Cranberry salsa is a fresh and easy recipe to make over and over again all season long!

Fresh tart cranberries, a bit of onion, jalapeno, and seasonings get a quick whirl in the food processor to create a flavorful holiday appetizer.

Serve on its own with crackers or tortilla chips or spoon over cream cheese.

cranberry salsa garnished with cilantro in a white bowl surrounded by crackers

An Easy Anytime Appetizer

  • Cranberry salsa is beautifully bright with a sweet and tart flavor.
  • This recipe needs just a few ingredients along with cranberries. Jalapenos, some cilantro, and some onions.
  • Use fresh or frozen cranberries.
  • Serve this festive sweet and spicy snack with tortilla chips or other dippables like crackers or Crostini.
ingredients for cranberry salsa on a wood board

Ingredients for Cranberry Salsa

Fresh Cranberries – I love this recipe with fresh cranberries, but frozen cranberries taste great too!

If using frozen, thaw and drain before blending. If frozen, the salsa may need to be drained a bit before serving.

Sugar and lime juice add a sweet-tart flavor.

Jalapeño peppers – make it just a little bit spicy! If you’re using canned jalapenos, stir a little of the juice into the salsa to up the spiciness!

How to Make Cranberry Salsa

Cranberry Salsa is one of those easy recipes that comes together quickly.

  1. Pulse cranberries in a food processor with green onions, cilantro, and jalapeno (per recipe below) until cranberries are chopped fine (but not too finely).
  2. Add lime juice and sugar mixture and pulse just to mix.
  3. Season with salt and refrigerate before serving for at least an hour.
Blended ingredients for cranberry salsa in a food processor

PRO TIP: Feel free to adjust the sugar levels and the jalapeno spiciness to fit your preference. This recipe is super versatile so you can make your own signature blend!

Tips for the Perfect Salsa

Perfect dips are made with the right combination of taste, texture, and presentation.

  • Avoid over-processing the mixture so it still maintains some structure.
  • If using frozen cranberries, the salsa will need to be drained before serving.
  • Serve chilled as is or scooped over a block of cream cheese for a great presentation.
  • Or, simply stir the cranberry salsa directly into the cream cheese for a delicious spread that is perfect on turkey burgers, or for leftover turkey sandwiches!

How to Store and Freeze Cranberry Salsa

  • Keep cranberry salsa in a covered container in the refrigerator. It’s even better the next day when all of the flavors have had a chance to blend! Add an extra shot of lime juice or some freshly diced jalapenos to brighten up the flavors before serving.
  • Freeze it in zippered bags with the date labeled on them and they will keep for about 2 months in the freezer.
  • Once thawed, the salsa will likely need to be drained a bit.

More Holiday Appetizers

Did you make this Cranberry Salsa? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

close up of Cranberry Salsa in a white bowl with a platter of crackers
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Cranberry Salsa

Loaded with fresh cranberries and jalapenos, this cranberry salsa is the perfect combination of sweet & spicy!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6
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  • 1 lime juiced
  • cup sugar or to taste
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 2 green onions cut into 1″ pieces
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste


  • Combine lime juice (about 2 tablespoons) and sugar in a small bowl.
  • Add cranberries, green onions, cilantro and jalapeno to a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to break up the cranberries.
  • Add sugar mixture and pulse a few more times. Stir in salt to taste and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.


Store leftover salsa in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stir before serving to refresh flavors. 
5 from 10 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 75 | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 144IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Dip, Party Food, Snack
Cuisine American
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ingredients to make Cranberry Salsa in a good processor and plated dish with writing


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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  1. Good salsa idea! I like it and made this yesterday during my parents anniversary celebration, they loved it because cranberries are my mom’s favorite. Not just tasty but also healthy. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Hi Holly, made this , turned out way to spicy!!, Can’t really tell how hot the jalapeno is going to be until you use it, even made sure I got all of the seeds out. Anyway, not wanting to waste anything, took the whole lot , added about 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water (boiled down first) and then let it cook down. Now have a really interesting, slightly spicy cranberry sauce that should be good with leftover turkey, etc. Thanks for the recipe, Ed from Airdrie