This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
This festive Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip is a simple appetizer that’s creamy, slightly tangy, and a bit sweet with a subtle kick of heat. It’s perfect for adding a burst of flavor to your holiday gatherings.
Cranberry Jalapeño Dip
Looking for a delicious and festive holiday dip for your next party? This beautiful and tasty cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip will be a star of any celebration. The vibrant crimson and creamy white layers feature a smooth, whipped cream cheese base with a satisfyingly crunchy cranberry topping.
This dip recipe is truly one of the easiest and tastiest appetizers you’ll ever make. The subtle kick of jalapenos and the tangy flavor of sweetened cranberries create a deliciously balanced blend of flavors.
If you’re in the mood for other tasty cranberry snacks with a jalapeno kick, you should also try this super easy cranberry salsa recipe.
Why We Love This Dip
- Easy to make: This amazing cranberry dip only takes a handful of simple ingredients and about 15 minutes to whip together.
- Festive holiday appetizer: The cranberry flavors and pretty colors make this an awesome recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Delicious flavor and textures: It has a delightful blend of sweet and slightly spicy flavors with creamy and crunchy textures.
- Cream cheese
- Whole cranberries
- Fresh cilantro
- Jalapenos, diced
- Brown sugar
- Fresh lemon juice
- Sea salt
How to Make Cream Cheese Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
Step 1. Add blocks of cream cheese to a medium mixing bowl. Blend using an electric hand mixer for 1-2 minutes until softened.
Step 2. Next, spread the softened cream cheese on the bottom of a shallow baking dish or dipping dish (a 9×9 pie plate works great!).
Tip: You really want to whip the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. This helps add volume and makes it easier to spread the cream cheese on the bottom of the dish.
Step 3. Chop the cranberries and add them to a food processor. Add the cilantro, jalapenos, sugars, lemon and sea salt and pulse for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is finely ground. You can work in batches if needed.
Step 4. Pour the fresh cranberries mixture through a strainer to drain the excess cranberry juice.
Tip: Save the reserved cranberry juice and use it as a fruity sweetener for a cocktail.
Step 5. Spoon the strained cranberry mixture evenly on top of the cream cheese layer, covering it completely.
Step 6. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
Ways to Serve Homemade Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
Served with crackers and chips, this creamy dip is perfect for holiday parties. Here are some other ways you can serve it:
- Phyllo cups: Fill mini phyllo cups with the dip for an elegant and bite-sized appetizer.
- Fruit and veggie platters: Add it to the center of a fruit and veggie charcuterie board. The dip is amazing with apple slices, pear slices, carrots, and celery sticks.
- Baguette slices: Spread it on thinly sliced and toasted baguette slices or crostini for the perfect holiday hand-held appetizer.
- Toasted croissants: Make this cranberry jalapeno dip for breakfast or brunch and serve it on mini toasted croissants.
This cranberry cream cheese dip needs to sit for about 30 minutes in the fridge before you’re ready to serve it. But you can make it several hours in advance.
You can make the cranberry mixture ahead of time and strain it a little before you put it on the cream cheese.
Cream Cheese Cranberry Dip Add-ins and Variations
- Sour cream: Add a tangy twist by mixing about 1/4 cup sour cream together with the cream cheese
- Added crunch: Toasted chopped pecan, walnuts or almond slivers add wonderful crunch to the texture.
- Herbs: Feel free to add fresh herbs to this recipe. This is a festive dip, and herbs like rosemary and thyme will give it even more holiday flavor. Fresh green onions are also great in this recipe.
- Heat factor: Like more heat? Add a pinch of red pepper flakes. If you like a mild dip, you can get away with using just one jalapeno, seeded.
- Added sugar: Brown sugar gives this dip a subtle caramelized flavor. But if you want to swap out the sugar in the recipe with a sugar substitute, you certainly can.
- Cream cheese: This cranberry jalapeno dip is made with regular cream cheese, but you can use flavored cream cheese, reduced-fat cream cheese, or dairy free cream cheese instead.
Can I Use Either Fresh or Frozen Cranberries?
The recipe for this cranberry dip is best when you use fresh cranberries. Frozen cranberries contain a lot of moisture and are softer. This makes them great for soupy dips and sauces like cranberry jalapeno salsa and homemade cranberry sauce. However, this dip is best with a little bit of crunch to it.
This is a great dip for Thanksgiving and Christmas but when fresh cranberries aren’t in season, you can use frozen if that’s all you can find. If you’re like me, I stock up on cranberries in the winter and freeze them to use throughout the year. Just make sure you thaw and drain them before adding them to the food processor.
Want More Cold Dip Recipes?
- Cold Jalapeno Popper Dip
- Easy Spinach Dip
- Cold Artichoke Dip
- Sour Cream Veggie Dip
- Cold Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Beer Cheese Dip (can be served hot or cold)
Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
- Add blocks of cream cheese to a medium mixing bowl. Blend using an electric hand mixer for 1-2 minutes until softened.16 ounces cream cheese
- Next, spread the softened cream cheese on the bottom of a shallow baking dish or dipping dish (a 9×9 pie plate works great!).
- Chop the cranberries and add them to a food processor. Add the cilantro, jalapenos, sugars, lemon and sea salt and pulse for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is finely ground. You can work in batches if needed.3 cups fresh cranberries, ¼ cup chopped cilantro, 2 jalapenos, ¾ cup sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, Juice from ½ lemon, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Pour the fresh cranberries mixture through a strainer to drain the excess cranberry juice.
- Spoon the strained cranberry mixture evenly on top of the cream cheese layer, covering it completely.
- Cover the cranberry dip with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.