This easy, colorful appetizer can be assembled in minutes and easily adapted with whatever toppings you have on hand. The cranberry sauce makes it fitting for holiday parties and meals.
I'm showing you how I make this with my favorite toppings, but you can swap out any of them to suit your taste. I love the combination of sweet, tart, salty, and spicy with textures that are both creamy and crunchy. Yum! I add jalapenos on top for people who like the spice; but because they're not mixed in, it's easy for people with milder tastes to avoid the jalapenos when they're scooping up the dip.
If you keep cream cheese and cranberry sauce on hand during the holidays, it's easy to make this dip at the last minute and top it with ingredients you have available.
Step-by-step photos for making
Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients.
- cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- whole berry cranberry sauce -- I recommend my 10-minute recipe made with fresh or frozen cranberries (recipe here). If you can find a good store-bought cranberry sauce, that will work, too. During the holiday season, Trader Joe's has one that is quite good.
- salt, pepper, and garlic powder -- Or, use my homemade seasoned garlic salt that I use in almost everything that needs a punch of flavor. (recipe here)
- chopped pecans
- chopped scallion
- thinly sliced jalapeno (stem and seeds removed); a mandoline works great for this
- OPTIONAL: add or substitute other topping ingredients (like herbs, citrus zest, and more.)
Step 2. Layer the ingredients on the cream cheese in this order.
- Place the cream cheese on a serving plate. (I like to use a dinner plate since it's big enough to add crackers around the edges of the same plate.)
- Sprinkle the cream cheese, with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (This may look like too much, but trust me, that big bland block of cream cheese needs seasoning!)
- Spoon on the cranberry sauce, spreading it to cover the top of the cream cheese and allowing some to drip down the sides.
- Sprinkle on the chopped pecans.
- Sprinkle on the chopped scallions.
- Arrange the jalapeno slices over the top.
Step 3: Serve this scrumptious dip with crackers, bagel or pita chips, pretzels, or slices of crusty bread. It's helpful to have a small knife available for spreading.
Done! Fast and easy, right? And it tastes amazing on top of a crunchy cracker! It will be a festive crowd-pleaser at your holiday gatherings
Make it a Yummy day!
Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip
Servings: 8 servings
- 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened to room temp.
- 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce (good store-bought or homemade, recipe at: https://www.theyummylife.com/recipes/34/)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper*
- 1/4 teaspoon salt*
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder*
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, sliced into thin rounds
- OPTIONAL TOPPING ADDITIONS/SUBSTITUTIONS:
- chopped nuts: walnuts, pistachios, almonds, pine nuts
- chopped herbs: mint, rosemary, sage, basil, thyme
- minced crystallized ginger
- orange or lime zest
- pomegranate arils
*may substitute 3/4 teaspoon homemade garlic pepper salt for the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Recipe at: https://www.theyummylife.com/recipes/354/
Place cream cheese on center of serving plate. Sprinkle top with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spoon cranberry sauce over top; spread to cover top, allowing some to drip down sides. Sprinkle on nuts and scallions; arrange jalapeno slices evenly over top. (Or, substitute other toppings of your choice.)
Serve with crackers, bagel chips, pita chips, or pretzels.
An easy, tasty appetizer with a flavorful combination of toppings that can be customized to your choice. Serve with crackers, bagel or pita chips, pretzels, or crusty bread slices. From TheYummyLife.com #appetizer #dip #spread #Thanksgiving #Christmas #cranberry #creamcheese #crackers