This fun and festive cranberry jalapeno dip is sweet, spicy and so flavorful! It is super easy to make and only takes 5 minutes from start to finish. This creamy cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip is great for holidays, entertaining, and parties!

Cranberry jalapeno dip on white plate

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This cranberry jalapeno dip has the best flavors.
  • It only takes 5 minutes to make.
  • This cream cheese dip can be made with regular cream cheese or dairy free cream cheese.
  • It is bright, fresh and festive.
  • Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and more.
  • The cranberries add a great pop of color and tart flavor.
  • The jalapeno adds a little bit of heat without being overwhelming.
  • A little sugar rounds out the dip in the best way! It adds a subtle sweetness.
  • This dip is gluten free, nut free, easily made dairy free and Vegan.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Fresh cranberries add a great sweet and tart flavor! Do not use frozen or dried cranberries. There is no replacement for fresh cranberries.

The sliced jalapeno adds a great hint of heat. For less spicy, remove seeds from jalapeno. For more spice, leave seeds intact.

Cilantro really brings out the tartness of the cranberries. It is fresh, flavorful, and delicious.

A little lime juice adds some moisture and additional tartness to this creamy cranberry jalapeno dip. The juice from half a lime is more than enough. If desired, replace lime juice with lemon juice.

Granulated sugar adds the most sweetness. It also coats the cranberries nicely and brings out their moisture. I do not recommend trying to substitute this with coconut sugar or brown sugar. For a refined sugar free option, either omit entirely or a drizzle of honey might work!

Use regular cream cheese or dairy free cream cheese. Both varieties work well. Leave cream cheese out on countertop for about an hour before making this dip. This allows the cream cheese to soften and become spreadable. For an extra creamy dip, feel free to whip cream cheese in stand mixer before spreading on platter or shallow bowl.

Cream cheese and cranberry dip with crackers

Taste & Texture

This cranberry jalapeno dip is sweet, spicy and fresh. The strongest flavors are cranberries and cream cheese. The jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice are nice subtle flavors.

The cranberry mixture has the texture of a chunky homemade relish. The cream cheese adds the creaminess.

If you’ve ever had the dip from Costco, this is similar but better!

All About Cranberries

Cranberries are bright red, a little tart, a little sweet, and delicious! They are commonly consumed in November during Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season in December. They can be eaten in soups, sauces, casseroles, juices, and drinks.

This little superfood is packed with nutrients. Cranberries are high in antioxidants and vitamins. They are also known to contain high amounts of fiber and Vitamin B.

How to Make

Step 1

First, add cranberries, sliced jalapenos, and cilantro to food processor. Pulse a few times to break up cranberries.

Step 2

Next, pour this cranberry mixture into a bowl. Add lime juice and sugar to mixing bowl.

Sugar with berries in bowl

Step 3

Toss everything together until cranberries are fully coated in sugar.

Berries in bowl

Step 4

Use spoon to spread softened cream cheese onto a serving plate or shallow bowl.

Cream cheese on white plate

Step 5

Top cream cheese with cranberry mixture.

Creamy red dip on plate

Step 6

Finally, serve right away or refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.

Expert Tips & Tricks

For best results, use fresh cranberries. Both frozen and dried cranberries will not work.

Allow cream cheese to soften at room temperature for an hour. This amount of time will soften the cream cheese but it will still be firm enough to hold the cranberry mixture.

Pulse cranberry mixture only a few times. Do not blend until cranberries are liquid.

How to Serve & Store

Serve cranberry jalapeno dip fresh or refrigerated. Serve immediately after making or refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.

This dip is great with crackers, chips and chopped veggies. Since the dip is packed with flavor, I recommend using a mild tasting cracker or chip. Flavored chips may compete with the flavors of the dip.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Cranberries may “bleed” a little bit, but wipe away any excess moisture if needed.

Cranberry dip with crackers

Making Ahead of Time

This cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip can be made ahead of time!

After making cranberry mixture, you have two options. Either pour cranberry mixture over cream cheese and then freeze, or store cranberry mixture separately. Then, soften cream cheese before serving and top with cranberry mixture.

The longer this dip chills, the more runny the cranberries will become. Wipe away any unwanted cranberry juice with a paper towel before serving.

How to Make More or Less Spicy

To make this dip more spicy, leave jalapeno seeds intact. The seeds add the majority of the heat. Consider adding a dash of cumin to the food processor before pulsing. This adds a little extra flavor and spice.

For less heat, remove seeds from jalapeno. In addition, feel free to add more sugar to combat the heat.

Cranberry jalapeno dip on plate

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen cranberries?

No, do not use frozen cranberries.

Can I make this dairy free?

Sure! Use dairy free cream cheese.

Is this dip gluten free?

Yes, this dip is gluten free. Use gluten free crackers too!

What should I serve it with?

Subtle flavored crackers and chips go well with this dip for an appetizer. Chopped veggies are another great option.

You May Also Like

If you make this cranberry jalapeno dip recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow along!  For more ideas, check out these Christmas Recipes.

Cranberry jalapeno dip on white plate

Get the Recipe: Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

This creamy cranberry jalapeno dip is a little sweet, a little spicy, and a little tart. It is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. This homemade cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip is great for parties, holidays, and entertaining!
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 3 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened, regular or dairy free

Instructions 

  • First, add cranberries, sliced jalapenos, and cilantro to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up cranberries.
  • Then, pour this mixture into a bowl. Add lime juice and sugar to mixing bowl.
  • Toss until cranberries are coated in sugar.
  • Use spoon to spread out softened cream cheese onto a serving plate or shallow bowl.
  • Top cream cheese with cranberry mixture.
  • Either serve right away or refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.

Notes

  • Use fresh cranberries, not frozen.
  • For a milder taste, remove seeds from jalapeno.
  • If desired, whip cream cheese with a mixer before spreading on platter or bowl.
  • This dip is great fresh or refrigerated.  Refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.  The longer it chills, the more juicy the cranberries will become.  Feel free to wipe up any extra cranberry juice if desired.
  • Both regular and dairy free cream cheese work!  Allow cream cheese to sit at room temperature for an hour before making dip.  This allows it to become creamy and spreadable.
Calories: 186kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 146mg, Potassium: 76mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 639IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 1mg

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