In the near future, we are going to be in the midst of party season, where Halloween parties will occur, Thanksgiving parties, Friendsgiving parties, Christmas parties, and finally New Year’s Eve parties.

The season is going to be a blast! Therefore, I thought I’d get you started with some party food ammunition for you. This cranberry cream cheese dip is one of the easiest no-brainer holiday appetizers.

You can bring it to any party you are going to, and you won’t have to worry about whether people will eat it or not.

For more information on this recipe and my Easy Thanksgiving Dinner for Beginners meal plan, please visit my website. Apronese is ready to share with you many recipes with quick and easy dishes.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip: What’s in it?

In fact, it is so simple it can be compared to making homemade cranberry sauce (cranberries, sugar, water, salt) and adding green onions to give it a distinctive flavor.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is not to skip the green onion just because it adds a savory note to the dip.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip: What to Serve with It

This super simple Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip is a combination of savory, sweet, tart, and salty, making it irresistible.

It is a combination of savory and sweet that is irresistible, which makes it great with salty crackers and sweet apple slices equally well.

To make it a little more fun, maybe add a slice of sharp cheddar, to make a little stack of crackers, apples, cheddar, and cranberries on that platter.

Is It Possible to Make This Ahead?

There is no problem making the cranberry sauce a few days ahead of time; it keeps for many days in a refrigerator, so you can prepare it up to two days ahead.

After that, you just have to put together the dip before the party.
Two hands smearing cranberry cream cheese dip on a cracker over the platter

Is Canned Cranberry Sauce Okay to Use?

I have no doubt that you can cook cranberry sauce in the microwave, but I think that canned sauces tend to have a milder taste, and sometimes it can even taste metallic.

Homemade cranberry sauce can be made in less than ten minutes, so for best results, I suggest cooking it at home.

Theme Variations

During my introduction, I mentioned the variety of options you can choose from for this cranberry cream cheese dip. Below are a few of my favorites:

  • I would recommend adding a little bit of jalapeño to make it taste like a cross between pepper jelly and cranberry sauce (this is the option pictured below).
  • Make a classic cranberry sauce (with or without orange), then top it with crushed pecans or walnuts that have been roasted and ground to a fine powder.
  • If you don’t want to spend more money, you could try a different cheese. Cream cheese is the budget option, but you can also use chevre (goat cheese) or even baked brie cheese for this dip.

Close up of cranberry cream cheese dip smeared on a cracker

Cream Cheese Dip with Cranberries

With tangy homemade cranberry sauce, rich cream cheese, and savory green onions, these appetizers are a simple but delightful way to bring people together during the holiday season.

Author: Beth

Prep Time: 5 mins/ Cook Time: 10 mins/ Cool Time: 10 mins/ Total Time: 25 mins

Servings: 8


  • 6 oz. fresh cranberries ($1.25)
  • 1/4 cup sugar ($0.08)
  • 1/2 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) ($0.15)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese ($0.79)
  • 3 green onions, sliced ($0.33)
  • 1 box crackers (for serving) (2.95)
  • 1 apple (for serving) ($0.33)


  • As soon as the cranberries have been rinsed, add them to a small sauce pot along with the sugar, water, and salt to make a simple sauce.
  • You should remove the stem from the jalapeño pepper, cut it lengthwise, scrape out any seeds (or leave some in if you like it extra spicy), and then dice the pepper into small pieces. Once the diced pepper is added to the sauce pot, reduce the heat to medium.
  • Then combine the ingredients in the pot, place a lid on top, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the liquid begins to boil, place the pot over medium-low heat, stir the mixture for 5 minutes without turning the heat down, and allow it to simmer without a lid for another 5 minutes.
  • After you simmer the cranberries for 5 minutes, all the cranberries should have burst open to form a thick sauce. Remove the sauce from the heat and transfer it to the refrigerator to let it cool down.
  • Use a spoon to mark an indentation along the center of the block of cream cheese by placing it on a small plate or in a shallow bowl. Place the cream cheese on the plate or bowl. Using the back of a spoon, indent the cream cheese.
  • You can serve the cream cheese with crackers and apple slices alongside the cooled cranberry sauce. The green onions should be sliced thinly and sprinkled over top.


Serving: 1 Serving ・ Calories: 155.61 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 10.98 g ・ Protein: 2.04 g ・ Fat: 10.03 g ・ Sodium: 138.03 mg ・ Fiber: 1.58 g
The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer .Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip platter with crackers and apple slices

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip: How to Make It – Step by Step Photos

Deseeded jalapeño
When using a jalapeño pepper, spend some time cutting off the stem, and then slice the pepper lengthwise.

Remove the seeds if you would like the cranberry sauce to be extra spicy, or leave them in if you plan on leaving some in. Finely diced.
Cranberry sauce ingredients in the sauce pot
There are several things you can do to prepare this filling.

Take a small sauce pot, add 6 oz. of cranberries (that’s half of the standard 12 oz. bag of cranberries), 1/4 cup sugar, diced jalapeos (optional), 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water.

Stir the ingredients together, place a lid over top, and then heat over medium high heat.
Finished homemade cranberry sauce
It is important to allow the pot to boil before you take it off the heat.

After boiling, give it another stir, turn it down to medium low heat, and let it simmer without the lid for about 5 minutes without turning off the heat.

Let the sauce simmer for about two minutes after the cranberries burst and the sauce has thickened (if not, just simmer it for another couple of minutes; it will not take long for it to thicken).

Turn off the heat, and then transfer to the refrigerator.
Make depression in cream cheese
A block of 8 oz cream cheese should be placed on top of a plate or shallow dish (something that will catch the runoff from the cranberry sauce) when you are ready to serve the cranberry cream cheese dip for the party.

To make sure that some of the sauce stays on top, use the back of a spoon to make an indentation along the top of the cream cheese with the back of it.
Cranberry Sauce being spooned onto cream cheese
As soon as the cream cheese is placed on top of the cranberry sauce, spoon the sauce evenly over it.
Finished Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip platter with crackers, apples, green onion, and drinks on the side
The Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip should then be topped with thinly sliced green onions, and then surrounded with an assortment of crackers and apple slices, the dish should be served.
Front view of the Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip platter
I hope you have a wonderful time at your party!

Be sure to tell Apronese about your fun party and how you made it.

If you have any other recipes for this cranberry cream cheese dip, be sure to share it with everyone in the comments.