Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip – Fave Holiday Appetizer!

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Cranberry Jalapeno Dip is my go-to holiday appetizer recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas! It’s sweet, tangy and festive with gorgeous red and green colors. Plus, it takes very little prep time and travels easily for potluck holiday parties!

white plate sitting on holiday greenery with a block of cream cheese with cranberry jalapeno dip on top

Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip is a Festive, Easy Holiday Appetizer!

I always end up making a batch of this Cranberry Jalapeno Dip a few times during the holiday season. It comes together very quickly with the help of a food processor, and I definitely appreciate easy recipes during the holiday craziness.

It also travels really well making it perfect for bringing along to potlucks, holiday parties or family Thanksgiving. I just keep the cream cheese and jalapeno cranberry dip separate until it’s time to serve!

I might also be a bit of a cream cheese addict, so bonus points for this dip recipe there, too!

The first time I ever made this cranberry recipe was for Thanksgiving with Bryan’s extended family in addition to my mini apple pies and mini cheery pies.

They all remarked on what a pretty color it was and that they were surprised by how much they liked the cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip combination. It was their first time every having it and definitely wouldn’t be their last!

I think many people see the combination and worry how it will be received – cranberries and jalapeños are both ingredients that can tend to be hit or miss with guests. Together and with the help of a little sugar, too, they create a sweet and tangy cold dip.

I always deseed my jalapeños, so they offer a subtle heat in contrast to the other flavors versus being spicy at all.

While I’m normally all about using reduced fat cream cheese and you totally can if you are trying to cut as many calories as possible, I think full fat original cream cheese is best for this dip. It offers a thicker, sturdier base for the cranberry jalapeno salsa.

close up photo of a diced cranberry and jalapeno dip poured onto a block of cream cheese with chopped cilantro on top as garnish


Like most of my favorite holiday recipes, this one is really easy to bring together. 

First, add the fresh cranberries, jalapeños and green onions to the food processor and let it chop them up for you! 

Next, mix in the ingredients and chill your dip! 

When you are ready to enjoy, serve up your cranberry dip in one of the suggested ways below.


I recommend one of two serving methods for this cream cheese dip.

  1. Use a pie dish or another shallow dish and spread the cream cheese evenly in the bottom of the serveware, adding the cranberry salsa on top of the cream cheese.
  2. Using an oval serving dish, add some of the cranberry salsa to the bottom and then place the cream cheese block on top. Put more of the cranberry salsa on top of the cream cheese and serve!

After you decide which presentation style you prefer for this cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip, then you just need to decide what you want to serve alongside it.

You can’t go wrong with crackers, pretzel thins (I love the salty with sweet/tangy), crostinis, or warm fresh bread.


Onions are a common ingredient that can cause dietary issues and many people have asked over time if the dip needs them included.

While I love the flavor it brings to the dip, it can definitely be eliminated. I have done it many times before when they accidentally got left off the shopping list. 

cranberry and jalapeno dip with cream cheese spread is on top of a round cracker with a plate of the dip in the background out of focus


Use a food processor to dice up your cranberries and your jalapeños for this recipe. It will save you a ton of time and keep your salsa consistent texture throughout.

Remove the seeds from your jalapeños before dicing – unless you really like some heat to your recipes! Removing the seeds makes this a family friendly recipe for all tastebuds since the heat of the jalapeno resides mostly in the seeds.

Do not add your cranberry jalapeno salsa to the cream cheese until you are ready for serving.

Use a slotted spoon to add salsa to the cream cheese. I personally don’t want the extra juice that occurs when the salsa sets.


You Might Also Enjoy These Other Holiday Appetizers:

Now, Let’s Get to the Jalapeno Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

Jalapeno Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip - Christmas Appetizer

Cranberry Jalapeno Dip

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Cranberry Jalapeno Dip is my go-to holiday appetizer recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas! It's sweet, tangy and festive with gorgeous red and green colors. Plus, it takes very little prep time and travels easily for holiday parties! 


  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar, add 1/4 cup more if you want sweeter
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • crackers, tortilla chips, cinnamon sugar pita chips, etc


  1. Pulse about 4 oz of the cranberries at a time in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped. Place into a medium to large bowl when done.
  2. Deseed your jalapenos, cut into smaller pieces to fit into your food processor, and pulse until diced. Add to cranberry bowl. 
  3. Chop your green onions and cilantro, then add to bowl. 
  4. Add the rest of your ingredients (except the cream cheese and crackers/chips) to the cranberries and stir until well combined.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a tupperware and refrigerate for at least 4 hours for best flavor. Salsa can be enjoyed right away if necessary. 
  6. Serve in your preferred style and enjoy with chips, crackers or cinnamon-sugar pie chips! Also makes a great cranberry jalapeno salsa without the cream cheese if desired. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 12 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 234Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 151mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 3gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g


  1. Theresa Denton says

    I made this last Thanksgiving for our BIG family do. Already have family asking for it again this year. Got all my goodies and ready to mix it up. I will probably make it the day before and let it sit. I actually use a big of powdered sugar in my cream cheese – just a smidge.

  2. Lou Lou Girls says

    Hello cute lady! This looks incredible. Pinned. We really appreciate you taking the time to stop by our party. It wouldn’t be a party without you. Please join us on Monday at 7 pm. Happy Saturday! Lou Lou Girls

  3. April says

    WOAH, this looks and sounds amazing!! I want to try it ASAP!! Totally pinning for the holidays, thank you so much!
    (visiting from Treasure Box Tuesday)

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