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Cranberry Jalapeno Dip – Barefeet in the Kitchen


“The sweet heat that you can not stop eating” is the best way to describe this creamy cranberry jalapeno dip. Double it for a crowd so you don’t run out!

cranberry jalapeno mixture over cream cheese with crackers

Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

My love of cranberries knows no bounds. So when my friend Margaret shared this recipe with me, I jumped at the chance for a new cranberry jalapeno combination.

Cranberry Pepper Jam with brie and crackers is my appetizer go-to anytime I have that jam stashed in the pantry. Sometimes I pour the jam over a simple block of cream cheese and serve it with Ritz crackers. My kids go nuts over that.

cranberry jalapeno mixture over cream cheese in dish with crackers

HOLY SMOKES! That is all I could say after I made it. I took it to a gathering with friends and everyone asked for the recipe. I made this for my boys and they licked the plate! No joke.

Sweetness with a little heat combined with the tart cranberries and the cool creaminess of cream cheese hits all the right notes. With salty crackers or pretzel chips on the side to dip or spread this on, it is nearly impossible to stop eating this.

cranberries in food processor

Fresh vs Frozen Cranberries

I am a big fan of fresh or frozen cranberries. As I’ve said for years, stock up on cranberries while you can, my friends. I buy as many bags as I can get my hands on during the holidays and stash them in the freezer.

You don’t need to do anything special with cranberries to freeze them. Just toss the bags in the freezer and use them while still frozen for any number of recipes.

I make the ever-popular cranberry cake and these amazing cranberry cookies year-round. There’s no such thing as “cranberry season” when it comes to my family’s love of cranberry recipes.

You can make this recipe with either fresh or frozen cranberries. I did find this to be a teeny tiny bit more crunchy when made with cranberries that hadn’t been frozen, but it honestly wasn’t noticeable to anyone but me. I’ll happily be making this with frozen cranberries throughout the year for every possible occasion.

cranberries, jalapeno, green onions, and cilantro on cutting board

Roughly pulse the cranberries in the food processor or use a hand chopper to chop a cup or so at a time. Keep the pieces rustic, if the berries become liquidy that is too fine.

Combine the chopped cranberries with jalapenos, green onions, sugar, alt, and a bit of lime juice. Cover the mixture with saran wrap or place it in an airtight container and allow it to rest overnight in the fridge.

If you only have a few hours it will be fine, but if you can plan for the overnight rest, you won’t regret it. The sweet, tart, heat that results as everything melds together is just soooo good!

jalapeno, cranberry, onion mixture in bowl with towel

Using a fine mesh strainer, (I really like this set of strainers!) drain the liquid from the cranberry mixture. I typically set the strainer over a large measuring cup or another bowl and just let it rest there for a few minutes.

While the liquid is draining whip your room-temperature cream cheese. After whipping spread it onto a platter or in a dish and top it with the jalapeno cranberry mixture.

I served it with Ritz crackers or pretzel chips work nicely as well. The festive colors of green, cranberry, and white make for a perfect holiday appetizer.

cranberry and jalapeno mixture on spoon

Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip

  • fresh cranberries
  • jalapenos
  • green onions
  • cilantro
  • sugar
  • kosher salt
  • cream cheese
  • fresh lime juice

I’ve made this both with ½ – ¾ cup of sugar. I found that I enjoyed it just a little bit more tart with ½ cup of sugar, but my family liked it better with ¾ cup. It’s a very subtle difference though, so feel free to make it either way. 

Cranberry Jalapeno Dip on mini pretzel crackers

Jalapeno Cranberry Dip

Cranberries are one of my favorite holiday foods. They work so well in everything from savory to sweet, appetizers, sides, main dishes, and desserts. I can find a way to use them in anything!

Sweet cranberry sauce with a kick becomes Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce with just enough heat to warm your mouth and leave a tingle on your tongue, perfect with the mild flavor of turkey.

This time of year, there’s no end to the cranberry recipes that we love. Lucky for me, I learned many years ago to buy as many fresh cranberries as possible each holiday season and toss the bags straight into the freezer.

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Servings: 12

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  • Pour the cranberries into a food processor or food chopper. Pulse once or twice to give them a rough chop. The goal is to rough chop the cranberries but not puree them.

  • Mix together the chopped cranberries with the jalapenos, scallions, cilantro, sugar, lime juice, and salt. Once thoroughly mixed refrigerate for at least one hour. Overnight is preferred.

  • When it is time to serve, remove the cranberry mixture from the refrigerator and pour it through a fine mesh strainer (I use this one.) Allow the liquid to drain from the cranberry mixture.
  • While the mixture is being strained, whip the cream cheese to make it spreadable. Spread the cream cheese onto a large rimmed plate or shallow serving dish. Spoon the cranberries overtop the cream cheese. Serve with crackers or pretzel crisps.

I’ve made this both with ½ – ¾ cup of sugar. I found that I enjoyed it just a little bit more tart with ½ cup of sugar, but my family liked it better with ¾ cup. It’s a very subtle difference though, so feel free to make it either way. 

Calories: 180kcal · Carbohydrates: 14g · Protein: 3g · Fat: 13g · Saturated Fat: 8g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 38mg · Sodium: 144mg · Potassium: 94mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 11g · Vitamin A: 613IU · Vitamin C: 8mg · Calcium: 43mg · Iron: 0.2mg

Cranberry dip with cream cheese and jalapenos


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