Cranberry Salsa

This is a quick and easy salsa recipe made with fresh cranberries, apples, ginger, scallions, cilantro, and chilies that is especially good with turkey (see our turkey tacos), but can be used with any dish that calls for fresh salsa.

Cranberries are only in season for a short time in the fall. Once they appear in the supermarket, fresh in bags, snatch them up while you can. They will last frozen for a few months, but even then, after a few months they will begin to get a bit iffy, so fall really is the time to enjoy whole cranberries. I tried to find frozen cranberries at our local grocer in February with no luck.

Cranberry Salsa

Updated from the recipe archive. First posted in 2007.

Cranberry Salsa Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes a little over one cup of salsa

Most of the ingredients are roughly chopped because they will be going into a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, grate the ginger and finely chop or mince the cranberries, apple, chile, green onions, and cilantro.



  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 an apple, peeled, cored, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño (or serrano) chile, seeds removed, roughly chopped (less or more to taste, depending on how hot the chile is and how hot you would like your salsa to be)
  • 2 green onions (scallions), chopped, including light green parts (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp peeled chopped ginger
  • 1 Tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • Dash of salt


1 Place the cranberries, apple, chile, green onions, sugar, cilantro, ginger, lime juice and salt (all of the ingredients) in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until everything is finely chopped and well blended.

2 Let the salsa sit for at least 15 minutes for the sugar in the salsa to soften the chopped cranberries. Store chilled in an airtight container until ready to serve. Serve with chips or as a side to pork, chicken, turkey, or steak. You can also place a dollop over a cracker that has been spread with cream cheese for an appetizer.

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Cranberry Salsa


  1. Andrew Cybulska

    I saw this recipe as I was heading out the door to the grocery store, so I picked up everything and made it with my girl when I got home. It was absolutely delicious. I ended up using an entire serrano chili (Andrew likes his salsa hot!)

  2. Susan from Food Blogga

    I agree with you–there is nothing quite as satisfyingly tart as fresh cranberries. I just bought another 3 pound bag a couple of days ago, and I plan on trying this salsa. Thanks!

  3. Diane

    I definitely would like to try this salsa but what do you do if you don’t have a grinder or food processor? Can you cook them first?

    Note from Elise: Do you have a blender? You can chop by hand but it will be extremely tedious. This is a raw salsa, not a cooked salsa. I have no idea what this would taste like cooked, but if you added some jalapeno and lime to cranberry sauce, that would give you some idea.

  4. Julia

    A wonderful addition to this salsa is hazelnuts chopped very finely. I make it every year. I chop the cranberries in a food processor, then add the other ingredients.

  5. Christine

    BTW – I buy my cranberries in late October or early November direct from Faber Farms in Bandon, Oregon. They ship them Fed Ex overnight and they arrive very fresh, having just been picked. I believe I ordered 10 pounds last year and the cost was $1.00 per pound. I double freezer-bag them and they last a really long time in the freezer.
    Faber Farms (dot) com is their web site, but I just checked and it’s currently being updated. Worth bookmarking though.

  6. Chris p

    This salsa is very good as an appetizer when you take an 8-oz block of cream cheese and place it on a platter–pour the salsa over the top of the cream cheese place your favorite chips all around the cheese on the platter and serve–watch it disappear

  7. Alanna

    My dad and I loved your salsa with leftover hot turkey sandwiches and gravy – he claims to ‘not like’ white meat nor cranberries but had seconds of both. He must like them together, however!

  8. shuna fish lydon

    Elise & Her Amazing Readers,

    Please note: This here recipe is one of the best recipes out there for anything involving cranberries. A little extra work pays off immeasurably in terms of wow factor in the mouth and on the table.

    ps. I am going to put some in my freezer right now to for you for February.

  9. Selina

    Hello, This recipe sounds amazing, can’t wait to try it! One question: What kind of apple would work best? Thanks!

    Since cranberries are already tart, I would use a sweet apple such as a golden delicious. ~Elise

  10. Steven Charo

    We were very hesitant, but we loved it. Definitely a keeper!

  11. Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    Here Here for cranberries. Yep, we gotta grab them now. I’ve good luck with freezing them too. This a different twist on what I do with cranberries. Mine is more of a chutney. I like this one.

  12. Amy @Very Culinary

    So. Smart. Love it!

  13. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits

    This cranberry salsa sounds so intriguing! I’ve got to try this the next time I make tacos!

  14. Karen

    Made it. Loved it! Surprisingly delish!

  15. C. Jurado

    Is this recipe different from the originally posted Cranberry Salsa? I made it years ago and I don’t remember using green onion or ginger but then again it could just be so long since I made the recipe that it had completely dropped from my mind. Please settle my memory/recipe discrepancy!

    • Elise

      Yes, it has changed a little! Good memory! I’ve added some ginger and a little green onion because I think it adds a lot to the overall flavor of this salsa. Hope you like it!

  16. Crambry

    In the introduction it states that Cranberries only last a few months in the freezer. As a 3rd generation cranberry grower, I respectfully disagree. We put several gallon bags of Cranberries in the freezer every year. I used some the other day in a cranberry cake and in our thanksgiving cranberry sauce that were from 2012. They were great, no freezer burn or freezer burn flavor in either item. We use the Ziploc Gallon Freezer bags and double bag them. Cranberries are great ANY time of year and AWESOME in smoothies all year around!

    • Elise

      I think it depends on the type of freezer you have. I polled several grocers around here who told me they do not stock frozen cranberries year round because the cranberries don’t last that well in their freezers. I’ve also found mine are fine for several months, but by about March, they’re just not as lovely as they were when I first bought them, like anything in my freezer that gets opened and closed often.

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