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Cranberry Salsa Recipe Served with Cream Cheese

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Cranberry salsa is a delicious and easy Christmas or Thanksgiving appetizer. This jalapeno cranberry salsa is loaded with flavor. Serve it spicy or tame it down so it is mild in the spice factor. This cranberry jalapeno salsa is a must make.

Fresh or frozen cranberries work for this jalapeno cranberry recipe. I used fresh as our store had it, and I have to say, I love the crisp flavors. Another holiday dessert is my edible ornament cookies.

cranberry jalapeno dip in a white bowl

This has easily become my go-to cranberry dip. If we are hosting or attending a holiday event, this is what I make. It is sweet, tart, and a hint of spice. I remove the seeds from jalapeno to tame the heat.

This Cranberry Salsa Is…

  • Quick to Make
  • Made with Fresh Ingredients
  • A delicious cranberry jalapeno dip – with cream cheese
  • You can make spicy or tame down heat by removing seeds of pepper
  • Great holiday appetizer
  • Affordable to make
ingredients for cranberry salsa on white counter

Ingredients You Will Need

Cranberries – You will use fresh or frozen cranberries for this salsa recipe. Make sure to wash and remove any cranberries that are soft, wrinkled, or going bad. 

Jalapeño – Use a whole jalapeño for this jalapeño dip. If you want mild heat remove seeds, otherwise toss in whole. 

Granulated Sugar – Granulated sugar is needed as it will help to offer a sweet component. It also helps tame away the tart from the cranberries. 

Lime Juice – I squeezed two small limes and poured it in. The lime will be the acidic component to help balance and level the flavors. 

Green Onions – I loved how the green onions helped to enhance the savory aspect of the dip. 

Salt – Just a small dash of salt is al you need. The salt will enhance all the flavors of the cranberry salsa. 

Variations to Recipe

There are so many fast and simple ways to change up your ingredients. Here are of a few ideas to try. 

  • Use frozen cranberries
  • Add in pickles jalapeños for a twist
  • Swap sugar with artificial sweetener
  • Add in a few pieces of cilantro 
  • Etc. 

How to Make

cranberry salsa ingredients in blender, overhead shot

Step One: Add your washed cranberries into a mixer or food processor. Toss in the sugar, salt, lime juice and jalapeno and green onions.

Step Two: Hit the pulse feature chopping up the mixture to form a salsa.

jalapeno cranberry salsa in a glass bowl on white counter

Step Three: Once reaches desired consistency place in a bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes. Then serve over cream cheese with cracker, or how you would like.


You will want to place leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. When ready to serve stir first. This easy cranberry recipe will last for a couple of days. Then you will want to toss ingredients out. 

I like to store the cream cheese in its own container then assemble into a cream cheese and salsa dip right before serving.

The longer the salsa sits in the fridge, it will release more liquid, which is normal. You can drain it off.

holding cracker with cram cheese and jalapeno salsa

Pro Tips

  • Don’t overmix, or it will become very watery. 
  • Scrape out seeds from jalapeño to make it mild. 
  • Fresh and easy dish that can also be made in a food processor. 
  • Add more salt to taste at the ends. 
  • Make sire to allow this easy salsa to set in the fridge. Otherwise the flavors won’t blend well together. 
  • Use softened cream cheese so it is spreadable for this cranberry salsa with cream cheese. Now, you don’t have to serve with cream cheese but it is a nice pairing.


cream cheese with cranberry salsa on top

More Christmas Appetizers

More recipes to go with your cranberry cream cheese dip this holiday season!

cranberry jalapeno dip in a white bowl

Cranberry Salsa

Yield: 2 blocks cream cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This cranberry salsa is made with a few simple ingredients and offers sweet and savory flavors in each bite. This jalapeno cranberry salsa is great served with cream cheese as a cream cheese and salsa dip! A must make this holiday season.


  • 12 ounces cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 3-4 green onions diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 blocks cream cheese, optional


  1. Wash and remove any cranberries that are bad in your mixture. Then place in a blender or food processor.
  2. Add in the granulated sugar, salt, and lime juice.
  3. Place jalapeno in as well. I removed the seeds to make it a non-spicy salsa. You can leave seeds or remove. Then add in the green onions.
  4. Pulse until it blends into a salsa texture. Do not blend or it will liquify your mixture. Just quick pulses on the blender are key.
  5. Once done, remove and pour into a bowl. Cover and store the cranberry salsa in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Place cream cheese in a bowl, pour some salsa over, and serve with crackers, pretzels, veggies, etc. Or serve the jalapeno cranberry salsa without cream cheese if you want.
  7. Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.


Spice Factor - Removing the seeds and white membrane from the pepper will make it a mild appetizer. If you like heat keep the seeds.

Lime Juice - I used two small limes for this recipe, but 1 larger one will be enough juice.

Cranberries - You can use frozen cranberries or fresh, I find fresh has the best texture but both work. Just mix straight from being frozen, no need to thaw.

Green Onions - You do not have to add the onions but I find they add a lot of flavor to the salsa recipe.

Storage - Store in an airtight container in the fridge, until ready to serve.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 32Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 30mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 0g

This information is automatically calculated by third-party software, including but not limited to the Create or Bake Me Some Sugar. For accurate nutrition, I suggest running the ingredients in your own system to get a more accurate reading. Nutritional information is approximate and automatically calculated, and should only be viewed as an indication.

cranberry salsa
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