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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.

Cranberry Salsa over Cream Cheese spread on crackers

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

Cranberry Salsa Cream Cheese Spread Recipe - This quick and easy appetizer recipe made with a delicious fresh cranberry salsa over cream cheese and then is served with crackers, fruit, or chips. Makes a great make-ahead recipe for the holidays! // addapinch.com

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!

Cranberry Salsa Cream Cheese Spread Recipe - This quick and easy appetizer recipe made with a delicious fresh cranberry salsa over cream cheese and then is served with crackers, fruit, or chips. Makes a great make-ahead recipe for the holidays! // addapinch.com

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 over Cream Cheese showing cilantro, orange zest and other fresh ingredients

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

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Orange Scones

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!

5 from 2 votes

Cranberry Salsa over Cream Cheese Recipe

Appetizers 5 mins

Cranberry Salsa Cream Cheese Spread Recipe - This quick and easy appetizer recipe made with a delicious fresh cranberry salsa over cream cheese and then is served with crackers, fruit, or chips. Makes a great make-ahead recipe for the holidays! // addapinch.com
Prep Time 5 mins
Servings 12 people
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Cranberry Salsa over Cream Cheese Recipe – This quick and easy appetizer recipe made with a delicious fresh cranberry salsa over cream cheese and then is served with crackers, fruit, or chips. Makes a great make-ahead recipe for the holidays!

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Make Ahead Cranberry Salsa

Store 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.
 

Nutritional Information

Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Potassium: 24mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 2.2mg

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Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review




Comments

    1. Hi Juanita,
      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

    1. Hi Brenda,
      You’ll use 2 Tablespoons OJ plus the orange zest amount listed in the recipe. Enjoy!

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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. 

    1. Hi Angel,
      I’ve not used stevia in this recipe. You can use fresh squeezed orange juice if you wish. Enjoy it! xo

  4. 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.

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely love the idea ! With all of the listed ingredients it could easily become my main 🙂 Thank you !

  6. We had this for Christmas it was a huge hit! I’m trying to get to the recipe to make for Super Bowl.

  7. 5 stars
    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 🙂

  8. 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.

  9. 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 🙂