Cranberry-Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
This cranberry-jalapeno cream cheese dip is sweet, tart, spicy, and absolutely one of the best holiday dips on the planet.
This amazing, festive cranberry dip has been a staple in our Novembers + Decembers for almost ten years.
I am a huge fan of cranberries, but this dip is in a league of its own and is one of the main reasons I get excited to see those bags of bright, red berries appear in the grocery store.
A combination of sweet and spicy, tart and creamy, this is the perfect holiday party appetizer.
But honestly, we love it so much, we stock up on cranberries just for this dip and sit around eating it on average Tuesday nights. It’s kind of one of my favorite weekly holiday traditions.
Fresh Cranberries Only
Using fresh ingredients – not dried or frozen – are critical to this recipe:
- fresh cranberries
- fresh cilantro
- fresh lime juice
- fresh jalapenos
- fresh green onions (or chives)
The freshness of the ingredients provides a burst of brightness that is unparalleled this time of year.
The cranberries are best if they are chopped into fairly fine pieces. A food processor or high powered blender will make light work of the job.
Once the cranberries are coarsely chopped, I add all the other ingredients and pulse until evenly chopped and everything looks very “dippy.”
If you choose to do all the chopping by hand, bless you.
Make it in Advance
The cranberry mixture needs to be made several hours ahead of time. Even better if it can be refrigerated for 12-24 hours.
If you taste it right away, you’re probably going to be underwhelmed. But wonderful things happen as the flavors have time to meld and develop.
With time, there might be a bit of liquid that accumulates in the cranberry dip. I like to pour a lot of that off before spreading on the cream cheese.
Cranberries + Cream Cheese
The sweet and tart (and just ever so slightly spicy) cranberry mixture over the softened cream cheese is amazingly delicious.
Pretzel crisps or thin crackers are the perfect vehicle to inhale this dip. But I’m not above eating spoonfuls of the tasty concoction. Life’s short, what can I say.
Also, I have it on good authority that this cranberry-jalapeno cream cheese dip is ridiculously good on sandwiches. I think we should all take that advice very seriously.
Here are a few other rave reviews from the comments below:
Tonya: I made this for Thanksgiving and it was to die for. Everyone LOVED it!!!! My sister in law said it should become a staple. Making it again today for our Christmas cookie exchange and probably for Christmas, too!
Tracey: OMG this was a show stopper. I made this for my work friend besties Christmas dinner last night everyone raved over it. It is one of those amazing recipes-super easy to throw together and absolutely delicious and a crowd pleaser! Will be making this again and again.
Cara: This really is the best dip ever! I am always asked to bring this to family gatherings, and everyone who tries it wants the recipe. Definitely a holiday must-have in our house!!
Cranberry-Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
- 12 ounces (340 g) fresh cranberries
- 4-5 green onions, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 1 cup (212 g) sugar, more or less to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 (8-ounces each) packages (454 g) cream cheese, light or regular, softened
- Crackers, for serving
- Pulse the cranberries in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped. Add the green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, sugar, cumin, lemon juice and salt and pulse until the ingredients are well combined and finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a covered container and refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to overnight) so the flavors have time to meld and develop.
- When ready to serve, spread the cream cheese in an even layer on a serving plate or 9-inch pie dish. Top with the cranberry-jalapeno mixture.
- Refrigerate for up to an hour before serving. Serve with crackers.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Jamie Cooks It Up
Recipe originally published Dec. 2011; updated Dec. 2020 with new photos, recipe notes, etc.
221 Comments on “Cranberry-Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip”
Hi Mel , I want to make this for my grandsons baptism this weekend. I have frozen cranberries , but you say fresh . You also mentioned stocking up on cranberries. You don’t freeze them? Maybe I’m overthinking this ?
Thank you for the wonderful recipes,Cindy
Hi Cindy – I usually stock up on cranberries during November and December so I can make this a lot. I haven’t tried with frozen cranberries – I’m worried they might be too mushy once defrosted? But definitely worth a try!
This is a fan favorite, everyone always want the recipe!
Very good appetizer could eat this everyday. The best just to satisfy your taste buds and your appetite Great for the holidays almost like a meal in itself. Would recommend this at any event!
The first-time I made this in 2019 i misread the instructions. I mixed in the Cranberry mixture WITH the cream cheese instead of serving it on top. My family loved it so much I continue to make it that way. I could eat myself sick! IF there are any leftovers I send them home with my son in law and oldest grand son.
I’ve made this several times since finding this recipe…ALWAYS a hit…ALWAYS requested!! Both versions are great but when I blended the cream cheese with the relish mix the flavor was incredible as was the texture for dipping. Yes it will have a pinkish color but just keep a few tablespoons of the relish aside and once you plate it up add the relish to top with sprigs of cilantro. As others have commented RE jalapeño- I used 2 (seeded) as we like a bit of heat with our sweet. Also when I blended my cream cheese with the relish mix…I first strained as much of the juice from all of the relish mixture… I only used a half cup of the relish for blending the cream cheese…then in a bowl I added the blended cream cheese with the remaining relish – this preserved the texture of the relish so all of it wasn’t smooth / whipped.
I made some of this and am wondering if it could freeze OK? I’d love to throw it together with a brie and a puff pastry to bake up but I need it a week later!
I haven’t tried freezing this – I’m not entirely sure it will freeze very well.
I made it exactly as advertised for Thanksgiving. Last week I grabbed a dozen bags of 2 for $1 cranberries and I’m going to prep and freeze them. Also, I keep dreaming about cranberry meets chimichurri with red wine vinegar instead of lemon/lime and cilantro….then why not pistachio, walnut, basil pestos? It’s endless, probably going to stick with the original, maybe. (Heh)
I was looking forward to this recipe but it came out terribly bitter. Not tart, bitter. Maybe it was the cranberries.
I had an amazing cranberry jalapeño dip from Costco, but everything was mixed together with the cream cheese. Will that work with this recipe? My mother in law in KY got me hooked, but it’s not available where I live. I desperately need to recreate that highly addictive dip. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
I know the dip of which you speak! I think it has more creaminess to it, but you could definitely play around with this and mix it all together (I’d add more cream cheese and probably some sour cream).
Can I make the cranberry mixture 2-3 days in advance?
Yes – the cilantro may get a bit “wilty” – if you make it ahead of time, drain excess liquid before spreading over the cream cheese.
I make this every year for our Christmas Bingo party. It’s always the talk of the party, and I never have leftovers. Looking forward to making it again this year!
Drain the mixture of veg and cranberries.. Beat approx 4T into the cream cheese to flavor and rotten it before spreading. Return the remaining juice to cranberry mixture. Combine well then when ready top and serve.
To SOFTEN it. Stupid autocorrect.
Absolutely loved this and it was a hit with the family too! A family member asked to keep some and said it was delicious on rye toast for breakfast. I gave it a try this morning and can attest to this fact.
Also-I did use fresh parsley instead of cilantro because I’m one of those people who doesn’t care for it.
WOW! I made this dip for our Thanksgiving dinner and it was the hit of the whole menu!! And what’s even better? It’s so easy to put together. Everyone wanted the recipe. A definite make again staple!!!
This recipe is great! Adding some grated ginger is also wonderful!
Absolutely THE BEST Our extended family agrees. I usually use cream cheese, but have subbed soft goat cheese. Thanks for a great recipe!
Microwaved the pulsed cranberries for 2 minutes, squeezed out the juice and reserved.
*Reserve 1/2 C of relish for garnish*
Mix remaining relish INTO the cream cheese. If it is too thick, add some of the reserved cranberry juice and put into serving dish. Top with the reserved relish and garnish with whole fresh cranberries and sprigs of parsley/cilantro.
We like a dipping consistency and the cream cheese layer is usually a ‘cracker breaker’ so we mix it together as a true dip.
We followed this advice for combining (but not the microwaving part) and it turned out great! Fluffy and light, easy for dipping. Gorgeous two-toned color with the light pink creamy bottom and the bright cranberry mixture on top. Huge hit at the family Christmas gathering. It tastes so fresh, even though I made the cranberry relish 2 days ago.
Is this recipe gluten free?
Yes, I believe so.
Hi, there. Thank you for posting this recipe. I can’t wait to try it. My question is about the cream cheese – would it be ok to whip it first so it’ more easily spreadible?
My favorite dip!
Amazing!!! I will definitely be making this again!
I’ve made this dip for years. Always was a staple when my family was younger. Made it for my new boyfriend last year for the first time. He still can’t stop talking about it. I agree with his excitement. It is sooooo good!!!
Just made this for Thanksgiving- YUM!! Used two jalapeños (mostly seeded because we like some heat) and then just kept going and ended up mixing entire lot, including cream cheese, together. Not as pretty as the layers (more pinkish than red) but one dip action captures all flavors combined. Next time I’ll be sure to save a spoonful of the bright red relish for topping decor. Delicious and easy! Thanks for sharing!
So you pulse raw cranberries or do I have to cook them first?
Also wondering the same question!
Raw is correct, pick out any “soft” ones and discard those. Usually a few.
Yes, I pulse raw cranberries without cooking. Hope that helps!
That’s all I have to say.
I made this last Thanksgiving and it was fantastic. This is now a tradition with me !
Hi Mel, I am planning to make it this weekend, but was wondering about the seeds in cranberries. Do u pulse them along with the seeds or remove them before pulsing?
I don’t remove the seeds before pulsing.
Thank you so much, it came out toooo goood sorry for the stupid question, I thought cranberries have seeds like cherries. First time eating cranberry.
I am one of those people who can’t eat cilantro… tastes like soap. Can you recommend an alternative?
Try about half the amount of fresh parsley.
I like to use whipped cream cheese. It’s much easier to spread.
So delicious and so addictive! I think I hate half of this myself. Very easy to make. Thank goodness there are still fresh cranberries in the store. The Pretzel Crisps are fabulous with it because there’s salt on the crisp. I’ll make this all year! How did you ever create this recipe?
Dont waste all that yummy liquid. How about a little with vodka over ice for a nice martini? Or a cranberry mimosa?
OOOHHH Thats a GREAT Idea for a holiday drink yyuummmm
This is a tie with your pecan cranberry dip made the spicy way. Either recipe makes me a rock star.
Mel- I started making this dip when you first posted it years ago. I serve it every Thanksgiving with my Texas Brisket. It’s become part of my holiday traditions! Thank you so much for being apart of my family’s traditions!!! You light the dinner table and the world.
This is why I freeze bags of cranberries! We love this all year round!
Thank you so much, Jen!!
This sounds amazing!!! I am going to try making it with some dragon thai peppers I still have sitting in a bowl from my garden.
Looks delicious! I’m thinking of making this with goat cheese!
I’m leery about making this dip for Thanksgiving but with such great reviews I’m going to give it a try. What kind of crackers go best with this dip?
I like pretzel crisps and wheat thins.
Do it!! It’s sweet, tart and savory (w cream cheese). But honestly I love it as a relish on its own and on my leftover turkey sandwiches. Too late for TDay but Trader Joe’s Pita Crisp crackers are great w this.
Can you substitute fresh cranberries for can?
I haven’t tried it – the flavor and texture would definitely be different.
I’ve heard rave reviews about this dip from several people. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks
I am making this today with cranberries. Can’t wait to try it! I made it this summer, since there were no fresh cranberries, I substituted cherry plums, and it was delicious, just FYI.
This was so yummy! I will be making it again.
Is it possible to use cream cheese spread instead of cream cheese? Or would that be too soft? If that’s the case, can I freeze the cream cheese spread to make it slightly thicker but still easier to use than cream cheese?
Or maybe this is just a mess and I should use cream cheese. Thanks!
I think it would be best to use cream cheese – but if you only have the cream cheese spread, you can probably try it out (it’ll be softer).
I made this for Thanksgiving and it was to die for. Everyone LOVED it!!!! My sister in law said it should become a staple. Making it again today for our Christmas cookie exchange and probably for Christmas, too!
Though I will add that it got a tiny bit runny so I will be removing most of the liquid after refrigerating this time
Can you freeze cranberry jalapeño
Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?
This looks so good! I love all the fresh ingredient. What a great combo of sweet and spicy!
I was unsure when I tried it alone but after letting it sit overnight in the fridge and adding it on top of the cream cheese it was a hit.
Recipe is freaking awesome as is but for those of you who just need to add or change something (me)
Try adding a cup of chopped pecans to the cranberry mixture just before spreading on top of the cream cheese!
I made this for Thanksgiving, and Christmas. My family and friends LOVED it!! I like to put it on top of my DRESSING instead of regular ol’ cranberry sauce– to die for!!! Try it and see.
I made this twice and I over pulsed it …I’m hoping it wont be ruined. 1st time I pulsed the cranberries by them selves then added the other ingredients and pulsed it togehter. Way to runny… then the second time I combined everything then pulsed it’s got a better texture but still runny… Any suggestions ?!?!
You can drain off the extra liquid, Sunny.
I over pulsed it too my family was not impressed but I’m making a new batch and reclaiming my victory lol
This recipe is SO good! I left out the green onions, used 3/4 c sugar instead of 1c, and did two deseeded jalapenos to kick up the spice (us Texans love our jalapenos). This was the perfect amount of sweet and spicy and hubby said it was one of the best things I’ve made!
Do you think I could make the cranberry mixture ahead of time today, if I am serving on Thanksgiving? Thank you!
Yes! Usually it gets a little liquidy after refrigerating so I pour off some of the liquid before using.
Is this better than other recipes I’ve found where you make a homemade cranberry sauce to top the cream cheese?
Not sure! You’d probably have to try it since so much depends on the homemade cranberry sauce you use for the other version you mentioned.
Can you substitute the sugar with erythritol or stevia?
I haven’t tried that but you could experiment.
Great dip! But I recommend mixing goat cheese in with the cream cheese for an extra kick!
Can you use canned cranberry sauce instead?
It would have a totally different flavor and texture, but you could definitely experiment.
Actually I think it’s absolutely delicious with the whole cranberries in a can but I’ve never had it any other way this year right now is going to be the first time I’ve ever used the fresh cranberries but yes very delicious even with the can ones I always get the whole ones though not the weird stuff that comes out in the shape of you LOL
Oh my goodness and I don’t know how to edit my comment obviously they don’t come out the shape of you they come out the shape of the can that they were in I’m so sorry
So glad I tried this! It is so good!!! Rave reviews. We also tried this one night with Brie and that was also yummy! This is definitely going to be eaten every winter from now on!
Can the mixture be frozen prior to putting it on the cream cheese?
I think so, but it will definitely be more watery once defrosted, so I’d drain as much of the liquid off as possible before using.
Had this at a party last night it was fantastic…..so good
This was absolutely delicious! I made it for a Christmas party last night and it was a big hit! Thank you!
OMG this was a show stopper. I made this for my work friend besties Christmas dinner last night everyone raved over it. It is one of those amazing recipes-super easy to throw together and absolutely delicious and a crowd pleaser! Will be making this again and again.
Ok well I added a spin, because I added is can of pumpkin purée to my 2 blocks of cream cheese…a little ginger and a tsp sugar and s little cinnamon and clove..like not even a tsp each. Because of this I went WAY lighter on the cumin and cilantro and onion like quarter the amount.
It made a pretty combination still love the jalepeno and this combo was the absolute hit of the thanksgiving party. Just a different take on an amazing recipe so thank you so much!
First of all, your version does not sound good.
Second, please don’t comment on recipes unless you actually made the recipe listed. Which you did not.
First of all, Kathy, you are RUDE. goodbye.
@christin, thanks for sharing.
I was SO taken aback by your rudeness! My goodness! Christine was nothing but encouraging and complimentary. Wow.
OMG this was so delicious. I wanted to keep cranberries in my Thanksgiving menu but every year I make some elaborate sauce and no one eats it! This was delicious. I was skeptical! But I couldn’t believe the rave reviews this got! From people who wouldn’t touch cranberries!
I was out of fresh lemons, but had a lime and used that! still delicious!
Oh my gosh, I made this for Thanksgiving and decided I better taste test before taking it to family dinner so I put a spoon full on top of my scrambled eggs, Yummy, I can think of lots of ways to use it but don’t think I’ll have any leftovers.
I made this recipe last year and it was a hit! The sweetness of the cranberries and the spiciness of the jalapeno mend really well with the cream cheese. Plus I mean cilantro is like the best thing in the world. I will be making this recipe again this year.
I see in the recipe instructions that you fresh cranberries do you cook them before you put them in the food processor. Can’t wait to try this thank you.
You use fresh, uncooked cranberries
Nope, you use them fresh and uncooked.
That was my question, also. Can’t wait to try this on Thursday! Thank you!
I’m going to try this for the first time, can I ask with the jalapeno is it a spicy dip? I look through the comments but couldn’t see any questions on that. Thank you
If you leave the seeds and membranes in the jalapeno it will be spicier, but if you leave them out, it’s mild (but a lot depends on the jalapeno – size, variety, etc).
Can’t wait to try this – I want to take it to share on a family holiday weekend away. I won’t have access to a food processor or blender though. How far in advance can I prep the “topping” (and refrigerate in a Tupperware) and and then just assemble over the cream cheese later? Can it sit chilled and covered for two or three days?
You can make the cranberry mixture up to a week in advance – then just drain off some of the liquid and assemble over the cream cheese.
I love this recipe!! It’s one of my favorite dishes to serve this time of year! I just added it to my blog! Thanks!
Do you know if its spicey
Tried this recipe and it was delicious
Obivously, I love your recipe but I am curious about the cute, little appetizer plates you used for the picture. Where did you get those? They are the white, round ones displaying the dip with a few crackers.
Oh boy, I’ve had those for so long, I don’t remember! Sorry! I may have picked them up at World Market, but it’s been 8-10 years ago.
I agree with Brian. This dip is addictive,love it anytime of the year . If fresh cranberries are out of season you can use canned whole cranberry sauce and omit the sugar.
I made this using coconut palm sugar and added chopped walnuts. It was delicious and a big hit!
Crowd pleaser for sure, even my 2.5 year old niece loved it.
Love this dip! Made it last December and was craving it this year as soon as I saw the fresh cranberries at the grocery store.
This really is the best dip ever! I am always asked to bring this to family gatherings, and everyone who tries it wants the recipe. Definitely a holiday must-have in our house!!
I have quite a bit of homemade cranberry sauce left from Thanksgiving. I’m going to try to play with this for Christmas apps. The jalapeño is such a surprising and wonderful addition! Thanks so much. (I hope our guys like it as much as your husband.)
This dip is a keeper. Served it over cream cheese with wheat thins and smoked salmon on the same tray. Went very quickly. I will definitely be making this again! Thanks!
I accidentally ended up pulverizing the mixture. it is now a cranberry jalepeno smoothie — I was way overzealous with my blender. I hope it’s not ruined…we shall see how it turns out tomorrow!!
How far in advance can I this?
Probably 24 hours.
I made it the night before Thanksgiving last year and it was still really good when it was served at 2 pm the next day. Just don’t put it on the cream cheese until you are ready to serve it. I covered it in plastic wrap in the fridge and kept the cream cheese in its original packaging.
I actually made 4 batches of this cranberry-jalapeno cream cheese dip this morning. Let it sit in the fridge for just over an hour..it is delicious. Spread a think layer of cream cheese on a baked cracker topped with the dip and could not stop at one! I took one out to my husband who is outside sorting through things in the garage and lo and behold he’s back in for another. I shared it on Facebook and think others will give it a try. Delicious!
The remaining 3 batches will be for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.
so for those of you that have frozen this . . . did you freeze it with the cilantro in it? it seems like the cilantro would turn dark and wilt and not look too appetizing after freezing.
Sounds good can’t wait to make it.
How long can it be stored? I am wanting to make it in advance of Christmas & full several small jars as part of Christmas gifts.
Probably up to a week (maybe longer, I just haven’t tried it for that long) – it can probably be frozen for longer.
I am fascinated by the idea of cranberries and jalapenos together! But I’m wondering if anyone has tried mixing them into the softened cream cheese (rather than having them on top of the brick)?
I just saw a recipe that used dried cranberries that was mixed. A reviewer said use fresh instead.
I just had it mixed this week and it was AMAZING!!!
Yes I have. The first time I made this I was in a hurry and didn’t read the directions properly. It turns out to be a really pretty pink color. I served it in a bowl with crackers on the side. People LOVE this recipe.
Has anyone ever made the cranberry mixture then frozen it? I want to make this for Christmas dinner but have to work everyday leading up to that. I also have all the fresh ingredients now so was wondering if I would make it and freeze it for 5 days or so. What do you think?
I’ve never tried it, April, but I think it’s worth a try.
Jeanette in the comments above said she made it and froze small batches that she taste tested over a year’s time. She said it tasted just as fresh as the day she made it even after s year. Hope it works for you too!
I have frozen it came out perfectly fine. Thawed over night ion the frig. assembled in the morning served that afternoon got rave reviews and asked for the recipe. I only froze the topping . Hope this is helpful, sorry I just now saw your comment.
Mel, Have you ever served this dip warm?
No, but I kind of like the idea…
Where”s the instructions for the cranberry jalapeño dip? All I see is comments.
I hope I’m not repeating anyone here, but I froze small 4 oz containers and tested a batch each month to see how long you could freeze this recipe. We love it for entertaining, snacking and use it on sandwiches. Especially good with ham and turkey off the bone. Any rate, each batch taste as fresh as the day it was made and I tested the entire 12 months. Hope this helps if you get a chance to stock up on cranberries at an exceptional price. Last year I was lucky enough to get them 50 cents a bag.
Thanks for posting Jeanette. This will be really helpful since we can only get cranberries around November and December here.
Hi there! This cranberry jalapeño dip is amazing! I was just wondering what I might have done wrong when I made it because it had quite a bit of liquid in it – the juice from the fresh cranberries. Is the normal?
Hi Judi – yes, this dip does tend to have a bit of liquid. Sometimes I’ll drain a bit of it off before putting it on the cream cheese.
Ok good to know! Thank you for replying. It was a big hit at my annual girlfriend’s Xmas party this past weekend & I had a few requests for the recipe! So delicious.
I made this over the holidays and everyone OBSESSED over it! Had a request to make it again, but cranberries are out of season. I read the above reviews and wondering if anyone tried frozen cranberries? If so, how did it turn out?!
I haven’t tried frozen, Rachel, so hopefully someone else can chime in if they’ve had experience using them.
looks very delicious! will have to have it at my next big dinner. thank you very much!!
Hi there. Should I chop up all of the parts of the green onion from the white to all of the green? Or just the white onion part?
For this recipe, I chop both the white and green parts.
I made this as a sauce for beef pattie sliders and it worked a treat. Thanks!
I am drooling again as I always do when I visit your website. I use your recipes often, always with great success. This dip looks totally insane, however, I can’t buy fresh cranberries where I am (Australia)
I was wondering if I could use fresh pomegranate instead?
Hi Michelle – that’s a good question! You know, I’ve never used pomegranate seeds but actually, I think it could be delicious – a little different texturally and you’d definitely want to decrease the sugar by a lot since pomegranate seeds are much sweeter than cranberries but I think it stands a fair chance of working out. Good luck!
What type of crackers would you suggest?
Alyssa – I usually use whole grain crackers (like Kashi or Wheat thins).
Since I am diabetic, I was wondering if I substitute Stevia for the sugar and Greek yogurt for the cream cheese (yes, I know, it pales in comparison to cream cheese), if it would work. Any diabetics out there with an opinion?
Made with cashew cream cheese and a bit of poblano (so as not too spicy for the kids) perfect!
Seriously. Seriously! Seriously? This stuff is amazing! My first bite….”Hmm, ok, this is good. Wait, now I can taste the cream cheese…wait, now the salty cracker. This stuff is AWESOME!” Can’t wait to see if it is a hit at the party I am taking it to. We’ll find out tonight 🙂
The combo of flavors with this is just awesome.
I made this last year, and then completely forgot about it until the other day. I saw some cranberries at the store and visions of the cranberry jalapeno mixture started dancing in my head. Sadly, I didn’t buy the cranberries, and I’ve been craving this ever since. You’d better believe that cranberries are at the very top of my shopping list this week!
Hi Mel, I made this for a holiday cocktail party last night and there were many raves! as well as many requests for the recipe. I am going to prepare it again for my Christmas day dinner….so easy and yummy! I did not think it was too spicy, just a great combination of tart, sweet and fire! Loved it and thanks so much.
This dip sounds amazing and I would dearly love to try it. My problem though is that I am unable to get either fresh or frozen cranberries here in Australia. I have only ever eaten dried which I assume would be a totally different flavour. I do grow European gooseberries which are tart and I have stocked in my freezer. Do you think these would be a suitable substitute or are you able to suggest something else?
I am discovering your amazing range of recipes and can’t wait to work my way through them. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.
Hi Iris – unfortunately, I don’t know a good substitution for the cranberries. You could go ahead and try the gooseberries but I have no idea how they would work out since I am not familiar with them. Many recipes can take substitutions quite well; but I think this one really needs the fresh cranberries.
Since I can’t find fresh cranberries at my grocery store this time of year, I was wondering how fresh raspberries would be?
Hannah – no, I don’t think so. Fresh raspberries have a completely different flavor profile and texture than fresh cranberries. Sorry!
this sounds super good, but where i’m from, we don’t have fresh cranberries. would it be possible to substitute with dried cranberries or mashed cranberry jelly?
Mel – you really do need fresh cranberries for this. I don’t think the other options would sub well. Sorry!
Thank you for this flavorful dip! We had some guests over and they were kept going back and back for more! We are making it again tonight! 🙂 We half the sugar and is sweet enough for our taste. My husband also says to double it because once you taste it, you will have wished you would have doubled it.
My husband made it and loves to be in the kitchen cooking your recipes. Another one we love is Coconut Curry Chicken soup. Yum, Yum!!!
Yum! I made a half batch of this for the holidays and the flavor combinations were just fantastic. I am going to use the other half of my cranberries to make it for a baby shower.
Awesome dip but you only need 3/4 cup sugar at most!!! And def 1 more jalapeno!!!
This recipe was a big hit at Thanksgiving this year. This was our new favorite! I added two jalapenos & I don’t like hot foods. My family liked it best on bagel rounds. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
I made this last night for out Canasta group thanksgiving get together. I use only 1/2 cup sugar and two jalapeños (seeds & Membrane removed). Everyone loved it! Great balance between sweet, tart, spicy. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Kathy – sure, I think you could sub parsley just fine!
I looked for this question and couldn’t find it… so i apologize if you already answered it! How long is this good for in the fridge?
It’s a family favorite!!
The cranberry mixture can get a bit watery after being in the fridge too long, so it’s best to refrigerate separately…but it can be made several days in advance (just drain any excess liquid before putting the cranberry mixture over the cream cheese).
The time for cranberries will be upon us soon and I can’t wait to try this dip (since I somehow missed it last year) I have one question what would you substitute for the cilantro? Parsley maybe? I’m one of those poor people that for us cilantro tastes like soap! (don’t blame me, its genetic!)
Diane – I’ve never tried it so I don’t know. The combination doesn’t necessarily strike my taste bud fancy but if you like all those flavors combined then it is probably worth a try!
Would you think this would work as a spread on pumpkin bread?
I was browsing through your recipes to get some new ideas and I forgot to leave a review of this salsa. I have to say it is now my go-to appetizer dish to make for a family gathering for the holiday’s–thanksgiving and christmas! It’s always a huge hit with my family and myself, of course! I serve it with lightly salted wheat thin crackers.
So, I was wanting to make this for my book club and just realized cranberries are out of season. Have you made this with something else or could I get away with using canned cranberries?
Cheri – I would look for frozen cranberries first. I don’t think canned cranberries would work well at all in this dish because of the texture. Good luck!
What can I say? All of the recipes I have made from your website are addicting- with a capital “A!” No doubt! With this knowledge I knew I could not be trusted to make this recipe for just my husband and I (Visions of us demolishing it easily, very easily, in 5 sec flat, invaded my mind) so I took it to work Valentines Day. It was gone in no time! Mel, thanks again for such a stellar recipe. You rock my recipe world!
Divine. Such a surprise to everyone who tried it. They all looked skeptical on approach and I’d have to “sell” them on trying it, but after one bite, they would go back with a spoon and mound a huge pile on their plates. Oh, and this happened quite by accident, but I had this dip on the counter next to a bowl of sweet potato tortilla chips from Trader Joe’s and they were delicious with this dip.
I made this during Christmas & it was soooo amazingly good! Now making it again for a girls weekend I wanted to share how much I LOVE this dip! And I love dips…but this dip is #1 for me!
SO good! Could not stop eating this!!
I made this also, using Splenda instead of sugar for dietary restrictions in our house. turned out great, and is my new favorite “go to” salsa!!!
Long time reader of yoru blog, but never commented. thanks for the nice mix of healthy and indulgent. It really reflects a balanced and realistic lifestyle.
Forgot to add…I served them with Wheat Thins Toasted Chips (the plain ones, Great Plains Multigrain) – super yummy and good for scooping up the dip.
This was so good!! And I had no idea fresh cranberries are so inexpensive. Thanks for the great recipe!
Yum! I made a batch of this for two different dinner parties we had over the past weekend. It was a hit at both! I served it a little differently than suggested in the recipe. I had 4 small matching bowls. In bowl #1 was the cranberry mixture, #2 some sliced candied jalapenos (made by my sister), #3 some onion & chive cream cheese, and in bowl #4 some regular cream cheese. On a platter I placed 3 different kinds of crackers… club, Ritz, and regular saltines. That way everyone could mix and match what they wanted and then try it a different way with the next cracker. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your yummy recipe!
Nice way to enjoy some cranberries!
We make a similar dip, but add a small can of crushed pineapple and no cumin or lemon juice. It’s fantastic and a must at the holidays.
This is how completely I trust your recipes, Mel: Having never made or tasted this before, I made it and served at two family Christmas parties last weekend. AND I’m not even a jalepeno girl. I’m warming up to those little peppers though, especially after this dip. Everyone who tried it liked it and many of us loved it. As my brother-in-law from Arizona said, “Anytime you can put both cranberries and jalepenos in something, I’m in!”
I also made Citrus Water Punch for the party. I describe it as a sofisticated lemonade. Very yummy! And finally, to finish the Christmas weekend with your recipes, I made Morning Buns for our between-Christmas-presents-breakfast. All three of these recipes got a place on my Christmas weekend, even without vetting them myself. Thanks for vetting them for me!
All I can say is wow! This recipe was deliciously simple and so tasty – you really couldn’t stop eating it. Total hit at our Christmas dinner! Thanks Mel!!!
Mel, I made this dip as my part of an appetizer party for work last night…a number of us have a suggestion regarding it:
We strongly suggest you rename it.
Something like…Mel’s Cranberry-Crack Dip…or Mel’s Addiction. This stuff IS addicting, amazing…and out of the park delicious! Thank you for sharing a recipe I’ll be making for many years to come.
I made this for cards’ night, and it was a smashing success! Everybody loved it – and the best part? It was super easy to make! I did cut the sugar down to 3/4 cup, and that was perfect for us. This recipe will be a keeper around here! Thanks!
Made this for our Christmas dinner, and it was a huge hit! Thank you so much for the awesome recipe!
This is simple and economical to make and REALLY delicious. It will be a Christmas appetizer staple for me. Thanks for sharing.
THIS, people, was AWESOME! Made it for guests this weekend, and no one can stop eating it. (I only stopped momentarily to let you know.) 😉 L♥ve, l♥ve, l♥ve!
I found your recipe (and blog) through Pinterest and thank heavens I did. This was fantastic! Everyone raved and raved about it. Tasty! This will be a Christmas party staple for sure. Thanks so much!
I just had this for the first time the other day and it was delicious. The girl who made it said she’d get me the recipe but hasn’t yet, so thank you! I love the festive red and green colors (she garnished it with cilantro leaves). Perfect for Christmas!
Sara – yes, I think it is fairly sweet. I cut down the sugar from 1 1/2 cups (from the original recipe) to 1 cup and still, I think you could get away with 3/4 cup…having said that, my husband and brother LOVED it the way it was. Just remember those tart cranberries need quite a bit of sugar lovin’ get take the tartness off. Pecans would be delicious!
this sounds excellent to me, mel! it must be similar to pepper jelly atop cream cheese, but with the added tart element. fabulous!
Is this fairly sweet? 1 C sugar sounds pretty sweet and I’d like a more “cheeseball” flavor. Was thinking of adding pecans too.
Sounds fantastic! I love the sweet, spicy and tart combo. This dip would be perfect for a Christmas get-together. 🙂
I was actually asking my friend for this recipe so I could send it to you! 🙂 Great minds think alike!
I can’t wait to try this! I have friends that make sweet jalapeno jelly and give out every Christmas. I wait all year long for that jar of jelly. My favorite recipes usually end up being sweet and savory recipes and this doesn’t look like it will disappoint!
Hey Mel…glad your hubby loved it! I took it to our Thanksgiving Dinner this year and my Mother in law kept gathering up members of our family saying “Come and try this fabulous dip…it does’t taste a thing like you think it’s going to when you look at it.” (I think I heard her say it to 7 different people) It is a yummy suprise of a dip, isn’t it? Thanks for the link back. Have a good one!
Denise – I didn’t think this dish was spicy in the least, thanks to removing the seeds and membrane from the jalapeno and due to the sugar in the recipe. In fact, if it were up to me, I’d probably add another jalapeno or leave in a few seeds for a little extra spice…so my guess is that one jalapeno (make sure the seeds and membranes are removed!) will be just fine for you.
You are exactly right, mild wings are “spicy” for me, but this was perfect, just sent my niece the link to this site b/c her family is asking for it for Christmas, I had it for Thanksgiving, wonderful!! Served it with triscuit and LOVED it.
How “kicky” does the jalepeno make this dip? I’ve never been able to handle much kick so just curious because I want to make this but I’m trying to figure out how muc jalepeno I should put in! Any recommendations? It looks so yummy!
Carolyn – sure, you could probably leave it out but you might consider replacing it with chili powder or another smoky, chili-type spice – just to round out the flavors.
Mmmm this looks heavenly! And a nice change-up to the typical holiday appetizers….
My wife had this salsa for the first time last year at a company Christmas get-together. It’s as good as it sounds. I like a little extra pepper so I would add two jalapenos if it were up to me.
I made this for a Thanksgiving appetizer, and it was one of everyone’s favorites! It’s going to become a regular for us!!
So now I think I know what I’m bringing to Friday’s Christmas party:) Do you think I could leave out the cumin? I guess it is only a 1/2 tsp, but I always think it wont bug me in a recipe and then even the littlest bit is just too much for me…
I made a very similar recipe last week. I couldn’t stop eating it either. Sooooo good and so pretty and festive! Love it! Your pictures look great…as always 🙂
Just copied and saved the recipe – will definitely be on my menu very soon.
Sat here with a big smile on my face when you described your husband’s “love” for this dip – isn’t it wonderful when you totally please someone! Go ahead, make him some more.
Wow, this looks like the recipe that will make me go buy a food processor.
I don’t know if this is a Texas thing, but we love sweet + jalapenos. We usually take cream cheese and pour over a bottle of this raspberry jalapeno jam and eat it up! It’s a holiday classic for us. I’m happy to see your homemade version with cranberries!
I love the unexpected flavor combinations in this dip! The color of the cranberry salsa is gorgeous, too, and perfect for a holiday spread or pre-feast appetizer! The fact that it keeps well for days is a bonus (if there is any leftover). Thanks for sharing, Mel!