Fresh Cranberry Salsa

8 Servings
15 min

Fresh cranberry salsa is a spicy, sweet twist on the traditional cranberry sauce. I like to serve this alongside the holiday turkey or spooned onto cream cheese as an appetizer. The salsa also makes a great dip with tortilla chips.

For years, our cranberry sauce came out of a can and was usually gelled and had to be sliced. After seeing fresh cranberries in the grocery store, I started experimenting with different types of cranberry sauces for the holidays. This one is one of my favorites.

Bonus! There isn’t any cooking involved, so the berries retain a bit of texture and crunch. I love the heat from the jalapenos and the spice of the fresh ginger. It’s different and yet still feels like a special holiday dish.


  • Cranberries - fresh is best, but you can use frozen in a pinch and thaw them before using
  • Green onions - just give them a rough chop into 3 pieces.
  • Jalapeno peppers - if you like heat leave in the seeds and veins. Use as many as you like. The peppers provide the heat.
  • Ginger - you can use fresh and grate it yourself or buy the grated ginger in a tube that is sold in the produce section of your grocery store, usually by the fresh herbs. This adds to the spiciness without adding more heat.
  • Cilantro - use as much as you like or omit it completely for those who don’t care for the flavor.
  • Sugar - start with ¼ cup and add more to taste. I like the sweet/spicy combination.
  • Zest and juice from an orange and a lime - they compliment the flavor of the cranberries and add freshness to the recipe
  • Salt - just a hint to bring out the flavors


  • Serve the salsa over cream cheese as a cold appetizer with crackers.
  • You can also top baked brie with the room temperature salsa.
  • This salsa makes a great condiment for grilled chicken or inside a leftover turkey sandwich.
  • Spread goat cheese on a toasted baguette slice and top it with the salsa for a quick bruschetta dish.

This salsa can be made up to 1 month ahead and frozen. Omit the fresh cilantro, if freezing, and store in an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator and stir in minced cilantro before serving.

Recipe details
  • 8  Servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 0 Minutes Total time: 15 min
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  • 1 (12 ounce) bag cranberries
  • 3 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 - 2 large jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade, combine all the ingredients.
Pulse 4 or 5 times, then pause to scrape down the sides.
Continue to pulse until a medium consistency with no large pieces is achieved. Be careful not to overprocess or it will be too watery.
Spoon the salsa into a container with a tight-fitting lid.
Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least six hours.
Serve at room temperature.
Eats By The Beach (Millie Brinkley)
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