No-Cook Cranberry Salsa

By • November 2, 2009 • 11 Comments

11 Save

Author Notes: I'd never thought about cranberry salsa as a compliment to my Thanksgiving menu until putting together the November issue of Working Mother magazine. One of the recipes in our featured cookbook, How to Cook a Turkey and All the Other Trimmings (Tauton Press 2007), was eye-opening for two main reasons: 1) uncooked cranberries when properly balanced with more than just a ton of sugar are bright in flavor and fun in texture and 2) it gains big points for not monopolizing an already busy stove top. I 86'd the pears to let the cranberries be the star and nixed the chilies too to keep it kid friendly. And what would salsa be without a splash of fresh lime juice? The real secret here, though, is agave nectar. Unlike honey which is more pungent tasting, agave nectar adds a creamy sweetness to temper the tart nature of cranberries. This dish only gets better with time, so plan on making it two days in advance.Jennifer Perillo

Serves 1 quart

  • 1 bag cranberries, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • freshly squeezed juice of one orange
  • freshly squeezed juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Add cranberries to the workbowl of a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Combine with remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well mixed. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Best served two days later, so this requires advance planning but the pay-off is a delicious no-cook condiment.
Jump to Comments (11)

Tags: cranberries, Holidays, Thanksgiving

Comments (11) Questions (0)


almost 5 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

yum. you had me at cilantro. now i have something else to make with the bottle of agave nectar i recently bought and have sitting in the cupboard. thank you!


almost 5 years ago Jennifer Perillo

Agave nectar is so wonderful. I use more than honey now. It's the perfect sweetener for iced teas, lemonades and I'd like to experiment with making a lime syrup for margaritas too. I also add a dash to my vinaigrette to balance the acidity.


almost 5 years ago crispywaffle

I love how fresh this sounds! With all the soft comfort food, some crunch and tart would be perfect at Thanksgiving. Am definitely trying this one -- I'll bet it would go great with pork shoulder as well. Any substitutes if I can't find agave nectar here? (I can find clear sugar syrups here, as well as delicate honey, but have not seen agave.)


almost 5 years ago Jennifer Perillo

Honey is a fine substitute for agave nectar, though you will notice a difference in taste. Hope you enjoy it too!


almost 5 years ago eawnyc

Having never made a Thanksgiving before (this year (and as a non meateater) this sounds like the perfect recipe to add to the table . How many chiles?


almost 5 years ago Jennifer Perillo

When it comes to chilies, I always say go with what you like it. Cranberries are pretty hardy and can stand up to the spice.


almost 5 years ago Food Blogga

I love the idea of fresh cranberries! This would be delicious on grilled shrimp too.


almost 5 years ago Jennifer Perillo



almost 5 years ago Creative Culinary

Beautiful; just started using agave nectar for sweetener (OK, for margaritas!) and do love the difference it makes so will have to try this. I might have to add chiles though; my worrying about kid friendly recipes are not a priority right now as I'm between empty nest and grandparent stage!


almost 5 years ago Jennifer Perillo

Agree on the chilies, and next time, I'll probably divide the batch and add chilies to half of it.


almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

This looks fabulous - love the chunky texture!