Easy Cranberry-Apple-Jalapeno Salsa is a sweet and savory dip and side dish made with fresh or frozen, thawed cranberries. Serve it with sweet potato chips or cinnamon-sugar pita chips or alongside turkey or ham as a relish. Cranberries and Thanksgiving go together like black-eyed peas and New Years Eve, right? But what about Cinco de Mayo and Taco Tuesday?
How many of you grew up eating sliced, jellied cranberry sauce from a can? Or, maybe a little fancier version, whole-berry cranberry sauce....still from a can?
I'm not knocking the iconic cylinder of jellied cranberry sauce. I still reach for it at church potlucks when it is served alongside chicken and dressing...because...tradition, right! I'm just asking you to try something new this holiday season.
While we are on cranberry sauce traditions, at the Royal family (not the British Royals-my maiden name is Royal) Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, my mom always made a cranberry-apple-orange jello mixture that had toasted nuts in it.
That's what I remember accompanying our turkey and dressing. I'd love to hear what kind of cranberry "sauce" you serve with your holiday meal.
In this version, pictured above, I chose to leave out the cilantro. I have it as optional in my recipe below. Not everyone in my family is a fan of cilantro so I sometimes opt out and just stir in a little for myself.
I make this "salsa" (sometimes called chutney) for parties with homemade Cinnamon Sugar Baked Tortilla Chips and store-bought apple chips. If I can find them, even cinnamon sugar sweet potato chips. This is perfect to serve on game day or a Southern New Year's Eve party.
But, I also make this simple recipe at Thanksgiving and Christmas as a side dish to my turkey and dressing, in place of cranberry relish.
The shortcut in this recipe is using the food processor to chop the ingredients so they are evenly and finely chopped in about 5 pulses of the food processor.
I prefer to make this salsa and refrigerate it overnight or at least 2 hours. The color intensifies and the flavors have a chance to blend and meld together.
I guarantee you will think this is just "crazy good" and it will be the hit at your holiday family or office party when you bring Cranberry-Apple-Jalapeno Salsa.
- Fresh or frozen cranberries
- Small apple (any snacking apple like Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp)
- Jalapeno pepper
- Green onion (scallion)
- Cilantro (optional)
- Olive oil or vegetable oil
- Fresh lime juice
Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe with detailed instructions.
Using frozen, thawed cranberries gives this sweet and savory salsa the most beautiful red color. You can see the difference in the photos. The images that show the deepest red color contain salsa made with frozen cranberries.
If you want to make it spicy, don't remove the seeds from the fresh jalapeno or stir in 1 teaspoon hot sauce.
What can I serve with Cranberry Apple Jalapeno Salsa?
- Sweet Potato Chips- I bought my apple and cinnamon sugar sweet potato chips at Aldi. I'd buy an extra bag of the sweet potato chips for later. I went back the next week and they were already out of them!
- Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips- Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Chips are baked, not fried, and super easy to make. This is a simple recipe from Shugary Sweets.They have a fraction of the calories and fat than the fried, corn tortilla chips you buy in the store, typically served with salsa and chips.
- Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips- You can also buy cinnamon-sugar pita chips, now. I've seen them near the deli area and in the potato chip aisle.
- Serve over cream cheese- It's an oldie but a goodie. A super simple go-to appetizer for a last minute holiday party is simply to spread this flavorful salsa over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers. Yum!
- Top Cornbread Dressing with it- My favorite way to serve Easy Cranberry Apple Jalapeno Salsa is to top my Sausage Cornbread Dressing Cups with this colorful salsa. I bake the dressing in mini muffin pans and serve as an appetizer for a unique Southern party food.
Watch the video
If you make this recipe I'd love to see it! Tag me on social media with #gritsandgouda or @gritsandgouda. Leave a comment below the printable recipe if you have questions or tell me how you liked the recipe. Don't forget to rate it 5 stars if you love it!
Other Easy Thanksgiving recipes you will love
Easy Cranberry-Apple-Jalapeno Salsa
- 2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed cranberries (12-ounce) bag
- 1 small or 1/2 of a large Gala Fuji, or Honeycrisp apple, cored and cut into 8 pieces
- 1 medium-size jalapeno pepper seeded and cut into 8 pieces
- 1 green onion cut into 8 pieces
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro optional
- 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Cinnamon Sugar Sweet Potato Chips or Pita Chips
- Pulse cranberries, apple, jalapeno pepper, and green onion in container of a food processor 3 or 4 times or until coarsely chopped, stopping to scrape down sides. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add sugar, cilantro, lime juice, oil, and salt, stirring well. Cover and chill at least 2 hours for the flavors to meld and the beautiful red color to develop. Stir just before serving. Serve with Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips