Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread is a flavorful holiday appetizer with cream cheese, cranberries, apricots, and orange zest ready in minutes!
Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread has all the ease of making a traditional Cheese Ball but is packed full the classic holiday flavors of cranberry and orange. It’s one of the many cheesy holiday Appetizer Recipes that that will go just as perfectly on your Thanksgiving table as it will on your leftover turkey sandwiches.
CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
The holiday season is quickly approaching, and it’s the perfect time to try new delicious appetizers to serve at your Christmas party. This Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread is all about flavor: it’s a blend of tangy with smooth and savory with sweet.
The result is an incredibly yummy holiday appetizer that looks great on any serving plate and will keep your guests coming back for more.
Cranberry Cream Cheese is one of the easiest appetizer recipes you’ll ever make. All you do is mix the ingredients together in a large bowl until they are completely mixed and voila! You’re ready to serve it. It can be made ahead of time, so if it’s getting down to crunch time for a party, you can throw it together the day before and move on to the next thing on your list.
When it’s party time, serve Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread with an assortment of crackers and breads. I like to make one large platter of mini toasts, water biscuits, sliced baguettes, wheat thins, Triscuits, pretzels, pita chips, and other crackers.
Having a single big tray of assorted “dippables,” and then arranging all your dips and spreads around it, makes it easier for guests to mix and match what they want to try.
This nice thing about this cream cheese spread is that it doesn’t just have to be an appetizer. The dried fruit and the cream cheese make for a tastier, healthy alternative to mayo and cheese on a turkey sandwich.
It also works great on bagels, an energizing and tasty breakfast to help you power through a long weekend of holiday shopping and visiting with relatives.
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HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, chopped cranberries, chopped apricots and orange and ginger until well combined.
- Refrigerate for one hour before serving.
- Serve with crackers.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Try mixing in some finely chopped pecans, cashews, or walnuts for a hearty crunch. You can also dice up some green onions and stir them into the spread, or drizzle lemon juice over the top to add more citrus flavor.
To give your cream cheese spread some kick, finely dice some jalapeños and add them in. Make sure you deseed the jalapeño pepper before dicing and adding to your spread.
While the cranberries definitely add a festive touch, you can easily swap the fruit for ones you like better. Dried cherries or currants would still have that holiday flavor and taste just as delicious.
Do yourself a big favor and try a Cranberry Cream Cheese turkey sandwich. The Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread is rich and compliments the turkey so much that you don’t really need to add much else to make a perfect Thanksgiving leftovers lunch.
To make this a creamier and cranberry-er spread, blend some Cranberry Sauce with your cream cheese. Once combined, add in your mixed fruit and orange zest.
Because of the complexity of the flavors in the spread itself, you want to choose a tasty cracker that is not too strong. The cracker shouldn’t be completely bland, but it should have a milder flavor palate. Try Ritz crackers, or Braton crackers depending on your preference, just be sure to stay away from sweet crackers.
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HOW TO STORE CRANBERRY CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
- Serve: You should not leave your Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread out for longer than 2 hours at room temperature.
- Store: Make sure that you wrap Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread with plastic wrap or put it into a sealable bag and refrigerate. In the fridge, the Cream Cheese Spread will stay good for up to 2 weeks.
- Freeze: Freezing cream cheese is doable, but it will alter the texture. When cream cheese freezes, ice crystals form in the liquid parts of it and then when they thaw, they never return to their original state.
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries , chopped
- 1/2 cup dried apricots , chopped
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest , grated
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger , optional
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, chopped cranberries, chopped apricots, orange juice, orange zest and ground ginger until well combined.
- Refrigerate before serving.
- Serve with crackers, fruit or sliced baguettes.
Photo used in a previous version of this post.