Fresh Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip

By Amanda Paa – Updated November 13, 2023
5 from 26 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. And I usually serve it with a cocktail or mocktail made with this easy fresh cranberry simple syrup!

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 Cream Cheese 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.

What to Use for Dipping

I love using pita chips as the dipping vehicle for this festive appetizer. Water crackers or flatbread crackers are also an excellent choice. In a pinch, you can serve with tortilla chips!

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 26 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. 

Did you make this?

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November 1, 2022

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39 comments

  1. Susan Bischof

    5 stars
    This recipe was a hit two years in a row! It is delicious and beautiful!

    • Amanda Paa

      Love to hear that it’s a regular for you!

  2. Jessica Miller

    5 stars
    My family and I are obsessed with this recipe! Made it for thanksgiving but was told I’ll need to bring it for Christmas too. Additionally I just made another batch to snack on again this week.
    It’s so easy to come together and the colors are so beautiful and festive!! Try it out!

    • Amanda Paa

      So glad you enjoyed it, Jessica! Thank you for making the recipe!

  3. Anna

    5 stars
    This was a perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving! It was a nice balance of sweet, savory and fresh. Crowd pleaser for sure! And so pretty on the table.

  4. Shelly

    The best we made on thanksgiving!

    • Amanda Paa

      So glad you enjoyed it, thanks for making the recipe!

  5. Rachael

    5 stars
    This was so delicious! The right balance of sweet and tang. I even left out the jalapeños (because kids) in case anyone is wondering if they can do that 👍🏼👍🏼

  6. Rhonda DeZeeuw

    5 stars
    Normally I don’t comment on recipes I try, but OMG…this is delish! I made it last night and let it get awesome in the frig to meld the flavors of the cranberry salsa and I love it! It’s not overly sweet. It’s just the right amount of tangy, tart, crunchy, and savory. I had it with ritz crackers. I will be making this for my Christmas Eve party as it’s also very festive! Thank you for sharing!

    • Amanda Paa

      Oh yay! So glad you liked the recipe. I love how colorful it is too, and the textures! Have a great holiday season.

  7. Gina

    Has anyone made it with sweetener ?

  8. Linda Johnson

    Instead of sugar could you use maple syrup?

    • Amanda Paa

      I wouldn’t recommend maple syrup, the mix will be too runny.

  9. Shelly L

    5 stars
    We made this a few times last year, it was a hit! Look forward to making it again next week! Thank you for the recipe!

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay, so glad it has earned a spot in your rotation!

  10. Kaitlyn

    5 stars
    Made this 4 times last year and can’t wait to make it again this holiday season!

    • Amanda Paa

      Amazing, so glad it’s become a favorite!

  11. Jeannette

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe at least five times since I saw it on your site last year. Everyone who tries it absolutely loves it! It is pretty and tasty for the holidays, but I even make it for myself when I want something healthy with my chips! It is habit forming.

    • Amanda Paa

      so happy to hear that, jeannette! thanks for making the recipe. i like it for a snack too when i’m not making it for an appetizer!

  12. Jeannette

    5 stars
    This cranberry salsa recipe is so great, I have made it three times already! So pretty for the holidays and so fresh and tasty!

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay, I’m so glad this has become a go-to recipe for you!

  13. Tammy

    5 stars
    I have made this Cranberry Cream Cheese dip three times so far this holiday season, and it has been a huge hit every time! So, so good!

    • Amanda Paa

      so great to hear that, tammy!

  14. Brittany

    5 stars
    Super yummy and tasty! Love how easy the recipe was too! Thanks!

  15. Katie

    5 stars
    Could I scoop some of this up using my favorite potato chips? Or any other pairing?

    • Amanda Paa

      I would recommend pita chips or pretzel crisps rather than potato chips for this dip! The flavors go together better.

  16. Lindsey

    5 stars
    This dip was not only delicious but also gorgeous on a grazing table!

  17. Mary Beth

    5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely delicious! So festive and perfect for this season of entertaining
    Amanda you are a master

  18. Rebekah

    5 stars
    Delicious and festive! The combination of tart cranberry with fresh salsa flavors and goat cheese was a treat.

  19. Barb

    5 stars
    I made this dip as an appetizer for Thanksgiving. My family loved it and I have been nominated to bring it to every family function. It was so easy to make and the flavors were so refreshing. I loved the combination of the goat cheese and cream cheese topped with the fresh cranberries.

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay, so glad to hear it! And love the nomination. :)

  20. Natalie

    5 stars
    It was such a hit the first holiday, we doubled the recipe the second go-around!!

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay, love to hear it!

  21. Mary

    5 stars
    I made your cranberry salsa. Yum, yum and yum. Thank you.

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay, glad you enjoyed it!

  22. Traci

    5 stars
    This is delicious! Everyone loved it including the kids, and it’s easy to make and beautiful.

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay, great to hear that it was enjoyed!

  23. Jo

    5 stars
    So delicious, enjoyed by the whole family!

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay! Have a great holiday season.