Easy Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip is the perfect festive holiday appetizer. Full of sweet and tart flavors with a hint of heat, served over rich cream cheese. Perfect for spreading on your favorite cracker!
If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE DIP
This quick and easy cranberry dip will save you so much time during the holidays.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE!
- Sweet, tart, and a little spicy
- Easy to throw together in less than 10 minutes
- No cooking required!
- Great way to use leftover cranberry sauce
- Perfect colors, flavors, and textures for all the upcoming holiday parties
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WHAT’S IN CRANBERRY SALSA AND CREAM CHEESE DIP?
- fresh cranberries
- green onions
- fresh cilantro
- grated fresh ginger
- fresh jalapeno peppers
- cream cheese
- crackers for serving
Cranberries – Mid to late October, fresh cranberries start appearing in my grocery store so grab a few bags! Fresh or frozen cranberries work best for this recipe. Canned cranberry sauce will not work in this recipe.
Sugar – Use plain white granulated sugar for this recipe. You can also use honey in a pinch if you need to.
Green Onions – I love these sliced thin in the salsa and then sprinkled on top for a garnish.
Ginger – Fresh ginger is best for this! You can find a knob in the produce department. Store it wrapped in a paper towel or in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator. Then grate on a zester when ready to use.
Jalapeno – I like the kick of heat this gives the salsa. Take out the seeds and remove the ribs to keep the heat in check. You can also leave them out altogether if you don’t like the spice.
Cream Cheese – You can use full fat, reduced fat, or fat free cream cheese. You can also substitute goat cheese, Boursin cheese spread, or even baked brie.
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE DIP
FIRST: Prepare the fresh cranberry salsa by rinsing and draining cranberries. Place cranberries in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
SECOND: In a medium sized bowl, mix together chopped cranberries, sliced green onions, diced jalapenos, chopped cilantro and grated ginger. Add lemon juice and sugar and mix.
THIRD: Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate to let the flavors develop.
FOURTH: When ready to serve, place block of cream cheese on a serving platter and spread out if desired. Top with cranberry salsa and garnish with more sliced green onions. Add toasted pecans if desired. Serve with crackers!
For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE DIP:
- Wheat Thins are everyone’s favorite with it
- Ritz or any buttery Club cracker
- Sliced apples
- Tortilla chips
- Rye crackers
- Bagel chips
CAN I MAKE IT AHEAD OF TIME?
You can prep the cranberry salsa a few days ahead of time. The flavor actually deepens the longer it sits. The cream cheese just needs to be softened for 10 minutes before spreading and serving.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
The salsa will last for up 1 week. Once assembled with the cream cheese, it will last for 3 days if stored tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.
You might need to pour off any water that might accumulate on the serving dish.
CAN I FREEZE IT?
Due to the fresh cranberries and dairy in the cream cheese, I do not recommend freezing this dip.
CAN I USE CANNED CRANBERRY SAUCE IF I WANT?
If you don’t want to make the fresh cranberry salsa, I would use canned WHOLE cranberry sauce as it has larger pieces of cranberries. You can mix it with the minced jalapeno, lemon juice, and cilantro.
TAPAS TIPS & TRICKS
- Don’t have or want to use cream cheese? You can switch it up for goat cheese or baked brie!
- You can spread the softened cream cheese into a single layer in the dish instead of leaving it in a block in the middle.
- Make the cranberry salsa a day ahead of time to let the flavors intensify.
- Just cover any leftovers tightly with plastic wrap and the dip will keep for a few days! It’s great on a bagel the next morning.
- The salsa is delicious on it’s own but better served with cream cheese.
- Sprinkle on some toasted pecans for some crunch!
If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!
When doing your holiday shopping, grab an extra bag or two and whip up this cranberry cream cheese dip. To help with holiday stress you can make it ahead of time and serve when ready!
MORE EASY APPETIZERS
- Roasted Cranberry Bourbon Crush
- Cranberry Sangria
- Honey Roasted Cranberry Ricotta Crostini
- Sugared Cranberries
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries (rinsed, drained)
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 cup sliced green onions
- 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (chopped fine)
- 2 jalapenos (ribbed, seeded, and minced fine)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- Rinse and drain cranberries, Add to food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together pulsed cranberries, sliced green onions, chopped jalapenos, chopped cilantro and grated ginger.
- Add lemon juice and sugar and mix to combine.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate to let the flavors mix intensify.
- When ready to serve, remove cream cheese from refrigerator.
- Place on serving dish and either leave in a block of spread into an even later.
- Top with cranberry salsa.
- Serve with crackers and enjoy!
*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 16gProtein: 2g
This nutrition information was generated via a third party. I can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.
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