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Cranberry Salsa is an amazing holiday appetizer that is pretty taste served over cream cheese. Fresh cranberries are minced up with jalapeno into a healthy, fresh, and vibrant salsa.

Square cracker scooping some Cranberry Salsa on a white plate.

Fresh cranberries are minced up into a healthy, fresh, and vibrant salsa. It’s served best over a brick of cream cheese with some crackers. I like to use wheat thins, but you can use Ritz or pretty much any other cracker. You can even use tortilla chips!

The first time I had this salsa was more than 10 years ago when my aunt brought it to a family party. It was devoured and became an instant legend. I brought it to a holiday party 5 years ago and I still get emails asking me for the recipe. It’s a hit every single time!

  • How do I prepare fresh cranberries?

    Fresh cranberries are commonly sold in the grocery store in 12 ounce packages. They are most often found in the fall right after the cranberry harvest. When working with fresh cranberries, rinse them under cold water. Run your fingers through the cranberries and pick out any that are soft or mushy. Rinse the cranberries again and proceed to use them in your recipe.

  • How do I use fresh ginger?

    This recipe calls for fresh ginger. When using ginger it is easiest to cut off any knarled spots before peeling. Once peeled you can grate it easily on a hand grater. Once it gets down to a nubbin of stringiness just toss the stringy mess away.

  • What do I serve cranberry salsa with?

    A common and popular way to serve cranberry salsa is over a brick of cream cheese. You can also serve it up plain as you would any salsa. It pairs well with Wheat Thins, Ritz crackers, and tortilla chips. 

Cranberry Salsa Over Cream Cheese on a white rectangular plate.

If you like this recipe, you may also be interested in some of my other holiday recipe favorites:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Square cracker scooping some Cranberry Salsa on a white plate.
Fresh cranberries are minced up with jalapeno into a healthy, fresh, and vibrant salsa.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
  • 12 oz cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 jalapeños minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Rinse, drain, and pick over cranberries, (discarding all that are soft or bruised). Place cranberries in a food processor or blender; pulse until finely chopped but not mushy.
  • Place crushed cranberries in a bowl; mix together with green onions, jalapeños, cilantro leaves, and ginger. Pour lemon juice and sugar over and stir together.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate and allow flavors to develop. It will be a bit tart begin with, but as it is allowed to sit it will develop even more flavor.
  • Can be served as a plain salsa, but is amazing served over cream cheese with crackers.


Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 9.6mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cranberry Salsa
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November 23, 2018 12:59 pm

5 stars
Great over cream cheese and served with crackers, but also on the day after Thanksgiving leftover sandwich!

Cindy McMenus
November 23, 2020 8:06 am

Great recipe, put over cream cheese and served with cranberry crisp cracker from Aldis. Perfect appetizer for football game. Going to add a few pomegranate seeds next time for another flavor.

Kathy Soul
October 3, 2020 5:48 am

This has been on my starter table, every Thanksgiving,for @ 20 years. It’s spicy and sweet. I just love it
Give it a try and you will love it!!!!

November 26, 2020 8:14 am

5 stars
Bright, bold and crisp flavor layers. This is absolutely a triumph of cranberries and can be enjoyed all year!

November 24, 2020 4:16 am

5 stars
I made this yesterday. I know the flavors will blend and improve as it sits in the refrigerator but it was so delicious when I mixed it together I could have eaten the whole recipe! Planning to serve it over cream cheese on Thanksgiving.

November 14, 2020 7:01 am

5 stars
Every I make this it is a big hit!

November 13, 2020 1:33 pm

5 stars
Omg on the flavors, its like a taste bud explosion. The longer it sits the better it is.

Barbara Nicki Lee Seavey
December 9, 2019 12:20 pm

5 stars
The absolute best! Just got on line to find this recipe again for this years Christmas Party. Last year I could not make enough!

Lyn Toney
December 8, 2019 4:09 pm

5 stars
I made this for Thanksgiving this year, and it was a hit. I was thinking about making as gifts. How long would this last in the frig?

February 14, 2020 11:52 am
Reply to  Lyn Toney

This should be good for up to a week in the fridge.

Melissa Simmons
November 20, 2019 1:50 pm

5 stars
Have made this several times for the family and all have loved it. fast easy and yummy.

November 17, 2019 5:00 pm

5 stars
This was a huge!!! hit at work. Probably the most popular thing I’ve ever brought. Just amazing! Thank you!

July 1, 2019 8:04 pm

This was a huge hit with my family, and friends. I also, made it for last year’s Christmas potluck at my son’s school. Needless to say, they LOVED it!

Thank you!

January 9, 2019 5:04 pm

Can you use frozen cranberries or is it better to have them fresh?

December 24, 2019 4:38 am
Reply to  Sue

I used frozen and it came out fine. Just be sure to not let them thaw before putting in the food processor.

December 31, 2018 2:59 pm

I served this with Fritos scoops it was a big hit!

Patricia Walker
December 25, 2018 10:51 am

5 stars
I just finished making this recipe, it’s chilling in the frig. Oh my goodness!!!! It smells so delicious and is so beautiful. Very easy to make. The colors will add vibrancy to our Christmas appetizer table. I think this is the best recipe I’ve ever gotten online.

Thank you!!

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