Cranberry salsa is the perfect blend of spicy and sweet that is sure to please everyone in your family. Easy to assemble and even easier to enjoy, this is the perfect holiday appetizer.
A simple salsa is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
In this version, the flavors of cranberries come together with peppers and cilantro to create a spicy but sweet dip perfect for your sturdy crackers.
You can easily serve this at your next gathering or as a seasonally appropriate appetizer during the holidays.
Either way, you are sure to impress your friends and family this holiday season.
You’ll need the following:
- Frozen cranberries – If cranberries are in season, you can use fresh instead, but they will make a salsa with a more relish like consistency and less juicy.
- Granulated sugar – This helps give the sweetness to the salsa, but you could use a sugar substitute if you prefer.
- Granny smith apple – The Granny Smith apple has a tart flavor, so you can use a similarly tart apple like a Cortland if you prefer.
- Poblano pepper – I love the poblano pepper because it is mildly hot, but you can sub in just about any pepper you prefer, like a jalapeno or other hotter varieties.
- Fresh herbs – This salsa uses fresh cilantro leaves, chives, and ginger paste (often found in the fresh produce section).
- Pinch of salt – Salt helps to bring out the flavors, but you can omit if you follow a low sodium diet.
- Cream cheese – I use regular cream cheese, but you could sub in a lower fat version, it just may not be as creamy.
How to Make
Place all the the ingredients, EXCEPT the cream cheese, into the bowl of a large food processor fitted with the sharp blade attachment.
Close the food processor and pulse the mixture until it’s reached your desired consistency.
The less you mix it, the chunkier it will be. If you prefer a smoother salsa, keep pulsing.
Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to allow the flavors to come together.
Remove the mixture from the fridge.
To serve, place the cream cheese blocks on serving platters and then spread the salsa evenly over top of them.
Serve with desired dipping options, like crackers or tortilla chips, & enjoy!
To store unused salsa, transfer it to an airtight container and then place in the fridge. It should stay fresh for about 3 to 5 days.
I recommend not storing it on top of the cream cheese. It will get sort of funny and the juices will seep into the cheese.
Tips and tricks
- You can sub fresh cranberries if they’re in season. Fresh cranberries will yield a less juicy salsa with a more relish-like consistency.
- If you prefer a hotter pepper, you could sub in Jalapeno peppers or other hot peppers.
- This salsa is a great marriage of spicy & sweet! It’s the perfect holiday appetizer!
- We like serving this with baguette slices, sturdy crackers, like Triscuits or Wheat Thins, sliced apples, and even pita chips.
Other salsa recipes you’ll love
Cranberry salsa are a family favorite holiday appetizer. Make it for your next gathering and enjoy!
Looking for other fresh salsa recipes? Try these:
- Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Pineapple Mango Salsa
- Easy Salsa Verde
If you’ve tried this CRANBERRY SALSA, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers!
- 16 oz frozen cranberries thawed
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large granny smith apple cored & roughly chopped
- 1 small poblano pepper seeded & diced
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 tsp chives
- 1/4 tsp ginger paste
- pinch salt
- 2 8 oz blocks cream cheese softened
- Add all of the ingredients, EXCEPT the cream cheese, to the bowl of a large food processor fitted with the sharp blade attachment.
- Close the food processor and pulse the mixture until it's reached your desired consistency- chunky or fine, either is ok.
- Cover the mixture, refrigerate, and chill it for 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to meld & deepen.
- Add the blocks of cream cheese to serving platters, and spread the salsa evenly over top of them.
- Serve with desired dipping options & enjoy!
recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything