Looking for an amazing holiday appetizer? Then, you have to try this sweet-spicy Cranberry Jalapeño Dip ... this creamy dip is perfect for any party, and best of all, it's ready in minutes!
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I don't know about you, but when it comes to holiday entertaining, I look for easy recipes. It still has to be good enough to impress my guests though, you know what I mean?
And that's why I love this Cranberry Jalapeño Dip! This yummy holiday appetizer is the perfect combination of flavors: bright, fresh cranberries, rich cream cheese, and a spicy kick from the jalapeño. Yum!
Besides being just delicious though, this dip is also so easy to make! Make the sauce from scratch (it only takes a few minutes) or use leftover Cranberry Sauce.
This Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip recipe is ideal for spicy food lovers. But don't worry, it's easy to turn down the spice level if you can't take the heat.
Can't wait to dig in? Keep reading for all the details!
This easy Cranberry Dip uses ingredient you'll find in any grocery store. Here's what you'll need:
- Cranberry Sauce - The simple topping is made with fresh cranberries, an orange, fresh ginger, and sugar. It's super flexible though, so leave out the orange and ginger if you don't have it. I've made it both ways, and it's delicious either way. Tip: Prepare the sauce ahead of time to save time before a party.
- Jalapeños - The recipe calls for two to three peppers, but you can make it as spicy or as mild as you'd like. Even with one full jalapeño added to the sauce, the heat level is really mild. You can adjust the spiciness of this recipe depending on how many jalapeños you use for the topping. If you're a spicy food lovers use two, or serve the jalapeño topping on the side for a milder option.
- Cream Cheese - A block of cream cheese forms the base of the dip. Feel free to use reduced fat or Neufchâtel cheese if you'd like to save a few calories.
Tip: This recipe is also a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce! Just cut down on the cream cheese, depending on how much sauce you have left. Try it with this Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Orange Sauce, Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce, or this Cranberry Relish.
You'll Also Need
You'll need a medium saucepan to make the sauce, and a platter or wide, shallow bowl to serve the dip. A microplane zester is also super useful for zesting the orange and grating the ginger.
How to Make Cranberry Jalapeño Dip
Let's get started on this easy snack! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Prep the ingredients. Begin by zesting and juicing a large orange, then add just enough water to the juice to equal one cup of liquid. Seed and mince one of the jalapeños, and grate the fresh ginger.
- Make the sauce. Combine the orange juice / zest, jalapeño, ginger, cranberries, and sugar in a medium sauce pan. Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the sauce until most of the cranberries have popped (about 10 minutes).
- Cool the sauce. The sauce needs to cool completely before you top the cream cheese. So set the sauce aside, or if you're making the dip ahead of time, cover and refrigerate it.
- Assemble the dip. Place both blocks of cream cheese in a large, flat bowl or on a serving platter with a rim. (You can place both blocks of cream cheese in one bowl, or use two, like I did.) Then, pour the cranberry sauce over the top, leaving a little bit of the cream cheese peaking out ... that way people know what they're getting into!
- Top with jalapeños. Finish by topping the dip with the jalapeños. You can mince the jalapeños or slice them, it's up to you (I did a combo). Use two jalapeños to make the dip spicy, one jalapeño to keep it milder, or serve most of the jalapeños on the side, so people can add them to taste.
And that's it, your Cranberry Jalapeño Dip is ready to eat! Doesn't it look delicious? This is one of those appetizers that's sure to be a crowd pleaser ... it's impossible to stop at one bite!
Are you looking for more dip recipes for entertaining? Then, try my Homemade Guacamole, Herb Cream Cheese Dip, Baked Ricotta, Caramelized Onion Dip, Ricotta Blue Cheese Spread, Buffalo Cauliflower Dip, or Lemon Artichoke Spread.
If you're searching for cranberry recipes, then you'll love my Baked Brie with Cranberries and Pecans, Cranberry Orange Overnight Oats, Kale Cranberry Salad, and my No Bake Cranberry Cheesecake Parfait, too!
Cranberry Jalapeño Dip
- 1 large orange
- 2 to 3 large jalapeños
- 1 (12-ounce / 340 grams) bag cranberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 2 (8-ounce / 227 grams) packages cream cheese
- Zest orange, then mince zest. Juice orange, then add enough water to juice to equal 1 cup.
- Mince one of the jalapeños, removing seeds if desired. (Set the others aside for the topping.)
- Combine orange juice, minced jalapeño, cranberries, sugar, and ginger in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook until cranberries have softened and most have popped, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes). Remove cranberry sauce from heat, then set aside to cool completely.
- Place cream cheese on a platter. Top with cranberry sauce.
- Mince or slice remaining jalapeños (use 1 to 2 depending on desired spice level); sprinkle over dip.
- Serve immediately with crackers for dipping. Enjoy!