Fresh Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip

Last updated: November 1, 2022
5 from 4 votes
A beautiful, jewel toned fresh cranberry salsa sits atop a cool and creamy base of whipped cream cheese and goat cheese to make this delicious dip! The cranberries are combined with fresh ginger, green onions, cilantro, and lime juice for dynamite flavor. This easy recipe can be made mostly ahead of time and is served cold, no oven space needed. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips for a great appetizer.
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cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip with a gold spoon
cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip on a white plate

This bright and festive cranberry jalapeno dip has a cloudlike base of whipped cream cheese and goat cheese that’s topped with a spicy, gingery, cranberry salsa. It’s always a hit when I bring it to gatherings.

Imagine subtly sweet, tart, and spicy meets cool and creamy. A two layer dip of seasonal goodness.

I often find cream cheese dips to be somewhat one dimensional in flavor, so I added a small amount of goat cheese to the base, bringing a subtle savory, tangy element. It’s one of the things that makes this dip deliciously different. (You could always use all cream cheese if you don’t like goat cheese!)

The gorgeous, jewel-toned color of the cranberries shine, and make for the perfect holiday appetizer. Plus, you can make the majority of the recipe ahead of time to make things easy on the day you plan on serving. It’s served cold, so no oven space is needed. And a great gluten-free appetizer recipe.

If you’re looking for a hot dip, this White Chicken Chili Dip is always a good choice, too.

Ingredients in Cranberry Jalapeno Dip:

  • Cream cheese: whipping cream cheese transforms it into a fluffy, cool and creamy base for the sweet and spicy cranberry mixture.
  • Goat cheese: brings a tangy, savory element to the cheese base.
  • Fresh cranberries: tart on their own, but lovely fruit flavor!
  • Cane sugar: to balance the tartness of raw cranberries.
  • Cilantro
  • Jalapeno: the spicy component works so well with cranberries.
  • Lime juice
  • Ginger: adds beautiful, warm flavor.
  • Green onion
fresh cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip on white plate

How to Make Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip:

  1. Pulse fresh cranberries 12-15 times in the food processor to break them up into smaller pieces, the size of peas. You’re looking to roughly chop them, not puree them.
  2. Pour into a large bowl and combine with other ingredients, stirring quite a bit to evenly disperse and coat the cranberries and help the sugar start to dissolve.
  3. Let this mixture sit for a minimum of 30 minutes to let flavors mingle, even better if you let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. Make-ahead makes it easier!
  4. When ready to serve, add goat cheese and cream cheese to a food processor. Puree for a minute or so, until fluffy and light. Spread onto a plate, creating some cloud-like swoops.
  5. Use a fine mesh strainer to drain the liquid from the cranberry mixture, then generously pile the cranberry salsa on top of the softened cheese. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Health Benefits of Fresh Cranberries:

Besides being delicious, cranberries are a powerhouse of antioxidants and source of protection for urinary tract infections.

The vitamins and minerals they contain boost the body’s digestive health and promote good heart health – potentially improving blood pressure and cholesterol. Cranberries are also high in vitamin C and fiber.

woman taking a scoop of cranberry cream cheese dip with a cracker

More Cranberry Recipes:

cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip with a gold spoon

Fresh Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip

A beautiful, jewel toned cranberry salsa sits atop a cool and creamy base of whipped cream cheese and goat cheese to make this delicious dip! This easy recipe can be made mostly ahead of time. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips for a great appetizer.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time :10 minutes
Resting Time :30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Author: Amanda Paa

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions, white and green parts
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • juice of half a large lime or juice of one small lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (if you are sensitive to spiciness, remove the white ribbing inside the jalapeno and the seeds)
  • 1 3 or 4 ounce log goat cheese, softened
  • 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened

Instructions 

  • Pulse cranberries 12-15 times in the food processor, to break them up into smaller pieces. You don’t want to go too far and puree them.
  • Pour into a large bowl and combine with all other ingredients except the cheeses, stir quite a bit to evenly disperse and coat the cranberries and help the sugar start to dissolve. Let sit for a minimum of 30 minutes to let flavors mingle, even better if you let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. Make-ahead makes it easier!
  • Completely rinse out the food processor bowl and add chèvre and cream cheese. Puree for a minute or so, until fluffy and light. Spread onto a plate, creating some cloud-like swoops. Use a fine mesh strainer to drain the liquid from the cranberry mixture, then generously pile the cranberry salsa on top of the softened cheese. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Notes

Taste the cranberry salsa once done mixing. If you’d like it a bit sweeter, add more sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time until you find the sweetness you like. 

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November 1, 2022

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