Holiday Salsa Recipe To Spice Things Up This Winter

It’s that time of year when the snow is falling, family and friends are gathering together, and you are scrambling to come up with that perfect holiday meal. Dig through those old recipe books and maybe you’ll find something that pops out. But chances are, if you have hosted party after holiday party, you’ve exhausted your resources and are looking for a change to your traditional holiday meals. Spice up your holiday recipe this winter with a recipe using Red Cactus-USA salsa. How about trying a version of amazing comfort food for the holidays in the form of Osso Buco or a Seafood Cioppino? We take a spin on two classic dishes by adding our popular, low sodium, gluten-free salsa.

The holiday recipe breakdown for you, yours and that jar of salsa


Osso Buco-Style Lamb Shanks


  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 lamb shanks, fat trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbl. EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, halved and in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 large celery ribs, ½ inch diced
  • ½ Bottle of dry red wine
  • 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 jar of mild Red Cactus-USA Salsa
  • 1 ¼ Cup low-sodium broth
  • Orange peel
  • 1 tsp. Dried oregano
  • ¼ cup flat parsley, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325º
  2. In large skillet, heat 2 tbl. vegetable oil
  3. Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and sear on all sides until browned. Transfer to large roasting pan.
  4. Using the same skillet, heat olive oil. Add onions, carrots, celery and cook until soft. Add garlic half-way through process making sure to stir as not to burn.
  5. Deglaze with red wine, scraping any brown bits leftover from searing shanks. Simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, stock, Red Cactus Salsa, orange peel zest, oregano and 2 tbl. parsley. Bring to a boil.
  7. Pour mixture over lamb and cover with foil. Braise in the oven for 3 hours or until meat separates easily from bone.
  8. Increase oven to 350º and transfer shanks to a deep baking dish. Cover with foil to keep warm. Pour sauce and vegetables into large saucepan on stove-top. Discard orange zest.
  9. On stovetop, Simmer sauce over medium heat until thick. Season with salt and pepper and pour over lamb. Return to oven for roughly 10 minutes.
  10. Serve over your choice of rice, polenta, or mashed potatoes. Also delicious with a risotto!

Seafood Cioppino


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 jar of your favorite Red Cactus-USA salsa (we suggest medium)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pinch paprika and cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 (10 ounce) can minced clams, drained. Reserve juices!
  • 25-30 Shrimp
  • 1 lbs. Filet of white fish. We prefer Cod or Haddock. Discard skin and chop into large cubes.


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add onion and sauté until soft. Do not brown. Add bell pepper and sature until tender.
  3. Add, garlic. Do not brown or it will be bitter.
  4. Add parsley, salt and pepper, basil, oregano, thyme. Mix together, stirring so ingredients do not burn.
  5. Deglaze with white wine and quickly add tomatoes, tomato sauce, Red Cactus salsa.
  6. Add water.
  7. Sprinkle in paprika cayenne pepper, and juice from the clams.
  8. Stir well and bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce heat and simmer to combine flavors. 1 to 2 hours.
  10. When you are close to serving, add clams, shrimp and fish. Return heat to medium and stir until seafood is cooked. Cubed white fish will be flaky and begin to break apart easily with wooden spoon.
  11. Serve with your favorite crusty bread and fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano

What Pairs Well With Salsa?

Ready to class it up a little beyond just chips and cheese when talking about salsa pairings with food? In many recipes, a jar of Red Cactus salsa can be substituted when it calls for diced tomatoes or added in addition to. Salsa even works as a great condiment or topping beyond the typical southwestern fare. Looking for a sophisticated pairing to serve with the previous recipes mentioned? Try a nice bottle of pinot noir with the Osso Buco. Traditionally, white wine is paired with fish, but a smooth glass of cabernet sauvignon does wonders with the Seafood Cioppino to bring in the holiday cheer, cozy feeling and accentuate the acidity of the tomato-based stew.

All of the products at Red Cactus-USA are gluten and trans-fat free. Every last one can be used in countless ways, from a dip to a topping to the base of a delicious meal. From Red Cactus White Salsa Con Queso, to our White Cheese Sauce, to our Sweet-N-Zesty Salsa Con Queso, to our line of salsas, our recipe page shares some of our favorite plates we have made or that our fans have shared with us over the years. Food is about creation, about sharing, about stories and about change which is why we encourage our customers to send and share your recipes with us! Send them over to our team for a chance to win a case of salsa and share your specialty meals with others!