Cranberry Salsa

Years ago I was visiting with my friend 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.

Dan printed the recipe, 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.

And I did. Here is that recipe. Thanks, Dan!

Cranberry Salsa

1- 12 ounce package cranberries
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup super-fine white sugar
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

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

Then place the cranberries on a towel to dry.

Place the jalapenos, garlic and sugar in the food processor and pulse until you can’t see any large pieces.

Add the cranberries, cilantro, oil and lime juice and pulse all of the ingredients, without over-processing.

Pour the salsa into a bowl and fold in the sliced green onions. I’ve found that this is easier than using the food processor to chop up green onion.

Cranberry salsa is really good, and I serve it with tortilla chips or pita crisps.

You can refrigerate the salsa overnight, but serve it at room temperature.

And as a condiment, it’s spectacular with turkey.

I make turkey cutlets often, and the pairing is fabulous.

Whether served as an appetizer or as a condiment, you’ll enjoy the zing of the cranberries and jalapeño.

The original recipe called for 2 cups of sugar, but I can’t fathom adding more than the 1 cup of sugar 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 minute.

Also, ginger could be used along with the garlic. Or, crystallized ginger…

By Published On: November 7th, 201878 Comments on Cranberry Salsa

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Tracy Angilan Shimanek December 7, 2013 at 9:10 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi December 7, 2013 at 9:17 AM - Reply

      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. thesinglegourmetandtraveller December 7, 2013 at 9:16 AM - Reply

    This is wonderful Mimi. Would be great for Christmas dinner.

    • chef mimi December 7, 2013 at 9:16 AM - Reply

      I really tastes like salsa, because of the cilantro and jalapenos!

  3. apuginthekitchen December 7, 2013 at 10:02 AM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi December 7, 2013 at 1:11 PM - Reply

      It sure would. Just about any meat, or variety of quesadilla, would be fabulous with this salsa. It really took me by surprise!

  4. The Editor December 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM - Reply

    Reblogged this on Recipe Reblog.

  5. Three Well Beings December 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM - Reply

    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! :-)

    • chef mimi December 7, 2013 at 1:10 PM - Reply

      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!

  6. A Taste of Wintergreen December 7, 2013 at 10:33 AM - Reply

    I’m really looking forward to trying this. I had not heard of it either – but love cranberries in almost anything and this sounds so fresh. Lovely!

    • chef mimi December 7, 2013 at 1:08 PM - Reply

      You will love it, too! It’s really a salsa, except that you realize you’re eating cranberries instead of tomatoes!

  7. Marie-whenspoonmeetspot December 7, 2013 at 11:53 AM - Reply

    Lovely recipe! Very original to the classic cranberry sauces.

  8. colormusing December 7, 2013 at 12:03 PM - Reply

    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?)

    • chef mimi December 7, 2013 at 1:05 PM - Reply

      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!

      • colormusing December 7, 2013 at 7:08 PM

        I’m pretty sure that post was from yesterday– it was about Cranberry-Applesauce. And thanks!

  9. mmmarzipan December 7, 2013 at 12:51 PM - Reply

    what an inspired idea! lovely!

  10. Nazneen Hamilton December 7, 2013 at 1:10 PM - Reply

    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

    • chef mimi December 7, 2013 at 1:12 PM - Reply

      I had never thought of doing this either! It’s really just like salsa, but without the tomatoes!

  11. Francesca December 7, 2013 at 2:45 PM - Reply

    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!!! :-)

    • chef mimi December 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM - Reply

      The thing is, this isn’t a cranberry sauce. It’s really a salsa, complete with jalapenos and cilantro! Not traditional at all! But it’s very good.

      • Francesca December 7, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        Got it now! :-)

  12. eliotthecat December 7, 2013 at 6:01 PM - Reply

    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 ! :)

    • chef mimi December 7, 2013 at 7:52 PM - Reply

      Will do! I love raw cranberry sauce, but this is definitely a salsa. It’s just fabulous!

  13. Johnny Hepburn December 7, 2013 at 8:04 PM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi December 8, 2013 at 8:27 AM - Reply

      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!

  14. yummychunklet December 7, 2013 at 10:08 PM - Reply

    Sweet and tangy looking salsa.

  15. viveka December 8, 2013 at 2:09 PM - Reply

    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.

  16. Butter, Basil and Breadcrumbs December 9, 2013 at 8:06 AM - Reply

    Ok, I need this. Now. What a great recipe! <3

    • chef mimi December 9, 2013 at 8:11 AM - Reply

      Not great photos, but the stuff is really fabulous! My friend told me that if I’d been a Texan I would have known about it long ago!

  17. Linda Duffin October 26, 2018 at 9:02 AM - Reply

    This sounds delicious, Mimi, thank you.

    • chef mimi November 7, 2018 at 7:29 AM - Reply

      Thanks Linda! The post published accidentally!

      • Linda Duffin November 8, 2018 at 11:44 AM

        Oops! I’ve done that too, but at least yours was finished. :)

  18. ajeanneinthekitchen October 26, 2018 at 10:53 AM - Reply

    I love cranberry salsa.

    • chef mimi October 26, 2018 at 10:57 AM - Reply

      And this one was a mistake, too! I don’t even know what I did wrong!

      • ajeanneinthekitchen October 26, 2018 at 12:00 PM

        Sometimes the best things come from our mistakes. :)

  19. jenniferguerrero1 November 7, 2018 at 6:20 AM - Reply

    This would be perfect for turkey tacos the next day, too! I like that idea for pecans. I thought you were talking about crystallized ginger at first. Now I’m going to have to look up crystallized garlic.

    • chef mimi November 7, 2018 at 7:27 AM - Reply

      No. Did I write crystallized garlic? I meant crystallized ginger.

  20. Teagan R. Geneviene November 7, 2018 at 7:47 AM - Reply

    Hi Mimi. It sounds marvelous. I love cranberries. Hugs.

    • chef mimi November 7, 2018 at 1:11 PM - Reply

      Thanks Teagan!

  21. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso November 7, 2018 at 11:18 AM - Reply

    Love this! Cranberries are so perfect for salsa.

    • chef mimi November 7, 2018 at 1:11 PM - Reply

      Yes they are! Just maybe not better than tomatoes. Just different!

  22. Laura November 7, 2018 at 10:20 PM - Reply

    Wow Chef Mimi – this looks so good, if only we could access fresh cranberries here in Australia – I’ve only ever seen dried ones!

    • chef mimi November 10, 2018 at 2:30 PM - Reply

      Oh no! That’s so sad. They’re such a unique fruit.

  23. Tandy | Lavender and Lime November 8, 2018 at 12:28 AM - Reply

    This sounds so much more refreshing than cranberry sauce. Christmas is always hot here so this would be perfect for then :)

    • chef mimi November 8, 2018 at 6:23 AM - Reply

      Oh, right! That’s a good point! Although my favorite cranberry sauce ever is the mix of cranberries and oranges with sugar. No cooking.

  24. Jyo November 8, 2018 at 5:21 AM - Reply

    Wowww salsa with cranberries ! It’s beyond amazing 👌 and such an impressive share…👍

    • chef mimi November 8, 2018 at 6:22 AM - Reply

      Thank you! It does seem odd at first, because it’s supposed to be tomatoes! But once you try it, you’re hooked!

  25. Ron November 8, 2018 at 10:01 AM - Reply

    Now I’ve eaten my share of cranberries and salsa, but never together. What an interesting salsa and one I’ll try if I can find fresh cranberries.

    • chef mimi November 8, 2018 at 10:02 AM - Reply

      Watch out – it’s terribly addicting! Just don’t think about tomatoes when you’re eating it.

  26. Kiki November 8, 2018 at 3:30 PM - Reply

    Love all the ingredients, plus it’s quick to make – we don’t have Thanksgiving here but I’ll definitely give your recipe a go!

    • chef mimi November 8, 2018 at 4:01 PM - Reply

      I know. I seriously believe my daughter started a Thanksgiving trend when she moved to London years ago. Her flat was big enough to host the dinner party and it was always a big hit!

  27. kathryninthekitchen November 8, 2018 at 5:39 PM - Reply

    Mimi… this looks fabulous, a very versatile accompaniment which would go well with poultry and bbq meats as well as a stand-alone dip! It is one I’ll be serving over our Summer season 😊 Thank you!

    • chef mimi November 8, 2018 at 6:03 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome Kathryn!

  28. sippitysup November 9, 2018 at 7:35 PM - Reply

    Yes. Of course this would be delicious I just never knew it til I saw it here… GREG

    • chef mimi November 10, 2018 at 2:30 PM - Reply

      It’s odd that it’s cranberries and not tomatoes, until you taste it, an then it clicks!

  29. Linger November 10, 2018 at 10:18 AM - Reply

    What a fantastic idea for this holiday season. The possibilities are endless for this Cranberry Salsa. I love the kick you add with Jalapeños. Thanks so much for sharing. I definitely need to try it.

    • chef mimi November 10, 2018 at 11:04 AM - Reply

      It’s weird to think of cranberries instead of tomatoes, but once you taste it, it makes sense!!! Love the name of your blog.

  30. Anonymous November 11, 2018 at 6:03 AM - Reply

    Very interesting idea. I would never had considered eating cranberries raw. They’re so mouth-puckeringly astringent. (Yes, I’ve tried one…) But I guess the sugar tames them even if they’re not simmered together. We do enjoy salsa in this house, so we’ll give it a try!

    • chef mimi November 11, 2018 at 6:52 AM - Reply

      You just can’t compare it to tomato-based salsa, because it’s so different! Once you try it, you’ll get it. Guaranteed!

  31. Lynz Real Cooking November 12, 2018 at 10:38 AM - Reply

    Wow that sounds so good

    • chef mimi November 12, 2018 at 11:32 AM - Reply

      It’s pretty amazing!

      • Lynz Real Cooking November 12, 2018 at 6:06 PM

        I never would have imagined salsa with cranberries

      • chef mimi November 12, 2018 at 6:11 PM

        I know! You just can’t compare it to a tomato salsa!

      • Lynz Real Cooking November 12, 2018 at 6:36 PM

        It sounds like something my kids would truly love!

  32. StefanGourmet November 13, 2018 at 1:37 AM - Reply

    That sure is a lot of zing!

    • chef mimi November 13, 2018 at 5:06 AM - Reply

      Absolutely! Tempered by the sugar. Surprisingly wonderful!

  33. David @ Spiced November 13, 2018 at 7:43 AM - Reply

    What a fun idea! I’ve never tried cranberry salsa, either, and I’m pretty sure my reaction would have been the same…where have I been hiding? This one is perfect for snacking on Thanksgiving before the big meal later in the day! :-)

    • chef mimi November 13, 2018 at 8:50 AM - Reply

      Definitely. But it’s also really good as a cranberry sauce. Good stuff!

  34. Yeah, Another Blogger November 30, 2018 at 8:58 PM - Reply

    This sounds great. I’m thinking that a good addition, possibly, might be a bit of cooked farro. See ya —


  35. a little Swiss, a little Canadian December 5, 2019 at 8:07 PM - Reply

    I would live to try this! It looks really yummy!

  36. a little Swiss, a little Canadian December 5, 2019 at 8:11 PM - Reply

    I ment: love to try this😃

  37. terrie gura October 26, 2022 at 10:04 AM - Reply

    OK, this sounds ridiculously good!!

    • Chef Mimi October 26, 2022 at 12:42 PM - Reply

      It really is!

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