CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE DIP
We are rapidly descending into the party season. There are Halloween parties, then Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving, Christmas parties, and then finally New Year’s Eve parties. It’s like boom-boom-boom-boom! So I’d get started with some party food ammo for you.
This Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip is probably the easiest no-brainer holiday appetiser. Bring it to any party you’re going to, and it will get eaten.
I’ve even got a few variations on this simple theme for you below, so you can take your pick and make it your own!
CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE DIP HOLIDAY APPETIZER
WHAT’S IN CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE DIP?
It’s so simple. So, so simple. Just cream cheese, homemade cranberry sauce (cranberries, sugar, water, salt), and green onion. And I implore you not to skip the green onion. That savoury onion flavour rounds out the dip!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE DIP
It’s that combo of savoury, sweet, tart, and salty that makes this super simple dish so irresistible! Because this Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip is both delicious and soft, it pairs equally well with salty crackers and fresh apple slices. It might even be useful to add a few slices of sharp cheddar to that platter to make a little cracker, apple, cheddar, and cranberry stack!
CAN I MAKE THIS AHEAD?,
Absolutely! The cranberry sauce keeps very well in the refrigerator so that you can make that up to two days ahead. Then assemble the dip before the party, and you’re good to go.
CAN I USE CANNED CRANBERRY SAUCE?
Technically you can, but I find canned sauces to have much more muted flavour, and they can even sometimes taste a bit metallic. Homemade cranberry sauce takes less than ten minutes to make, so for best results, I suggest making it fresh.
VARIATIONS ON THE THEME
As I mentioned in the intro, this Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip has several options. Here are my favourites:
- Add jalapeño to make it like a cross between pepper jelly and cranberry sauce (this is the option pictured below)
- Make a classic cranberry sauce (with or without orange) and add crushed pecans or walnuts on top of the dip
- Use a different cheese. Cream cheese is the budget option, but you can also make this dip with chevre (goat cheese) or even baked brie.
CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE DIP
Creamy cream cheese, tangy homemade cranberry sauce, and savoury green onions make a simple but delicious appetiser for any holiday gathering!
Keyword: appetizer recipe, holiday appetizer
Author: Beth – Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
- 6 oz. fresh cranberries ($1.25)
- 1/4 cup sugar ($0.08)
- 1/2 cup water ($0.00)
- 1 jalapeño (optional) ($0.15)
- 1/8 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 8 oz. cream cheese ($0.79)
- Three green onions, sliced ($0.33)
- One box crackers (for serving) (2.95)
- One apple (for serving) ($0.33)
- Rinse the cranberries then add them to a small saucepot with the sugar, water, and salt.
- If using jalapeño, remove the stem, slice it lengthwise, scrape out the seeds (or leave some in if you like it extra spicy), then finely dice the pepper. Add the diced pepper to the saucepot.
- Stir the pot to combine, place a lid on top, and place it over medium-high heat. Allow the pan to come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, please give it a good stir, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let it simmer without a lid for 5 minutes.
- After simmering for 5 minutes, the cranberries should have all burst open and created a thick sauce. Turn the heat off and transfer the sauce to the refrigerator to cool.
- Place the cream cheese on a small plate or in a shallow bowl. Use the back of a spoon to create an indentation along the centre of the block of cream cheese.
- Pour the cooled cranberry sauce over the cream cheese, then top with sliced green onion. Serve with crackers and apple slices.