Kalyn's Kitchen

Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa (Video)

Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa is definitely a winner for Thanksgiving, and this tasty salsa is just slightly spicy. And it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and surprisingly low in carbs! Use Thanksgiving Recipes to find more recipes ideas for turkey day!

PIN Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa!

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

Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa is something I’ve made many, many times through the years for Thanksgiving, and it’s definitely something I’ll be making this year even though I’m having a very small Thanksgiving dinner this year. 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 Trina’s Fresh Cranberry Salsa I knew it would become a must-have Thanksgiving dish for me! I’ve been sharing my Thanksgiving favorites as suggestions to you for your smaller Thanksgiving dinner this year, and you still have time to grab some cranberries and make this salsa. Use Thanksgiving Recipes to find more recipes ideas for turkey day if you’re still narrowing down the menu!

How Can You Use this Fresh Cranberry Salsa?

Of course, fresh cranberry salsa is fantastic on your Thanksgiving dinner plate next to the turkey, but every year I also love using it to make Leftover Turkey Pitas with Fresh Cranberry Salsa (with my favorite low-carb pita bread.) It’s also great dipped up with celery or pita chips in this Cranberry Salsa Cream Cheese Holiday Appetizer.  Of course you can also enjoy it spread spread on a turkey sandwich, but if you’re up for a bit more cooking after Thanksgiving it would be delicious as a sauce over pan-fried pork or chicken.

How do You Make This Cranberry Salsa Low in Sugar?

I call this low-sugar cranberry salsa since there’s natural sugar in the cranberries so it can’t ever be a sugar-free recipe, and I’d use Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) 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 and you’re not eating a huge amount of it. 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.

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

How to Make Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Start with a 12 oz. bag of cranberries like the kind you see in all the stores at this time of year!
  2. 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.  (You can also use a few teaspoons of Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link) instead of the Jalapenos.)
  3. Have the chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, and chopped Jalapeno ready when you start to process the cranberries.
  4. Chop the whole bag of cranberries in the food processor, or Trina says you can use a blender. I used my Cuisinart Food Processor (affiliate link) Next time I might not chop the cranberries quite so much in the beginning.
  5. I chopped the cranberries first and then added the sweetener and pulsed a few more times.
  6. Then add the chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, chopped Jalapenos, lime juice, and olive oil and pulsed until the other ingredients are chopped and it’s well-combined.
  7. 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 Tasty Ideas with Cranberries:

Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese
Cabbage, Apple, and Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pistachios
Green Bean Salad with Blue Cheese, Cranberries, and Pecans
Low-Sugar and Flourless Apple Cranberry Crumble
Cranberry Apple Crisp

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

Trina's Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa is a winner for Thanksgiving!


  • one 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup Monkfruit Sweetener (see notes)
  • 3/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro,
  • 2 fresh Jalapenos, seeds removed and chopped (see notes)
  • 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 (affiliate link).)
  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.
  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'd use Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) for this, but use any sweetener you prefer. If you want to make this easier, you can use Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link) instead of fresh Jalapenos. I used my fresh-frozen lime juice for this recipe.

Nutritional information based on 1/4 cup serving size.

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

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 47Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Since Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa contains fruit, it’s obviously going to have some carbs, and it’ss limited to phase 2 or 3 for the original South Beach Diet. Unless you’re making for a once-a-year treat on Thanksgiving, I would use an approved sweetener to make this if you’re following South Beach or a low-carb eating plan, and if you check the nutritional information you’ll see a moderate portion is happily not too much of a splurge on carbs.

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.

Pinterest image of Trina's Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa

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    65 Comments on “Trina’s Low-Sugar Fresh Cranberry Salsa (Video)”

  1. This is a really good salsa! I made quesadillas using low carb tortillas, softened cream cheese, this salsa, smoked chopped turkey, and swiss cheese. Very good! Thanks, Kalyn for sharing!

  2. Can’t wait to try several of these recipes.

  3. I love minimizing the sugar I have to eat, which is I’m excited for this recipe. Do you think it would be a good idea to include some essential oils or would it ruin the taste?

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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

    • Oh so sorry to hear that! I don’t have any experience soaking dried cranberries, but truthfully, I am skeptical that it will work.

  8. 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…

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

  10. Thanks for the recipe looks yummy …

  11. 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.

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