5 from 7 votes

Whipped Feta Cranberry Dip

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Winter is the best time of the year to enjoy delicious fresh cranberries and this whipped cranberry feta cheese dip, complete with walnuts, is about to be one of the best ways to enjoy the season. Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas appetizer menus, this “gone in a flash” dip is both festive and flavorful.

A combination of Greek Feta cheese, cream cheese, and honey perfectly complement tart and sweet homemade cranberries. 

whipped feta cranberry dip with walnuts on a plate.

Why you will love this Cranberry Dip

More ways to enjoy Fresh Cranberries – Just like our Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip, this brand-new take with whipped Feta Cheese is a great way to take once-a-year cranberries and get the most out of them! 

Doubles as a spread: While this dip is a perfect appetizer for a holiday party, any leftover cranberry feta dip can be used inside flour tortillas for a cranberry feta pinwheels spread! 

Ingredients

  • Feta cheese Feta Cheese is a crumbly white cheese that is often found in Greek Foods. Its made from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s and goat milk. This cheese is a vital ingredient to many Greek salads, pasta salads, and dips. 
  • Cream cheese – The best way to work with cream cheese in dips is to open the foil package and let it sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes. This allows the cream cheese to come up to room temperature and soften to a creamy texture. Do not microwave the cream cheese as it will melt. 
  • Honey – There are so many unique flavors of honey that can change the taste of the dip. I love wildflower and local honey
  • lemon zest
  • Cranberries – If you use frozen, make sure they are thawed and drained of excess moisture. That being said, I always recommend a bag of fresh cranberries

  • White sugar – I get asked a lot if the sugar can be left out of the cranberries, but the answer is no. Cranberries are, by nature, very tart. 
  • Juice –  As in our cranberry sauce recipe, orange juice is usually the most commonly used for fresh cranberry sauce. However, I have found that Welches Grape Juice or Blackberry Juice is delicious as well. If you want a sweeter cranberry topping, skip the juice and add 1 cup of Apricot Preserves instead. We use this trick in our other holiday dip, and it’s incredible. 
  • Chopped walnuts – Walnuts are the preferred nut for this holiday season dip, but chopped pecans can be used in a pinch. 
  • Dippers: Crackers, like wheat thins, are great for dipping. Other choice of crackers are pretzels, Ritz crackers, or mini garlic toasts. 
dipping cracker into whipped feta dip.

How to make Cranberry Feta Cheese Dip

Recipe Tip: Make and Cool Cranberries first. 

cranberry sauce being made for topping.
  1. Add a bag of fresh cranberries, white sugar, and juice to a large saucepan and whisk together. Know that cranberries and the liquid will expand in the pot, so it’s best to have a deep pot to ensure nothing overboils.
  2. Heat cranberry mixture over medium-high, stirring occasionally. After about 5 minutes on the stove, the cranberries will begin to sizzle and make noise as they pop and boil.
  3. Once the cranberries start to boil, reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to cook and stir for an additional 5-7 minutes or until most or all of the berries are popped open. Stir occasionally while in the pot.
  4. As the mixture cools, the sauce will naturally begin to thicken. Let sauce cool down. Move on to the next stage.
spreading cranberry sauce and nuts onto base of dip.
  1. Break up feta cheese and add it to a food processor with cubed cream cheese.
  2. Add water, honey, and lemon zest and blend until smooth and thick.
  3. Spread onto a serving platter and top with cranberry sauce and walnuts. 
  4. Serve immediately with crackers, or refrigerate, covered until ready to serve. 

Common Cranberry Dip Questions

Can this dip be served warm?


Yes, cranberry dip can be served warm (similar to the Feta Olive Dip Recipe) or chilled. Just pile the whole thing on a pie plate and heat in the oven on 350 for approximately 15 minutes. Add nuts right before serving.

How can I add some heat to this recipe?


Cranberries and jalapenos are notorious together and make some of the best recipe variations. That combination of sweet heat is hard to resist! While this seasonal cranberry dip has no spice to it, it’s easy to chop jalapenos finely and add to the dip. They would also go amazing as a sprinkle on top with the extra nuts. 

Can Feta Cranberry Dip be made ahead of time? 


The answer is mostly. I find that cranberries can leak onto the white dip and look more of a mess, so it’s best to assemble the day of. And again, remember that cream cheese hardens in the fridge, so it’s always best to let the base sit at room temperature before serving. If forced to serve right out of the fridge, serve with a knife to make spreading easier. 

What other nuts go great with this topping? 


Walnuts are preferred, but try chopped pecans or chopped pistachios for a crunch.

Can leftover cranberry sauce be used? 


If you have your cranberry sauce recipe and have some leftovers, making the feta cheese base typically will be a great way to use up the rest. Just use a rubber spatula and spoon over the dip. 

cranberry dip with ritz cracker.
5 from 7 votes

Whipped Feta Cranberry Dip


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Whipped Cranberry Dip with Feta and Cream cheese, a super delicious and fluffy appetizer dip with the fall and winter flavors of fresh cranberries. Topped with chopped walnuts, this dip is served with wheat or nutty crackers and does well with pretzels as Ritz as well.

Ingredients
 

Cranberry Sauce Topper

  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice substitutes include other sweeter juices like Welches Grape or Blackberry juice.

Feta Cheese Dip

  • 8 oz. feta cheese
  • 4 oz. cream cheese room temperature softened
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • lemon zest

Instructions

Cranberry Sauce Topping

  • Add a bag of fresh cranberries, white sugar, and juice to a large saucepan and whisk together. Know that cranberries and liquid will expand in the pot, so it's best to have a deep pot to ensure nothing overboils. If you prefer a sweeter topping, please see notes on this recipe OR check the original recipe for the instruction on alterations.
  • Heat cranberry sauce over medium-high, stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes on the stove, the cranberries will begin to sizzle and make noise as they pop and boil. Once the cranberries start to boil, reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Continue to cook cranberries and stir for an additional 5-7 minutes or until most or all of the berries are popped open. Stir occasionally while in the pot. Turn off heat.
  • As the mixture cools, the sauce will naturally begin to thicken. Let the sauce continue to cool down while moving on to the next stage of the recipe.

Whipped Feta Dip

  • Break up a block of feta cheese and add it to a food processor with softened and cubed cream cheese.
  • Add water, honey, and lemon zest and blend the cheese mixture until smooth and thick.
  • Using a spatula or a knife, add feta cheese mixture onto a serving platter and spoon cranberry sauce over top. Sprinkle on chopped walnuts. 
  • Serve dip immediately with crackers, or refrigerate, covered well with plastic wrap until ready to serve. 

Notes

Servings: Approximately 2 cups of dip total in this recipe.

Alternate Sweeter Cranberry Topping

Cranberries and cranberry sauce can often be too tart for some people. If you are someone that loves cranberries, but only when they are sweet, instead of making the cranberry sauce topping with orange juice, combine cranberries, apricot preserves, sugar, and water as a topping.
  • 1 package, 12 oz. FRESH cranberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup apricot preserves or jam
  • 1/2 cup water
1. Add cranberries, sugar, preserves, and water to a large saucepan.
2. Heat saucepan over medium-high heat until boiling.
3. Mixture will begin to bubble and get frothy as it heats and you may hear the cranberries sizzling and pop.
4. Continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until berries are popped open and the mixture begins to darken.
5. Let set to cool from stove and then refrigerate or leave at room temperature until cooled. Use for topping.
Note on nutrition: This dip is automatically calculated and you should rely on your own apps to find values if they are important.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbsp | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 182mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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5 from 7 votes

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6 Comments

  1. This was my step-outside-of-tradition addition for Thanksgiving this year. We haven’t eaten it yet, but I had to double the cream cheese. My original mixture was woefully runny and overnight in the fridge changed nothing. When I added the extra cream cheese blocks, I used my stand mixer with whisk to whip it up and I think that helped. I’m curious if I did something wrong—perhaps my original cream cheese had sat out too long? I’ll update with how it was revived later. I’ve made crostini as the vehicle.

    1. *received

    2. Trisha Haas says:

      I saw this come through and rushed over to check it out. The last thing I want is a recipe on Thanksgiving not working. To be sure I didn’t make a mistake on the recipe, I double-checked our Feta Olive Dip (*same base) to be sure there wasn’t too much water, etc. It should def NOT have been runny. My only thought is that the cream cheese was too melty vs just being room temp soft. It should just be brought out of the fridge to make sure that its easy to mix but not be super soft – usually 10 minutes in room temp does the trick.

      The cream cheese cannot be runny itself however, cream cheese usually DOES thicken back in the fridge because it rehardens (typically).

      Did you use a food processor or a mixture in the original mix?

      Food processors tend to have larger blades and mix thicker versus whipping it into a creamy mixture like a stand mixture would do. The food processor should be used just until mixed – so around 20 seconds or so, leaving it thickened. You can see we used this same process (different topping) on this recipe here and its been tested a lot by other readers w/ no issues – https://www.saltysidedish.com/whipped-olive-feta-dip/

      Unfortunately, troubleshooting w/ a recipe is so hard to do on text, but I will remake this recipe this week to make sure I can provide closer more detailed instructions, so no one has a mistake. I hope you find that your alterations fixed whatever went wrong and it still tastes delicious. I take all feedback seriously and will make sure my instructions are far more detailed regarding room temp cream cheese.

    3. Trisha Haas says:

      Another thing I thought of is did you use a block of feta or did you buy it precrumbled? We have the block in the recipe because it stays larger chunks vs the basically dust they give you in pre-crumbled.

  2. Thanks for the extensive feedback! The cream cheese was likely the culprit as it was out longer than 10 min. Perhaps it was too spread being only 4 oz versus the 8 of feta to reharden. I did use both block feta and a processor originally so it seems that wasn’t it, either. Regardless, my solution of doubling the cream cheese worked and it tasted good. I will retry it soon with harder cream cheese. Thanks again!

  3. I look forward to trying this for Christmas.
    The nut should be listed last since they are added last. Thanks.

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