With a combination of sweet and savory flavors, this easy Cream Cheese Cranberry Dip is ideal for holiday entertaining or even as a special festive side dish!
Looking for a delicious dip that only requires a few simple ingredients? This white cheddar cranberry dip is for you!
It blends melty, gooey cheddar cheese with a swirl of sweet and tart cranberry sauce and cream cheese for a holiday appetizer that’s sure to impress and satisfy.
With a gorgeous and festive garnish of fresh herbs and fruit, this cranberry dip is sure to get you in the spirit.
Pair it with an assortment of crackers, chips, or pieces of hearty bread for the ultimate snacking experience!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS CRANBERRY DIP WITH CREAM CHEESE
Making an elegant and delicious dip for the holidays doesn’t have to be a production!
With only 3 ingredients, this cream cheese cranberry dip is a wintry appetizer with a gorgeous presentation that’s sure to wow any crowd.
Combine melty white cheddar with a block of cream cheese and the distinct and nostalgic flavor of cranberry sauce for a unique appetizer dip that’s as tasty as it is easy to make.
And if you can’t get enough of this sweet and savory flavor pairing, you’ll love these Cranberry Brie Bites as well.
Or how about these delicious Mediterranean Feta Bites – a handheld savory appetizer you will really enjoy.
- White Cheddar Cheese – adds a slightly sharp cheesy flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweet tart cranberries.
- Cream Cheese – acts as the creamy, indulgent base of this easy cranberry cream cheese dip.
- Whole Cranberry Sauce – provides a gorgeous red swirl, as well as a festive wintry flavor.
- Rosemary – for garnish.
- Fresh Cranberries – add a pop of color and fresh fruit flavor.
- Baguette – for serving!
HELPFUL TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
- Mixing Bowl – A large mixing bowl is helpful for making your cream cheese cranberry mixture.
- Baking Dish – Something oven safe and large enough to contain all of your dip is crucial to this recipe. A cast iron skillet or decorative baking dish is a great way to add an extra dimension of presentation to your dish.
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY AND CREAM CHEESE DIP
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine cheddar cheese, softened cream cheese, and cranberry sauce. Pour into a baking dish or skillet.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh cranberries and sprigs of rosemary.
- Serve with a baguette for dipping. Pair with other appetizer recipes like this Baked Ricotta Dip for the ultimate dip platter!
- For some additional flavor, garnish with chopped green onion or chives.
- Add a bit of lemon juice or lime juice to bring out the tartness of the cranberries and cut down some of the thick creaminess of this cream cheese dip.
- Use other varieties of cheese like mozzarella or colby jack. You’ll want something that melts well and takes on a nice gooey texture.
- Give your dip a spicy twist by chopping up some jalapeno peppers and adding them to the mixture.
- Top with crushed almonds or walnuts for a bit of crunch and nutty flavor.
- Cream cheese is a budget friendly option for this recipe, but for something fancier you could use brie or a goat cheese.
- This recipe is a great way to utilize leftover cranberry sauce from a holiday meal.
- I often use a store bought sauce, but homemade cranberry sauce is also a great option if you want to further control the flavors of this dip.
- Allow the cream cheese to sit and soften for a bit to make combining the ingredients easier.
- Aside from slices of a nice crusty bread, Triscuits, Wheat Thins, and pita chips are all fantastic options when it comes to dipping and scooping.
- You could also use this dip as a spread for wraps and sandwiches.
STORAGE AND REHEATING TIPS
- Transfer leftover dip to an airtight container, or cover well with plastic wrap. Keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
- You could also freeze the dip if you need it to last 2 to 3 months, but be aware that the texture and flavors might be slightly off when you thaw it. Cream cheese is famously grainy when frozen and thawed.
- To reheat, pop the tip back in the oven until it’s nice and heated through. For a quicker option, you could also heat your dip in the microwave.
What cheese goes best with cranberry?
When it comes to pairing cheese with the sweet-tart flavor of cranberries, I recommend going for something with a strong and sharp flavor.
Cheddar is my favorite option, as it’s also generally a crowd pleaser, but feel free to use another variety of cheese if you have something you prefer.
Is homemade cranberry sauce better?
Some find that canned cranberry sauce doesn’t have quite as much flavor as homemade.
If you have the time (and the willpower!) you can absolutely make your own cranberry sauce for this recipe, but I’ve found that the canned kind works just fine.
Adding fresh cranberries as a garnish helps to bring out the cranberry flavor either way.
Should this dip be served hot or cold?
I highly recommend serving this dip right out of the oven. The melty cheddar and gooey cream cheese are comforting and indulgent, and much easier to eat when they’re not cold and hard.
You could try serving it as a cold dip once everything’s been baked together, in which case you should include some kind of knife or instrument to spread the dip onto crackers, bread, or whatever you choose to serve it with.
Cream Cheese Cranberry Dip
- 2 Cups White Cheddar Cheese
- 8oz Cream Cheese
- 1 Cup Whole Cranberry Sauce
- Rosemary (garnish)
- Fresh Cranberries (garnish)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, combine cheddar cheese, cream cheese & cranberry sauce.
- Pour into a baking dish or skillet.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and garnish with fresh cranberries & rosemary.
- Serve with a baguette for dunking.
- This recipe is a great way to make sure leftover cranberry sauce doesn't go to waste!
- You'll want to use whole cranberry sauce, but if you prefer a more uniform texture you could substitute a jellied cranberry sauce instead.
- For additional flavor, use ingredients like walnuts, pecans, green onions, or chives.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 428mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 11g