Cranberry Salsa. Sweet, tart, and slightly spicy, this holiday salsa makes a festive appetizer perfect for all parties and get togethers! 

This cranberry salsa is the perfect salsa recipe for the holidays. I have a love for salsa, it’s my go to snack or appetizer. The classic salsa recipe is good all year round. Pineapple salsa makes me think of summer. And this cranberry salsa is my go to for winter and the holiday season. 

Cranberry salsa served on top of cream cheese with crackers.

This salsa comes out sweet and tart with a hint of heat. Adding pear with the cranberries balances the fresh, tartness of the berries. 

How to make Cranberry Salsa

  1. Add the cranberries to the processor or blender, mix briefly to break up the berries.
  2. Add the jalapeño, green onion, and cilantro to the processor and continue to pulse until the ingredients are blended to desired consistency.
  3. Remove the salsa to a medium size bowl. Stir in sugar.
  4. Blend the pear, and add to the salsa. I process them separately so that I can control the consistency of the pear.
  5. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Chill for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.

It’s important to let the salsa chill in the refrigerator before serving to allow the sugar to soften the cranberries and blend all of the flavors together. 


Step by step photos of how to make cranberry salsa.

Ingredients

  • Cranberries: Fresh cranberries are used in this recipe. Cranberries are in season during early Autumn. Making this a perfect recipe to make during the holidays when the markets are overflowing with fresh cranberries.
  • Jalapeno: prepare by slicing in half, you can remove the membranes and seeds to reduce the heat, or you can leave it all together and give a rough chop before adding to the food processor. 
  • Green onion: slice off the very end, and give a rough chop before adding to the processor. 
  • Cilantro: grab a handful of cilantro and add in.
  • Pear: I blend this separately because I want it to be very blended, almost to the point of being mushy, like apple sauce.
  • Sugar: it’s necessary for this recipe, the sugar will work magic on the cranberries. As the salsa chills in the fridge, the cranberries will soften and sweeten up. 
Sugar being added into cranberry salsa.
Pear being added to cranberry salsa.

What to serve this salsa with? 

Cream cheese is the most popular option. You could also serve it on top of a creamy brie. Serve with some crackers for scooping. 

Cracker digging into cranberry salsa and cream cheese.
Cranberry salsa served on top of cream cheese with crackers.

Cranberry Salsa--The PERFECT Holiday Appetizer!

Cranberry Salsa. Sweet, tart, and slightly spicy, this holiday salsa makes a festive appetizer perfect for all parties and get togethers! 

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, fresh
  • 1 jalapeno, roughly chopped (membranes and seeds removed if desired- this will reduce the heat)
  • 4 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice, fresh
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Bartlett pear

Instructions

  • Rinse and dry the cranberries, remove all that are mushy or bruised. 
  • Add cranberries to a food processor and pulse briefly, just to chop them up.
  • Add in the cilantro, jalapeño, green onion, squeeze of lime juice, and salt. Pulse in the processor or blender just to chop up all of the ingredients. Do not blend to a puree.
  • Remove from the processor and spoon into a medium size mixing bowlStir in the sugar.
  • Process the pear to a consistency of applesauce, pour into the cranberry salsa. Stir to combine.
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Best if chilled overnight.
  • Serve over cream cheese, brie cheese or with crackers or chips. 

Notes

Substitutions: can substitute the pear for an apple or unsweetened applesauce if preferred. 
Storage: salsa can be kept covered in a refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 138kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Sodium: 82mg, Fiber: 2g
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