I find that there are two types of Thanksgiving meal eaters out there. There are those that stay away from appetizers – saving themselves for the main meal, and those who have already thrown in the towel for the day and are looking to prime the pump. I’m the latter.
In the day that is all about eating and giving gratitude, why not eat the day to its fullest. Usually my go-to appetizer are these Stuffed Mushrooms, but when the oven is prime real estate (I only have one oven) a no-bake appetizer like this Cranberry Salsa is a winner.
Not to mention it begs to be made ahead of time, enhancing its flavors with time. This is totally not a recipe I normally go for but the combo of sweet, tart, and spicy is really addicting. I’m sure everyone has a version of this recipe but this is how I like it!
Fresh cranberries are gorgeous this time of year.
I left the seeds in my jalapeno for a little more heat. If you really like it spicy add two jalapenos. The cilantro and green onions are hiding underneath the cranberries but they’re in there.
This is what it looks like right after you process it. You need to let it chill in the fridge for a couple of hours to let the sugar work its magic on the cranberries.
A couple hours later – voila!
I love Ritz crackers with this but they aren’t strong enough to dip with so use a spreader. Triscuits and Wheat Thins are also good here. Some people like to spread the cream cheese on a serving dish and spread the salsa on top. I’m lazy and I really just prefer it spooned on top of a block of cream cheese.
I mean how festive does that look?
OTHER CRANBERRY RECIPES:
- Cranberry and Pecan Brie en Croute
- Cranberry and Feta Pinwheels
- Cranberry Salad
- Pretzel Cranberry Sweet Potatoes
This Cranberry Salsa with cream cheese is a spicy and sweet combo that is always a hit at parties.
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (add more to taste)
- 1 jalapeno , seeded and chopped coarsely (leave the seeds in if you like it spicy)
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 4 green onions
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- pinch of salt
- 2 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor (EXCEPT CREAM CHEESE) and pulse until desired consistency. I like mine fairly fine. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours (preferably overnight) to allow the salsa to macerate. Serve over cream cheese and with crackers.
This makes enough to cover two blocks of cream cheese. Some people prefer to spread the cream cheese on a serving dish with the salsa on top. I prefer to just pour it on top of a block of cream cheese.
Depending on how tart your cranberries are you may want to add more sugar. This last batch I added a total of 1 cup of sugar.
Wheat thins are triscuits are great for serving with this because they are sturdy and won't break. I love it with Ritz crackers but they are too soft and will break with dipping. If you want to use them just make sure you have a spreader with the salsa. As with all salsa, the quantities are approximate and you can adjust to your own preferences. I have kept this in the fridge for up to 10 days and it was still good! I'm not a food safety expert but it does last for a while.