Hey friends! I’m back today with one final holiday appetizer for the season that I think you’re going to love.
I mean, at least, it’s everything that I love about holiday cooking.
It’s incredibly easy to prepare with just 5 main ingredients, and takes only a few minutes to assemble. (<– And bonus, it can be prepped up to a few days ahead of time if you’d like. ?) It’s red and green and oh-so-festive and will totally stand out on a crowded buffet table. (<– A friend said it looks like Christmas confetti!? ) It’s the perfect blend of sweet and savory ingredients that can work well as an appetizer or it can even double as a dessert (nix the onions and serve with crackers or a sweeter dipper ?).
And most importantly, it is very delicious, and very sure to be a hit with all of your friends and family.
It’s my Very Merry Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip!
Seriously, if you’re looking for something to whip up quickly this season that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser, I think that this may just be the dip for you.
To make it, begin by whipping up a quick batch of cranberry sauce. I’ve included a classic recipe below, but really, you can use just about any cranberry sauce for this recipe. (I love making mine in the slow cooker.) Once it has cooked, let it cool off in the refrigerator until it’s completely chilled.
Then it’s time to assemble the dip!
Begin by spreading an even layer of cream cheese out on a large plate or shallow bowl. As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, I’m a big fan ofArla cream cheese, which I used in this recipe. Because by contrast to the leading name brands of cream cheese that we all grew up with, I really value the fact that Arla cream cheese is made with just four simple ingredients (cream, skim milk, salt and cheese culture). Plus it’s free of added stabilizers, thickeners, artificial flavors and preservatives. And it is absolutely delicious.
So, just spread two packages of the cream cheese out on your serving dish for the base layer.
Then on top of that, spread your chilled cranberry sauce, and all of that delicious red and green “confetti” (pomegranate arils, chopped jalapeño, and sliced green onions).
Then just serve it up with some crackers, or whatever dippers sound good.
And take a bite before it all disappears!
Seriously, people freaking love this dip. And I can attest that — as the cook — it’s all the more delicious knowing how simple it was to prepare. So if you’re looking for a great dip to share this season, I think this one will definitely make your gathering all the merrier.
1/3 cup granulated sugar (or your desired type of sweetener)
To Make The Dip:
Spread the cream cheese in a single layer in a large serving bowl or plate.
Spread the cranberry sauce on top of the cream cheese in a single layer, followed by the pomegranate arils, diced jalapeño, and green onions.
Serve immediately, with crackers for dipping.
To Make The Cranberry Sauce:
Add cranberries, orange juice, water and sugar to a medium saucepan, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries have popped.
Remove from heat. Chill the cranberry sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator until completely chilled, about 2 hours. (Or you can make the cranberry sauce up to 3 days in advance.)
*You’re welcome to use any kind of cranberry sauce for this recipe. I also have a slow cooker version that’s easy and delicious!
***If you’d like to prepare the dip in advance, I recommend making the cranberry sauce up to 3 days in advance. Then refrigerate it in a sealed container, along with the prepared pomegranate arils, chopped jalapeno and thinly-sliced green onions (those last three ingredients can be stored together). Once you’re ready to serve the dip, just assemble all of the dip layers, and serve!
This post is sponsored by Arla, maker of my favorite cream cheese spread (made with ingredients I can actually pronounce and feel good about). Thanks for supporting the brands who continue to make this blog possible! ♥
What a beautiful appetizer! We always do something similar expect with pepper jelly!
That looks amazing! I will have to use a vegan substitute for the cheese.
Thanks, Rhonda — we hope you enjoy!
This looks so yummy!
Hi Ali: Would it be possible to adapt this recipe with canned cranberry sauce? Thanks for any information you can provide.
Hi Melodie! We haven’t tried that, but we think it would be fine (it just will have a different texture and won’t be as tart). We hope you enjoy!
This is great for an appetiser for Christmas! Thanks for the recipe.
Thanks, Charmaine — we hope you enjoy it!
What a beautiful appetizer for the holidays. I love that it’s sweet, savory, and spicy!
Thanks, Sapana — we hope you enjoy!
I went to the store today and did a huge grocery shop for the holidays, and then tonight visiting my favourite food blogs, I find that I managed to buy things for all the recipes I am seeing and loving. Suffice to say I will be making this very soon! Yum!
Awesome, Kate — we hope you enjoy it!
This looks SO good! I love cranberries with a more rich ingredient (cream cheese here, for instance) – it’s like the tartness is the perfect contrast. This looks like a festive party food!
Thank you! We hope you enjoy it! :)
What a beautiful appetizer for Christmas! Loving the combination of pomegranate and cranberry
Thanks, Amy — we hope you can give this a try sometime soon! :)
Made this for a Christmas party yesterday. Big Hit!!!
Followed the recipe but used a slotted spoon to add the cranberry
sauce. Would definitely make again.
Thanks for sharing, Bruce — we’re so glad to hear that and we appreciate you giving this a try! :)
This was a big hit at a holiday get together with my neighbors. It was just as pretty as your picture! I use “whipped” cream cheese since I had some on hand and it held up well and was very easy to spread. Delicious!
Thank you for sharing with us, Angela — we’re so glad it was a hit! :)
Hey was wondering what healthy crackers you use that are delicious at the same time?
Hey Megan! We love Milton’s Multigrain crackers. :)
Made this for my Christmas Eve get together and everyone loved it. Such a lovely combination of flavours. YUM! :D
Yummy! I am glad that I found your recipe thru Google because I did not know what to do with pomegranate, I guess that I can make dip with it for Thanksgiving :-) Thank you for sharing.
Can I just say this dip turned out SO beautifully and it was such a hit! I think it took people by surprise when they saw it out at Christmas and would never think of such a flavour combination.The jalapeno with the seeds and veins removed were not spicy AT ALL and almost had a green pepper-esque vibe to them, yet not at the same time. It was that little something extra that people couldn’t put their finger on. It tasted amazing as a dip with Ritz crackers but also on bagels the next morning at breakfast! Who would have thought! Thanks for continuing to rock :)
This is such an amazing recipe. I added extra jalapenos for extra kick. Thank you so much.
I’ve been making this for Xmas and New Years parties for years and always a hit! Can’t wait for this weekend <3<3<3
Found this recipe last xmas and made for office potluck party. It was such a hit that they requested I make it again this year. Of course! Easy, delicious and festive. I think I will be making this for years to come. Thanks for the great recipe!!
Can I use whole canned cranberry sauce in the recipe?
Go to recipe for holiday parties- guests love this- yummy