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Cranberry Jalapeno Cheese Spread

This easy spread is based on several different relishes and spreads I've tasted or made before. I love the sweet and spicy combination of flavors. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 cups


  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 4 teaspoons chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • Assorted crackers or sliced sweet yellow and orange peppers


  • In a small saucepan, combine the first 7 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in cranberry mixture until blended. Serve with crackers or sliced peppers.
Editor's Note
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons (calculated without crackers): 88 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 63mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fat.

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  • izzatyou2
    Jan 1, 2017

    I used canned jalapenos (froze leftovers in a small baggie for another time) which had the seeds and made this nicely spicy hot. I did not have any Chinese 5 spice but it didn't seem to hurt the recipe any. I do think next time I will chop the dried cranberries a bit. We even stuffed celery with this which worked well with the heat and got raves.

  • Beth
    Dec 7, 2016

    I did not like the Chinese 5 Spice. I have never used or had it in anything. Otherwise I think it would be okay, but more jalapeno could be used. I will probably not make this again.

  • No_Time_To_Cook
    Nov 26, 2016

    Very Good. I added more jalapeno based on what others said.. not quite double, and it was perfect. Just enough heat. Everything else, I did exactly the same. Will be making again for Christmas.

  • parksville
    May 24, 2014

    This is very tasty. I doubled the jalapenos as suggested. We found there to be way too many cranberries, so would try half the next time and mince them up a bit. Good w/ all kinds of crackers.

  • jodibiscevic
    Nov 28, 2013

    VERY tasty . I doubled the jalepanos as suggested by others & also used jalepano flavored cream has lots of kick, for sure! Will make again!

  • mkarss
    Nov 24, 2012

    You have to make this! Great flavor and super easy! I made it a day in advance and refrigerated. Give this recipe a try.

  • kennedy22
    Nov 13, 2012

    Loved it!! Followed others advice and doubled the jalapeno... could still use more, but great flavor!! Thanks for sharing....

  • Salt Water Girl
    Mar 18, 2012

    I made this for a Thanksgiving appetizer and it was a hit! Loved it!

  • eraeferguson
    Dec 19, 2011

    This was good, but next time I'm doubling the jalapeno. It wasn't spicy enough.

  • Quatrocats
    Dec 5, 2011

    Couldn't really taste the jalapeños. Next time I'll leave in the seeds or double the amount.