Cranberry Jalapeno Dip is a dip worthy of getting your spread on for. Quick and easy to make with festive flavours, taste and texture, this creamy dip is a real crowd pleaser. Jalapeno cranberry dip crackers or your favourite chips and you are ready to party with this flavor combination!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I know you will love this recipe for many reasons and I have highlighted a few below as I think they will come to be your favourties:
- Festive season: this makes the perfect holiday party appetizer: When you need a recipe up your sleeve for last minute guests, gatherings or street parties, you don't want it to take hours. 5 mins and you are done 😊.
- Quick and easy: whilst the dip looks impressive, it is actually one of those super easy recipes to bring it together! One of the wonderful things about dips is that they don't hours to make.
- Simple ingredients: I got each of these ingredients from my local grocery store and you will be able to as well. No specialist store trips needed.
- December seasonal ingredients: everyone loves a bit of festive holiday appetizer at the end of the year! In Australia, it is very uncommon to get fresh cranberries but that doesn't need we need to miss out! Using dried cranberries will still bring the festive joy to the table (and they last longer too!)
- Thanksgiving, the office Christmas party, drinks with your neighbours, holiday gatherings, this dip will tick the easy appetizer box for this time of year and each occasion! So put the electric hand held mixer away, grab your serving board and a cheese knife and ho, ho, ho!
The photo below shows you the full list of ingredients you need to make the cranberry jalapeño dip recipe. For exact measurements please refer to the printable recipe card.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Crushed nuts: I use store bought granulated peanuts. This is for convenience and I like their texture and appearance. If you want to, you can use a different chopped nut.
- Jalapenos: you can keep the seeds in these if you wish. I don't for this recipe, simply to keep the loose seeds out of the mixture. If you leave them in, the dip will be noticeably more spicy. Although to some readers spicy jalapenos and holiday parties will go hand in hand! This choice my friend, is up to you 😊.
- Dried cranberries: these will be in a packet in the cooking aisle where the nuts and sultanas are. They are perfect to use for a festive dip! I recommend putting them in a small glass jug or cup and using kitchen scissors to roughly chop prior to layering.
- Cranberry sauce: is it sauce, or jam, the jar says sauce but it really has a jam like consistency and texture about it. See my top tip below for mushing this up a little for easy layering. It has a pretty color and contrasts beautifully with the white cream cheese.
- Cream cheese: we need 1 x 250 gram (8 ounce) block of cream cheese. Everywhere sells it from Walmart to Tesco, Woolies, Coles and your local store. If your store has a 225 gram version, that is still fine. There is not a lot of difference across this small variety in size blocks.
- Crackers: thick ones are best as they are robust and unlikely to break off mid dip.
Top Tip: The cranberry jam/sauce tends to mould itself inside the jar so well that when you scoop it out, it holds the shape of the jar still. Work this issue out by placing it in a bowl and using a spoon to break it down a little so its form is more presentable in appearance as well as being easier to spread.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the cranberry-jalapeno cream cheese dip. We start by removing the packaging from the cream cheese and popping it on the serving plate.
- Place the cream cheese onto serving board (Photo 1)
- Spread the cranberry sauce over the top (Photo 2)
- Add the small pieces of chopped jalapenos (Photo 3)
- Next add crushed nuts (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
To make the dip, remove the cheese from the fridge, discard the packaging and plate.
The 1st 4 steps are shown in the photo above and involve layering the ingredients onto the cheese one after the other.
- Add crackers around the edges of the dip (Photo 5)
Once the dip is prepared and the crackers are paired around the sides, it is ready to be dived into!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This is a no bake dip that is best prepared moments prior to serving.
You can prep it by having all of the ingredients ready to go and then bringing them together, however as the cranberry sauce/jam sits on top of the cream cheese and softens it, you don't want it to be made in advance as you will loose the separation of the layers and risk the dip getting soggy.
To serve the dip, it is advisable to have a cheese knife. This is needed to 'cut and spread' the dip. As the cream cheese is so firm, it is better to use this utensil than it is to dip your cracker or chip into the dip as the chance of it breaking off is quite high!
🌶 Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
People can spread the dip onto their cracker using the cheese knife and add the leftover toppings to fully load it if they wish before digging in!
The combination of smooth cheese, sweet cranberry jam, robust nuts, chewy dried cranberries and juicy jalapeno pieces on top of the crunchy firm cracker is delightful (as well as somewhat irresistible!!)
You can also use toasted baguette slices in place of the crackers if you want multiple serving ideas.
Looks pretty, tastes good, has all kinds of yum about it and everyone will love it! What more could you ask for!
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftover dip in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge. Or on a plate with plastic wrap pulled tightly to cover it. They can be kept for 2-3 days.
How to Freeze
This dip is not suitable to freeze.
How to Reheat
This is a no bake dip best served cold or at room temperature. There is no need to reheat it.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here is my ins and outs for you so that you have some options in tweaking to suit as you make the recipe:
- You don't have to use the same crackers as me, you can use your favorite crackers, gluten-free crackers. tortilla chips or pita chips if you want!
- You can try different nuts (roughly chopped) to the peanuts that I use.
- Finely chop some green onions and use them in addition or in place of the jalapeno if you want.
- For an alternative cheese try using goat cheese in place of the cream cheese.
- Or finely chop some bell pepper (capsicum) or and use that instead of the jalapeño peppers.
- Sprinkle a teaspoon of white sugar over the top for a sweet touch if you please!
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share so that you can a handle on the recipe from the get go!
- There is not a lot that can go wrong with this dip, so don't stress in advance.
- When peeling the foil, do so gently as to not take a corner off the rectangular shape (stuck in the foil).
- A cheese knife is essential for serving!
- Your favourite crackers are fine. I am using round firm crackers, but if you want to use mixed seed or similar rye crackers, go for it!
- Make and serve straight away, don't try and put it together hours in advance.
- Make a double batch if feeding a crowd, this dip disappears quickly!
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What crackers go best with cranberry jalapeno dip?
A firm round cracker is a great choice for cranberry jalapeno dip. It can be easily spread with the dip and won't break as easily as a water cracker.
You can, however use your favourite cracker!
What does cranberry jalapeno dip taste like?
Cranberry Jalapeno Dip takes like a combination of sweet jam and savory pepper. There is also a smooth sweetness from the cream cheese and a little crunch factor from the crushed nuts.
What is jalapeno dip made of?
Jalapeno dip is make of seeded or sliced jalapenos, cream cheese, cranberry jam or cranberry sauce and nuts.
What cheese has cranberries in it?
Wensleydale is the type of cheese that has cranberries in it. It is a hard cheese that has a firmness to it, pale colour and pops of colour from the cranberries.
How do you make jalapeno dip less spicy?
To make jalapeno dip less spicy, ensure that the seeds from the jalapeno are removed and not added to the dip. Do this, by slicing the jalapeno in half and then using a pairing knife and teaspoon to slice and scoop the seeds out.
😍 More Easy Dip Recipes
If you love digging a chip into a thick and creamy or chunky dip, then I have a feeling these other recipes of mine will tick all of your boxes! Try my:
- Corn Dip with Cream Cheese
- Gherkin Dip
- Roast Capsicum Dip
- Cream Cheese Salsa Dip
- Chili Cream Cheese Dip
- Corn Relish Dip
- Cream Cheese Onion Dip
- Cream Cheese Spinach Dip
- Ham Dip
- Honey Pecan Cream Cheese
Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
- 1 Serving platter
- 1 Cheese knife
- 250 grams/ 8 ounce block cream cheese Note 1
- ⅓ cup cranberry sauce Note 2
- 3 tbs dried cranberries roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno seeds removed, chopped into fine pieces
- 2 tbs crushed nuts
- Cream cheese: grab the cream cheese out of the fridge, undo the cardboard box, tear off the foil and place the cheese in the centre of a serving platter.
- Cranberry sauce: use a teaspoon to dollop the cranberry sauce onto the cheese. Flip the spoon over and use the back of it to spread it out into a layer.
- Dried cranberries: sprinkle the chopped dried cranberries out over the top of the cranberry sauce.
- Jalapenos: sprinkle the jalapeno pieces out across the top of the dip in another layer.
- Crushed nuts: pinch the nuts in your thumb and pointer and middle finger and sprinkle them over the chopped jalapenos completing the top layer of the dip.
- Serve and enjoy: place crackers around the sides of the dip, slightly off set from the edges. Provide a cheese knife for serving. Dig in and enjoy!
- Note 1 - Cream cheese: you will easily be able to get this at Walmart, Tesco, Aldi, Coles or Woolies etc. The blocks range from 225 grams to 250 grams which is really 'same, same'. So grab one and the one you get will be perfect. The block has more surface area for the toppings than the small tubs do, so avoid those and seek out the rectangle.
- Note 2 - Cranberry sauce: I find that this sauce (jam/jelly) really keeps a firm shape when you scoop it out of the jar. Work with it a little bit in a small bowl by using a spoon to 'mush' it up a little before layering as this will ensure there is no big chunks of it and it keeps a nice jam like texture.
- Note - Serving Size: you will be able to spread the dip onto the cracker at least 12 times. Portion per person will depend on how many crackers with dip you think each person needs. You might prefer to think of it as a 6 person dip with each person getting '2 crackers spread with dip' as opposed to serving 12 people.