Cranberry Cream Cheese is a great idea for the best dip at any of your holiday parties. It is always a crowd-pleaser no matter what you serve it with. It is also low in saturated fat and high in flavor. Just cream cheese, apricots, orange zest, and cranberries make this so easy, it is a great recipe idea for any occasion. If you like sweet spreads, make sure you try this Cranberry Butter!
Cranberry dip has been a huge hit at my Thanksgiving table for years. Actually, any holiday gathering is the perfect time to pull out a serving plate of crackers with cranberry cream cheese dip. It has flavors that are tart, and sweet, and taste delicious with just about anything you eat from pretzels to muffins.
These are the simple ingredients for this cranberry cream cheese dip recipe. Scroll down to our recipe card for complete instructions and exact measurements.
- Reduced-fat cream cheese: Softened cream cheese works best.
- Grated orange zest: Fresh zest gives you the freshest orange flavor.
- Dried chopped apricots: Instead of apricots, you can use whatever you like.
- Dried chopped cranberries: Make them small enough so you get some in every bite.
- Assorted crackers: For spreading and dipping.
How to make cranberry cream cheese from scratch?
- Beat it: First, beat cream cheese, cranberries, apricots, and orange zest in a large bowl with a hand mixer until well-blended.
- Chill it: Then, put your cranberry cream cheese in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.
- Serve it: Finally, serve with crackers, chips, veggies, or spread an even layer on bread for a sandwich.
- Add more: Mix in some extra cranberry sauce for even more delicious cranberry flavor. You can use homemade cranberry sauce or canned. It works best with whole cranberry sauce though.
- Chopped pecans: For some crunchiness, mix in 1/4 cup chopped pecans.
- Dried fruit: Feel free to add your favorite fruit like raisins or dried oranges.
- Fresh veggies: You could also add your favorite veggies like sliced green onions, minced bell peppers, or diced chives.
- Add pantry staples: Whatever pantry staples you have on hand would work for this dip like extra cilantro, garlic, rosemary, thyme, basil, or oregano. If you think it sounds amazing, go for it!
- Spicy kick: Give your cranberry cream cheese dip a little kick of heat by adding a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
- Add sugar: If you like your dip sweeter, feel free to add a teaspoon of sugar or honey.
Frequently asked questions
What can I use instead of cream cheese?
If you do not want to use cream cheese, you can try using sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. You could also try cottage cheese, mascarpone, goat cheese (like gouda), or Neufchatel. But, if it is the dairy you are worried about, you can find dairy-free cream cheese in most grocery stores now.
How can I make cranberry sauce?
First, rinse and drain fresh cranberries. Then, cook one cup of water with one cup of sugar on medium-high heat until it boils. Stir frequently to dissolve the sugar. After, add the cranberries and cook until they burst, about 10 minutes. Stir in a bit of orange zest or other mix-ins and let it cool before using. If you do not want it too sweet, use less sugar.
Are cranberries healthy?
Actually, cranberries are considered to be a superfood. They are high in antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins. The amounts of vitamin C, potassium, iron, and minerals make them a good source for all sorts of reasons. Not only are they delicious and a big hit at parties, but they can also prevent cancer, lower the risk of UTIs, and boost your immune system.
How to store leftovers:
- Store: You can store your leftover cranberry cream cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
- Freeze: Wrap your cream cheese spread dish in plastic and put it into a freezer bag. It will stay fresh for up to 60 days.
- Thaw: Let your frozen leftovers thaw overnight in the fridge for the best results.
Cranberry Cream Cheese made with just cream cheese, apricots, orange zest, and cranberries, is a great recipe idea for any occasion.
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- Sweet crackers and sliced fruits to serve
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, with the rest of the ingredients, until blended.
Chill until serving. Serve with crackers or sliced fruits.
- Add a pinch of salt for extra flavor if needed.
- If you add any veggies, make sure you finely dice them.
- Fresh cranberries can also be used if you do not have any dried cranberries.
- You can thin out your cranberry mixture with orange juice or lemon juice if it is too thick.
- Wheat Thins or Ritz Crackers make perfect dippers, but you could also try pita chips, veggie sticks, or fruit. Or just spoon the mixture onto bread or rolls.
- It also tastes amazing as a cream cheese spread on a turkey sandwich.