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.
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!
- 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.
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
- Add cranberries, sugar, preserves and water to a large saucepan.
- Heat saucepan over medium high heat until boiling.
- Mixture will begin to bubble and get frothy as it heats and you may hear the cranberries sizzling and pop.
- Continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until berries are popped open and mixture begins to darken.
- Let set too cool from stove and then refrigerate until complete cooled. Use for topping.
How to make Cranberry Feta Cheese Dip
Recipe Tip: Make and Cool Cranberries first.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- As the mixture cools, the sauce will naturally begin to thicken. Let sauce cool down. Move on to the next stage.
- Break up feta cheese and add it to a food processor with cubed cream cheese.
- Add water, honey, and lemon zest and blend until smooth and thick.
- Spread onto a serving platter and top with cranberry sauce and walnuts.
- Serve immediately with crackers, or refrigerate, covered until ready to serve.
Common Cranberry Dip Questions
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.
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.
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.
Walnuts are preferred, but try chopped pecans or chopped pistachios for a crunch.
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.
- This Cold Green Bean Salad with Feta Recipe (DELICIOUS) is hands down one of the best Thanksgiving day recipes ever!
- Baked Feta Pasta is one of those viral tiktok recipes that just keeps giving!
- Warm Feta Cheese Dip with Tomatoes is a great way to enjoy a deliciously cheesy dip without the full filling of carbs.
- Corn and Tomato Salad with Feta is one of my favorite corn side dishes.
- Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad is light, friendly, and summer ready!
Connect with Us!
If you try this recipe, please leave a review in the comment section – Your review helps others and is appreciated. Ensure you never miss a new side dish recipe by following us on Pinterest and signing up for our recipe email list!