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
    December 4, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    I made this yesterday for a Christmas party and loved it. I received several compliments and I thought it tasted fantastic. I was nervous about the cilantro and the cumin, but the flavor was great! It was also very pretty and festive for the season. I will definetely keep this in my repertoire.

  2. 2
    December 6, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Allow to me to tell you that this is the funniest recipe I've ever read. And then tell you that i'm adding this to our “appetizer Christmas eve Feast” and we are going to eat the pants off this stuff. YUM! Now off to check out all your other goodies.

  3. 3
    December 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Hi Jamie! I was thinking about making this for take home gifts for my Christmas party. Do you know how long this keeps in the refridgerator?

  4. 4
    December 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    I've made this twice already, once for a Thanksgiving party and once for my husbands Holiday potluck. It's already been requested a Christmas party. Everyone loves it and asks incredulous, “What is is IN this dip?!” It's so tasty! I always add more peppers for extra kick.

    FYI: The second time I made the cranberry sauce the evening before and served it at a lunch time potluck. It tasted the same, and it's so convenient to make ahead of time!

  5. 5
    December 26, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Made this for Christmas Eve and it was a huge hit! Gone within a few minutes and everyone asking for more. Loved it! Didn't have cummin on hand, but it tasted great without it. I did have to drain quite a bit of juice from the mixture to make it presentable, though.

  6. 6
    Debbie in Canada
    December 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I made this for a family get-together over the holidays – it was a huge hit! Even the two year old loved it.

    FYI, the cranberry mixture sat in my fridge for three days prior to assembly, and was just fine. I didn't have fresh cilantro so I used some of that cilantro in a tube stuff instead. And next time I'll increase the jalapeno pepper to get a bit more bite.

  7. 7
    December 30, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I found this on Pinterest and have made it several times the past month. OMG it's a HUGE hit!!! Everyone asks for the recipe and this dip doesn't last long, everyone scarfs it right up!!!

  8. 8
    March 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Sam's Club used to sell a cranberry salsa & this sounds like it. As sam's doesn't sell it any more I'm glad I found this!

  9. 9
    Susi Miller
    October 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your Cranberry Dip Recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

  10. 10
    November 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Can we make this the night before? I know you said to sit at least 4 hrs but i wonder if letting it sit to long make it bad?

    • 11
      November 17, 2012 at 6:11 am

      Yes, you can make it the night before. Just don’t pour the cranberry mixture over the top of the cream cheese until you are ready to serve.
      Good luck!

  11. 12
    Viola Saylor
    November 16, 2012 at 8:05 am

    My niece makes this every thanksgiving and Christmas and it is sooo good, it doesn’t last long. This stuff is very addicting, once you start eating it you can’t stop. Just be careful when eating it because it is taste sooo good, THAT YOUR TOUNGE WILL SLAP YOUR BRAINS OUT. Thanks for posting, been looking for this recipie for two years. LOVE IT, LOVE IT. As suggested, use plastic gloves when cleaning the jalapeño peppers, if you don’t you’ll be sorry. The burn from the pepper seeds is excruciating.

  12. 13
    November 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Freeze your cranberries before you chop them. That helps a lot.

  13. 14
    Margaret Macy
    November 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Jamie dearest, you make me laugh at your commentaries…BUT I love your recipes. have never been disappointed…
    Using IceCubes applied directly to the burns or ice slush for 20 sec or as long as you can stand the cold really does help faster than cool tap water,works for pepper burns as well as heat burns.
    I’m sorry you burned your hands. latex gloves protect those lovely hands.

  14. 15
    November 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I’m going to make this for our Thanksgiving get-together this week and then again at Christmas if everyone likes it. I see that you can serve it with tortilla chips, Ritz crackers or Wheat Thins. What is everyone’s concensus about what is best to serve with it? Just want to know ahead of time.

  15. 16
    November 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Thank you Jamie! I cant wait to make this. I got everything tonight! <3

  16. 17
    November 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    This dip is delicious and enjoyed by guests. The relish was also a great addition to our leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches last year. I also used goat cheese instead of cream cheese which was good. Looking forward to make it again this holiday season!

  17. 18
    November 21, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Love this recipe!! I made it for a potluck at my work (a winery) and it was huge!! Everyone loved it! I would suggest draining it though mine leaked a lot. FYI It is perfect with a semi sweet or off dry wine!

    • 19
      February 7, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      Mmm, I love homemade garlona bars. I actually just picked up some Pecans from the store and plan on making a big batch tomorrow.I don’t know where the recipe is that I usually use so I’ll have to give yours a try!

  18. 20
    Cindy Adams
    November 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I just made this tonight and I doubled the cumin because I couldn’t taste it at all at 1/4 tsp and I cut the sugar down to 1 cup. My nephew and I just taste tested it and it hasn’t set the 4 hours for the flavors to meld like the recipe says and we are already hooked! I can’t wait to see how it tastes tomorrow. I’m sure this will be a big hit. We tried it on mini tortilla chip rounds and on the originial Wheat Thins and I like it both ways.

    Just a little tip on handling the jalapeno. I do this all the time and I never get burns from the seeds. I cut the stem end off and make sure to only touch the outside area down near the other end. Use the knife to cut around the inside between the membrane/seeds and the outer layer, separating the membrane from it. Now, holding the jalapeno carefully, slice the jalapeno down the middle longways, cutting it in half. Use the tip of the knife to scrape out the membrane and seeds and then put it in a mini chopper or chop by hand.

  19. 21
    Alicia Garner
    November 21, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Jaime, I just found your recipe and I can’t wait to make it! Sounds delicious! I did want to share a secret ingredient for burns. Over the summer I got a very bad burn while grilling at my sons apartment pool. The only water available was the pool water and chlorine didn’t sound friendly on a burn. My daughter’s boyfriend poured plain yellow mustard over it (very messy and stains) but it was instant relief. I had to keep reapplying about every 5 minutes but it really worked! Don’t know if it works with pepper seeds but it’s worth a try.

  20. 22
    November 22, 2012 at 5:40 am

    I made this last year and loved it and I’m getting ready to throw another batch into the food processor.

    Of course, now I realize I forgot the green onions! Oh well, I have chopped white onion in the fridge, so I guess that will have to do…

    And I’m updating my pinterest pin which the new address 🙂

  21. 23
    Darcy B
    November 23, 2012 at 12:46 am

    I found this recipe a few years back and it has been SUCH a hit with all my family and friends. I am asked every Thanksgiving to make my sweet potato casserole and my awesome cranberry salsa :). I love to cook and am constantly trying new recipes, but this is defiantly one I will make for years to come and pass on to other family members. Thanks again for all the yummy recipes! Excited to try more from this blog

  22. 24
    Mary Lou Koldewyn
    November 24, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    My daughter made this for Thanksgiving. It was amazing!!!!!!!

  23. 25
    November 25, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it was simply amazing! The only think that I would change about it was the amount of sugar put in. 1 1.4c is a lot of sugar I think. other than that it was great! I hate to change things but it was pretty sweet.

  24. 26
    maria marano
    November 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    i am so excited to try these there’s so many amazing recipes and……got to try them all

  25. 27
    November 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know I am including this in a 35 Christmas party appetizers and drinks collection over at Mommy’s Sweet Confessions. Thank you!

  26. 28
    November 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Cindy, I find this recipe tastes best with Wheat Thins. I wouldn’t use Ritz crackers because they are too brittle. The “sharp” edges of the Wheat Thins also help you scoop up the mixture. I’ve made this recipe for 2 years now and absolutely love it. It’s always a hit with the family!

  27. 29
    December 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    A friend served this at a party I attended yesterday. Wow. It is so good! It will definitely be added to my recipe book. Thanks for a great new dish!

  28. 30
    December 6, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Jamie I love you and your blog. Your recipes and comments are so helpful. So uplifting. Merry Christmas

  29. 31
    December 15, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Hi! I’m trying this recipe tomorrow and I was wondering should I put all ingredients in the food processer or just the cranberries? Seems like that would be easiest but I want to ask what others had done? Also should I cut the sugar back to a cup like a few people have mentioned?

    • 32
      December 16, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      I put all of the cranberries in whole, and then roughly chop the other ingredients before I add them to the blender/food processor. Good luck! Hope you love it!

  30. 33
    December 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I think you just put the cranberries in the food processor, Lana. Everything else is hand-chopped. (Only three other ingredients to chop, so it’s easy — green onions, cilantro, and jalapeno.) And I use the full amount of sugar but drain the liquid off before serving because it becomes quite soupy. I increase the cumin from 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp, though. And I increase the jalapeno to 1 1/2 chopped, rather than only one. So delicious — you’ll love it.

  31. 34
    December 17, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    So you don’t have to cook the cranberries first?

    • 35
      December 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      No need to cook the cranberries, just add them in fresh or frozen.

  32. 36
    Pam S
    December 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I’m wondering if stewed cranberries would result in the same yummy taste? I already have all of the ingredients, and I would probably omit the pepper.

    • 37
      December 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      I would stick with fresh or frozen cranberries for this recipe.

  33. 38
    December 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    This recipe is amazing!!! The ingredients sound so strange put the combination of flavors is amazing! This is a must try!!!

  34. 39
    December 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    A co-worker brought this in to the office for a holiday treat. It is awesome! I’m picking up the ingredients to make for a party this weekend!

  35. 40
    December 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    No fresh or frozen cranberries available today so I am going to have to rehydrate freeze dried cranberries. Hope it works!

  36. 41
    August 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Gotta ask, why not pop the stemmed jalapeno into the chopper (with the cranberries going in on top) instead of chopping it by hand? I do this when I make my spicy “fauxmento” cheese and it works pretty well. If you want less heat, stem the pepper and pop out the core with the handle of a spoon. Most of the heat is in the seeds.

  37. 42
    November 9, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    This has become a traditional holiday dish for me to make. I love it! Thanks for keeping the recipe online so my Pinterest pin still works. 😉

  38. 43
    Angela Barrett Gray
    November 10, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Jamie, You had me cracking up this morning, almost spit my coffee on my computer monitor ! I have done the exact same thing except with frozen bananas I planned to put into banana bread…except I was in such a hurry that I didn’t notice I had chopped up my wooden spoon. One of my guest asked me if the toothpicks in the bread were complimentary ! lol They still kid me about that. I am making this gorgeous dip for a family reunion tonight. I cannot get enough cranberries, I love them ! Thank you for the good laugh and the amazing recipe. Blessings ~

  39. 44
    November 11, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    A little different twist on this. We spoon the cranberry mixture over an 8 oz cream cheese, set cracker assortment out with it and let guests spread it on crackers. I have been preparing this at Christmas time for 2 years now and everyone loves. Makes it easier when you just put the dip over the cream cheese brick.

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