Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

 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.



Post a comment!


  1. 1
    November 23, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Oh, that does sound good! I might use lime juice instead of the lemon though. I'll have to give it a go for the Holidays. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 2
    November 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    He!He!He! Oh my Heavens! I almost wet my pants, I was laughing so hard! Don't you just love days like that! At least the wood chips count as fiber! Your recipe sounds delicious with or without wood chips.

  3. 3
    November 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Oh, why did I think I was the only one? Last night I was feeding my family of six plus two young men with big appetites. I called to make sure they were hungry and that they were going to be prompt. Then I started cooking my dinner of ham, scalloped potatoes and peas. I pulled the ham out of the freezer and started thawing it in hot water just enough to get the wrapper off. There was a strange black jell all over the ham and I started peeling it off. About half way through, I realized it didn't come off too well, and called the company that distributes it, only to hear a recording saying the black stuff is edible and don't take it off. Now the ham looked positively gross! Nevertheless, into the oven it went! I still had an hour and a half till company arrived. I thought that I should maybe add some rolls to the menu, because my hubby loves them so much, but the bread machine takes too long to make dough, so I started making it all by hand. I set out my yeasty milk/butter/sugar mixture to proof, and started slicing potatoes. That's when my toddler informed me that she needed to go potty and I had to come with her. Finally I got back to the potatoes and got them all peeled and sliced into a bowl of water when I realized that half an hour had passed and I hadn't added the flour to my bread stuff. I finished mixing up the dough, and got back to the potatoes. I got them in the oven with the ham and tried to hurry my bread dough by setting next to the fire place, but it wouldn't budge! In walks my husband and asks if there will be dessert. Well I can't put anything in the oven, and home made pudding wouldn't chill in time. Thankfully I had a frozen apple pie (pre-cooked even) on hand. Did I mention it was frozen? I squeezed the pie into the oven somehow, and took out the ham. 15 minutes left and the ham is still frozen in the middle, the potatoes aren't done, and the dough hasn't risen much. I put my microwave to good use, but I felt awful about the whole thing. In the end it was the pie that made everything OK. I'm glad I'm not alone in my craziness sometimes!

  4. 4
    July 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    We loved this at the holidays and I was in the mood to make it again but couldn't find cranberries. I substituted strawberries and blueberries and it came out almost as yummy. I actually made it for the 4th and it went well with the color scheme:)

  5. 5
    July 7, 2011 at 4:18 am

    What a clever idea! I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the tip and have a great night!

  6. 6
    November 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I just read recently that if you put vegetable oil on your hands before handling peppers, it keeps those oils from getting into your skin! Next time. This looks delicious and I am anxious to try it.

  7. 7
    November 2, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Jamie- Have you ever let the cranberry mixture sit over night?

  8. 8
    November 2, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Sounds great! So you don't have to boil the cranberries? Aren't they hard as rocks fresh? Thanks for the recipe.

  9. 9
    November 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Yum…I may just have to try this for Supper Club this Saturday evening!!!

  10. 10
    November 2, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Emily E,
    The cranberry mixture can definitely sit overnight. The flavors will continue to combine and soak into each other. Good luck! Hope you love it!

    No, you don't boil the cranberries. Chopping them and then letting them soak in the sugar really breaks them up nicely. Hope you enjoy it!


  11. 11
    November 3, 2011 at 2:55 am

    Looks absolutely amazing. Definitely making it this holiday season! thanks for sharing.

  12. 12
    November 4, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    We can't get fresh cranberries here. Can I use frozen? I really hope so, this looks amazing!

  13. 13
    November 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Saw this on Pinterest and it looks great. I'm downright scared of the jalapenos now after reading your experience, so think I'll blend horseradish with the cream cheese and top with the cranberry mixture. Hope it works. Thanks!

  14. 14
    November 6, 2011 at 2:47 am

    I just got this off of Pinterest and decided to make it today… holy crap!! awesome! I basically just put all of the ingredients in my food processor (because I'm lazy today) so it's not as pretty, but my husband and I ate it up!! And then we didn't want to eat dinner.

  15. 15
    November 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Frozen cranberries will work, absolutely. Good luck! Hope you love it!

  16. 16
    November 6, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    You don't cook the cranberries at all??!! Can't wrap my brain around that.. they're kind of… foamy? when they're uncooked! What provides the saucy liquid it seems is in the pics??

  17. 17
    November 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Once the cranberries are chopped and then soak in the sugary ingredients they kind of break down and become more of a chunky sauce. Good luck! Hope you love it!

  18. 18
    November 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I made this for our Supper Club on Saturday night and it was amazing!!! Gave you a shout out on my blog!

  19. 19
    November 8, 2011 at 1:24 am

    This is CRAZY good! I halved the recipe, but I only used about 1/4 c. of sugar. I can't imagine using that much sugar?? Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! It's the perfect mix of salty/sugar/sour. YUM!

  20. 20
    November 12, 2011 at 2:46 am

    Made this for a church get together and it got rave reviews — making it again for a Thanksgiving and praise gathering at our house — can't wait! Thanks for the recipe, Jamie!!!!

  21. 21
    November 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Jalapeno hands can be cured with liberal applications of vinegar (or lemon juice, but stickier), as can ordinary kitchen burns.

  22. 22
    November 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I made this last night and it was a hit. I substituted orange juice for the lemon (because that is what I had on hand). Delicious!!!

  23. 23
    November 18, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    How far in advance do you think you could make the cranberry salsa?

  24. 24
    November 20, 2011 at 12:33 am

    has anyone tried this on warmed Brie? I bet it would be fantastic!

  25. 25
    November 20, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Alyson Paige,
    I think you would be fine making it 24 hours in advance. Good luck! Hope you love it!

  26. 26
    November 20, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    This sounds similar to something my mom calls Jezebel sauce and serves over cream cheese at Christmas. I'm adding this to my Thanksgiving menu this week. Thanks for sharing.

  27. 27
    November 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm

  28. 28
    November 21, 2011 at 6:33 am

    This looks like it will make the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer! What are your thoughts on incorporating orange zest? Tis the season for cranberry and orange in my household. 🙂

  29. 29
    November 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Hey Jenna,
    This Cranberry Dip is super flavor backed, I think the orange zest might tip it over the edge. However, I've had a reader swap out the lemon juice for orange juice and said it was fantastic. So, I would go that route if I were you. I agree…cranberry and orange are heavenly together. I've been working on a little cookie recipe to include both. Have a great day!

  30. 30
    November 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I've read through the comments, and have made mine (more than) 24 hours in advance. I have to say, it is delicious!!! Even without the cream cheese. I love it! We're going to be traveling (like 9 hours away) and won't be eating it for two more days. Would you suggest freezing my cranberry mixture? Would that ruin the flavor of the fresh cilantro/jalapeno? It would sure make it easier for traveling! Thanks for sharing this recipe. So perfect!

    • 31
      February 7, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really ufeusl & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

  31. 32
    November 22, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Hi Tina,
    Thanks for the tip about making it more than 24 hours in advance. As for your question I think you would be ok. The texture might be a little bit strange once the jalapeno and cilantro have been frozen, but I think the taste would be great. Good luck! Let me know if you try it. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  32. 33
    November 23, 2011 at 12:30 am

    how many cups of fresh cranberries would equal 12oz?

  33. 34
    November 23, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Mandy, I just made this and it's about 1.5 – 2 cups.

  34. 35
    November 23, 2011 at 12:56 am

    I'm in the process of making this right now. I couldn't get myself to add all that sugar either! I went with about 1/4 Cup.

    When i first saw this I was imagining it being more savory than sweet anyway, so I think it's still gonna be awesome!

  35. 36
    November 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Just made this for Thanksgiving with family. Looking forward to sharing it. Thank you.

  36. 37
    November 23, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Found this on Pinterest and just made it for Thanksgiving. It is DELICIOUS! I only added 3/4 cup of sugar. Soooo good with Wheat Thins!

  37. 38
    November 24, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Made this tonight for Thanksgiving tomorrow. It hasn't even had the chance to sit and is not over the cream cheese and it is already amazing! This seriously might be gone before our party starts! Thanks for sharing!!

  38. 39
    November 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Yummy recipe! I forgot to grab a jalepeno at the store this week, so I sprinkled in some ground chipotle chile for a bite. It's very good, in case someone needs a substitute. Happy Thanksgiving!

  39. 40
    November 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

    I made this yesterday for Thanksgiving, and everyone just raved about how delicious it was, and how beautiful and festive looking it was too.

    I must say, i never thought the flavors would work in the manner in which they did–so bravo!

    I will be making this again this weekend for a 2nd Thanksgiving with friends. I hope they appreciate it as much as my family did .

    And PS. so easy and fun to make. such vibrant colors, and incredibly tasty! thanks again!

  40. 41
    November 26, 2011 at 1:56 am

    I made this for a dip to take to my daughter's mother-in-laws for Thanksgiving. It was a big hit and everyone loved it. It has a very nice sweet and a bite of hot flavor. I will make this again and again. Thank you.

  41. 42
    November 26, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Hi Jamie- I've made this twice in the past few days and while it is absolutely delicious it gets really juicy and when i scoop some all of the juice fills where i just took some of the dip from. Do you have any idea why this is?

  42. 43
    November 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I made this dip for Thanksgiving the other day. I had a lot of compliments. Thanks for posting it. I love your page and look forward to all of your recipes! Thank You again!!

  43. 44
    November 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit. So tasty! You did lose some of that bite from the jalapeno if you let if marinate together overnight, but it was still very good. I may use two jalapeno's next time … having that extra kick right after it was all blended together was very tasty! [Also, I just threw everything in the food processor together at once, and it turned out great. I just put the sugar after I emptied it all into a bowl]

  44. 45
    November 28, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Made this for the fam on Thanksgiving! Everyone ate it up within minutes, LITERALLY! However, I did 1/2 creme cheese and 1/2 sour cream, and only 3/4 cups of sugar to make it more tart. Turned out splendid! Thanks for this recipie!

  45. 46
    November 29, 2011 at 2:40 am

    This was served at Friend's TG dinner and we scarfed it up. Can't wait to make it myself. What a fabulous recipe!

    • 47
      February 7, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this board and I to find It rllaey helpful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to offer something back and help others like you helped me.

  46. 48
    November 29, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I made this for Thanksgiving appetizers and it was the biggest hit and has been requested for our holiday party this weekend! THANK YOU!

  47. 49
    November 30, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Hahahaha!! I can attest to the reaction at Jill's house. I am responsible for scarfing at least half of it!

  48. 50
    November 30, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    This is amazing! I did use lime instead of lemon, but everything else the same. I think it should sit longer than four hours, over night would be best as it gives the flavors more time to blend together. LOVE IT!

  49. 51
    December 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I couldn't find fresh cranberries anywhere at the grocery store, but I was able to find the dried ones. So I soaked the dred cranberries in lukewarm water for 20 minutes, drained them very well, reduced the sugar to a 1/2 cup (I like tart) and followed your directions from there. It was awesome. My family gives this a double thumbs up!

  50. 52
    December 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    “palate” not “pallet.”. A food writer should first be a writer.

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