Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
This Cranberry Jalapeno Dip recipe is a quick and easy holiday appetizer. With a fluffy, cloud-like combination of whipped cream cheese and goat cheese at the base, plus a bright, slightly spicy, fresh cranberry relish layered over the top, it’s fun and festive!
Quick & Easy Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
I adore a stunning, fresh appetizer that’s easy to assemble, especially during the holidays. And this Cranberry Jalapeño Dip recipe is absolute perfection – our family devours this fresh cranberry dip! It features a creamy, fluffy, cloud-like combination of whipped cream cheese and goat cheese at the base, plus a bright, slightly spicy, fresh cranberry relish layered over the top. This festive appetizer is a family favorite and an entertainer’s dream, as it’s even better when you prep it in advance!
Why You’ll Love This Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
There’s a lot to love about this appetizer!
- Quick & easy & can be prepped in advance. What more can I say?!
- Gorgeous contrast of flavors and textures. There’s a creamy, fluffy combination of tangy cheeses plus a fresh, fruity relish that’s bright and tart, with fresh herbs and a bit of spicy jalapeño kick. The flavors and textures are amazing together!
- So festive! This appetizer, with its pretty jewel tones, just begs to be shared during the holiday season. Serve it before Thanksgiving dinner, during a holiday cocktail hour, or alongside a beautiful Christmas charcuterie board!
What You’ll Need
Here’s an overview of what you’ll need for this jalapeno cranberry dip.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredient amounts.
- Fresh cranberries – Fresh cranberries only for this recipe! They provide a fresh, tart, fruity flavor, plus a delightfully crisp texture for the homemade cranberry relish.
- Jalapeno – This adds a nice little kick of spice that goes really well with cranberries. Feel free to leave the seeds in for even more spice, or to reduce the jalapeño.
- Honey – A bit of sweetness to balance the tartness of fresh cranberries.
- Orange juice + orange zest – I love cranberry and orange together, like my apple orange cranberry sauce!
- Fresh herbs – Fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley are beautiful in this dip – do not substitute for dried herbs.
- Salt & pepper
- Cream cheese – Make sure it’s fully softened so it incorporates smoothly with the goat cheese, to whip up creamy, light, and fluffy.
- Goat cheese – My family is crazy for goat cheese, so it’s a natural choice for us. It adds a delicious tangy element to the cream cheese base. And it pairs really, really well with fresh cranberries.
- Heavy cream – A little bit of cream lightens up the cream cheese and goat cheese texture, to create a dreamy, fluffy base for this dip.
How to Make Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for the full instructions.
- Make the cranberry relish. Place the cranberries in a food processor and pulse until very roughly chopped, about 5 pulses. Then add salt, honey, jalapeno, parsley, orange juice and zest, rosemary, thyme, and pepper, and pulse until it’s a coarse relish.
- Let cranberry relish rest. Let the relish sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors mingle. It’s even better to let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. When ready to assemble the appetizer, add the relish to a fine mesh strainer to drain away any excess liquid.
- Whip the cheeses. Add the softened cream cheese, goat cheese, heavy cream, and kosher salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Assemble. Spread the cream cheese into a fluffy layer on a serving platter, then use a slotted spoon to layer the cranberry relish over the top. Garnish with sliced cranberries and jalapenos, and a little sprinkling of fresh chopped herbs, if desired.
Tips & Variations
Here are a few tips and variations you can try with this cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip:
- Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. Use softened, room-temperature cream cheese to blend up this dip! If the cream cheese is still cold, it can make the finished dip lumpy and won’t incorporate as well.
- Prepare it in advance. The flavors in this dip will develop the longer you let it sit in the fridge, so go ahead and make it the day before or a few hours in advance of when you plan to serve it.
- Go less spicy. If you don’t like a lot of spice, you can reduce the amount of jalapenos you add, or even omit them altogether. The dip will still be very flavorful.
- Add lime. For a slightly different citrus twist, substitute lime juice and zest for the orange juice and zest.
- Double the recipe. To serve a crowd, you can easily double this recipe and serve it on a larger platter for quick dipping.
What to Serve with Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
My favorite easy way to serve cranberry jalapeno dip is with crackers or crostini. You can also try some of these suggestions:
- With holiday cocktails. Try one of my festive holiday-perfect cocktails like a cranberry margarita, cranberry gin and tonic, or a pomegranate gin and tonic.
- With an assortment of dippers. Serve cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip with a variety of crackers, from buttery Ritz crackers, to simple water crackers, to whole-grain, seeded crackers. Crostini is always good. And pita chips are delicious – choose the regular salted variety or try cinnamon pita crackers, delish! Salty corn chips, like Fritos scoops, and tortilla chips are also good.
- Other dips. Make a buffet of dips! Choose from shrimp dip, million dollar dip, guacamole, or baked buffalo chicken dip to serve alongside cranberry jalapeno dip.
Store any leftover dip in the fridge. Place the cranberry jalapeno dip in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just know that the cranberry relish will release more liquid as it sits.
More Party Appetizers To Try
- Butter Board with Bacon Butter
- Everything Bagel Pigs in a Blanket
- Southwest Egg Rolls
- Cheesy Beef Taco Dip
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno - use more for a bigger kick of heat!
- 1 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
- 1 teaspoon minced thyme
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
- ¼ cup cold heavy cream
- Add the cranberries to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very roughly chopped, about 5 pulses.
- To the chopped cranberries, add ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt, plus honey, jalapeno, parsley, orange juice and zest, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse relish, still with noticeable bits - take care to not pulse it into a puree.
- Let the cranberry relish sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors mingle. It's even better to transfer it to a covered container and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
- When ready to assemble the appetizer, give the cranberry relish a few good stirs to incorporate. Then add the relish to a fine mesh strainer to drain away any excess liquid.
- Add the softened cream cheese, goat cheese, heavy cream, and remaining ½ teaspoon of kosher salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Spread the whipped cheese mixture onto a plate, like a cloud. Then use a slotted spoon to layer the cranberry relish over the top. Garnish with additional sliced cranberries and jalapenos, plus a little sprinkling of fresh chopped herbs, if desired. Serve with crostini, crackers, and/or chips - cinnamon pita chips are super fun!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 274Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 420mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.