Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip made with homemade cranberry pepper jelly is an updated take on a classic appetizer recipe. It’s a perfect addition to a retro holiday party!
Cranberry jalapeno dip recipe
Inspired by classic cream cheese pepper jelly dip this cranberry jalapeno dip is made from cranberry pepper jelly served over a block of cream cheese. It’s tangy, creamy, spicy and sweet.
Made with a quick homemade cranberry jalapeno pepper jelly the spice level can be adjusted to your personal tastes.
Or you can substitute apricot jelly with diced jalapenos and cream cheese stirred in. Although it won’t be as vibrantly colored and flavorful as the homemade version.
- Cranberry pepper jelly – a quick jelly made from jalapenos, fresh cranberries, diced red pepper, vinegar, pectin and sugar. You can use frozen cranberries instead of fresh in the pepper jelly recipe and it will turn out just as good as with fresh cranberries. Or for a quick substitute mix apricot jelly with fresh chopped jalapenos and chopped cranberries. Or mix leftover cranberry sauce with pepper jelly for a similar flavor and naturally bright red color.
- Cream cheese – use full fat or low fat cream cheese or even non dairy cream cheese substitute. Or make cranberry whipped feta dip using whipped feta instead. Or substitute goat cheese to make cranberry goat cheese dip. To get even more flavor and spice into this creamy dip recipe you can also mix in garlic, chopped jalapenos and seasonings into the cream cheese before spreading on a plate as a base for the jelly like this Creamy Caramelized Onion Dip with Labneh.
- Crackers – fruit, nuts or toast for serving.
Step by step instructions
- Make Cranberry Pepper Jelly. Simmer chopped jalapenos, cranberries and red pepper with white vinegar. Combine pectin with a cup of sugar and slowly stir into the boiling mixture to dissolve. Add remaining sugar and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and pour into jars. Either refrigerate jelly or hot water bath process to can the jelly and preserve for longer.
- When ready to serve place cream cheese on a small serving plate. Using the back of a spoon add a small indent to the top of the cream cheese block.
- Spoon roughly ½ cup of pepper jelly over cream cheese block allowing jelly to run over the sides. You can also update this classic recipe even more by serving on a bed of swirled whipped feta, labneh or goat cheese.
- Serve with crackers for dipping.
How to serve
Serve Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese dip with crackers, apple slices, toasted walnuts, and whatever else you’d like to dip. The best crackers for pepper jelly and cream cheese dip are classic buttery Ritz crackers. Which really add to that retro appetizer touch. Classic wheat crackers or hearty fruit, seed and nut crackers are also great additions.
This recipe makes enough Cranberry Red Pepper jelly for roughly 4 pints of jelly. Or 4 sixteen ounce jars which is roughly 8 cups of jelly.
The cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip uses only ½ cup of jelly and calls for about 60 crackers. Enough dip for roughly 12 servings of 5 crackers each.
How to store
Serve cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip immediately after pouring pepper jelly over cream cheese. Enjoy right away, or cover and refrigerate for several hours.
But the cranberry jelly can be made ahead of time. Prepare the cranberry jalapeno jelly up to a month in advance and store refrigerated. Or you can hot water bath process the jelly and store for up to a year at room temperature.
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup cranberry pepper jelly
- 8 ounces crackers about 60 crackers or 2 sleeves
Cranberry pepper jelly
- 1 ½ cups cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1 ½ cups red bell pepper chopped
- 4 large jalapeno peppers chopped
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 6 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons powdered pectin
- Prepare the cranberry pepper jelly.
- Place cream cheese on a serving plate.8 ounces cream cheese
- Using the back of a large spoon make a small indent into the top of the block of cheese.½ cup cranberry pepper jelly
- Spoon cranberry pepper jelly over the block of cream cheese so that it settles into the indent and runs over the sides of the cream cheese.
- Then serve with crackers placed around the edge of the serving plate.8 ounces crackers
Cranberry pepper jelly
- Add chopped vegetables to a large stock pan with vinegar. Bring to a boil. Combine pectin with 1 cup of granulated sugar and slowly stir the pectin sugar mixture into the boiling vinegar mixture. Once sugar is dissolved stir in remaining sugar. Bring to a rolling boil and boil rapidly for 1 minute. Then remove from heat and pour into sterilized glass jars or other heat safe lidded container. Refrigerate or hot water bath can for 15 10 minutes to store until ready to use.1 ½ cups cranberries, 1 ½ cups red bell pepper, 4 large jalapeno peppers, 2 cups white vinegar, 6 cups granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons powdered pectin