Fresh Cranberry Salsa

Ready in under 10 minutes, this fresh cranberry salsa is tart and slightly spicy in the best way possible. Serve with pita chips or slather on a sandwich!

Fresh Cranberry Salsa

We try to eat as seasonally as possible, but sometimes it gets a little tough, especially in the wintertime. We tend to allow ourselves splurges on little things, like fresh cilantro or citrus. So, we loved the thought of combining them with cranberries for a winter cranberry salsa – a hint of the warmer times to come!

Another great recipe with fresh cranberries? Go to Easy Cranberry Bread.

The inspiration behind this cranberry salsa

This cranberry salsa recipe comes to you from my dear friend Milena, who was thinking about sustainability and environmentalism years before they even entered my mind. In fact, she was formative in inspiring both Alex and I to imagine the way we eat and live today.

While she’s now studying to receive her doctorate in sustainable agriculture in Vienna, and we got the rare pleasure of a visit, and along with it, this tasty salsa! I’m not sure who she credits with the recipe, but it was a tasty starter for our weekend of delicious kitchen experiments (including Mediterranean bulgur salad and spiced roasted cauliflower – delish!).

Give it a try with some pita chips or tortilla chips, or slather it on a sandwich.

jalapeno pepper and cranberries

How to make fresh cranberry salsa

This cranberry salsa is insanely easy to make since the food processor does all the work for you! To make this homemade salsa, you’ll first want to roughly chop the red onion and jalapeño pepper. If you want a spicier salsa, leave some of the seeds in the jalapeño (and make sure to avoid touching your face after you’ve handled the pepper!).

Then, simply add the rest of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the cranberry salsa is combined. Personally, we like our salsa slightly chunky, but the final consistency is totally up to you!

What’s so great about this cranberry salsa recipe is that you can use either fresh or frozen cranberries in it. However, if you go the frozen cranberry route, you’ll need to let them come to room temperature before making this recipe.

How to store fresh cranberry salsa

This cranberry salsa keeps well in the fridge for about a week, and the flavor gets better the longer you let the flavors mingle. We haven’t tried freezing this salsa (it doesn’t last that long in our house!), so I can’t speak to how well that storage method would work.

cranberries in a food processor

Looking for more salsa recipes?

Outside of this cranberry salsa, here are a few more of our favorite salsa recipes:

Looking for more cranberry recipes?

And…a few more cranberry recipes for good measure!

This cranberry salsa recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Fresh Cranberry Salsa

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Ready in under 10 minutes, this fresh cranberry salsa is tart and slightly spicy in the best way possible. Serve with pita chips or slather on a sandwich!


  • 10 ounces cranberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 jalapeño peppers (or less, depending on your spice preference)
  • 1 large lime
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • Kosher salt
  • Pita chips or tortilla chips, to serve


  1. If the cranberries are frozen, bring them to room temperature.
  2. Cut the red onion into quarters. Slice the jalapeño peppers in half, remove the ribs and seeds, and chop them into a few pieces. Place the onion and peppers into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to chop.
  3. Add cranberries, juice from 1 lime, 1/3 cup honey, and a pinch of kosher salt. Tear off the leaves of half of a large bunch of cilantro and add them to the bowl. Pulse several times to combine. Taste and adjust flavors as necessary. Serve with crackers, chips, pita, or bread.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Mixed
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cranberry salsa

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    January 16, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Love the idea of a cranberry salsa—tart and spicy!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 16, 2012 at 2:18 am

    This sounds awesome. I will definately try for sure. Great post.

  • Reply
    Heather Taylor @ Kids in the Sink
    January 16, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Sounds like a spicy sweet combo that could be wonderful! I also love to make my own pita chips out of homemade pitas. Yum!

  • Reply
    Sylvie (A Pot of Tea)
    January 16, 2012 at 9:25 am

    A fruity salsa, what a lovely idea and it looks really pretty too!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I have fresh/frozen cranberries in the freezer that I’ve been wondering what to do with—now i know,thanks! anne

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    January 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Wow, I love the color of that! It’s so pretty! And the jalapenos and cilantro sound so good :)

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Raisin Questions
    January 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I wish I could grab one of those chips in the picture and dip in to give this a try… you know, just to be sure I like it! It’s funny that changing up a recipe unexpectedly sometimes makes unseasoned tasters wary, but I have a feeling that in this case, I might just be overwhelmed by the suprise of how much I really do like it. Thanks for continuing to pass on the innovation!

  • Reply
    jackie @ marin mama cooks
    January 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    I have tons of cranberries just sitting in my fridge and what a great way to use them up. I love the raspberry and green in the first photo as those are my two favorite colors.

  • Reply
    Jessica @ The Desert Abode
    January 18, 2012 at 11:29 am

    We have 8 (!) bags of cranberries in our freezer (we got a little excited around Thanksgiving) and now I know what to do with them. This looks delicious and luckily citrus & cilantro is in season in sunny AZ!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    To add to the perks of this recipe: there is raw honey along with the raw cranberries, and I can’t think of any recipe with actual raw, fresh cranberries and no sugar to boot… HEALTHY! We had an awesome time guys, thanks so much!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    We make a salsa just like this every year for the holidays, always a HUGE hit. Almost exactly the same recipe, except we use a whole bunch of cilantro and sometimes use 1/2 c of raw turbinado sugar for crunch… And keep it a little choppier in food processor so you can see the small chunks of red and green. We serve it ladled over a block of cream cheese – which compliments it perfectly – with black pepper crackers. Anyhow, I heartily recommend this, either version, as a huge hit. Fun blog, lots of inspiring recipes, thanks!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Just made this, and it’s a huge hit with the whole family, pre-teen kids and husband included! Will definitely be in the Thanksgiving rotation this year. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      November 17, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      Awesome! Glad you enjoyed :)

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