This Savory Cranberry Salsa is a zingy hybrid of cranberry sauce and salsa. With roasted cranberries and a mixture of savory and sweet ingredients, it’s a flavorful cranberry recipe our family loves! Serve it over a mound of cream cheese and bring it along to holiday get-togethers, like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
As a food blogger, I’m probably not supposed to tell you this, but here it goes….chips and salsa is my favorite meal. Never mind the fact that I know far better than to be eating this for a meal, but if I have a jar of salsa in the fridge, a bag of tortilla chips in the pantry, and no one to cook dinner for, the odds are very high that chips and salsa will be dinner.
And you know the phrase “if you can’t beat em, join em”? Well that sort of applies here. If I can’t beat the habit, I may as well make the most kick-butt homemade salsa that I can. Enter this Savory Roasted Cranberry Salsa.
If you’re going to make salsa at home, there’s no point in making it boring. I’ve made pineapple salsa and mango salsa before, but with the holidays quickly approaching, I thought today we could really step out of our usual salsa comfort zone and make it with cranberries!
Ingredients in savory roasted cranberry salsa
To make this salsa we’ll be using a base of cranberries along with flavorings like brown sugar, garlic, cumin, and even jalapeño. We’ll also throw in an apple for some extra fall flavor layers.
- Cranberries: Start with 3 cups of cranberries. You can use fresh cranberries (if it’s cranberry season) or frozen – your choice!
- Brown Sugar: Next, you will need ¼ cup of brown sugar. This will add a delicious sweet flavor that will help to offset any bitterness from the berries.
- Jalapeño: 1 deseeded and finely chopped jalapeño will add some slight heat. If you like things extra hot, you can keep some of the seeds! More seeds = more heat.
- Garlic: For flavor, add 1 clove of minced garlic. No cloves on hand? Use ⅛ tsp of powder.
- Seasonings: Additional seasonings include ¼ tsp each of cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Apple: 1 finely diced apple will add delicious flavor and crunch! Use your favorite variety.
- Cilantro: Add some herby zing with 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro.
- Lime: Follow up the cilantro by adding the zest and juice of 1 lime. For a twist you could use orange juice and orange zest instead!
- Cream Cheese: Finally, we will use 1 8oz block of cream cheese for serving!
How to make cranberry salsa
We’ll prepare cranberry salsa by roasting most of the ingredients, but the true magic will happen when we refrigerate the mix and let the flavors really set in.
Step 1: Prep the cranberries
Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Toss together the cranberries, sugar, jalapeño, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper, and then transfer the mix to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Step 2: Roast the mixture
Bake the cranberry mixture for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cranberries burst. Spoon the cooked cranberries from the pan and add them to a medium-sized bowl. Leave the juices behind.
Step 3: Add the remaining ingredients
Next, add the diced apple, cilantro, and lime juice/zest to the bowl of roasted cranberries. Cover the bowl and set it in the fridge to cool and let the flavors blend. It should be refrigerated for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
Step 4: Serve
To serve, place some cream cheese on a serving dish and spoon the cranberry salsa on top. Serve with an assortment of crackers and chips!
The best apples to use in this recipe
Though any apple variety will work well, there are a few apple flavors that would make this salsa even more delicious! I recommend going with something like honeycrisp, which are crunchy, sweet, and refreshing.
Another great option is granny smith! This variety is sweet and tart. It will taste delicious when paired with the cranberry flavor!
Click here to learn more about apple varieties and differences.
We love serving this recipe over a mound of cream cheese! It could also be served in cranberry brie bites or as a savory cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving!
- 3 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
- ¼ cup brown sugar 50 g
- 1 jalapeño deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 apple finely diced
- 2 Tbsp cilantro chopped
- 1 lime zest + juice
- 1 8-oz block cream cheese 226 g
- Prep: Preheat oven to 450°F (232°C). Toss together cranberries, sugar, jalapeño, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper, then transfer to a parchment line baking sheet.
- Bake: Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cranberries burst. Spoon cooked cranberries from the pan, leaving the excess juices on the pan, transferring to a medium bowl.
- Combine: To the bowl of roasted cranberries, add diced apple, cilantro, and lime juice/zest. Cover and set in the fridge to cool and let the flavors blend (1 hour to overnight).
- Serve: Place cream cheese on a serving dish and spoon cranberry salsa on top. Serve with an assortment of crackers and chips!
The kitchen floor cleanup assistant is never far away.