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Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip
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 Thanksgiving will be comin’ round the mountain in just a few days now you know, folks. I just can’t wait. It’s always such an enjoyable day. I love enjoyable days. Days spent eating delicious food, and visiting with wonderful family members. Looking forward to it!

Today for me, was one of “those” days. You know about them, don’t you? Not the really enjoyable kind.  The kind you just try and plow through while you wonder how many things are going to go wrong!
A few months ago my cute TeenNephewJayDee told me, “Aunt Jamie, everything you cook is like perfect, and everybody like LOVES everything you make because it is like ALWAYS so good.”
Wow. What a cute and thoughtful boy. I wonder what he would think if he were to have witnessed the “like” perfection going on in my kitchen this morning.
This morning my goal was to make and photo this fabulous Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip….just for you all.

Ten minutes into the project, I had burned both of my hands on some hot and fiery jalapeno pepper seeds.
Then….I filled my blender up with cranberries. (While running to the sink every 30 seconds to pour water over my burned hands) Trying to get the cranberries to break up in the bottom of the blender, I stuck a wooden spoon down into the cranberries and chopped the thing to bits. At this point I spent a good 5 minutes contemplating the pros and cons of inflicting wood poisoning on my family. My blender can grind things up pretty fine you know.

Then…. I poured the CranberryWoodChipDelight down the disposal.

My sink wasn’t that impressed with the concoction and chose to get all clogged, and plunger needy. Nice.
Right at that same moment….
another form of plumbing….
in a separate room…..(white porcelain piece of work with a lid)
got all plunger needy.
Don’t hold that picture in your mind for  too long…this is a food blog you know. 
It was a plunger happy, hands on fire, wood chips in my teeth kind of morning. And right on a day I was going to not drink any Diet Coke, too. Let me just say, Diet Coke doesn’t taste that great if you’ve got wood chips in your teeth. Perfect. Just perfect.

But lucky for us….this Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip is super fabulous! My TeenNephewJayDee would give it the “like” perfect thumbs up. It’s got a little bit of a spicy kick to it. If spicy-kick isn’t your cup of tea, no worries. Just leave the jalapeno out.  Then you would also most definitely not burn your hands with it’s venomous seeds. Double bonus!

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip
Time: 15 minutes prep + 4 hours refrigeration
Yield: 15 servings
Recipe adapted from my dear friend Heather Peterson
1  12 oz package fresh cranberries
1/4 C green onion, chopped
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper
1 1/4 C sugar
1/4 t cumin
2 T lemon juice
dash salt
2  8 oz packages cream cheese

1. Put your cranberries in a food processor. I used my mini chopper (one batch of CranberryWoodChipDelight was enough for me. The blender and I aren’t speaking to each other at this point….) You could also, just chop them up.

2. Chop up your green onion, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper into small pieces. Careful of the seeds now. Throw on a pair of rubber gloves or something, please. The seeds are the hot part of the pepper. If you don’t like a lot of heat on the old pallet, just leave the jalapeno out.
3. Add all ingredients (but the cream cheese and the wheat thins) into a bowl. Mix them all together, cover and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours. The sugar needs some time to soak in to the cranberries and break up their bitter taste.  

4. When you are ready to serve, place your cream cheese bricks on a plate.
5. Spread the cream cheese out as evenly as you can.
6. Pour your cranberry mixture over the cream cheese.
7. Spread it all around.
8. Serve immediately with Wheat Thins, Ritz Crackers or Tortilla Chips.


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  1. 151
    December 30, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    This was delicious! I made one batch and took it to two Christmas parties. Just made another batch tonight for a New Year’s party. I used frozen cranberries, straight from the freezer.

  2. 152
    Lauralyn Theodore
    February 4, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I came across this recipe last year, and demonstrated it for a club I belong to . . overwhelming success. At this year’s Christmas party, one of the members commented “I made your dip, it’s so delicious.” I’m always happy when there are left overs . .. I spread cream cheese on a cracker and top with the cranberry relish . . . yum!

  3. 153
    August 30, 2014 at 2:12 am

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  4. 154
    sue griffore
    October 20, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    what can be used instead of cilantro?

    • 155
      October 26, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Fresh cilantro is really vital to this recipe. I would suggest using it and not using any kind of substitution. Best of luck to you!

    • 156
      December 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      The dip is just as good without the cilantro.

    • 157
      December 13, 2014 at 11:39 am

      I also made this without the cilantro and it was great! Some people experience cilantro as a soapy taste. For those of us that do, it can RUIN a good recipe. I added extra jalapeno/green onions too, but that was a just personal preference. It was a hit at the last party I took it to.

  5. 158
    November 18, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Do you cook the cranberries first?

    • 159
      November 19, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Hi Patty,
      Nope, you don’t need to cook them. They will break down in the blender, and the addition of the sugar will soften them up. Best of luck!

  6. 160
    November 19, 2014 at 8:33 am

    I just found this and it sounds wonderful. I wonder if you have experimented with adding any flavors to the cream cheese? I was thinking a little cilantro, lemon or OJ would pull the flavors together. Maybe straining a tablespoon of the cranberry mix and creaming it into the cream cheese? I might give it a try – I love flavored cream cheese.

  7. 161
    November 24, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Thank you. Going to give it a try for Thanksgiving ????

  8. 162
    Karen Carver
    November 25, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Could this mixture be made in bulk and canned?

  9. 163
    November 26, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Dumb question. I’m new to cooking :)

    Do you mean 12 ounces of cranberries by volume or weight? I bought two 8 ounce bags and about 3/4 of a bag is 12 ounces in volume….

  10. 164
    Nicole B
    December 2, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Had this at a friend’s house recently, OMG! YUM!!

  11. 165
    December 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I made this for a huge appetizer buffet party and it was by far the most requested recipe. Don’t fear the cilantro, it blends into the other flavors and is DELICIOUS! I served it with sea salt pita chips.

  12. 166
    December 30, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    The store was out of fresh and frozen so I had to get canned. I am hoping this turns out as good as the two times I’ve made it with fresh since it was requested for a new years party. Has anyone done it this way? Also I preferred it blended with the cream cheese it was easier to scoop with tortilla chips and not as messy and runny as when I poured just over the top.

  13. 167
    April 16, 2015 at 6:47 pm

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  14. 168
    Frances Webster
    October 7, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    I made have been making something similar for the holidays for many years. I take 2 cans whole cranberry sauce; 1 can diced jalapenos (with the juice), mix them together and put in the refrigerator in a sealed container for at least a day. Serve over an 8 oz package of cream cheese. I serve with crackers or tortilla chips for dipping.

  15. 169
    October 10, 2015 at 9:01 pm

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