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Kalyn's Kitchen

Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro, Lime, and Jalapeno (Video)

Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro, Lime, and Jalapeno is definitely a winner for Thanksgiving, and it’s low-glycemic, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan! Use Thanksgiving Recipes to find more recipes ideas for turkey day, which is coming up soon!

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Watch the video to see if you’d like to make Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro, Lime, and Jalapeño!

Trina's Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa Recipe with Cilantro, Lime, and Jalapeno found on KalynsKitchen.com

It’s time to start the countdown to Thanksgiving, so I hope you’re getting the menu narrowed down! This year I’m so excited to have 6 of my siblings coming for Thanksgiving, and a few of them are bringing spouses, kids, and grandkids, so there’ll definitely be a huge Thanksgiving dinner happening at my house! And some family members are coming from out of town and staying in Utah for most of the week. I’ll post a few more times before the big day gets here, but then I’ll be taking some time off to hang out with my family.

But I do want to remind you about a few more of my Thanksgiving favorites that you really *should* put on your menu, and Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro, Lime, and Jalapeno is something I’ve made many, many times through the years. I admit, I wasn’t ever a big cranberry fan, and when my friend Trina first told me about the fresh cranberry salsa she’s been making for years, I was skeptical until she told me the ingredients list. The combination of fresh cranberries with cilantro, green onion, lime juice, and jalapeno had so many of my favorite flavors, it was pretty much a given that I’d like it.

And as soon as I tasted this Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa (and loved it!) my brain started imagining ways to eat it. Of course, fresh cranberry salsa would be fantastic on your Thanksgiving dinner plate next to the turkey, but I’d also enjoy it spread on a turkey sandwich, layered into a turkey casserole, eaten as a sauce over pan-fried pork or chicken, or dipped up with celery or pita chips like I did for this Cranberry Salsa Cream Cheese Holiday Appetizer. And if you have leftovers, this cranberry salsa freezes well! Thanks again to my friend Trina for sharing this one!

I call this low-sugar cranberry salsa since there’s natural sugar in the cranberries so it couldn’t ever be a sugar-free recipe, and I’d use Stevia In the Raw Granulated (or the sweetener of your choice) to make it low in sugar.  If you want to use sugar, there’s only 3/4 cup so it’s still not overly sweet. I realize you need something to sweeten the cranberries, but for me it’s definitely the savory flavors that make this so appealing, so please don’t think of it in the same category as a sweet cranberry sauce.

This is a flavor combination for cilantro lovers, but if any cilantro haters try it with something else like flat parsley, I’d love to hear how it works. I’ve added this to my collection of Thanksgiving Recipes, and I might even try to sneak it past some of the cilantro-haters who are coming to my house!

Trina's Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa Recipe with Cilantro, Lime, and Jalapeno found on KalynsKitchen.com

Start with a 12 oz. bag of cranberries like the kind you see in all the stores at this time of year! Be sure to WEAR RUBBER GLOVES when you cut the jalapenos in half and scrape out the seeds because those little seeds are no fun at all if you get them on your hands or rub your eyes.  (And if anyone wants to cheat and use a few teaspoons of Green Tabasco Sauce instead of the jalapenos, I promise not to tell.)

Have the chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, and chopped jalapeno ready when you start to process the cranberries. Chop the whole bag of cranberries in the food processor, or Trina says you can use a blender. I used my Cuisinart Food Processor. (Next time I might not chop the cranberries quite so much in the beginning.)

I chopped the cranberries first and then added the sweetener and pulsed a few more times. Then add the chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, chopped jalapenos, lime juice, and olive oil and pulse until the other ingredients are chopped and it’s well-combined. Chill the salsa for several hours or overnight and then serve.  I promise that all your guests will devour this (unless they’re cilantro haters, but there’s nothing I can do to help you with that!)

Trina's Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa Recipe with Cilantro, Lime, and Jalapeno found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Interesting Ideas with Cranberries:

Thanksgiving Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Ricotta Muffins from Andrea Meyers
Low-Sugar and Flourles Apple Cranberry Crumble from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Broccoli Slaw Salad with Cranberries, Almonds, and Yogurt Dressing from The Perfect Pantry
Cabbage, Apple, and Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pistachios ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Trina's Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro, Lime, and Jalapeno

Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro, Lime, and Jalapeno is definitely a winner for Thanksgiving, and delicious anytime!


  • 1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup Stevia In the Raw Granulated, or use any approved sweetener that you prefer, see notes.
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced (about 3/4 cup sliced green onion)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (about 3/4 cup chopped cilantro, or use more to taste)
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, seeds removed and chopped
    (use more if you like it spicy; could also use a few tsp. of Green Tabasco Sauce)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T fresh lime juice


  1. Chop the green onions and cilantro.
  2. Then WEAR RUBBER GLOVES for chopping the jalapenos, being careful not to touch your face or eyes or let the juice squirt up.  (I don’t put jalapeno seeds into the disposal either, because the fumes when they are grinding can irritate your eyes.  If you’re worried about handling the jalapenos, I’ve had good luck making this with Green Tabasco Sauce.)
  3. Put the cranberries into a food processor or blender and pulse until they are partly chopped.
  4. Add sweetener of your choice and pulse a few times more to combine.
  5. Add sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, chopped jalapenos (or Green Tabasco Sauce), olive oil, and lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice)
  6.  Pulse until all ingredients are chopped and the mixture is well combined.  (If you’re not sure about using 2 jalapenos, add one and taste the mixture before you add the other, but I’m kind of a lightweight on spicy things and this was just right for me.)
  7. Put mixture into a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and chill for several hours or overnight.
  8. If you end up with leftovers, this will freeze very well!


I like  Stevia In the Raw Granulated sweetener.

Recipe from my friend Trina who got it from her friend Georgianna.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Since Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa contains fruit, it’s obviously never going to be super low in carbs, and is limited to phase 2 or 3 for the South Beach Diet. Unless you’re making for a once-a-year treat on Thanksgiving, I would use Stevia In the Raw Granulated or another approved sweetener to make this if you’re following South Beach or a low-carb eating plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutritional analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

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59 comments on “Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa with Cilantro, Lime, and Jalapeno (Video)”

  1. This salsa is my absolute favourite when cranberries become in season. This gorgeous and delicious salsa will be perfect to serve this with turkey and stuffing taquitos at this Thursday Thanksgiving instead of a traditional cranberry sauce. Thanks for this absolutely awesome and innovative recipe!!!

  2. I love ths recipe.  You posted it years ago and I faithfully make it at Thanksgiving and Christmas because everyone loves it.  The cranberries make for a fresh take on salsa.  This recipe is easy to make hotter or milder based on the crowd you’re serving.  It’s also good on cream cheese.  Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that I brought this to Thanksgiving about 5 years ago to a very skeptical room and now it’s required. I come back to this page each year to get the recipe and just thought I would say “thank you” this time! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. This looks delicious, but fresh cranberries are not available in Turkey. Do you think it would work with dried cranberries, particularly if I soaked them first? Thanks

  5. going to try the recipe, love the combo of flavors… im not a fan of stevia in the raw as it contains maltodextrin.. knocks me out of ketosis… i prefer the pure stevia extract… thnks for a great Thanksgiving recipe…

  6. Would this work with frozen cranberries? I sure looks so tasty, can't wait to try it.

  7. Thanks for the recipe looks yummy …

  8. This looks fabulous and a nice change from sweet cranberry sauces. I bet it would be fabulous with smoked turkey.

    • Sam, it is so good on turkey sandwiches! Everyone in my family likes it except for the cilantro-haters. And even if you used sugar, there is not all that much sugar in this.

  9. Wow this looks so good! I will try it. Thank you for this idea 🙂

  10. loved it, will surely try it……I am using my daughter's blog id here, as I don't have a blog.

  11. A fresh cranberry salsa is a great idea!

  12. The cranberries threw me off. Id have to try it before i judge it right? deffinately on my to do list.

  13. tree-woman, I LOVE that idea of using this as a sauce for chicken in the CrockPot. Thanks so much for sharing. I've been making it regularly as well!

  14. First I made the salsa and we ate it with turkey. Then I tried it over cream cheese and brought it to work and it was a big hit. I made another batch and added a few tbsps. of orange juice to it and poured it over my chicken thighs in the crockpot and it turned out delicious! A very versatile condiment.

  15. This was so fantastic, I sent the link to all my sibs. It tastes great with chicken too, but I am a cranberry nut! It keeps very well too. I made it with the sugar, since there did not seem to be all that much. Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. So glad you enjoyed it!

  17. I made this for Thanksgiving and it was super delicious and easy to make!

  18. Laurie, it will definitely keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. (I'd make it as late as possible to minimize the time you have to keep it though.) As far as freezing, my friend Bonnie froze it and thawed, and she said it was fine but I haven't tried that myself.

  19. I want to try this for my son's trumpet group's (30 teenagers) Thanksgiving dinner in December but since I'm having surgery that week I wanted to make it early. Is that possible? How is it left over 2-3 days? Or can I freeze it?

  20. Susie, I ate it inside pita with turkey salad and loved it, so I'm betting it would be good on a taco too.

  21. Oh, I am definitely going to try this for Thanksgiving! I love jalapenos and cilantro! I wonder how this would be on some kind of "fresh mex" taco? May have to try it after Thanksgiving with some leftover turkey.

  22. I've now made this twice and it was a hug hit when I took it to an early Thanksgiving dinner. I'm glad the sweet-savory combination is appealing to you guys!

  23. I like that this is more savory than most cranberry salsas/sauces – the color is stunning!

  24. This looks fantastic Kalyn! I am bookmarking right now!! Yum!

  25. I went directly from telling you (on your updates post) how cool I thought ziplist looked to this recipe that seems like a great reason to actually sign up. I love salsa that breaks the traditional tomato barriers, whether corn or pineapple or something like cranberry which I never would have thought of. I always use my leftover cranberries to make chocolate chunk cookies, but this year I think I might have to go savory.

  26. WOW! Lots of good flavours in this!

  27. I was skeptical too, but last night I took some to an early Thanksgiving party at my brother Dave's house and we loved it on the turkey. I think there are endless ways to eat it.

  28. At first I was skeptical at a Cranberry Salsa but the other ingredients make it something I'd like to try. Maybe with tortilla chips? Or even wheat thins.

  29. Godzilaw, thanks for sharing that. People were wondering if it would be good that way.

  30. This recipe is awesome — my friend Jill makes an almost identical version and serves it on top of a block of softened cream cheese, with tortilla chips or pretzels on the side. YUM!

  31. This looks yummy, especially when you added the cranberries! The recipe is perfect!

  32. I fell in love with your recipe since I have a soft heart for multi purpose everything. This is a multi purpose recipe. It can be made as a dip, garnishing, spread, sauce, extender…name it! The list goes on and on. This will really be a kitchen staple in our household. Thanks for the post, Kalyn! The colors are so vibrant! Did you do that on purpose? I love the colors mixed together!

  33. Carol, I love that idea of cream cheese on wheat crackers and some of this spread on!

    Denise, would love to hear how you like it with parsley.

  34. My husband can not stand the taste of cilantro but I worry about using anything else as a substitute. I might have to do half a batch with cilantro and the other half with parsley just to see! Thank you! 🙂

  35. I've been making cranberry salsa for years and it's a must have. My recipe calls for blanching the cranberries until the skins pop, then processing. I forgot to do that one time and didn't like it as well. We eat it by spreading cream cheese on wheat crackers and topping with the salsa. Absolutely addictive.

  36. Jennifer, I am thinking of that appetizer with cream cheese and chili sauce, and yes I think this would be pretty good served like that.

    The only thing I wonder about is the consistency, because this doesn't have any preservatives and not much oil so it's a bit thinner than the chili sauce. Let us know what you think if you try it!

  37. I wonder how this would taste poured over cream cheese and eaten with ritz crackers. Do you think it would be tasty? Its hard to say because I haven't had it, but I'd think with cream cheese it may be pretty good as well.

  38. DogLover, Yes I am very aware of that and have written about it several times on the blog. I don't think I've ever advocated trying to sneak cilantro past people; in fact I always try to offer substitutes when I can. And you're right, would not want to waste this.

  39. Kalyn, in defense of "cilantro haters" — some people REALLY taste cilantro differently (like soap, I've heard it described) There is a scientific basis for that "hatred." So you won't be able to sneak it past them. Better to tell them up front so they won't take some and then have it go to waste!
    Signed, a cilantro lover

  40. Shirley, will pass the thanks along to trina for both of us when I see her! And I agree, endless variations of salsa that are good!

    Joanne, could not agree more. I think this may become my go-to cranberry sauce recipe. (Hey, first time I've ever had a go-to cranberry sauce recipe!)

  41. What a super fun alternative to regular old cranberry sauce!

  42. I think this sounds like a divine recipe! Can there ever be too many great salsa recipes? I don't think so. LOL, but true! I especially like the seasonal ones. Thanks to you and Trina! 🙂


  43. Suann, thanks and hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!

  44. You really do have some of the greatest ideas and this one has to be right at the top! Nordstrom's Cafe has a turkey sandwich w/cranberry sauce on this really great bread. I have been trying to figure out how I could make it healthier at home. Viola and you post this! I believe this will be my new best addition to turkey! Thank you!

  45. Lydia, if you try it, I predict you will like it. The flavor is very complex and appealing.

    Fahad, if you find cranberries you must tell us how it works with parsley.

  46. Such a quick and easy recipe!I believe it will go well with roast chicken too.A large spoonful of this,roast chicken,and perhaps,some mashed potatoes.A perfect meal!
    I want to try this,the moment I get my hands over cranberries(Not very easily available in India),but I am going to use parsley instead(No cilantro,hehe)!
    Thank you for sharing.:-)

  47. I've been waiting for this recipe — I think even a cilantro hater like me might just have to try it. I love to introduce my family to new ways of eating cranberries, which are pretty much a requirement here in the land of Ocean Spray.

  48. Deborah, I'm definitely making it again on the day before Thanksgiving, just for that reason!

  49. I can't believe how easy this is! I'm definitely making up a batch of this, especially to enjoy with my leftover turkey sandwich.

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