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This easy Cranberry Salsa recipe is a flavorful holiday appetizer that brings together the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. It’s great served at holiday parties over a block of cream cheese or as is with your favorite chips or crackers.
This delicious Cranberry Salsa looks like Christmas in a bowl! It’s made with beautiful crimson red cranberries, fresh jalapeno peppers, cilantro, tangy lime and a sugar and honey mixture that adds the perfect balance of sweetness. This recipe will be a holiday favorite with all your friends and family.
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Why We Love This Recipe
- Delicious: This beautiful cranberry salsa is sweet, tangy, spicy and couldn’t be more refreshing. It’s a favorite festive holiday appetizer for parties, potlucks or just to snack on at home.
- Easy: You just chop and stir. That’s it! You can have this fresh salsa ready and in the fridge in under 20 minutes
- Customizable: You can customize the amount of sweet and heat in this recipe to suit your own preference. For less heat, you can seed the jalapenos before adding them. If you’d prefer less sweet, you can cut back on the amount of sugar.
- Make ahead: This homemade salsa is a great way to help free up some time while preparing for your next holiday party. Though the recipe says to let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours, it can be made up to a couple of days in advance.
- Great any time of year: This recipe uses frozen cranberries, which means you don’t have to wait around for cranberry season to enjoy it. The beautiful red color of this salsa makes it the perfect holiday appetizer for Valentine’s Day, 4th of July or anytime you want to add a pop of color to any holiday menu.
What would the holiday season even be without simple and festive appetizers? Whether it’s bite size appetizers like these Bacon Wrapped Meatballs or Jalapeno Poppers or a fun and easy dip recipe like this Cranberry Salsa, Seven Layer Dip Cups or savory Sausage Cheese Dip, appetizers are the perfect way to get the party started!
What’s Needed For This Cranberry Salsa Recipe
- Cranberries: –This recipe uses thawed frozen cranberries. Fresh cranberries will make a less juicy and slightly chunkier salsa, but you can certainly use them if you prefer.
- Granulated sugar: This gives the salsa sweetness. You can use a sugar substitute, like Monk Fruit, if you prefer.
- Honey: This also adds sweetness, but it also gives the salsa a nice glaze.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro leaves really adds bright and fresh flavor to the salsa.
- Jalapeño pepper: It adds a little kick that works well with the other sweet and tangy flavors.
- Lime: Fresh lime juice brings a bright note to the salsa and enhances the flavors.
How To Make Homemade Cranberry Salsa
Step 1: Chop the cranberries and place in a medium bowl.
Step 2: Then, chop the cilantro and add it to the cranberries.
Step 3: Add the lime juice and lime zest to the cranberry mixture.
Step 4: Finely chop the jalapeno and add it to the rest of the ingredients. For less heat, remove the seeds and membrane from inside the pepper.
Step 5: Mix the honey and sugar together and add it to the bowl.
Step 6: Mix all ingredients well and place the salsa in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours. If you have the extra time, let the salsa set overnight in a refrigerator. It’ll really give the flavors a chance to meld together.
How to Serve Fresh Cranberry Salsa
One of the great things about this yummy fresh cranberry salsa recipe is all the amazing ways you can serve it.
- As a spread: Set a brick of cream cheese out until it reaches room temperature. Then just pour your salsa over the top of the cream cheese and serve with Ritz crackers, Wheat thins, pita Chips. You can also use brie or goat cheese for this idea.
- As a dip: This recipe is loaded with so much flavor, it is great served as a simple dip all by itself served with tortilla chips.
- As a side dish: Serve this salsa as a fun twist to traditional cranberry sauce. Just drain salsa slightly and spoon over slices of grilled pork tenderloin or chicken. It’s really tasty with turkey too.
Store salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator. As it sits, the berries will make more juice so you may have to drain off a little of the liquid after a day or two.
This salsa recipe taste better the longer it sits. If you have any left over, which most likely will not happen (at least not in my house), it’ll stay fresh for up to a week in the refrigerator. If you’ve poured it over cream cheese or other dairy products, it’ll need to be eaten within 3 days.
Tips and Variations:
- I prefer thawed frozen cranberries in this recipe because it gives this salsa a lot more juice than fresh cranberries. If there is too much juice for your preference, just drain it until it reaches the consistency you like.
- Store this salsa in the refrigerator overnight before serving, or for at least 2 hours. The flavor really changes once everything mingles together, so it’s best to make this salsa the day before you want to serve it.
- When you are removing the seeds of the jalapenos be sure to wear gloves. The oil in the membrane of the peppers can really burn your fingers.
- There are so many fresh ingredients you can add to this salsa to give it a different spin. Some great additions would be green onions, fresh ginger or a finely diced Granny Smith Apple. You also could use fresh orange juice and orange zest as a sweetener in place of the honey.
- For those that like extra spicy cranberry salsa, you can use a little habanero pepper instead of the jalapeno. Easy does it though…a little goes a long way.
Want more Holiday Appetizer Recipes?
- Easy Pretzel Bites
- Black Bean and Corn Salsa
- Fried Goat Cheese
- Sausage Puff Pastry with Peppers and Onions
- Brie and Prosciutto with Fresh Berries
- Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- Bruschetta With Mozzarella
Easy Cranberry Salsa Recipe
- Chop the cranberries and place in a medium bowl.12 ounces frozen cranberries
- Next, chop the cilantro and add it to the cranberries.1/4 cup cilantro
- Add the lime juice and lime zest to the cranberry mixture.2 limes
- Finely chop the jalapeno and add it to the rest of the ingredients. For less heat, remove the seeds and membrane from inside the pepper.2 jalapeno peppers
- Mix the honey and sugar together and add it to the bowl.1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup sugar
- Mix all ingredients well and place the salsa in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours. If you have the extra time, let the salsa set overnight in a refrigerator. It’ll really give the flavors a chance to meld together.
- For the best flavor, make make this salsa the day before and let it chill overnight. This really gives the flavors a chance to meld together.
- For an extra spicy version, substitute habanero pepper for the jalapeno. Just don’t overdo it…a little goes a long way.