This flavorful cranberry salsa features jalapeño, cilantro, and green onion and is the perfect addition to your holiday appetizer table. Fresh cranberry season only comes around once a year, and this is the perfect dish to feature this tart and tangy fruit!
December is busy. Who am I kidding? Life is busy, but December trumps all the other months. Because on top of taking care of all the things, there are even more things. Holiday gifts, holiday decorating, holiday this and holiday that, and yes...holiday parties. So many parties. Fun, joyful, merry parties...where everyone brings their most beautiful, festive appetizer to share. And I sigh deeply and think, "How could I possibly find the time to make something festive, fun, and creative?" And then my head has a brilliant idea! I joyfully remember the Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa everyone adores. And it only takes 10 minutes. Hark the blessed appetizer angels!
The month of December has red and green oozing all over it, so cranberry jalapeño salsa is an obvious choice for a holiday party. Especially since cranberries are readily available right now. This salsa takes your taste buds on a journey all over your palate: sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, and cilantro. Throw some tortilla chips in there and you've also got salty, and a jackpot of flavor combinations. The cranberry jalapeño salsa will last several days in your fridge. If you have a couple of parties on your horizon, make a big batch, store it in an airtight bowl, and bring it to the next party (and don't forget your stocking stuffer for that gift exchange)!
Ingredients in Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa
- Fresh Cranberries - Use fresh if you can find them, but you can also use frozen thawed cranberries to make this any time of the year.
- Jalapeño - If you don't like things very spicy, make sure to take the seeds out of the jalapeño and give it a rinse. This will take care of most of the spiciness and leave you with just the delicious flavor of jalapeños.
- Coconut Sugar - I know that many of you are avoiding sugar, but cranberries are hard to eat straight up due to their "pucker factor". I have had success making this with maple syrup, but the more you add, the more "soupy" it becomes so getting it sweet enough can be tricky. You do need to sweeten them somehow though, or you're going to have sour faces surrounding you. And that's not bringing much holiday cheer to the table.
- Cilantro - Yes, cilantro haters, you can swap this with another herb. I recommend flat-leaf parsley or mint.
How to Make Cranberry Salsa
Cranberry salsa is the ideal holiday appetizer because it can be ready in under 10 minutes. We're all frantic and busy this time of year, so having one easy item to cross off our lists is welcomed.
Start by adding the cranberries, jalapeño, cilantro, and green onion to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped, but take care not to puree the mixture.
Add the processed cranberry mixture to a large bowl and combine it with the sugar, salt, and lime juice. Stir to thoroughly combine. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld. That's it! Serve with tortillas chips, crackers, or veggies and enjoy!
Can I Make this Salsa Ahead of Time?
Yes! Make ahead and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. This cranberry salsa gets more flavorful the longer it sits. Water will pool around the edges after it sits, so stir that in just before serving.
What's your favorite holiday appetizer? If you like this salsa you may also like my mango salsa recipe, or check out more appetizers in this gluten free vegan Thanksgiving recipes post.
Did you make this recipe?
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Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 jalapeño roughly chopped, seeds removed for milder salsa
- 3 green onions green and white parts, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro packed
- ½ cup coconut sugar or other granulated sweetener*
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- Add the cranberries, jalapeño, green onion and cilantro to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are just finely chopped. Do not over process or puree.
- Scrape the cranberry mixture into a bowl and add the sugar, salt and lime juice. Stir to combine, cover, and chill for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
- Serve with tortilla chips or crackers. Enjoy!
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