‘Tis the season for all things cranberry! You know it truly is the most wonderful time of the year when those beloved cranberries start making an appearance in holiday recipes! Cranberries are one of my favorite things to cook with – especially during this time of year. Once my favorite supermarket starts rolling these bad boys out onto their produce shelves, I buy them in bulk and keep them stored away in my freezer so I can use them in recipes all year long!
While I tend to mostly use them in baking or in desserts, I absolutely love to pair them with something savory to give the dish I’m preparing a layer of tartness. I could just die over a batch of fresh, slow cooked cranberry sauce drizzled over a thanksgiving turkey! This particular recipe is one of my family’s absolute favorite things to prepare and take to potlucks and Christmas parties during this time of year. It’s got a little bit of sweet, a bit of savory, a touch of tartness and a hint of spicy that marries together so beautifully, you’ll be back around for another helpin’- I guarantee it!
You can never go wrong with a party dip that has cream cheese in it, and this dip has a layer of fresh cranberries, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and bacon bits nestled over a bed of cream cheese that makes for one dynamic party dip! If you’ve got a holiday gathering or a special event coming up – be it for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or just a casual Tuesday, you won’t go wrong with this one! (And you might want to print out a few copies of this recipe to keep in your back pocket…because people are always asking for the recipe!)
Here’s the skinny on how to make this dip! You’ll need to start preparing it a day ahead of time to let the berries, sugar and jalapeno juices meld together well, so keep that in mind! Trust me, it’s worth the extra time!
Cranberry Jalapeno Christmas Dip
- 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
- 1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers seeded and diced (optional)
- 1 - handful fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 (8 oz) bricks cream cheese softened
- 1 small handful of chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup real bacon bits
- Wash cranberries and hand chop in half (or smaller pieces if you desire) Hand chopping is more time consuming, but is recommended over a chopping device or blender to better keep the structure of the berries without accidentally juicing them.)
- Chop cilantro, jalapenos and green onion
- In a large bowl, combine cranberries, jalapenos, cilantro, green onions, salt, sugar and lemon juice and stir until blended
- Cover cranberry mixture and store in refrigerator overnight
- When you're ready to start preparing the dip, remove berry mixture from refrigerator, stir and drain off excess juices that collect in the bottom.
- Using a hand mixer, whip softened cream cheese until smooth and easily spreadable.
- Spread cream cheese into the bottom of a pie dish and top with berry mixture
- Garnish with bacon bits, extra chopped onions and fresh cilantro
- Serve with Ritz crackers
Looking for a few more delicious recipes to get your cranberry fix this season? I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeve you just might want to try!
Cranberry Cream Cheese Pinwheels | Sugared Cranberries | Cranberry Banana Nut Bread | Cranberry Avocado Chicken Salad | Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins | Banana Nut Cranberry Cookies | Cranberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake | No Bake Mini Cranberry Cheesecake Trifles
Do you love to cook with cranberries during the holiday season? Do you like to use them in sweet dishes, savory dishes or both? I’m always looking for a new cranberry recipe to try, so feel free to comment and share your faves!