This no-bake cranberry cheese dip is layered with simmered fresh cranberries, cream cheese, and pecans. Serve it chilled or at room temperature with cinnamon pita chips or graham crackers.
Use Fresh Cranberries in No-Bake Cranberry Cheese Dip
Make the cranberry topping with fresh cranberries. It only takes a few minutes! If you aren’t familiar with using fresh cranberries, wash them and remove all soft or discolored berries. If you find white cranberries in your bag, use them too. They are less ripe but will still work in this topping.
The great thing about cranberries is they are loaded with pectin, which is a natural thickening agent. The pectin will thicken the topping as it cooks and when it cools, so there is no need to add a thickener like cornstarch.
Use Berry Liqueur
This recipe uses a berry liqueur to cook the cranberries and intensify their flavor. My favorite is Chambord, but you can use any berry liqueur you like. Don’t worry if you don’t like the flavor of alcohol in your desserts because the alcohol taste cooks away, and you are left with a tangy cranberry reduction.
Cook the Cranberries
It only takes 5 minutes to cook the cranberries. Mash them as they cook to help release their juice. The berries will make popping sounds as they burst.
The cranberry topping can be cooked up to a couple of days ahead of time and refrigerated. Then you can assemble the dessert a couple of hours before your party. Here are the steps for making the dessert.
Serve with Cinnamon Pita Chips
This sweet dip is delicious with cinnamon-sugar pita chips. And it also goes well with graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or other cookies. When choosing a dipping cookie, choose one that is not too sweet or rich so as not to compete with the cranberry topping.
Serve at Room Temperature or Slightly Chilled
This dip is best when served at room temperature or slightly chilled. If it is too cold, the cream cheese will harden and become difficult to dip with crackers. You can make it a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator until your party. Then sit the dip out for 45 minutes before serving it.
This dip serves about six but can be doubled to serve a larger group. Be sure to provide plenty of cinnamon pita chips or other dipping cookies or crackers.
Other Cranberry Recipes
Here are some other cranberry recipes you might enjoy. Click on each name to link to the recipe.