Tart, sweet, spicy, and creamy, this cranberry jalapeno dip has it all! Repurpose that leftover cranberry sauce into a delicious dip to snack on while watching the big game! This festive holiday appetizer is a crowd pleaser and could not be easier to make!
Are you a canned cranberry sauce or a homemade cranberry sauce fan? That seems to be the biggest debate when it comes to a holiday meal.
We have always been a canned cranberry sauce family up until recently. The freshness you get from making your own cranberry sauce is so much better than one in the can.
Inevitably though, there is always cranberry sauce left over, and what are you supposed to do with it? Why not make a cranberry jalapeno dip to snack on while you put the tree up, watch the big game, or just hang out and enjoy time with family?
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It hits all the right flavor notes! Spicy, sweet, tart, creamy, and a little salty, this dip has it all!
- It's a great way to use up leftovers! There's so many leftovers after a holiday meal, and likely so many groceries you weren't able to use! Planned to make a cheesecake but didn't get to it? You probably have some cream cheese bricks in the refrigerator. The cranberry sauce is always left over after the holidays, so repurpose it!
- It's a no cook appetizer! After a few long days of cooking and cleaning, you don't want to have to cook again to feed the masses. This dip is no bake, and it comes together in a matter of minutes!
Ingredients You'll Need
- Cranberry Sauce- you can used canned if your family prefers canned, or you can use homemade cranberry sauce.
- Jalapeno- Just one, washed and trimmed.
- Cilantro- 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro. Fresh is best in this case, dried would not have the same flavor.
- Cream Cheese- Full fat cream cheese is best as low fat or fat free tend to be more watery. It's the holidays, go with the good stuff!
- Lime Juice- to "wake up" the flavors and add a bit of zest and tang to the dip.
Let's Make Cranberry Jalapeno Dip!
Trim the cilantro to just the leaves and stems from the top 3 inches of the cilantro steam. Cut the jalapeno's top of and cut it into chunks. Add the cilantro, lime juice, salt, and jalapeno to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the jalapenos are minced and very small.
Add the cranberry sauce to the food processor and process again until the mixture is well combined. Do not over pulse as the mixture will become too smooth. You want a little bit of texture in the dip.
In a bowl, add the two bricks of cream cheese. With a hand mixer, whip the cream cheese for 1 minute. Transfer the cream cheese to your serving dish and evenly spread it out on the bottom of the dish.
Top with the cranberry jalapeno mixture. Place the dip in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This will chill the dip and allow the flavors to come together.
How To Serve This Dip
My favorite way to serve this dip is with crackers, like these sourdough herb and olive oil crackers.
After a long holiday week, sometimes we don't want to make crackers from scratch and I get that. Pita chips, Ritz crackers, or even vegetables are all great choices.
You want a pretty sturdy chip as the cream cheese will easily break a chip. Crackers are the way to go.
Green onions or chives can be chopped very small to top this dip and add some more flavor. That is a great option if you have some leftover onions hanging out in the refrigerator.
Fresh Cranberries vs. Cranberry Sauce
If you have fresh cranberries, they can be used instead of cranberry sauce. To use fresh cranberries, add a 12 ounce bag of cranberries to the food processor along with ½ cup of sugar. Add the jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and lime juice. Pulse until they are chopped into small pieces. Drain any liquid that accumulates in the food processor. Allow the mixture to sit for a few hours in the refrigerator before topping the cream cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! This is a great make ahead dip. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavors get. Make this dip 12-24 hours ahead of time and allow it to sit in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap. When you are ready to serve it, take off the plastic wrap and serve!
That depends on how spicy your jalapeno is! If you are nervous about spice or you don't want this dip to be too spicy, when you are trimming the jalapeno, carefully remove the seeds and the white membrane in the jalapeno. The membrane is where all the heat is. Just add the green portion of the pepper to the food processor. If you can, use gloves during this process. If the juices from the jalapeno get on your hands, it will burn your hands. Don't touch your eyes during this process either! Jalapeno juice in your eyes is a recipe for disaster!
If you have leftovers of this dip, cover the serving dish with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. After 2 days, the dip will start getting too watery and the cream cheese will lose it's flavor and texture.
Other Recipes To Try!
Did you love this Cranberry Jalapeno Dip? I'd so appreciate it if you would give this recipe a 5 star review! That will help other hungry readers find my recipes!
- Halloween Pasta Salad
- Spooky Halloween Tortilla Chips
- Cozy Instant Pot Ham and Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Marinara Sauce
Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
- 2 bricks Cream Cheese 8 ounces each, softened
- 1 cup Cranberry Sauce
- 1 Jalapeno seeds and membranes removed
- 2 tablespoon Fresh Cilantro
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Lime Juice
- Wash and trim the jalapeno. Cut the stem off and remove the seeds and white membrane in the pepper if you do not want this dip to be too spicy. Cut the jalapeno into large chunks.
- Add the jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and lime juice to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until the mixture is minced and all the same size.
- Add the cranberry sauce and pulse again to combine the mixture.
- Add the softened cream cheese bricks to a large bowl and whip the cream cheese for 1 minute with a hand mixer. Transfer the whipped cream cheese to your serving dish and evenly spread out the cream cheese in the dish.
- Top the cream cheese with the cranberry mixture and place the dip in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Serve with crackers.
- Allow the dip to chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving to meld the flavors together. This dip can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
- The seeds and white membrane in the jalapeno is where all the heat is. Remove those parts of the jalapeno if you don't want this dip to be too spicy.