My recipe for pear cranberry salsa with ginger and orange is packed with fall flavors. With sweetness provided by pears, these cranberries need no added sugar. Serve this sweet and tart condiment over pork, chicken, turkey, or whole grains for an easy and satisfying autumn dinner. Using unsweetened frozen cranberries allows you to create this dish outside of cranberry season.
If you’ve tried the sweet and spicy cherry peach salsa recipe, here’s a new fruit salsa that is perfect for fall. (And if you have not tried the cherry peach salsa, what is stopping you? It is pretty amazing, if I do say so myself.)
This pear cranberry salsa with ginger and orange has all of the flavors of your favorite Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. However, this recipe has no sugar added at all. The pears make this sweet enough where adding sugar became unnecessary. Huzzah!
Keep in mind that unsweetened cranberries are extremely tart, so you will want to have more pears than cranberries here. I initially tried this recipe with twice as many cranberries as pears, and it did not work for my taste buds. A 2:1 pear to cranberry ratio was just perfect.
Fresh cranberries tend to hit the stores for a short time only, so I suggest heading to the freezer section. A few of my local conventional grocery stores stock frozen, unsweetened cranberries that are great for this dish.
Take the cranberries out of the freezer when you are ready to start chopping. They will defrost by the time the dish is ready; there is no need to thaw them ahead of time. The slightly mushy consistency of thawed frozen fruit makes for a great salsa.
Easy serving suggestions, no chips required
I don’t see this salsa as a good companion to chips as a snack. (Although you are more than welcome to use it in that manner if you wish!) Instead, consider incorporating this slightly sassy condiment into some comforting fall suppers.
We’ve tried this salsa over pork loin with sugar snap peas and a wild rice blend on the side. Another time we did the pork loin again, but with sides of broccolini and quinoa. I think this would be excellent over chicken, turkey, or white fish dishes as well.
If you are vegetarian, I would put this over whole grains for a lighter alternative to margarine or butter. It might work over an appropriately seasoned tempeh dish too. (Drop me a comment if you try it!)
I think that this would make an excellent alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving canned cranberry sauce. Yes, it’s a better-for-you option, but don’t let that deter you from including it in the holiday festivities. Its taste (IMVHO) is superior to many cranberry sauces that I have tried.
Healthier doesn’t have to mean that something tastes worse. If that is an association that you’ve made, keep trying new recipes until you hit upon some winners. There’s a whole world of food out there; why not go exploring?
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Pear Cranberry Salsa with Ginger and Orange
- 1 cup unsweetened cranberries, quartered (frozen)
- 2 cup pears, cored and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped (keep the seeds for a hotter salsa)
- 1 tablespoon orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Stir all ingredients together and let macerate until ready to serve.
- (This salsa is simple to put together once the ingredients are chopped. You could consider lightly pulsing the cranberries in a food processor for additional time savings.)
- Enjoy this tasty autumn side dish!
This is a level 1 recipe (may support fat loss). Using pears to sweeten the cranberries instead of corn syrup brings the calories down and the fiber up! Even though I am listing this as a snack, I recommend using this salsa to liven up the protein in your meals. One serving suggestion is to put it over pork loin, with some snap peas and whole grains on the side. This makes for a light and delicious dinner that will keep you satisfied. The possibilities for this salsa are endless!
What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy cranberries without added sugar? Let me know, and don’t forget to drop me a comment if you try this recipe!