My take on cranberry jalapeno dip is heavy on the jalapenos and scallions and a little lighter on the sugar and cream cheese. The result is an incredibly delicious and colorful snack that makes the best Thanksgiving or Christmas appetizer!
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Last Thanksgiving, I hosted my family and some of our friends for dinner. My friend Isabel made this DELISH dip with cranberry jalapeno salsa over cream cheese, and I kid you not that I have been dreaming of recreating it for the past 12 months!!
After a couple rounds of experimentation, and several days of enjoying the leftovers (yum!), I think I finally nailed the ratio. Being that this is a Veg World, I increased the veggies (jalapenos and green onions) in the dip and cut back on the sugar. It’s still got a great sweet taste, with some spicy and savory hints.
I also used less cream cheese than other recipes have, but I used a hand blender to whip it before serving to create more volume. Oh, and we can’t forget to talk about the color! The gorgeous fresh cranberries and green veggies give it the most FESTIVE appearance.
If you’ve never worked with fresh cranberries, they have so much to offer! Their pretty color is a result of the anthocyanin pigments they contain. Anthocyanins exhibit anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. Plus, cranberries are a good source of vitamin C, an important nutrient for immunity.
Cranberry jalapeno dip is a must-make during the holiday season. It tastes delicious with Triscuit crackers or small pieces of toasted bread. If you’re not feeling the cream cheese, you can just make the cranberry jalapeno relish and serve that with tortilla chips. I’d love to hear your take on this recipe in the comments!
How to Make Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
- Using a food processor, pulse the cranberries until they are roughly chopped. (See photo below to get an idea of the desired consistency.)
- Add them to a bowl with the jalapenos, scallions, sugar, lemon juice, and cilantro. Let the mixture sit for ~30 minutes.
- Whip the cream cheese, and spread it out in the bottom of a pie dish.
- Drain the cranberry jalapeno mixture through a mesh sieve. Spoon over the cream cheese.
- Make sure you look through the cranberries and pick out any shriveled or bruised ones before putting them in the food processor.
- Here are the food processor and mesh sieves that I use. If you don’t have a food processor or sieve, you can chop the cranberries by hand and use a cheese cloth for draining the cranberry mixture.
- And because I can’t help myself, here’s a really fun holiday pie plate that you can use to serve the dip.
- You can prep cranberry jalapeno dip in advance. The salsa can sit in a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap for up to 48 hours in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve the dip, just whip the cream cheese and assemble the recipe.
- Cranberry jalapeno dip goes really well with Triscuit crackers. You can also serve it with regular table crackers, toasted baguette slices, or cinnamon sugar pita chips.
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Holiday Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
- Pie plate for serving
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries - (1 bag)
- 2 to 3 jalapenos - seeded and finely chopped
- 4 green onions - (scallions), sliced
- 2 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lemon - juiced
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese - softened
- Crackers or bread - for serving
- Remove the cream cheese from the fridge to soften while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Add the cranberries to a food processor, and pulse until coarsely chopped into small pieces. You don't want to overdo it and risk the cranberries being too pulverized/soggy.
- Add the chopped cranberries to a mixing bowl with the jalapenos, green onions, and cilantro. Drizzle the lemon juice on the mixture and sprinkle in the sugar. Stir until coated, and let the mixture sit for 30 to 60 minutes (and up to 48 hours, see notes).
- Whip the cream cheese with a hand blender for 1 to 2 minutes. Spread the whipped cream cheese in the bottom of a pie plate. Spoon the cranberry mixture in batches into a mesh sieve over the sink. Use the back of a spoon to press out excess liquid. You don't need to press it all out, because you still want there to be enough flavor in the cranberry mixture. Spoon the drained mixture on top of the cream cheese.
- Serve the dip with Triscuit crackers, toasted baguette slices, or cinnamon sugar pita chips. Enjoy!
- If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop the cranberries by hand. If you don’t have a mesh sieve, you can drain the relish mixture through a cheese cloth.
- The cranberry mixture can be made up to 48 hours in advance and stored in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve the dip, whip the cream cheese and assemble the rest of the recipe.
- Nutrition facts do not include the crackers.
Happy holidays! – Lizzie