This cranberry salsa recipe combines tart cranberries with lots of herbs, sweet honey, citrus and jalapeno for the best cranberry salsa ever, essential for the holidays.
Cranberry season is here, my friends, and we're seeing everything cranberry right about now. Patty is enjoying her cranberry cocktails and cooks everywhere are incorporating them into everything.
Recently I made a Fresh Cranberry Salsa with them, incorporating spicy jalapeno peppers, shallot, green onion, cilantro, a bit of mint and honey and a few other ingredients, and DANG was it delicious. Today I'm here to show you how you can make a completely different cranberry salsa from the exact same ingredients.
This version I'm calling my Spicy Cranberry Salsa, and even though it uses all the same ingredients as the fresh version, it's a totally different experience. The biggest difference is from cooking it. You need this for your upcoming holiday parties. So quick and easy!
It's a lot like a cranberry sauce, but in salsa form. Forget the grocery store. Make it at home! So much better.
Let's talk about how to make cranberry salsa, then, shall we?
Cranberry Salsa Ingredients
- Fresh Cranberries. Frozen cranberries are good, too.
- Jalapeno Peppers. Optional, for a spicy version.
- Herbs. Green onion, cilantro, mint.
- Sweetness. Sugar and Honey.
- Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Lime. Use lime juice and lime zest. Orange juice or orange zest is a good addition as well.
- Seasonings. Salt and pepper to taste.
- For Serving. Tortilla chips or crackers. People love this scooped over cream cheese.
How to Make Cranberry Salsa - the Recipe Method
First, add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Process the mixture until it is finely chopped and combined.
Transfer the blended salsa to a large pan. Heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes to soften up the ingredients.
Transfer to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Add to a bowl, seal and refrigerate at least 1 hour to let the flavors mingle. It is better to let it sit overnight.
BOOM! Super easy! It takes a little bit more time than the fresh salsa version, but still, the effort is minimal and the outcome quite wonderful.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Serving. Set it out with a big bowl of crackers or chips and you're good to go! It's the perfect holiday appetizer. Set it next to a block of cream cheese and watch it disappear.
- Flavor Additions. Other ingredients that pair nicely with cranberries include apple, pear, mint, orange, and cinnamon. Try adding some of these to find your preferred final salsa flavor.
- The Peppers. I'm using jalapeno peppers, which are my favorite peppers for this recipe. They have a nice level of heat for most people and I love the flavor. If you're looking for a milder version, either core out the jalapenos before using them, or use bell peppers instead for a no-heat version. If you'd like a spicier version, bring in a serrano pepper, or several, or use spicier peppers, like a habanero pepper. Did I hear somebody say ghost pepper? Yes!
- Make it Ahead. The recipe calls for letting it cool and the ingredients mingle in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but I suggest making this a day ahead so the flavors can mingle even more. It gets even better after a day. Set it out a few minutes before your guests arrive.
- Why Cook the Cranberry Salsa? Cooking your cranberry salsa allows all of the ingredients to more fully meld together, creating an entirely new flavor experience. Fresh cranberry salsa has a wonderful flavor with each of the ingredients in a little dance with one another, playing off of each other. When it it cooked, however, the flavors become one and something entirely different.
That's it, my friends! I hope you enjoy my holiday cranberry salsa! Done in well under 30 minutes. Let me know if you make it!
I am definitely having a hard time choosing which version of this salsa that I like more - the cooked or the fresh version. I think I lean toward the fresh version, but I love this one too! It's so hard to choose. I'll eat either one Mike puts in front of me. YUM.
Try Some of My Other Popular Salsa Recipes
- Fresh Cranberry Salsa (No Cooking Required! It's like Cranberry Pico)
- Salsa Roja
- Salsa Ranchera
- Roasted Mango-Habanero Salsa
- Roasted Pineapple-Habanero Salsa
- Salsa Verde
- Ghost Pepper Salsa
- See my post on How to Make Salsa
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Cranberry Salsa Recipe
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 3 jalapeno peppers finely chopped
- 1 shallot minced
- ¼ cup green onion chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Juice from 1 small lime + some lime zest
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- First, add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Process the mixture until it is well combined.
- Transfer the blended salsa to a large pan. Heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes to soften up the ingredients.
- Transfer to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
- Add to a bowl, seal and refrigerate at least 1 hour to let the flavors mingle. It is better to let it sit overnight.