How to Make Leslie’s Fabulous Cranberry-Jalapeño Salsa



This sweet and spicy cranberry-jalapeno salsa is the perfect dip for your next holiday gathering. This salsa is sweet and spicy and SO perfect for the holidays. I highly recommend this fun and creative dish to spice up your holiday meals (literally!)

cranberry jalapeno salsa

My friend Leslie Register shared this recipe on her blog, Dear Party Diary, and I bookmarked and made it for Thanksgiving with family. Through this recipe, she created a fresh, healthy way to enjoy cranberries, and the vibrant cranberry salsa in a purple cabbage bowl was perfectly lovely. Trust me, it is SO delicious. 

Leslie lives in Birmingham and authored one of my new favorite cookbooks, Leslie’s Party Diaries. Her book is a treasure for those who want a guide for party planning, hospitality, and entertaining~Southern style. I’ve bookmarked dozens of recipes and have also gleaned a myriad of tips on making party planning less stressful!

Note: The juice from the salsa is plentiful and very bold in color; it will stain clothing, napkins, etc….be forewarned! I let my salsa sit in a strainer for an hour or so before placing it into the cabbage bowl to drain excess.

In the video below, I show exactly how I make this yummy dish from start to finish. Note: I decided from now on to use a regular bowl for the salsa rather than a cabbage bowl. This is neater, and also easier. My bowl is a Beatrix Ball white melamine. Here is one similar that I am actually planning to order for myself:-)

How did I make this recipe different this year?

This recipe is so fantastic and you can make it as it is; however, I made a few adjustments to the recipe when serving it this year. 

While the original recipe calls for purple cabbage, I left it out for my rendition. Another adjustment that I made was instead of granulated sugar, I used simple syrup. Doing this will ensure you don’t have the grit from the sugar in your salsa. 

How do I blend cranberry-jalapeno salsa?

One way that you can make this cranberry-jalapeno salsa is to add your cranberry to the blender and pulse them a few times until they are finely chopped. Once you have done that, you can add the cranberries and chopped ingredients into a bowl and mix from there. 

Another option for blending this salsa is adding all of your ingredients into the blender and pulsing them together. Doing this will make sure that all of the ingredients are uniformly sized and combined. You can pulse the blender until the consistency of the salsa is to your liking, some like it pretty smooth while others like it chunkier. 

What can I serve with cranberry-jalapeno salsa? 

Above all, my main method of serving this salsa is with sweet potato chips. I prefer the Terra Original chips with this salsa. They include sweet potato chips, parsnips, taro, and a few others. Alternatively, this salsa can also be spooned onto the plate and served alongside turkey or any meat that you are serving this holiday season. As well as being delicious, this salsa is also a much fresher, healthier alternative to jellied cranberry sauce.

Tips for making cranberry-jalapeno salsa:

Without a doubt, my number one tip is to wear gloves when chopping jalapenos. Wearing gloves prevents your fingers from stinging after chopping the jalapenos, or much worse, your eyes. Trust me, you don’t want to get jalapeno juice anywhere that it is not supposed to be. 

If you try this recipe, I’d know you’ll love it. I highly recommend Leslie’s Party Diaries for more fabulous recipes like this one!

And please visit our Family Savvy storefront to see my amazon faves and must-haves for you, your home, and your loved ones.


I hope this recipe and others from Family Savvy make your Christmas and holidays more special (and less stressful). As always, thank you so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!

If you like this post, try these recipes:

Leslies Cranberry-Jalapeno Salsa

Fresh Cranberry-Jalapeño Salsa

A crowd pleasing salsa for the holidays!


  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Purple cabbage, for serving
  • Sweet potato chips


  1. Place cranberries in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until cranberries are evenly and finely chopped, scraping down sides of the bowl once.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine chopped cranberries and next 8 ingredients. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, and up to 2 weeks.
  3. Garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve in purple cabbage (see Learn from Leslie, below) with sweet potato chips
  4. Tips from Leslie: To serve in a cabbage bowl, carefully remove the outer, dark leaves. With a knife remove a small amount of the bottom of the cabbage so it will sit evenly. Then cut a circle around the top edge, and hollow out a portion for the salsa.
Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 89Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 16mgCarbohydrates 22gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 2gSugar 16gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 1g

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