Enjoy sweet, savory, and tart flavors all in one with this Cranberry Jalapeño Cream Cheese Dip. It’s made with all of your favorites – cream cheese, maple syrup, and cheddar!
You’ve never had jalapeño dip like this!
There are dips, and then there are truly great dips. And while I think all dips are credible in their own right, something about this easy cranberry jalapeño cream cheese dip just stands out among the rest.
Believe me here, this dip is unlike anything you’ve ever had. It’s savory, cheese, and spicy, but also fruity with that tart cranberry addition! It’s easy and quick to make, pairs with your favorite scoopers (like crackers or fruit), and is perfect for game day, sharing an app with friends, or entertaining!
Ingredients in cranberry and jalapeño dip
Cranberry jalapeño dip is made in two parts. We’ll first make the cranberry mixture with cranberries, jalapeños, maple syrup, and more, and then we’ll dive into the cream cheese part.
- Cranberries: The base of the cranberry mixture will require 12 oz of fresh or frozen cranberries.
- Jalapeño: Add some heat with 1 jalapeño, diced small and deseeded. If you like hot food you can leave some of the seeds (more seeds = more heat).
- Maple syrup: Next, add some naturally sweet flavor with 1/2 cup of maple syrup.
- Orange: Use the juice and zest of 1 large orange.
- Vanilla: Add some flavor with 1 tsp of vanilla.
- Thyme: Finally, include 1 tbsp of fresh thyme.
Cream Cheese Mixture
- Cream cheese: Start the cream cheese mixture with 2 blocks of softened cream cheese. I recommend using a 1/3 less fat version for a healthier dip.
- Cheddar: 1 3/4 cup of shredded cheese adds delicious flavor to this dip! Divide it for using in two parts in the recipe.
- Seasonings: Next, add flavor with 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of salt.
- For topping: Include green onions on top for a nice garnish!
- For serving: For serving, pair with anything like crackers, crostini, apples, or cucumbers.
Tools needed to make this dip recipe
To create this dip, you will need a sauce pan, stirring utensil, fork or potato masher, mixing bowl, and small casserole dish.
You’ll also need a few measuring cups: 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 tbsp, 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup, and 1 cup.
How to make this cranberry jalapeño cream cheese dip recipe
We’ll be making this dip on the stove and in the oven. The whole process should take about 30 minutes, including baking time!
To begin, preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Add the cranberry sauce ingredients to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it boils.
Reduce the heat and allow the cranberries to burst. This should take about 8-10 minutes. Once burst, smash the cranberries with a fork or potato masher.
Heat the mix until it thickens into a sauce, and then turn off the heat and set the pan aside.
Stir together the softened cream cheese, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, garlic powder, and salt.
Spread the mix into the bottom of a 6×10 or dip casserole dish. I recommend a small sized dish so the dip doesn’t spread too thin.
Pour the cranberry mixture on top, and then add 3/4 cup of the shredded cheddar.
Bake the dip for 15 minutes or until it bubbles. Sprinkle the green onion on top.
Let cool for a few minutes, and serve!
How this dip is healthier
When it came to assembling the ingredients, I made a few easy switches to achieve a healthier dip.
First, I skipped sugar and replaced it with maple syrup. This is a natural sweetener that does the job, has a lower glycemic index (meaning it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as extremely as sugar), and tastes great!
My second swap was using 1/3 less fat cream cheese. This is an easy one because it only requires grabbing the lower fat version, not making an actual ingredient swap!
The perfect foods for pairing
When it comes to serving jalapeño dip, you have a lot of options. I already recommended crackers, crostini, apples, and cucumbers, but the list doesn’t stop there!
Enjoy this dip with tortilla chips, pretzels, club crackers, carrots, or pita chips!
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Looking for some more recipes that feature jalapeños? You’ve come to the right place. Try these!
- Easy Pineapple Mango Salsa Recipe
- Watermelon Kombucha Cocktail
- One Pan Cabbage and Potato Skillet
- Easy White Chicken Chili Recipe
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photography by Moriah Sawtelle
- 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 jalapeno, diced small – deseeded
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 large orange, juice and zest
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
Cream Cheese Mixture:
- 2 blocks softened 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- 1 3/4 cup shredded cheddar (divided)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- green onion for topping
- crackers, crostini, apples, cucumbers for serving.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Add all cranberry sauce ingredients to saucepan and heat over medium heat until boiling
- Reduce heat and allow cranberries to burst .This should take about 8-10 minutes. Once burst, smash cranberries with fork or potato masher.
- Heat until sauce has thickened. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Stir together softened cream cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese, garlic powder, and salt.
- Spread into bottom of 6×10 or dip casserole dish (on the small side so it isn’t spread too thin).
- Pour cranberry mixture on top, and then add 3/4 cup shredded cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbling. Sprinkle green onion on top. Let cool a few minutes before serving.
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