Cranberry/Orange Salsa (Gluten Free)

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 Who loves cranberries with their turkey? Everybody! Right?  I thought that we could whet everyone’s appetite for cranberries at Thanksgiving by serving a cranberry salsa in the afternoon while everyone is cooking, watching football and visiting.   This salsa has many different flavours so don’t be afraid that you’re going to overdo it on the cranberries – this is mixed with apples and oranges and Thai peppers and all kinds of goodies.

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The problem with making cranberries is that we feel the need to add up to a cup of sugar to balance the tartness.  I say – stop the madness!  I eliminated the sugar altogether and substituted 100% Pure Canadian Maple Syrup.   The Canadian province of Quebec is the largest producer of maple syrup in the world, accounting for approximately three-quarters of the world’s output and best of all – it’s gluten free!  I’m travelling to the U.S. for the American Thanksgiving and some of my cousins eat only gluten free so I wanted to devise something that everyone could eat.

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I love the outcome of this creation!  It’s an explosion of fresh fruit flavours in your mouth – tartness, sweetness, heat, and crunchiness.  You can serve these on some organic, gluten free crackers or you could be totally decadent (yesss!) and serve them on a sliced baguette with brie cheese.  Those are just a couple of suggestions – I’m sure you would have lots of ideas.

I’m so excited to be visiting my cousins in Michigan this year.  They are a lot of fun and there are bunches of them.  It seems like there will be close to 40 for dinner – I’m going to be making a lot of salsa!  I wish everyone the best for their Thanksgiving holiday!


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Cranberry/Orange Salsa (Gluten Free)
Author: simply fresh dinners
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: makes 3 cups
  • 1 lb cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3 granny smith apples, peeled and diced (if organic, you can leave skin on)
  • 3 oranges, peeled and diced
  • 1 Thai red chili peppers (I used 2 but I like the heat. Careful, they’re very hot!), diced, seeds removed
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  1. Put cranberries in food processor and pulse intermittently until chopped (You can also chop by hand, if preferred). Put chopped cranberries into large bowl and add maple syrup, stirring well. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour to let the flavours blend.
  2. Test the flavour after 1 hour, you may want to add a little more maple syrup.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients with cranberries and mix well. Chill for an hour before serving.
  4. This can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.

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PS  I’ve had a few questions about the crackers I used.    They are super crunchy and also organic, non GMO, vegan, dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, whole grain, kosher, no hydrogenated oils, and no trans fat!   Here is the link to their website:

UPDATE:  November, 2016.

I love when my friends and readers make my recipes and Suzanne from Capizzano Olive Oils & Vinegars made this salsa with her Blood Orange Argumato extra virgin olive oil – superb. The Charcuterie Holiday Event was a huge success.  Thanks for sharing the photo, Suzanne!



  • Reply
    November 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Cranberry salsa sounds amazing! Have a wonderful time in the US with your family celebrating. How blessed are they to have you and your recipes join them?!

    • Reply
      November 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks so much, Mindy. I’ll look forward to hearing about your Thanksgiving as well. Enjoy, my friend.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Robyn! I just typed out a nice, long comment and for some reason it did not go through….hopefully you don’t get this twice 🙂 This salsa look and sounds amazing and is something I would love to try on my family during the holiday season – thank you for sharing! And dear Robyn, your photos are incredible! It’s like I could reach out and sample a bite 🙂

    I hope you are well, sweet friend. I think I mentioned to you that my hubby and I are in the process of moving into a new home so we have been quite busy lately. Hopefully in 3 weeks we will have moved in and things will settle down.

    Many blessings and hugs to you!

    • Reply
      November 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Thanks, Stephanie, but I still say you should come take my pics! lol. I hope you have time to make the salsa but it sounds as though things are going to be very very busy and chaotic for you! Good luck with the move, I know how stressful it can be.
      Have a Happy Thanksgiving – and let someone else do the cooking!


  • Reply
    Crystelle Boutique
    November 23, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    This looks and sounds like a very fabulous recipe! So perfect for this time of year, and so yummy refreshing!!
    I might just have to try it out!!!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your fam……
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  • Reply
    November 24, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Thanks so much Crystelle, and thank you for visiting. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the cranberry sauce. This looks so simple and I can’t resist giving it a try.

    • Reply
      November 26, 2013 at 7:59 am

      I hope you enjoy it, Susan. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving in your sunny part of the country while we all freeze, lol.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    This is going on my must try list!! I would love if you would come linkup with me today!

  • Reply
    November 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I’m going to have to try my cranberry salsa with maple syrup next time. I was unsure if it would taste right, but you’ve emboldened me!

    • Reply
      November 26, 2013 at 8:01 am

      I was unsure too, Julia, but I was so reluctant to put all that sugar in there! If you want it gluten-free be sure you use 100% pure maple syrup. Thanks for visiting!

  • Reply
    Diane (@SimpleLivingEat)
    November 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    This sounds so good I could eat it for lunch. PInning and G+ it, thanks for sharing on foodie friday.

    • Reply
      November 26, 2013 at 8:02 am

      Always happy to join your fun parties, Diane. Thanks for the visit!

  • Reply
    November 26, 2013 at 7:23 am

    This sounds awesome! There will be pinnage! 🙂

    • Reply
      November 26, 2013 at 7:58 am

      lol, Lydia, thank goodness for pinnage! Thanks so much. Have a great day.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I love salsa and chips or crackers! This looks great…pinning!
    Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Reply
      November 26, 2013 at 8:03 am

      Thanks, Sami and thanks for stopping by! Have a great day.

  • Reply
    Life of a Christian App Developer
    November 26, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Oh this looks delicious! I need to try it! I have a huge bag of frozen cranberries that I need to do something with!

  • Reply
    November 26, 2013 at 9:02 am

    It looks amazing, dear Robyn!
    Have a nice day!

  • Reply
    Emily @ Simple Life Of A Fire Wife
    November 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

    This is beautiful and sounds great! Thanks for sharing at Share Your Stuff Tuesdays!

  • Reply
    November 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I’m making something similar to this for Thanksgiving this year, too! (although, I’m guilty of adding a cup of sugar to counter the bitterness/tartness of the berries) :/ Thanks for this alternative, and for linking up to Let’s Get Real!

  • Reply
    Dani @ See Hubby Cook
    November 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    This looks awesome!!!

    • Reply
      December 16, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks, Dani, and thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Danielle Driscoll (@DDSilverPennies)
    November 29, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Wow, so many lovely flavors in here. Do you put raw cranberries in the food processor? Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

    • Reply
      December 1, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Danielle,
      Yes, I put the whole bag in and just pulsed a few times. There were still some whole ones but I liked the different sizes – made for an interesting presentation. Once the cranberries soak in the maple syrup they are sweet and soft and yummy. Hope you had a great weekend.

  • Reply
    Tammy C
    December 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    This looks delicious!! I have leftover cranberries that I need to use. I think I am going to make some of this!! The crackers in the photo also look great! What kind are they? Brand? Where did you get them? Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    December 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Tammy,
    Thanks for your kind comments. I loved the crackers with this. They are super crunchy and also organic, non GMO, vegan, dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, whole grain, kosher, no hydrogenated oils, and (takes a deep breath whew!) no trans fat! I bought them in Canada at Zehrs Market. Here is the link to their website – I’m pretty sure they’ll have a store near you. Thanks for visiting!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Awwhh, thanks, Chrystal, I look forward to seeing it. I’m so excited about collaborating with you in the new year! I love your blog.

  • Reply
    December 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Robyn brought this salsa to Thanksgiving this year, and it was to die for. Everyone, including myself, absolutely loved it! Will be making it sometime myself!

    • Reply
      December 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it, Clare, and thanks for stopping by! Hugs! Next year, you guys need to come up and celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Jane G
    December 30, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Robyn, Loved when you made this for us at the Michigan Thanksgiving. Definitely going to make this again

  • Reply
    January 18, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I know I would love this. I really like cranberry and orange together. Thanks for linking this up at Saturday Dishes. I pinned it.
    Diane Roark

    • Reply
      January 20, 2014 at 6:52 am

      Thanks so much, Diane.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    This looks like such a fun dish! It’s beautiful, and I love the idea of substituting maple syrup for sugar. I’ve got some cranberries frozen, so I may just have to give this a try!
    Thanks for sharing at Saturday Dishes- hope to see you again this weekend!

    • Reply
      March 20, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks so much, Jamie. It is really one of my favourite concoctions, lol. Have a great day.

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