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Cranberry Salsa over Cream Cheese is a quick appetizer perfect for the holidays! It’s fresh, tangy, and delicious, ready in minutes, and an easy make ahead recipe!
Looking for more easy holiday appetizers? You’ll love my spinach artichoke dip, cookie dough dip, and my bacon ranch cheese ball.
This Cranberry Salsa over Cream Cheese is such a festive, favorite appetizer we love and serve often for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. It is always a crowd favorite!
Juicy cranberries and other fresh ingredients make a sweet, tangy, and spicy salsa that’s absolutely out of this world served over cream cheese and eaten with crackers, fruit, or chips. It’s a great make-ahead recipe for the holidays too!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Tastes amazing. It is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, fresh and creamy!
Quick and easy. It comes together quickly and is such an easy recipe!
Make-ahead perfection. Make the cranberry salsa up to 7 days ahead to make entertaining even easier!
Cranberry Salsa over Cream Cheese Recipe
Some dishes are just so delicious that you wait impatiently for the fresh cranberries to arrive at the grocery store. So much so that you stock bags of fresh cranberries in your freezer.
This is most definitely the recipe to spark such a devotion to cranberries! It’s one of those dishes that everyone raves over!
How to Make Cranberry Salsa with Cream Cheese
Add fresh cranberries and sugar to your food processor or high-speed blender and then pulse about 30 pulses until the cranberries are coarsely chopped. Stir in jalapeno, green onions, cilantro, orange zest, and orange juice.
Spoon the salsa over softened cream cheese on a serving platter. Serve with sliced fruit, butter crackers, wheat thins, or tortilla chips on the platter, serve and enjoy!
Easy Make Ahead Holiday Appetizer
This is where this cranberry salsa recipe becomes even more magical. Pour the salsa into a bowl, cover it with a tight-fitting lid or wrap with plastic wrap and then refrigerate it overnight (or at least 30 minutes to let the flavors develop).
I absolutely prep this appetizer in advance for one of the best make-ahead appetizer recipes for the holidays!
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 7 days, so you can make the cranberry salsa well in advance to keep your holiday entertaining as stress-free as possible.
When ready to serve, just place your cream cheese onto a serving platter about 15 to 30 minutes before serving time.
Then, as you begin to serve, spoon your cranberry salsa onto your cream cheese and watch a crowd gather around it!
Cranberry Salsa Cream Cheese Spread
Spread softened cream cheese in a shallow bowl. Spoon the cranberry salsa on top of the cream cheese and serve with Ritz crackers, wheat thins, or fruit slices. It is perfect for dipping!
Can You Use Frozen Cranberries
Yes! I do all the time. I thaw the cranberries in the refrigerator overnight and then use following the recipe.
Other Favorite Cranberry Recipes
Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Cocktail Meatballs
Warm Brie with Honeyed Fruit Compote
Here’s the Cranberry Salsa Cream Cheese Spread Recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Cranberry Salsa over Cream Cheese Recipe
- 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper deseeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese softened
- crackers or fruit slices for serving
- Add cranberries and sugar to food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 30 pulses. Stir in jalapeno, onion, cilantro, orange zest and orange juice. Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to overnight.
- To serve, arrange cream cheese on a serving tray, strain away juices from the cranberry salsa and spoon on top of the cream cheese. Serve with assorted crackers or fruit slices.
Make Ahead Cranberry SalsaStore in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 7 days. When ready to serve, place your cream cheese onto a serving platter about 15 to 30 minutes before serving time to reach room temperature. Then top with cranberry salsa and serve.
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Are you able to find fresh non-GMO cranberries?
You should be able to find fresh cranberries in stores now. I used fresh, organic cranberries in this.
I must admit they can be hard to find sometimes here in the south earlier in the fall, so when I find fresh ones I’m known to freeze a lot of them so that I have them anytime I want them!
Hope you enjoy this – it’s so delicious! xo
Hi, how much orange juice?
You’ll use 2 Tablespoons OJ plus the orange zest amount listed in the recipe. Enjoy!
How much orange juice? Thanks. J
You’ll use 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Thanks for catching that! xo
Where I live in the Caribbean we don’t get fresh cranberries. Can I use craisins instead and reduce or eliminate the sugar to my taste? This sounds like something I want to try. Thanks
Where I live in the Caribbean we don’t get fresh cranberries, I am wondering if we could use craisins instead, and eliminate or reduce the amount of sugar to my taste. Definitely want to try this. Thanks
I took this to a church fellowship and to say it was quite a hit is an understatement! There were several “demands” for the recipe right then and there – good thing I had it on my phone. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
You mentioned “orange cranberry chicken” – do you have a recipe for that?
Can I use stevia instead of sugar? Also ban I use fresh squeezed orange juices instead of store bought?
I’ve not used stevia in this recipe. You can use fresh squeezed orange juice if you wish. Enjoy it! xo
Love this recipe. Had to use a blender, because I don’t have a food processor. I just would pulse small amounts of the cranberries after I sliced them in half first. So I’d divide the 12oz into pulsing 4 oz at a time and it came out great 🙂 a little more work, but I love this recipe. Much better than using lime juice in my opinion.
Thanks so much, Sophia! We love this salsa too – so glad you did as well! xo
Absolutely love the idea ! With all of the listed ingredients it could easily become my main 🙂 Thank you !
We had this for Christmas it was a huge hit! I’m trying to get to the recipe to make for Super Bowl.
I have not yet made your salsa but plan to as it sound wonderful. I think, it is also going to make a great gift for my neighbors in a jar with a pretty bow and a box of nice crackers. Thanks goes to Bart for sharing 🙂
We love it, Lynn. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
The only change I made was adding a bit of cream to the cream cheese. It softens the cream cheese just a bit. We have fewer crumbled crackers. Definitely make the day before, you’re busy enough.
Did this use to be just a cranberry sauce recipe? Has the recipe changed? I crave the cranberry sauce and I hope this is the same recipe and I can just skip the cream cheese 🙂
Tabitha, this is a different recipe. This is my Cranberry Sauce Recipe. I’m glad you like the cranberry sauce recipe and think you might like the cranberry salsa, too.
I made this for a holiday party my husband and I hosted today. It was a huge hit with our guests. The recipe makes a generous amount. We only used about half of it with one block of cream cheese. Can the rest be frozen?
The cranberry salsa will keep in the refrigerator for about 7 days if sealed in an airtight container. I’ve never frozen the salsa, Lisa, because it is better fresh but I see that many have frozen it. I would place it in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for up to a month. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator, then pour off any liquid.