Thanksgiving Dip is a quick and easy recipe that is full of flavour! Using textures to create layers, this simple cream cheese dip is fuss free and effortless, yet ticks the boxes of yum, so yum and mmmm hmmm this is yum.
I have summarised the reasons why you will come to love this dip and want to make it time and time again in the points below:
- Super quick.
- Super easy.
- Taste and texture: using layers to create texture and a simple combination of ingredients that taste exceptional together we create a simple, yet seriously taste dip!
- Party starter: in my experience, you don't need a thousand bits and pieces to kick off the party. You do, however, need a really good dip.
- Flavours that work: cream cheese and caramel blend so well together as 2 sweet ingredients that bring their own firmness or wet smoothness to the table.
- Sweet and savory: the caramel sauce and cream cheese bring the sweet. The caramel fudge pieces and pecans bring the savory. Together the combination is delightfully balanced.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. For exact measurements please refer to the printable recipe card.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Cream cheese: we need 1 x 250 gram (8 ounce) block of this. 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.
- Caramel sauce: this is the thick caramel top and fill or Dulce de Leche that comes in a tin, perfect for using in sweets and desserts.
- Caramel Fudge: we need soft but firm caramel fudge pieces here (jersey caramels work well). No need to make fudge, grab a store bought packet and chop them into small chunky pieces.
- Pecans: a classic nut that works in so many recipes (pecan pie anyone?). We use kitchen scissors to roughly chop these into pieces for a crunchy texture that contrasts with the smooth thick caramel sauce.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. Start by getting the cream cheese, unwrapping it and having the other ingredients prepped and ready to go.
- Place cream cheese in centre of serving board (Photo 1)
- Top with caramel sauce (Photo 2)
- Add chopped caramels (Photo 3)
- Sprinkle crushed pecans over the top (Photo 4)
How to Make Thanksgiving Dip
To make the dip, ensure that the caramels are chopped into small pieces and the pecans either crushed or roughly chopped. Then grab the cream cheese, discard the packaging and plate.
- Add crackers for serving (Photo 5)
How to Guide
How to Store
This is a no bake dip that comes together easily. It is best made moments prior to serving.
Leftovers can be stored in a sealed air tight container or on a plate with cling wrap in the fridge for up to 2 days.
It is not recommend to heat the dip or to freeze it (before or after making).
A cheese knife is needed for serving. This is so that the dip can be cut and spread onto the crackers.
You can also pop the additional toppings (leftovers) in small bowls around the dip and let people spread and load a cracker.
This way they get all of the layers to their preference. Starting with the cream cheese, sweet thick caramel sauce, chewy caramels and crunchy nuts!
The is the sweet, the savory and all kinds of yum to be experienced with that tasty first bite.
It is a fully loaded, sweet, savory, taste and texture sensation and you are going to love it!
Substitutions and Variations
Here are my ins and outs so that you can think about these and incorporate if so desired:
- You can use the cheaper sundae sauce for the caramel if you like.
- Use pistachio nuts instead of the pecan nuts.
- Use graham crackers for serving instead of round Ritz crackers.
- Jersey caramels chopped into pieces work just as well as caramel fudge chopped into pieces.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you serve before Thanksgiving dinner?
A dip and drinks is a great way to kick off a Thanksgiving dinner.
Start simple and work into more complex recipes like the turkey and sauces.
What is the most popular side dish for Thanksgiving?
No suprises that potatoes are the most popular side dish for Thanksgiving.
The variety of ways that they can be cooked and their easy pairing for so many recipes makes them an easy choice for a fan favourite.
What are good finger foods for parties?
Dips and chips, crudités and cheese cubes are all excellent finger foods for parties.
More Easy Dip Recipes
You don't have to stop dunking anytime soon! Here are some more dips and spreads recipes that I know you will love.
- Cranberry Jalapeno Dip
- Green Olive Dip
- Gherkin Dip
- Cream Cheese Onion Dip
- Corn Dip with Cream Cheese
- Cream Cheese Spinach Dip
- Corn Relish Dip
- Cream Cheese Jalapeno Dip
If you are feeding a crowd, my Grazing Platter will tick all of their boxes!
PIN and save the recipe for later!
- 1 Serving board
- 1 Teaspoon
- 1 Cheese knife or butter knife
- 250 gram/ 8 oz block cream cheese Note 1
- ⅓ cup caramel sauce Note 2
- 2 tablespoon caramel pieces chopped into small chunky pieces, Note 3
- 2 tablespoon crushed pecans Note 4
- 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.
- Caramel sauce: use a teaspoon to dollop the caramel sauce onto the cheese. Flip the spoon over and use the back of it to spread it out into a layer.
- Caramels: spread the caramel pieces out in a layer on top of the caramel sauce.
- Pecans: sprinkle the crushed nuts out over the top of the caramel pieces.
- 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 - Caramel sauce: I find that this sauce (dulce de leche) really keeps a firm shape when you scoop it out of the tin. Work with it a little bit in a small bowl by using a spoon to 'spread' it out a little before layering as this will ensure there is no thick chunks of it and it keeps a nice paste like texture.
- Note 3 - Caramels: you can use either caramel fudge (soft) or jersey caramels. Store bought is the way to go, no need to make a batch of caramel fudge in order to use the pieces for the dip. Use a knife and chopping board to chop them into small 1 to 2 chew pieces.
- Note 4 - Pecans: use a glass mug and kitchen scissors to chop these roughly. They don't need to be uniform in size by any means. 'Crushed' is the texture you are after for this ingredient.
- 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. I actually counted it out for you and it is 32 spreads that the 1 8 ounce (250 grams) block of cream cheese will do. But if you had 32 people staring at one block of cream cheese, I think there would a problem on your hands...where is the fun in that, haha!