Fresh Cranberry Salsa Dip

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

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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!

Fresh Cranberry Salsa with Cream Cheese Dip

5 from 1 vote
The perfect sweet & savory holiday appetizer: bright and tangy cranberries combine with spicy jalapenos and are cooled by creamy cream cheese.
Prep Time 15 minutes


  • 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


  • 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.
Author: Our Best Bites
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!

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

The Perfect Cheeseball
The Ultimate Queso
Garlic-Artichoke Dip

woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

    1. Put it through a fine sieve (strainer). 🙂 I did this today and it worked great.

  1. I have no words for this recipe… left me speechless… was that good. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this recipe. I took it to a friends ornament exchange this year and everyone demanded the recipe. Can’t wait to make it again for our Christmas dinner appetizer this year.

  2. This is sooo yummy! I made it for a Christmas party and everyone loved it. Definitely needs both jalapenos, I think – and next time I will leave more of the ‘ribs’ too. I didn’t measure very closely, but otherwise stuck to the recipe. We had it with wheat thins; seems like you could have it with/without the cream cheese depending on your crowd. Will be making again ASAP!

  3. Is it true simply that you just simply are quickly aquatics evident cash stream? at interims the occasion you prohibited straightaway whole throughout this technique on each of these inconveniences then you’ll whole be qualified for a obtaining some really Strategy credit having u. s. of America day cash enhancements. need to be compelled to be compelled to you’ve obtaining some actually money balance the stock can aid you be a district of fogeys charge parts on the ledger once a check can come back.

  4. This was delicious and so easy! Everyone loved it. I didn’t take your advice and only added one jalapeno. I should have listened and added 2. Can’t wait to make this again for Christmas. The red and greed were gorgeous.

  5. We made a salsa just like this but add pomegranate seeds too. I dare you to try it, I promise you will LOVE IT!

  6. Mmm!! I’ve been making this for the last couple years and it is always a hit! It has become a must have dish for Thanksgiving for me!!

  7. Made this over the weekend….it was a big hit! Definitely making it for thanksgiving =) Thank you!!

  8. i’m going to make this, but does anyone have ideas for an alternative to the cream cheese for those who don’t do cows’ milk dairy? (sheep or goat is fine.) thanks!

    1. I’m going to try it with tofuti
      It’s “cream cheese” non-dairy, made with tofu, its great by itself so I’m sure it’ll be great with either salsa or cranberry salsa

  9. I made this last night for a Women’s Party & I got so many compliments on it.
    Most people who loved it said that they normally didn’t even like cranberries! I’ll be making it again next week for thanksgiving. YUM

  10. I made this for a family feast last night and it was a hit! I’ll definitely be making it for Thanksgiving. I’m really excited to spread it on leftover rolls loaded with leftover turkey. Mmmm.

  11. That is one of my FAVORITE recipes! I’ve never done it over cream cheese, though!

  12. Hoping you’ll start adding the option to your recipes and facebook posts that would allow us to directly add to pinterest pages.

  13. You shared very yummy recipe. I am really impressed with cranberries salsa & cream cheese dip recipe. Keep up sharing such nice recipes with us.

  14. I was given this recipe when I got married 13 years ago. It is a holiday staple in my house now. We don’t even serve it with the cream cheese anymore as it is perfect with tortilla chips – just like regular salsa. But it is great with crackers too. If you freeze your cranberries it makes great Super Bowl party food. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

  15. I’m sorry, I see you answered this in the recipe notes. Looks good and seems easy enough to halve if you only needed that much.

  16. Can not tell by the perspective of the photos, so I thought I would ask if the salsa ratio to the cream cheese is even or if there is a lot of salsa left?

  17. My mom is famous for her cranberry salsa, but we add green peppers, carrots, and celery too along with a few more spices and a secret pepper vinegar to splash over. We eat it all winter with tortilla chips. I am going to have to try spreading it over cream cheese now too!

  18. Y’all FINALLY published this recipe that I suggested to you 2 years ago! HOORAY!!!! I love the picture of the deep red against the white cream cheese and the pretty plate – absolutely stunning! This salsa is addictive, beware! It’s also good with lemon juice and canned jalapenos. I keep a bag or two of frozen cranberries in my freezer just so I can make this in the summer when I have a craving for it. Love it!!!!!

  19. My mom’s THING on Christmas Eve was salsa over cream cheese and it was my favorite thing in the world. I’m so trying this!!