Cranberry Salsa


Last week I was visiting with my favorite florist Dan, who is quite a foodie, and he asked me if I’d ever had cranberry salsa. Cranberry salsa? I’ve never heard of such a thing! Where have I been? This just made me absolutely giddy. It’s always so exciting to come across something new and different.

Fortunately Dan was able to print the recipe at that moment in his office, and gave me a few suggestions on adaptations he’d made to it. But he promised me I’d absolutely love it with the turkey I’d be serving on Thanksgiving. So that’s exactly what I decided to do – although because Thanksgiving is so crazy busy, I’ll be photographing the salsa beforehand.

Here is the recipe how I made it:

Cranberry Salsa

1- 12 ounce package cranberries
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bunch green onions, trimmed, quartered
1 cup super-fine white sugar
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Place the cranberries in a colander. Remove any bad ones and give the rest a good rinse.

Then place the cranberries in a paper towel-lined bowl and let dry.


Place the jalapenos and garlic in the food processor. Process as best you can. I did these first so that I don’t end up with pieces that are too large. Then add the green onions.


Process the green onions, and then add the sugar.

Process the sugar into the other ingredients, then add the cranberries, cilantro, and oil.

Then process all of the ingredients. I might have gone just a few pulses too far – I would have preferred to have some slightly larger pieces of cranberries.


You can refrigerate the salsa overnight, but serve it at room temperature. Of course, I had to try it out immediately, so I grilled a turkey cutlet for lunch.

Let me tell you, this stuff is good. And it’s spectacular with turkey. It’s really like eating salsa, because you definitely have the bite from the jalapenos, but the cilantro also does its job. You really don’t miss the tomatoes! Thanks, Dan!


verdict: The original recipe called for 2 cups of sugar, but I can’t fathom adding more than the 1 cup of sugar that I used. It’s perfect to me just the way it is. Next time I might consider adding some toasted walnuts or pecans to the salsa at the last minure.


34 thoughts on “Cranberry Salsa

  1. I started serving this ten years ago at the Taste of St Joe’s. Mine has lime juice and zest, ginger instead of garlic. No oil. Is so good and fresh – no fat – but toasted nuts for some fat sounds like a great addition. Will do that next time. Happy happy holidays, Mimi!

    • Thanks, Tracy. It may be the same/similar recipe. So many possible variations, that I must keep making it!!! I think the olive oil binds the ingredients a little bit.

  2. This is such a great condiment, I love salsa and never ever would have thought to use cranberries, what a perfectly wonderful idea, with tomatoes out of season and cranberries in season. I think it would go nicely with pork also.

  3. I’m really thrilled with this recipe. We enjoy salsa of all varieties, and this is so different. I have three bags of fresh cranberries that didn’t get used for Thanksgiving and I’ve been wondering what I would do with them…and I needed to make a decision quickly! I think I can freeze them and make this recipe on the spot when called for! What a surprise this would be! :-)

    • I froze the salsa I made, because I knew that no one else but me would indulge on Thanksgiving. But I’m getting it out during the holidays. I really think it will take to freezing well, but it’s also super easy to whip up at the last minute with fresh cilantro!

  4. Wow, I have got to try this! Your comment about the quantity of sugar reminded me of Virginia’s post (on OurGrowingPaynes) about cranberries the other day– she added a little baking soda. This was an epiphany for me when I realized what was happening was a change in pH– baking soda reduces acidity, which would be much more effective at softening the tartness of cranberries than adding sugar, which would only make it sweeter, not less tart. Kitchen chemistry!

    (Since you’re a knitter, Mimi, the reason this was so mind-blowing to me is that I’ve been preparing to start dyeing my own yarns, and what I’ve been learning is that colors are greatly affected by raising (with baking soda) or lowering (with citric acid or vinegar) the pH of the dyebath. Who knew there could be this kind of connection?)

    • Fascinating! I’ll have to read Virginia’s post, because I don’t remember this, but it does make sense. I really hate adding so much sugar to stuff, too.
      I cannot wait to see your yarns. I will be your biggest fan!
      I love your new photo!

  5. ooooh, cranberry salsa! Never thought about doing that with them. Actually, I can her think what to do with cranberries, they are so tart! But a salsa is perfect place for tartness. It looks wonderful Mimi

  6. I thought that the cranberry sauce was supposed to look like a marmelade rather than a relish but, of course, I’m not an expert and I’m still learning about American traditions. My point is … it looks delicious!!! :-)

  7. I think we would love this. I do have a “sauce” recipe that I make some years that calls for jalapenos. Thank Dan for us all ! :)

  8. Can’t imagine how good this would be as I’ve never tasted raw cranberries. Although I’ve cooked them in a chutney several years ago. I love salsa, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to love this as well!

    • They’re very tart raw, but my favorite cranberry sauce is cranberries, raw whole oranges, and some sugar, all ground up in a food processor. It’s fabulous!

  9. Great recipe … love salsa with my fish .. never thought about cranberries. Even if lingonberries is close to our hearts, but in Finland is cranberries a big thing. So this is going on file.

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