Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
A festive dip perfect for the Holidays. This cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip is the perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors with a creamy, indulgent taste. Add a pop of color to your table with this easy dip.
Soft, rich cream cheese topped with a sweet and spicy cranberry relish to make the perfect pairing. This cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip can be made the night before and assembled the day of making a great recipe for busy gatherings.
It uses lots of fresh ingredients to maximize flavor and the bright color of the cranberries puts everyone into Holiday mode. Whip up a batch and enjoy watching everyone come up for second servings, this cream cheese cranberry dip is that good!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make: you only need a handful of ingredients for the dip and most of the work is done by a food processor, so it comes together quickly!
- Bold and flavorful: the perfect pairing of sweet, tart, and spicy this cranberry dip has a hand in all your favorite flavors.
- Versatile: naturally gluten-free it can easily be made dairy-free too. You can dip in crackers, pitas, or even vegetables depending on your preferences.
Ingredients and Variations
- Fresh cranberries: make sure to use fresh cranberries as frozen ones will add too much liquid to the topping.
- Green onions and cilantro: used to add flavor but also a gorgeous pop of green color to the cranberry dip. Make sure to chop them finely.
- Jalapenos: you only want the jalapeno itself and not the seeds as the seeds would make the blend just a bit too spicy.
- Sugar: any sugar you have one hand will work but finely ground sugar blends the best into the other ingredients.
- Cumin: you only need a hint, but it adds a dash of comfort to the recipe.
- Lime juice: fresh lime juice will bring out the jalapeno flavor the best.
- Cream cheese: make sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature before assembling the dish so that it spreads evenly. If you want the base to be extra light, you can whip the cream cheese prior to spreading it.
How To Make The Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
Full steps on how to make this cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. This is a quick walk-through of how it’s made.
- Pulse the cranberries in a food processor. You want them almost minced.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except the cream cheese) and pulse until everything is chunky and combined.
- Transfer to a container and pop it in the fridge overnight.
- Assemble the dip, spread the cream cheese on the bottom of a baking dish and top it with the cranberry jalapeno relish.
- Serve it with crackers, pitas, or veggies.
Tips For Success
The cranberry jalapeno dip needs to sit in the fridge overnight. This gives it time for all the flavors to infuse together.
- Chopping the Ingredients
Though you can chop everything by hand, a food processor is easier and faster. Plus, it makes it so that all the ingredients are uniform in size and shape. That said, make sure to pulse and keep an eye on it as you do. You want a chunky mixture, not puree.
Once the cranberry mixture has sat in the fridge, it will release a lot of its juice. Pour some (most) of the juice out of the mixture so that you don’t have a runny creamy cheese dip.
- Prepping in Advance
You can make this cream cheese dip 3-5 days before you need it. However, make sure to only prep the cranberry relish and not assemble it fully. When you’re ready for it, strain out the juices and assemble it over the cream cheese.
Serving The Holiday Dip
This cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip is delicious no matter what it’s paired with, However, below are what we use the most:
- Soft pita cut into slices
- Baguette crisps
The dip is so delicious that you can even use it on a wrap or sandwich the next day for an indulgent, festive twist.
How To Store This Appetizer
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Like this, they will last 3-4 days. Before re-serving the dip though, make sure it has been in the fridge for at least four hours to firm up.
When you remove the dip from the fridge, you may need to drain any extra juice before serving it again.
No. Frozen cranberries will release too much liquid when they thaw which will affect the texture of the cream cheese dip.
Full fat cream cheese will provide the most indulgent, and rich flavor. However, light cream cheese or even dairy-free cream cheese will work. They may not be as rich or thick though.
Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
- 12 Oz Fresh cranberries Rinsed & drained
- 1 Bunch Green onions – green tops Roughly chopped
- 1/4 to 1/2 Cup Fresh cilantro
- 1-2 Jalapeno peppers Seeded & finely chopped
- 3/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 Tsp Ground cumin
- the juice of half of lime A lemon can also be used
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- Two 8 Oz cream cheese Room temperature
- crackers or chips For serving
- Pulse the cranberries in a food processor or blender until minced. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the cream cheese. Pulse the ingredients until well combined and finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a container with a lid and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to serve, spread the softened cream cheese evenly in the bottom of a 8×8 dish, pie plate, or serving platter.
- Top with the cranberry jalapeño mixture. Serve with crackers or chips.