Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip – The BEST Appetizer Recipe!

Food, Recipes

Looking for a delicious appetizer for your next get together? This cranberry salsa cream cheese dip is sure to be a favorite. It's super easy to put together and you can double it for larger groups of people! Plus, you'll never guess what the secret ingredient is!

Cranberry cream cheese dip on a chip, from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for a crowd-pleasing, SUPER easy, ridiculously delicious appetizer? Look no further! This delicious cranberry cream cheese dip is our favorite of all time. It goes great with crackers and chips. Your biggest problem will be putting it down and getting your hands out of the way before everybody chows down on it!

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We love to have this cranberry cream cheese dip as an appetizer any time of the year we can find fresh cranberries. It's especially a big hit during the holiday season for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You really can't go wrong with it! So, let's get on to…


Are you ready for the secret ingredient?! Then keep reading. Seriously, you won't be disappointed with this delicious cranberry salsa appetizer! Following are a few tips to help keep you on track and use what you have in your kitchen.


Softened cream cheese on a plate, from Fun Cheap or Free
  • Vary Jalapeño Amounts Ta-da! The secret ingredient! You weren't expecting this, were you? The recipe calls for 1-2 jalapeños without seeds — choose the amount based on how spicy you want it. For adults, we usually use two jalapeños, for kids, we use one.
  • Use Thawed Cranberries – The ingredients call for a package of fresh cranberries. There is no cooking involved for this cranberry cream cheese dip! If you buy cranberries when they're on sale and stick them in your freezer, allow plenty of time to thaw before you make this recipe.
  • Grab Your Food Processor – You can use a knife and cutting board to prepare the salsa portion of this dip, but a food processor makes it so much easier!
Spreading cranberry salsa over the softened cream cheese, from Fun Cheap or Free
  • Sub Out Lemon Juice – Cranberry cream cheese dip calls for lemon juice, but substitute orange juice if that's what you have on hand. It'll still taste just as delicious!
  • Omit the Green Onions & Cumin – We've left out the green onions and cumin before, and it was still amazing. Plus, not everyone loves cumin, so consider your crowd.
  • Be Playful – Don't concentrate too much on measurements. We basically eyeball it every time and it's never disappointed!
  • Serve This Dip Cold – You can serve the dip as soon as you make it, but we definitely recommend letting it sit in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors meld. You won't be disappointed!


IF you somehow manage to have any of this deliciousness left, put it in an airtight container and throw it in the fridge. It'll last in there for a few days for you to munch on whenever your heart desires! And if you can believe it, it manages to taste even better after a few days.


Festive holiday dip on a plate, from Fun Cheap or Free

Alright, enough talkin' already! Let's get to the recipe so you can try your hand at it! You're seriously going to love how quickly you can throw this yum recipe together.

Cranberry cream cheese dip on a chip, from Fun Cheap or Free

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

This cranberry cream cheese dip is great with crackers or chips. Serve it as an appetizer at your next get together and be amazed at how quickly it goes!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 – 2 jalapeños, seeded
  • ½ bunch green onions
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened


  • Spread softened cream cheese on a serving dish evenly. Set aside.
  • Add cranberries, seeded jalapenos, green onions, and cilantro to a food processor. Pulse until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • Move to a mixing bowl, and add sugar, cumin, and lemon juice. Stir until well mixed.
  • Spread over softened cream cheese and serve with crackers or chips.


If you have time, put the cranberry salsa portion in the refrigerator to allow it to come together. Spread it over softened cream cheese when you're ready to serve.
Keyword dip, spicy, sweet

Doesn't that sound so crazy easy and delicious?!

Alright, well there you have it! Let us know how you like it in the comments! Better yet, stop by our Shelf Cooking community on Facebook and share your favorite easy appetizer ideas!

Party appetizer on a plate, from Fun Cheap or Free

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Enjoy your festive dish!


  1. mindi

    have to admit I have never made anything w/ fresh cranberries. SOOOO do you just put them in the processor raw? Sorry for the dumb q!

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Not a dumb Q at all! It was my first time as well. Yes, you just wash them off and toss them in whole. Easy peasy!

    • Rosemary Caputo

      Raw it is! Most salsas are raw.

  2. Becky Crockett

    could i just stir it all together like a cheese ball? throw it in the fridge to stay cold and hard?

  3. Emily

    5 stars
    I’ve done this without cilantro, but with green onion. Also no cumin.
    I like whipping my cream cheese with a hand mixer–it really does increase the size and make it easier to eat without breaking crackers.
    Anyway–this recipe is seriously delicious!!! An in-law pleaser for sure. They were begging me to bring it to the next party!

    • Fun Cheap or Free

      Oh, that’s a good idea about whipping the cream cheese with a hand mixer! It’s always frustrating when you break a cracker trying to get into the dip. That’s a great solution!

  4. Debra Austin

    5 stars
    I made this for the first time for Christmas Day. I was suprised at how easy it was to make! I followed the directions exactly. (Used 1 jalepeno). Not only was the end result beautiful to look at, it was absolutely delicious! I made 4 different dips and this was by far the favorite! Thanks for a great recipe!!

    • Kenzie Baney

      So glad to hear that!


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