Sweet and spicy has never been better! This beautiful and festive dip is made with fresh cranberries and jalapeno peppers poured over a smooth Parmesan and cream cheese base for a stunning and delicious appetizer that is so easy to make!
What You Will Love About This Recipe
Easy - It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare this dip! All of the cranberry salsa ingredients are chopped together in a food processor, then whip together the cream cheese spread, and you are done!
Beautiful Presentation - The beautiful deep red color of the cranberries contrasted with the vibrant green of the jalapeno makes this a perfect holiday recipe! It is a great addition to a charcuterie spread. It is also the perfect Thanksgiving Day appetizer and a great option to take to a holiday party!
Balance of Sweet & Spice - The tart cranberries and spicy jalapeno complement each other so well! I find that sweet and spicy combo highly addicting, and this recipe has it! I just can't stop myself from taking another bite!
This recipe is a wonderful appetizer and is also a wonderful addition to a charcuterie spread, along with Pumpkin Dessert Hummus, and your favorite cheese and crackers.
Whole Cranberries - Fresh cranberries work best for this recipe, but frozen can be used as well. If you are using frozen then you may have some additional liquid that needs to be drained off before topping the cream cheese.
Jalapeno - I use a medium-sized jalapeno. You can adjust the amount based on your preferred level of spiciness.
Orange Juice - Lemon juice or lime juice works just as well for this recipe. Use what you have on hand.
Cream Cheese - For extra fluffy dip you can use whipped cream cheese. Low fat cream cheese may also be used.
Parmesan Cheese - For best results, use freshly grated or a tub of grated Parmesan cheese. I do not recommend the green can of powdered Parmesan for this recipe. Asiago cheese or Romano cheese can also be used.
- Pulse the cranberries in a food processor 2-3 times to give them a very rough chop.
- Add the jalapeno, green onion, and cilantro and pulse a few more times until they are in small chunks. Be careful not to puree too long or it liquify.
- Transfer to a bowl and add in the orange juice.
- Then add the sugar and stir together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. The cream cheese mixture uses softened cream cheese, sour cream, and Parmesan. Whip them together with a mixer. A hand mixer or stand mixer will work. You can even stir it by hand if you prefer.
6. Spread into your serving dish. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour cranberry mixture on top of the cream cheese before serving.
How to Use Leftovers
If you are looking for ways to use leftovers (assuming you have leftovers, which is rare for us) try it as a spread on your turkey sandwich! It's amazing!
More Cranberry Recipes
If you are looking to use up leftover cranberries, try one of these delicious recipes!
Cover your serving dish and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Fresh cranberries are important for this dip to have the flavor and texture that is optimal. I do not recommend using dried cranberries, but frozen can be used.
It is best to make the Cranberry Jalapeno Dip at least 2 hours in advance in order for the flavors to meld. The dip can even be made up to several days ahead! Just keep the cream cheese mixture and the cranberry dip separate until ready to serve.
Jalapenos can be tricky with their level of spiciness. If you have a mild jalapeno pepper then you can add ⅛-1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to add a nice kick to the cranberry salsa.
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Cranberry Jalapeno DipRecipe by:
- 2 cups fresh cranberries rinsed and dried
- 1 jalapeno medium-sized, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 green onions whites and greens, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- Pulse cranberries in a food processor to roughly chop. Add the jalapeno, green onions, and cilantro and pulse until all ingredients are finely diced. Be careful not to turn to puree, it should be in small pieces.
- Add the sugar, orange juice, and salt, and mix well.
- Cover the cranberry salsa and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sour cream with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix on low speed until fully blended.
- Transfer the cream cheese mixture to a serving dish, spreading evenly. Drain any excess liquids from the cranberry jalapeno salsa, then pour mixture over the cream cheese.
- Serve with crackers or bread.
- Lemon or lime juice can be used instead of orange juice
- Asiago or Romano cheese can be used in place of Parmesan cheese
- Greek yogurt is a great replacement for sour cream
- If your jalapenos are not spicy enough, add up to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper