How to Spice Up the Holidays with a Latino Savory Cranberry Salsa [Recipe]

Latino Cranberry Salsa recipe Latin Biz Today

Give a little Latin spice to your holidays with this savory no bake recipe.

Growing up in a Mexican American family, I was never truly acquainted with the beauty that is the American cranberry. It was not something seen at our holiday table unless one of my tias would bring over the traditional canned jelly version or a can of cranberry sauce.  There was no thought involved of what to do with it. It was just dumped out in a bowl to set at the table in honor of an American custom and by the end of dinner, the cranberry dish would pretty much still be untouched. We didn’t really know how to use this ingredient with our traditional Mexican cuisine of tamales, rice, refried beans, etc.

As I’ve grown up and had the opportunity to taste different recipes that utilize the cranberry, I’ve realized that I really do love that zippy, tart bite that you get from this hard-working berry.

So, for the 2nd year in a row, I’ve been very keen on experimenting with my own versions of Latin inspired cranberry recipes for the fall/winter season. Cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving. They are in season usually from September through November and can still be found in markets through December. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 months if they are kept in their original plastic packaging or in an airtight sealed container too. Their vivid red color makes them the perfect accessory to the Christmas dinner table. This Cranberry Salsa recipe also has some green accents in it that will really bring some holiday spirit to your festivities.

Here’s the simple no-bake recipe for this delicious appetizer that can be used in so many ways:



  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries (rinsed)
  • ½ – ¾ C. sugar (I usually use ½ C., but you can add more to sweeten to your taste)
  • 1 – 2 jalapenos seeded (I usually end up using the seeds from 1 jalapeno to add some spice)
  • ½ C. cilantro
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ½ orange (leave peel on and cut into small chunks)
  • Pinch of salt


Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend. You can decide how chunky of a consistency you want your final salsa to be. To make for easier clean-up, I usually use an electric immersion blender and do this in small batches until all the ingredients become nicely blended down.

Place the final mix into a bowl and cover overnight in the refrigerator. This will allow the sugar to continue to macerate the berries and let all the sweet and spicy flavors to really co-mingle.

The next day, your salsa is ready to serve! It will last about a week in the refrigerator, but something tells me it will be gone in no time at all once you see all the ways it can be served up.

Serving Ideas:

  1. Pour it over a wedge of brie cheese or a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers.
  2. Scoop it up with nacho chips or drop a tablespoon into scoop chips for individual servings.
  3. Serve a few tablespoons of it over roasted pork, ham, lamb, or turkey.
  4. I personally love it as a topping over any traditional Mexican food like tamales, rice, or re-fried beans. I use it just like I would a regular tomato-based salsa. Try it out and see for yourself.
  5. Have a bagel for breakfast with a smear of cream cheese and cranberry salsa on top of it.
  6. Call me crazy, but I love a corn tortilla taco with some chicken or pork and cotija cheese topped with some cranberry salsa.
  7. For some dessert ideas, serve it over chunks of fresh cut pineapple and mango or over vanilla bean ice cream.
  8. Make a big batch to put into several canning jars. Wrap them with a ribbon as gifts for the holidays or to take to your friends’ parties. To give the gift that keeps on giving, print out the recipe below and attach it to the jars.

This cranberry salsa is so versatile. I bet you’ll be thinking of your own ways to utilize this quick and easy appetizer too. Happy Holidays!

Here’s a handy recipe card to share with friends.

You can also try more great holiday recipes at the below links…

Related content:

A Multicultural Holiday…and a Coquito Recipe

Mexican Wedding Cookies (Polvorones): A Delicious Latin Tradition for Christmas [Recipe]

Taste of Puerto Rico at Christmas Time


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Mi Mamá Es Una Brava

Mi Mamá Es Una Brava

She was fierce, unapologetic, unselfish and brava. Editor's note: This is a reprise piece from Gaby Alcantara Diaz remembering her late parents and brother.   Over 21.2 million (all) immigrant women reside in the United States since 2013 with many traveling by foot,...






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