost pepper? I know some might be into this kinda heat, but I’m good with the jalepeno.
  • Sugar. Why 1 1/4 cup of sugar? I find that this amount of sugar really helps to enhance the flavors of everything in this salsa and helps counteract the tart flavors. Feel free to start out with a 1/2 cup, test out the flavor and add from there.
  • Extra Juice. This is a great make-ahead recipe because once the salsa is together, you can let it marinate in the fridge. Put it in an airtight container and let it sit for a couple of hours to the next day before serving. To maintain a scoop-able texture you may need to drain the salsa a little bit. 

How to make Cranberry Salsa – The Video

Printable Recipe Card

Cranberry Salsa

Sweet and Tangy – An appetizer with bold flavor, great for holiday gatherings!
Course Appetizer


  • Food Processor
  • 1 Large Bowl


  • 1 Ib. Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Peeled Fresh Ginger
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Jalapeno Take seeds out for less heat
  • 1 bunch Scallions or 1/2 Large Red Onion
  • 1 bunch Cilantro Remove most of stems
  • 1 Lime Juice + zest
  • 1 1/4 cup Sugar


  • Rinse produce
  • Chop all produce (cranberries, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, scallions/red onion) separately in food processor
  • Add into a large bowl
  • Add lime juice, zest, and sugar
  • Stir and serve with chips or crackers
Keyword Cranberries, Cranberry, Cranberry Salsa, holiday salsa

HeartySol Aromas

If you enjoy the smell of cranberries in your house and not because you whipped up a recipe check out our handcrafted Fika candle that has notes of Cranberry and Cashmere! You can check our this candle along with the others in our collection here just in time for your next holiday party!

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Affiliate Disclosure & Content Disclaimer

This post may contain affiliate links from a paid sponsor, Amazon or other program. When you use these links to make a purchase I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This allows me to continue creating the content that you love. The content in this article is created for information only and based on my research and/or opinion. 

Emily T.

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Recipe Rating

  1. Uh, that looks really good and sounds yummy. You are always so creative!


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