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 creamy dip, 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 recipe for the holiday season! It is a great addition to a charcuterie spread. It is also the perfect Thanksgiving Day appetizer and a great option to take to and a great option to take to all of your holiday gatherings!
Balance of Sweet & Spice - The tart cranberries and spicy jalapeno complement each other so well! And the cream cheese and Parmesan balance the tartness of the cranberries. I find that sweet and spicy combo highly addicting, and this recipe has it! I just can't stop myself from taking another bite!
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 makes a delicious dip that is 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.
Jalapeño - I use a medium-sized jalapeno. Add a second jalapeno or reduce the amount based on your preferred level of spiciness.
Green Onions - Green onions are also called scallions. Use both the green and white parts of the onion.
Orange Juice - Lemon juice or lime juice works just as well for this recipe. Use what you have on hand.
Cream Cheese - Soften the block of cream cheese at room temperature so that it blends smoothly with the other ingredients. For an 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 it too long or it will liquefy.
- Transfer to a bowl and add the orange juice.
- Then add the sugar and stir together. 4. Then add the sugar and stir together. Refrigerate the cranberry jalapeno salsa until ready to serve.
5. The cream cheese mixture uses softened cream cheese, sour cream, and Parmesan. Whip them together with a mixer until they have a creamy texture. A hand mixer or stand mixer will work. You can even stir it by hand if you prefer.
6. Spread onto a serving plate. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour the cranberry mixture on top of the cream cheese before serving.
Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, chunks of bread, or even vegetables like carrots and celery.
- Pour the cranberry jalapeno mixture into a colander to strain off the excess liquid before adding it to the top of the cream cheese.
- Alternatively, you can use a slotted spoon to scoop the salsa, leaving the liquid behind.
- Bring the cream cheese dip out to room temperature about 30 minutes prior to serving to allow it time to soften. This makes it easier to serve.
- Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, pita chips, chunks of bread, or even vegetables like carrots and celery.
How to Use Leftovers
If you are looking for ways to use leftover Cranberry Jalapeño Dip (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!
Cranberry Cream Cheese Bread Recipe
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 ones 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! 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 and cover them both with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
Jalapeño peppers can be tricky with their level of spiciness. Jalapenos can be tricky with their level of spiciness. If you have mild jalapeno peppers then you can add ⅛-¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to add medium heat 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
I made this Cranberry Jalapeno Dip for our Friendsgiving this weekend and it was over-the-top delicious! WHOA!!! Everyone raved. This will be a must make for our Thanksgiving on Thursday.
I am so happy to hear that everyone loved that! Thank you for taking the time to share! 😍
This was delicious!!! I made it for thanksgiving for one side of the family and loved it so much I had to make it for the other. I think I’ve found me new holiday app!
I am so glad that you have found a new holiday favorite! That is just exciting!