Eat for Eight Bucks: Cranberry Salsa Salad

Eat for Eight Bucks: Cranberry Salsa Salad

[Photograph: Robin Bellinger]

Shopping List

Lemon: $0.99
1 head romaine: $1.99
Medium bag Fritos: $2.50
1 1/2 cups cranberries (pro-rated): $1.50
1 apple: $0.56
1 jalapeno: $0.21
Cilantro (pro-rated): $0.25

Pantry items: Olive oil, buttermilk or yogurt, salt, pepper, cooked turkey.

Total cost (for 2-3 portions): $8.00

This week and this week only I am declaring turkey a "pantry item" and plugging it into a salad we used to eat growing up. We would toss lettuce, ground beef, kidney beans, salsa, shredded cheese, and tomatoes together in a pie dish and call it Frito pie. Since this might be confused with traditional Frito pie, a scoop of chili dumped right into a bag of Fritos (ahhhhh!), I suppose we should have called it salade composée avec Fritos; but the gleaming garnish, not the crunchy one, is the true star of cranberry salsa salad.

I have an aunt who would sometimes bring this unusual salsa to Thanksgiving, which was great except that I would inevitably eat too many Fritos before the meal. If you have better self control than I, you might put it out while the turkey is in the oven. Otherwise, save it for day two and introduce it to the bird then.

Cranberry Salsa Salad

About the author: Robin Bellinger is a freelance editor and shameless cookie addict. She lives in San Francisco and blogs about what she feeds her husband and her daughter at home*economics.


  • Olive oil, about 1 tablespoon per serving
  • Buttermilk (or yogurt or heavy cream), about 1 tablespoon per serving
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon
  • 1 head romaine, washed and chopped into bite-size pieces or strips
  • Leftover turkey, 4-5 ounces per serving
  • Fritos, generous handful per serving
  • 1 recipe cranberry salsa


  1. 1.

    Whisk together the olive oil and buttermilk. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon and whisk again. Toss the romaine with this dressing.

  2. 2.

    Cube or shred the turkey, as you like. Put the romaine in a serving bowl and arrange everything else atop it.