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Holiday Salsa Recipe

Holiday Salsa Recipe

When we offer this cream-cheesy salsa of fresh cranberries, cilantro and a little jalapeno kick, everyone hovers around the serving dish until it’s scraped clean. —Shelly Pattison, Lubbock, Texas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling YIELD:12 servings


  • 1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • Assorted crackers or tortilla chips


  • 1. Pulse cranberries and sugar in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Stir together with onions, cilantro and jalapeno. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  • 2. To serve, place cream cheese on a serving plate. Drain salsa; spoon over cream cheese. Serve with crackers or chips. Yield: 12 servings.
Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving: 146 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 71mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 2g fiber), 1g protein.

Reviews for Holiday Salsa

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gina.kapfhamer User ID: 8717427 255864
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2016

"My mom makes this every year for Christmas! It makes for a super easy and festive appetizer!

She also adds in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of lime juice. When I make it, I use a few teaspoons of the green Tabasco sauce instead of fresh jalapenos. Lots of easy variations on this one, but it's always a hit!"

tamarapearson User ID: 3272516 241994
Reviewed Jan. 18, 2016

"The perfect balance of sweet and spicy, and so pretty on the plate!"

Metrocookbookdivany User ID: 6837772 239345
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2015

"This was a very sophisticated, easy to make addition to our holiday party menu. The sugar offsets the heat of the pepper and the cream cheese tempers it. The recipe calls for a whole bag of cranberries, which made a large batch. I used only a third of it for one block of cream cheese, which I cut in half horizontally to cover the bottom of my serving dish. For large gatherings, you can easily top 3-4 bricks of cream cheese. We used the leftovers as salsa for tortilla chips."

labudadj User ID: 4097850 230512
Reviewed Aug. 1, 2015

"Haven't tried this yet but it sounds wonderful and I will do it soon. However, I have a question - could the salsa be blended into the softened cream cheese or would it end up being soupy? I made the spicy cranberry chutney from TOH and that is fantastic!"

Emalanych User ID: 7805947 216976
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2015

"I made this for my New Year's Eve Party. This was everyone's favorite. I am going to make it every hear at Christmas time. 5 stars on presentation and taste. I didn't change a thing."

SwtTooth16 User ID: 7182649 216593
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2015

"I was really excited to make this recipe because not only did it look beautiful in the picture, but it sounded delicious too. I was not disappointed. Everyone at my Christmas party loved it. The only thing I would do differently is use more jalape?o pepper just because my family likes spicy dishes and this was definitely more sweet than hot. I think the balance between the two could be a little better for those that like a "bite" to their food."

jblitz0011 User ID: 8092930 216225
Reviewed Dec. 28, 2014

"I made this for a tailgate and everyone loved it... asked me for the recipe!! This is so easy to make and so good to eat. It has now become a favorite appetizer !"

darleneelee User ID: 6875854 213892
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2014

"Made this for Thanksgiving. Everyone love it, even my four year old granddaughter could not stop eating it. It seemed that no one could get enough. When dinner was served, we also discovered that it was wonderfully paired with the turkey and ham. Needless to say, there were no leftovers and I found myself making it again the day after Thanksgiving.

This is definitely a keeper as everyone is asking me to make it again for Christmas."

HarrellClan User ID: 6760407 152164
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2013

"Excellent! Will cut back on the sugar a bit next time but, enjoyed it the way it is written also. This one's a keeper, everyone enjoyed it! To solve the problem of soggy crackers, I used whipped cream cheese to spread on crackers and kept the salsa separate to top crackers as they were eaten. This also solved the issue of the cream cheese "curdling" with the leftovers (my husband loves it so much he has me make double batches, at least lol)."

kat034 User ID: 7321920 188249
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2013

"OMG one of the best recipes ever!! Fab for a work or church party . . .loved it and can't wait to make again and again"

CanadianChris User ID: 6354761 188157
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2013

"Easy to make, amazing taste. Everybody loves it, so don't expect leftovers. HINT: Do ensure that you really drain the salsa. The first time I made this recipe, I thought I drained the salsa sufficiently enough. I spooned the salsa over the cream cheese then ended up having to wait before adding crackers to the plate. Otherwise they would have been soggy from the juice that was still seeping from the salsa."

lahupe User ID: 6323480 121628
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2013

"This recipe was excellent. The combination of flavors was a nice surprise. It was a big hit on Thanksgiving. This one is a keeper."

golliwog User ID: 1278273 121626
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2013

"Two words "YUM YUM""

Ashleyri05 User ID: 7341753 198016
Reviewed Nov. 28, 2013

"This recipe was not only delicious it was a nice decorative piece on our dinner table this Thanksgiving. My husband even topped his turkey with the salsa and loved it!"

a2zpair User ID: 3693271 116721
Reviewed Nov. 27, 2013

"One of our favorites!"

katlaydee3 User ID: 3741999 121624
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2013

"Delicious! I wasn't sure about this recipe but I am so glad I tried it."

skymom747 User ID: 1717371 126780
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2012

"Amazing!! I have made this several times now, nobody can seem to get enough of it :)"

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Wine Pairings

Sweet Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet red wine.