Tasty Jalapeno Cranberry Salsa

A tortilla chip in a white bowl filled with bright red cranberry salsa topped with fresh chopped cilantro and jalapenos.

This Cranberry Salsa will add a little extra spice to your holiday season. It’s a simple salsa, made with fresh cranberries along with a little bit of jalapeno heat.

No holiday table is complete without a touch of cranberry. If you love this tart fruit, check out these ever popular Cranberry Bars which can be made from either leftover cranberry sauce or fresh cranberries.

The best start to the day involves cranberries! I love them baked into muffins or in these amazing Lemon and Cranberry Scones.

A white bowl filled with bright red cranberry salsa topped with fresh chopped cilantro.

Jalapeno Cranberry Salsa

This salsa is no ordinary cranberry sauce. The deep tart flavour of the fresh cranberries is perfectly balanced with a touch of sweetness. A touch of lime juice and zest for acidity and a bit of heat from the jalapenos complete this addictive salsa.

I’ve been wanting to include some sort of cranberry sauce recipe on the blog for a while now. I have so many great holiday recipes and no holiday menu is complete without a bowl of the tart ruby sauce.

When my sister texted me a photo of her evening snack and suggested I develop a recipe for Cranberry Salsa, I immediately went to work. She said it should be fresh, tart, and not too sweet (the one she was eating was too sweet). That’s it. That’s the story of how this salsa came to be.

A white bowl filled with bright red cranberry salsa topped with fresh chopped cilantro.

Five Fresh Flavourful Ingredients

  • Cranberries
  • Jalapenos
  • Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Juice and Zest

Yes, you must absolutely use fresh Cranberries in this salsa fresca, otherwise it will be cranberry sauce!

The fresh Jalapenos are what make this salsa sing. There really is no way of knowing for sure how spicy this salsa will be. It all depends on the jalapenos. If you crave spice, you’ll have to taste test the jalapenos first!

A white bowl filled with bright red cranberry salsa topped with fresh chopped cilantro.

How to Make Fresh Cranberry Salsa

Whipping up a bowl full of this additive salsa couldn’t be easier. There is very little cooking involved…just enough to soften the cranberries ever so slightly.

The rest of the ingredients are mixed in once the cranberries have cooled. They lend a wealth of fresh aromatic flavours to the cranberry salsa, making it absolutely irresistible.

A hand dips a tortilla chip into a white bowl filled with bright red cranberry salsa topped with fresh chopped cilantro and jalapenos.

Begin making this recipe by placing the chopped cranberries and lime zest in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and a few tablespoons of water. Heat on medium until the mixture comes to a slight boil, then remove from heat.

Allow the cranberries to cool slightly then add the onions, jalapenos, salt, and lime juice. Do not add the chopped cilantro until the salsa reaches room temperature. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your preference.

A white bowl filled with bright red cranberry salsa topped with fresh chopped cilantro.

Hurray for Cranberries!

Cranberries are often touted as a superfood and there are many reasons why. They contain phytochemical compounds, or polyphenols which are being studied for possible effects on the cardiovascular system, immune system and cancer.

Nutritionally, cranberries are composed mostly of water, with very little protein or fat. They are a great daily source of Vitamin C, dietary fibre, and manganese amongst others.

Though cranberries are commonly thought to reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections, clinical research is ongoing.

A white bowl filled with bright red cranberry salsa topped with fresh chopped cilantro.

All About Cranberries

Cranberries are not a berry at all. Rather, they are the fruiting body that grows underneath the flowering part of the plant. They are edible raw, though quite tart due to their natural acidity.

Cranberries grow near bodies of water on evergreen shrubs native to North America. Once the fruit matures, it falls off and is dispersed by the flowing water, to reseed in another location.

Commercially, cranberries are grown in the rich soil in areas with a low water table. During harvest, the area is flooded, and the natural buoyancy of the fruit causes it to float. The fruit is then scooped up and cleaned for further processing.

Other Ways to Enjoy Cranberry Salsa

There are so many ways to enjoy this fresh fruit salsa. Try it as a great holiday appetizer dip with tortilla chips or spoon it onto tacos. It’s delicious when paired with softened cream cheese on crackers.

It also makes a wonderful non-traditional cranberry sauce for turkey dinner. So, ditch the holiday can of cranberry sauce and jazz things up a bit this holiday season!

Cranberry and Brie cheese are absolutely a flavour match made in heaven. Spoon this fresh salsa over a round of baked Brie or use it in a toasted pear and Brie Cheese sandwich. It would also be amazing on a turkey sandwich or slathered onto a turkey burger.

A hand dips a tortilla chip into a white bowl filled with bright red cranberry salsa topped with fresh chopped cilantro and jalapenos.

How Long Does it Last?

This addictive salsa will have you reaching for the tortilla chips again and again. If there are leftovers, place them in a lidded container and store in the fridge for up to a week.

This salsa is best the next day as by then the flavours have had a chance to mingle together.

Fresh Cranberry Salsa does not freeze well.

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Pinterest image of a white bowl filled with bright red cranberry salsa topped with fresh chopped cilantro.

Helpful Items for this Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small portion from qualifying purchases at no extra charge for you.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro, 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Farberware Plastic Cutting Board, 11-inch by 14-inch, White

Yield: 2 cups

Tasty Jalapeno Cranberry Salsa

A white bowl filled with bright red cranberry salsa topped with fresh chopped cilantro.

This Cranberry Salsa will add a little extra spice to your holiday table. Made with fresh cranberries, onions, cilantro along with a little bit of jalapeno heat.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup onion; very finely diced
  • 1 (or 2) jalapeno; very finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lime; zested and juiced
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 12 oz  pkg fresh cranberries

Instructions

    1. Place the chopped cranberries and lime zest in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and a few tablespoons of water.
    2. Heat on medium until the mixture comes to a slight boil then remove from heat.
    3. Allow the cranberries to cool slightly then add the onions, jalapenos, salt, and lime juice.
    4. Once the salsa reaches room temperature, add the chopped cilantro
    5. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your preference.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 222Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 299mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 12gSugar: 31gProtein: 2g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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10 comments

  1. Aleta

    Sweet and spicy! What a bright a beautiful appetizer for this time of year. My family is going to love it!

    Reply

  2. Marta

    I love how you switched up the boring ol’ cranberry sauce and made it a salsa. This was a hit amongst our native Texan friends.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Awesome!! Yeah, truthfully I’m not a cranberry sauce fan but stick a little heat in it and I’m in love! Glad you all enjoyed it too.

      Reply

  3. Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer

    K, I’m gonna need a bigger bowl and another set of chips as this is OUTSTANDING!!! I loved that you switched it up to more of a “salsa” type relish. So incredibly flavorful!

    Reply

  4. Kathryn Donangelo

    I love how fresh, sweet and zesty this cranberry salsa is! This is so perfect for the holidays and will be making this again. It was perfect as an appetizer and I want to try putting it on top of my turkey! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Great news!So glad you liked it Kathryn. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

      Reply

  5. Denise

    Ooooh! This Jalapeño Cranberry Salsa looks like something I can get addicted to! Pour that over some cream cheese and spread on crackers!

    Reply

  6. Heidy

    This Jalapeno Cranberry Salsa was so good!!! I really enjoyed the flavor and that little kick that the jalapenos gave the cranberries. I will be bookmarking this recipe to make at Christmas time. Happy Holidays.

    Reply

  7. jenny

    This salsa combines two of my husband’s favorite things. Cranberries and jalapenos. He could not believe his eyes when he saw it and loved it when tasting it of course. It is a fresh and fabulous twist on the cranberry sauce and we all are big fans now. I will make it again, it is addictive. Thanks so much, Bernice!

    Reply

  8. Tammy

    Sweet, tangy, spicy- I love it! This sounds like a fabulous idea and it’s so beautiful too! I will most definitely be making this!

    Reply

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