This recipe for Cranberry Jalapeno Dip makes the perfect holiday appetizer with its bright green and red colors. Zesty jalapeño combines with a fresh cranberry sauce, cream cheese, and green onions for an easy party appetizer.
My recipe for cranberry sauce without orange juice is a big hit for Thanksgiving! The secret is that the whole reason I made it was to try this dip out. I personally used to love jalapeño jelly combined with cream cheese and this was a little reminiscent of those flavors, but more tart! What's even better is if you have leftovers you can use it for this cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip.
You'll love this recipe because:
- It's a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- The flavors pair really well together - spicy jalapeño adds a kick to tart cranberry sauce and everything becomes decadent when mixed with cream cheese.
- This recipe is easy to make gluten free just by choosing gluten free dipping options.
- It stores well! You can make this a day or two ahead and it will keep in the fridge.
- This dip is festive for holiday parties and easy to make!
- Takes less than 20 minutes.
Just a few simple ingredients is all you need for this dip!
Cranberry Sauce - I recommend using my cranberry sauce recipe but any one that is your favorite will work for this recipe. If you haven't mixed in jalapeño, just do it when you reheat the sauce.
Cream Cheese - Philadelphia plain block cream cheese no longer contains carrageenan so it's what I use along with my local HEB organic or Organic Valley. Just look for ones without carrageenan.
Jalapeno - Depending on how spicy you like your dip, you can adjust this quantity. For mild, use ½ a jalapeno and make sure to remove all the seeds and ribs (inner white part). For a little more spice, use ¾-1 whole small jalapeno with seeds and ribs removed. For very spicy, leave some of the seeds in.
Green onion - Chopped green onion makes this dish a little more savory!
How to Make
- Start with fresh cranberries to make cranberry sauce. Add in sugar and jalapeno when reducing with water or pomegranate juice.
- Once it's thickened, wait for it to cool a bit - at least 30 minutes until just warm.
- Meanwhile spread room temperature cream cheese in the bottom of a small dip dish leaving a well for the cranberry sauce.
- Top with cranberry sauce and green onion. Either store in the fridge till you're ready to serve, or you can serve slightly warm!
What to Serve with Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
- Portion the cranberry jalapeno mixture out onto toasted bread topped with cream cheese or goat cheese as a crostini for a party appetizer.
- Triscuits or Whole Wheat Crackers
- Water Crackers
- Sliced jicama or radish
I wouldn't serve this dip with carrots or celery like other party dips. The flavors will not pair as well.
How to Store
If you want to make this dip ahead for a party, you can make a few days in advance. Prepare the cranberry sauce and store it separately, then just assemble when ready to serve.
This is much easier to dip at room temperature, so I would recommend leaving out for an hour before serving, or warm the cranberry sauce so it heats the cream cheese a little bit before serving.
The cranberry jalapeno dip will keep in the fridge up to 3-4 days.
More Party Dips
For more holiday party dips like this cranberry jalapeno dip, check out these recipes.
Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
- 1 package (8oz) cream cheese
- 2-3 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup cranberry jalapeno sauce cranberry jalapeno sauce recipe
- salt and pepper to taste
- Take the package of cream cheese out and let it sit at room temperature about 20 minutes to soften and make it easier to spread in your bowl and make a little well for the sauce.
- Meanwhile, make the cranberry sauce and allow it to cool slightly. Sprinkle half the green onions on top of the cream cheese. Spoon warm cranberry sauce over the cream cheese and top with green onions. Serve warm or cover and place in the fridge for about an hour to cool everything down. Serve with crackers, triscuits, or crostini.
- Philadelphia, Organic Valley, and a lot of "organic" store brands like Publix make a great block cream cheese with minimal ingredients!
- If using a cranberry sauce you've already made, reheat over the stove and stir in the jalapeno while simmering.
This post was originally published December 5, 2019 and was updated November 19, 2021 to include new photos and recipe tips for how to serve.