Fresh Cranberry Salsa Dip – the BEST holiday appetizer!

This fresh cranberry salsa dip is sweet, tangy, and flavorful.  Fresh cranberries are whizzed up in a food processor with onions, cilantro, a hit of sugar, and lime juice.  It’s the most gorgeous color and our favorite way to serve it is to spread over room-temp cream cheese and spread on crackers!  It’s totally addicting and the hit of every gathering.

Our Best Bites Cranberry Salsa on a Plate

Ingredient and Equipment Notes

  • Cranberries – Fresh cranberries are only in stores for a short window during this time of year and they’re SO gorgeous that I love finding ways to use them in the kitchen. If you’d like to stock up on cranberries in the fall, they freeze great!
  • Food Processor – This is a very finely chopped salsa. A food processor is a must for this recipe. You m ay be able to get away with a chopper attachment on an immersion blender, but I have not tried it myself.
  • Jalapenos – I’m not a fan of super spicy things, so I tend to cut way back on things that call for jalapeno, but this is an exception.  For the amount it makes, and the fact that everything is mellowed by the cream cheese, you can really add quite a bit of jalapeno and still not have it be too spicy.  I added 2 whole peppers and it wasn’t spicy at all. And really, like any salsa, you can adjust all of these ingredients to taste.

How To Make Fresh Cranberry Salsa

Our Best Bites Cranberry Salsa Ingredients

  1. We’ve got fresh cranberries, jalapenos, green onions, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and a touch of sugar. If you have a large food processor you can pretty much throw everything in there together.  If using a smaller one, you can process a bunch of the cranberries on their own first, and then add the rest of the ingredients, like I’m doing.

Our Best Bites Fresh Cranberries

2. Pulse them until they’re pretty fine,

Our Best Bites Diced Cranberries

and then place them in a mixing bowl.   Fresh cranberries are quite tart and bitter on their own, so sugar is added to sweeten them up.  You can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking.  Some recipes call for up to a whole cup of sugar.  I like mine with about a half of a cup but feel free to adjust.

Our Best Bites sugar in Salsa

3. Next, process the rest of the berries with a generous handful of green onions, cilantro, and jalapeno.  You can adjust all of these ingredients to taste.

Our Best Bites Processing Salsa

4. Mix everything together and let it chill for at least a couple of hours to let the berries macerate in the sugar.

Our Best Bites Cranberry Salsa

5. In the mean time, spread out some cream cheese on a pie plate or dish.

Our Best Bites Plate of Cream Cheese

6. Spread the salsa right over the top.

Our Best Bites Cranberry Salsa Dip

7. Serve it with crackers for dipping.  My favorite are wheat thins because they’re strong enough to not break in the cream cheese, and those nice square edges make it really easy to grab the perfect bite.

Our Best Bites Cranberry Salsa on a Plate

It’s also suuuuper delicious on Ritz crackers, but I often serve those with a little spreader.

Our Best Bites Cranberry Salsa with Crackers

This is a great make-ahead dish you can keep in the fridge to pull out when holiday guests arrive.  It’s unique, beautiful, and most importantly- tastes awesome.

Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Salsa Dip from Our Best Bites

More Recipes Like This

Looking for fabulous holiday appetizers? Look no further!

Honey Cranberry Orange Baked Brie

Cranberry-Orange Goat Cheese Bites

Bacon and Cranberry Onion Jam

The Perfect Cheeseball

Cheesy Roasted Red Pepper Dip


  • How long will this keep in the fridge? Leftovers will be best when eaten within 3 days. If you are making it ahead of time, store salsa separately from cream cheese.

Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram, and then come back and give this recipe a rating!


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Fresh Cranberry Salsa with Cream Cheese Dip

  • Author:
    Our Best Bites

  • Prep Time:
    15 minutes

  • Refrigerator Time:
    1+ hour

  • Total Time:
    1+ hour


The perfect sweet & savory holiday appetizer: bright and tangy cranberries combine with spicy jalapenos and are cooled by creamy cream cheese.


12 oz bag fresh cranberries, washed
2 jalapenos, minced (adjust according to taste)
1/2 cup sliced green onions, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar, more to taste if desired
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature

Crackers of choice for serving- I prefer Wheat Thins


  1. Place cranberries, jalapenos, green onions and cilantro in a food processor and process until fine. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in lime juice, salt, and sugar. Chill in fridge for about 2 hours or more. To serve, spread cream cheese evenly in a pie plate or other shallow serving dish. Spread salsa on top and serve with crackers.


  • Feel free to adjust this basic recipe to taste. I like to be heavy-handed with the onion and cilantro, and if you like a kick, add more jalapeno peppers! One recipe makes enough for 2 blocks of cream cheese. Often I’ll just serve it over one block at a time and save the extra salsa for another night.

If you’re looking for other delicious dips, give a few of these a try!

The Perfect Cheeseball
The Ultimate Queso
Garlic-Artichoke Dip

#Fresh #Cranberry #Salsa #Dip #holiday #appetizer

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