Cranberry Salsa with cream cheese is a spicy and sweet combo that is always a hit at parties. We love serving this Cranberry Salsa as an appetizer at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
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
- 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.
I made, loved it … I agree with all the positive reviews, and would just say … this was something new and unique to me. If you serve this to your family, or bring to party you will have a hit, and can be pretty certain no one else will bring it !!
I’ve made this before and it was a hit! But I could have sworn that your recipe used to have fresh ginger in it also. Right?
I haven’t changed this recipe at all. Shoot maybe it was someone else’s?
Delicious! I started with only 1/3 cup sugar and I thought that was plenty sweet for my taste. I also added some orange zest and juice. This will definitely be a new holiday favorite.
you left out sugar in the ingredience list … perhaps you should edit it
It’s listed right below the cranberries. I did not leave it out.
Has anyone tried using Monkfruit instead of white sugar?
I really want to make this but I only have a small food processor. I can’t tell from the pictures…did you use a large one? This looks so delicious.
I just use the big Ninja blender and it turns out perfect every time!
Do you use the onion part or the green part (or both) from the green onions? Also, have you ever made a batch and frozen it? I made a test batch tonight for a party we are hosting on 12/3. It is currently in the fridge waiting for the sugar to do it’s magic. IF it turns out delicious, I’m wondering if I can just freeze this batch for 12/3? Note: since I wasn’t sure what part of the green onion to use, I used the white part and about 2 inches or so into the green.
I usually use the green but the white part is great too. And you can freeze it
Have just made this delicious sounding stuff 😋 and the bowl scrapings are certainly good 👌 !
Found I had to blitz quite a lot to get onion/coriander to same size as cranberries …think I’d do them for a bit 1st on their own next time, as cranberries disappear more quickly !
Left half seeds in chilli pepper …definitely spicy enough 😄 may do less next time to cater for all tastes
Looking forward to trying properly with cream cheese soon 🤩
How early can you prep the salsa and it keep in the fridge before serving?
Definitely a few days ahead of time.
We use whipped cream cheese and it make it a lot easier!!! It’s sooo good!!
Can this be home canned?
Cranberry salsa is so delicious, it’s addictive!
It’s easier when you have all the ingredients and follow the recipe. I usually have to substitute or omit something. Found myself deviating from recipe. Why do I do that? Fabulously sublime with continuous flavors and depth. Perfect for us. I took seeds out of jalapeno. Kept thinking garlic? Glad I didn’t
I’ll make it again after these leftovers are gone. It’s only spicy when you stop eating it.
I made this and we absolutely loved it!! Good flavor and the mild kick of jalapeño adds so much to the dish. Very good
Wow this was a homerun!!! The strong flavors of the Jalepeno and cranberry are slightly muted in perfect amounts by the cream cheese, with the hint of cilantro adding to the interestingly delightful party in the mouth. Our family ate the whole plate of this dip before dinner even started. We now have a new staple for family event dinners. This one is a winner. thanks Christy!
Awesome Dennis! Hope you are doing well!
I love this cranberry salsa! Sooo good! We are enjoying it the day before Thanksgiving. I’m so glad this is such a large quantity bc I want to keep enjoying it. I have a small food processor so it took me a couple rounds to get all the ingredients chopped up. But i just stirred them all together in a bowl at the end.
Thanks Christy! This will be a new holiday tradition in my home😋
Hi Greta! That makes me smile!
Can you put this in jars are freeze it (for a gift)?
What a great idea!
This looks awesome. I have a lot of cranberries leftover from baking last week. I know what I’m doing with them
I figured I ought to leave a comment since I’ve been making this recipe every holiday season for several years now. This has become one of my staples, one of the items that everyone expects me to bring at this point. It is beloved. Every time I serve it to new people, there always a couple of people who ask for the recipe. Thank you for sharing this! It’s so fresh and delicious. Plus I love how easy it is to make.
Thank you for telling me that. That makes me happy!
I loved this cranberry salsa for the holidays. Next time, I will put all ingredients into the food processor, except the green onions and cilantro. I would chop the onions and cilantro and stir them into cranberry mixture. I also felt it needed more jalapenos and green onions and a pinch of salt. Thank you for this yummy recipe
There is another recipe like this but it adds ginger. Delicious!!
Hmm I will have to try it.
The freshly grated ginger sends it into a whole other dimension! You really should try it (about a tablespoon to start).
This recipe is amazing with water crackers as well! One of my favorites around the holidays.
I’ll have to try water crackers.
Fantastic Recipe! It tasted so fresh and perfectly balanced. It’s good with cream cheese and crackers, but I just ate it by the spoonful.
So glad you liked it!
My brother makes salsa I should link this to him
He would love it!
I tried this recipe for Christmas. At first everyone wasn’t really sure if they liked it, but then they tried it again and again and again. So it turns out it was a big hit on the appetizer table. However, there were a few comments and I concur that unless you REALLY love cilantro, you might want to cut the amount to half so that it doesn’t overpower the salsa. I used a full cup of sugar and only one jalapeno. The jalapeno isn’t that apparent until the very end of the bite when you get that small hit at the back of the throat. Perfect. I also bought a large tub of whipped cream cheese and spread it onto a pie plate and then strained the liquid out of the salsa mix and spread it over the top. I served with club crackers and provided a few cheese spreaders. All in all, this recipe is a definite keeper and I will use it again.
Think this would work with Splenda, or even half sugar half Splenda? Anyone tried it?
I used only a 1/4 of sugar and the salsa disappeared quickly.
Why on Earth would you add a chemical, like Splenda, to a perfectly good recipe? Just don’t eat as much or work out a little longer. The brain does not recognize any artificial, “food,” which causes greater food consumption. This is because the body’s desire for sweet has not been satisfied. Hence, more caloric intake. People, do your research
I want to make this , but I don’t have a food processor. Would a blender work? How long do you need to leave the cream cheese out so it is easily spreadable?
Room temperature takes about 30 minutes. I’m sure a blender would work well too.
As a child I always loved the taste of cranberries but hated the canned gel that everyone always put out for the holidays until I found out how easy it was to make fresh with added extras like walnuts, pineapple, etc….
I can already tell that this is going to be fantastic….
I want to try this at my daughter’s Christmas time wedding. How long should the cream cheese sit out to be easily spread?
Depends on the temp in your house. Probably around 30 minutes.
What a marvelous idea for outdoor activities ! My son will love it! Amazing post!
Wow, really, I can’t get over that delicious taste! So simple and yet – sooo great. Thanks for this…
Has any one tried this with FROZEN cranberries? I really want to try and make this but don’t want to wait until it is cranberry season!
Frozen will work!
I think you met to say “Place all of the ingredients EXCEPT THE CREAM CHEESE in a food processor”.
Ooh. Sorry. I thought that was self explainitory. I will clarify.
I made this morning, and we had it for appetizers. For the amount of work involved, I thought it was mediocre. I followed the recipe exactly. I’m not trying to be hateful because your recipes have never let me down, but this was one I won’t make again.
Sorry to hear that. It’s definitely better the next day.
This looks great ! So you don’t cook the cranberries?
Nope! You don’t cook them.
Looks relish! I’m hoping to jar some of this for holiday hostess gifts – what’s the shelf life?
I have kept in the fridge for two weeks and it still tasted good.
I’m wondering how long this would last in the fridge, too! I made this yesterday and served half to company, and we all loved it!! Wondering if the other half would last until Thanksgiving festivities begin on Wednesday!
For sure it would last until then. Good luck. Makes a lot!
I am planning to make this for a Thanksgiving app.. how far ahead do you think I can make it?
At least a week ahead! Trust me, I’ve tried it.
How much ahead of time can you make this? I’m thinking of making it for gifts for Christmas
I’ve had it in the fridge for two weeks and it still tasted good. Beyond that I can’t testify.
Someone made this for a holiday party and I ended up standing there right by it. I couldn’t stop eating it! (Now I’m wondering if anyone else even got to try it?? :o) I didn’t get the recipe and it’s been a couple of years so I’d completely forgotten about it. I’m so excited to have the recipe!
Hope you love it!
Do you think this would work with a baked Brie?
Yes, but I am worried that it’s too juicy for it. I could be wrong though. Now I want to try it!
This looks amazing! I wish I was snacking on this right now!
I ate a whole pan so I’m banned from it.
Very colorful and original. I like it!
You’ll love it!