Recipe: Fermented Cranberry Salsa Cream Cheese Dip 

This fermented cranberry salsa recipe puts a colorful, tasty twist on a popular holiday dish. Serve with crackers at your next seasonal get together!

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: russiandoll64/Adobe Stock

So many cranberry recipes were shared over the past month and one I kept seeing over and over was for a cranberry cream cheese dip. I finally decided to click on a couple recipes and quickly realized that the recipe is essentially a cranberry salsa, poured over cream cheese and eaten with crackers—so simple.  

I decided to put my twist on it and adapt this idea to become a fermented cranberry salsa. I served it at two Thanksgiving gatherings and took notes of how to enhance it. It’s not only a tasty recipe but really beautiful with the bright red from the cranberries. 

Yield: 1 pint 


  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries (frozen or dried not recommended) 
  • 3 green onions 
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, extra to use as garnish 
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (or spicier pepper if you prefer more heat) 
  • 1 lime, squeezed 
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt 


Wash cranberries, discarding any stems and bruised or white berries. 

Using a food processor, pulse the cranberries a few times until they are broken down. Add the remaining ingredients and process until finely chopped. 

Transfer the cranberry salsa into a clean pint canning jar. Push salsa down into the jar, trying to remove any air pockets within the mixture. Leave at least a 1/2 inch of headspace from the salsa to the rim of the jar. 

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Wipe off the rim of the jar with a clean dampened towel. Add the canning jar lid and tightly screw on the ring. 

fermented cranberry relish
Stephanie Thurow


This is just a quick ferment. I fermented my cranberry salsa 24 hours, but 48 hours would be fine if you have the time. 

Ferment at room temperature, ideally between 60 to 75 degrees F, and keep out of direct sunlight. 

Once the salsa is fermented, it can be eaten as you would any other salsa. If you’d like to make the dip I referenced, soften 8 ounces of cream cheese until spreadable. Spread it out evenly in a small dish, about 9 inches by 7 inches, and pour the salsa over the cream cheese. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro before serving. Enjoy with crackers. 

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