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Are you cooking for someone with cancer and looking for a dish to bring to Thanksgiving dinner? Sonya Pflanzer, a physician’s assistant in the SOAR Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, recommends a dish that’s sure to be a hit.

“Pomegranate salsa serves as a great appetizer or even as an accompaniment for the turkey,” Pflanzer said. “It is bright, beautiful and unapologetically delicious! It’s also super easy to make, can be prepared ahead of time and travels well. The nice thing is it is refreshing and not heavy, like many Thanksgiving dishes tend to be.”

The recipe comes from the American Institute for Cancer Research. Pomegranate includes phytochemicals, which can help prevent chronic diseases, including cancer.


  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 nectarine, peach or Fuji apple, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red onion
  • 2 teaspoons jalapeño, optional
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a bowl, use a fork to combine pomegranate arils, nectarine, onion, jalapeño, pomegranate juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.
  2. Let salsa sit for 10 minutes so flavors can meld.


  • Salsa keeps for two days, tightly covered in the refrigerator.
  • Serve as an accompaniment with chicken, turkey, pork chops or grilled shrimp. Sprinkle over green salad, combine with cooked quinoa or add a spoonful to garnish a bowl of butternut squash soup.

Makes 10 servings (2 tablespoons per serving). Per serving: 20 calories, 0 grams total fat (0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 5 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams protein, 1 gram dietary fiber, 60 milligrams sodium, 3 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar.