Recipe: Spicy Fermented Apple Salsa 

This fermented apple salsa pairs sweet apples with onion, cilantro and hot peppers for a delicious seasonal salsa, perfect for your next holiday gathering.

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: Stephanie Thurow

Here is a unique salsa combination that I’m willing to bet you’ve never tried: apple salsa. The sweet and crunchy apple—paired with onion, cilantro and hot peppers—creates the perfect seasonal salsa for your next holiday gathering.  

Yield: 1.5 cups finished salsa 


  • 1.5 cups apple, cubed into small “salsa-sized” chunks 
  • 2 tbsp. red onion, finely diced 
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, loosely packed (more or less, your choice) 
  • 1/2 hot jalapeño pepper, finely diced (or other hot pepper of choice) 
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice 
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt 
  • dash of ground black pepper, to taste (optional) 

In a medium-sized, non-reactive bowl (such as stainless steel or glass), prep ingredients and mix them together. Stir well to distribute the salt. 

Once mixed well, transfer ingredients to a clean glass wide-mouth pint-sized canning jar. Push down ingredients so that none are on the side of the jar.

A jar weight is very helpful with this ferment, as it keeps all of the chopped bits held under the natural brine that is created. Wipe off the rim of the jar and place the canning lid (or airlock lid) on the jar, and tightly screw on the ring. 

Read more: You need these 5 supplies to get started with fermentation.

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This is a two- to three-day ferment. Ferment at room temperature, out of direct sunlight.

If you notice that food has floated to the top of the brine, use a clean utensil to push it back down. Give the salsa a taste after 48 hours of fermentation and, if the ingredients still taste too raw, allow it to ferment another day and give it another sample.

Once the ferment has reached your ideal flavor, transfer it to the refrigerator. This ferment is best enjoyed within two weeks.  


Use green apple or red, the choice is yours. Also, it’s your decision if you peel the apples or leave the skins on. 

Add 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cranberries for a delicious and colorful twist.  

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