Cranberry Orange Dip with Cottage and Cream Cheese

My Easy Cranberry Orange Dip with Cottage & Cream Cheese Recipe is a sweet and savory appetizer perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or parties. My healthy cranberry sauce is naturally sweetened with simple ingredients, honey, orange juice, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon, and maple syrup. The creamy dip gets a protein boost from cottage cheese.

Cracker dipping into cranberry cream cheese dip.

My Easy Cranberry Orange Dip with Cottage & Cream Cheese Recipe is a sweet and savory appetizer perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas or holiday parties. My healthy cranberry sauce is naturally sweetened with simple ingredients, honey, orange juice, orange zest, ginger, cinnamon, and maple syrup. This delicious cranberry cream cheese dip gets a protein boost from cottage cheese, a perfect combination with cream cheese.

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love This Orange Cranberry Dip with Cottage Cheese Recipe

  • You only need a few simple ingredients.
  • It is super easy to make for an impressive result.
  • The flavor-rich ingredients make it taste amazing!
  • All the ingredients are easily digestible for a gentle tummy.
Platter of cranberry cream cheese dip.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here is everything you need to make the best-tasting gluten-free orange dip with cottage and cream cheese:

Orange Zest: You can use lemon zest or tangerine zest as alternatives if you don’t have an orange.

Orange Juice: You can use tangerine juice, clementine juice, apple juice, or a mixture of lemon juice and lime juice as a replacement for orange juice. Just be aware that it will slightly change the flavor profile.

Cranberries: If you don’t have fresh cranberries, you can use frozen cranberries as a substitute. No need to thaw them before using.

Honey: You can use all maple syrup in place of honey.

Maple Syrup: In place of pure maple syrup, you can use all honey or agave nectar to balance the tartness of the cranberries.

Cinnamon: Ground nutmeg or allspice can be used as a substitute for cinnamon, although it will impart a slightly different flavor.

Vanilla Extract: Substitute with almond extract or a vanilla-flavored syrup.

Fresh Ginger: Substitute ground ginger for fresh ginger. Use 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger as a replacement for 1/8 teaspoon of fresh ginger.

Salt: You can omit the salt or use a small pinch of kosher salt if you’re looking to reduce sodium content.

Cottage Cheese: You can use small curd, large curd, low-fat or non-fat cottage cheese. You can substitute it with sour cream or cream cheese.

Cream Cheese: You can use 1/2 a block of cream cheese, softened cream cheese, or whipped cream cheese. You can also substitute it with sour cream or plain greek yogurt.

Crackers: Serve with your favorite assortment of crackers including gluten-free ritz crackers for the perfect holiday appetizer.

Cracker with cranberry orange cottage cheese dip.

How to Make My Healthy Cranberry Orange Cream Cheese Dip Recipe

Step 1: Prepare the Orange

Carefully grate the outer orange peel using a zester to create orange zest. Set the zest aside for later use. Cut the orange in half and juice it to obtain 1/3 cup of fresh orange juice. Set the juice aside.

Zested and juiced orange.

Step 2: Prepare the Cranberries

Rinse the 3 cups or 12 oz bag of cranberries under cold running water to remove any impurities and drain them thoroughly.

Step 3: Cook the Cranberry Sauce

Combine the orange juice, 1/2 cup of honey, maple syrup, orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla extract, fresh ginger, and salt in a medium saucepan.

Stir until well combined.

Add the rinsed 3 cups of cranberries to the saucepan.

Cranberries simmering in a pot.

Step 4: Cook and Simmer

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the cranberries simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until they start to burst and the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. You’ll hear the cranberries pop as they heat up. Stir occasionally.

Spatula showing softened cranberries.

Step 5: Taste and Cool

Taste the cranberry sauce and adjust the sweetness or seasoning to your preference. You can add more honey, maple syrup, or spices if needed. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the cranberry sauce cool for a few minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Bowl of Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce with Honey

Step 6: Make the Dip

Combine the cottage cheese, cream cheese, garlic powder, and salt in a small blender, food processor or immersion blender chopper cup and blend until smooth. Spread the cottage cheese mixture on a serving platter, shallow bowl, or pie plate. Then, spoon the cooled cranberry sauce over the top of the cream cheese. Garnish with diced green onion and orange zest.

Cottage cheese and cream cheese in an immersion blender chopper cup.
Platter of cranberry cream cheese dip.

Honey Cranberry Orange Cottage Cheese Dip Recipe Notes

Adjust Sweetness to Taste: The sweetness of the cranberry sauce can be adjusted by varying the amount of honey, maple syrup, or other sweeteners you use. Taste the sauce as it cooks and add more sweetener to suit your preference.

Consistency: The ginger cranberry sauce thickens as the cranberries burst and cook down. If you prefer a thicker sauce, let it simmer a bit longer, but be cautious not to overcook, as it can become too dense. You can thin it with a bit more orange juice if it’s too thick.

Fresh vs. Frozen Cranberries: While fresh bags of cranberries are ideal, frozen cranberries work well as a substitute. There’s no need to thaw frozen cranberries before using them in the recipe.

Jalapeno: You can add a bit of heat with fresh jalapeno for a cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip.

Cream Cheese Dip: For the dip, blend the cottage cheese, cream cheese, garlic powder, and salt until smooth to remove the curdled texture of the cottage cheese. You can use a small blender, food processor, or an immersion blender chopper cup for this. 

Serving Suggestions:

Pair with your favorite salty or buttery cracker. Pretzels also work great. Use as a topping for fruit salads or even a creamy sandwich spread. Works great with a platter of dipping veggies like baby carrots, celery, or sugar snap peas.

Refrigeration: If you have leftover cranberry sauce, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent air from entering. The fresh cranberry sauce can last for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Cool Before Storing: Allow the cranberry sauce to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Putting hot sauce in the fridge can raise the temperature inside the refrigerator, potentially affecting other items.

Label and Date: It’s a good practice to label the container with the date you made the cranberry sauce. This helps you keep track of its freshness and ensures you use it within the recommended timeframe.

Freezing: If you want to store cranberry sauce for an extended period, you can freeze it. Place the cooled sauce in a freezer-safe container, leaving some room for expansion, as the sauce may expand when frozen. Alternatively, you can use resealable freezer bags. Squeeze out excess air to minimize the risk of freezer burn.

Cream Cheese Dip: The cream cheese dip should also be stored in an airtight container. It’s best when consumed fresh, so try to use it within 2-3 days. If it becomes too thick, you can stir in a little milk or cream to restore its creamy consistency.

Avoid Freezing: It’s not recommended to freeze this dip as the texture of both the cranberry sauce and cream cheese dip may change when thawed. Freezing can result in a separation of the ingredients, causing an undesirable texture.

Fresh Garnish: If you’ve garnished the dip with fresh ingredients like diced green onion and additional orange zest, it’s best to add these just before serving to maintain their freshness and vibrant appearance.

Can I use dried cranberries instead of fresh or frozen ones?

Fresh or frozen cranberries are recommended for this cranberry sauce recipe. Dried cranberries won’t work as a direct substitute, as they have a different texture and moisture content.

Can I adjust the level of sweetness and spices in the recipe?

Absolutely! Taste the sauce as it cooks and adjust the sweetness and spices to match your preference. You can add more honey, maple syrup, or spices as needed.

Can I make this dip in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the cranberry sauce a day or two in advance and refrigerate it. However, it’s best to assemble the dip with the cream cheese just before serving for the freshest taste and texture.

Can I make the dip without cottage cheese? 
While the cottage cheese adds a protein boost and creaminess to the dip, you can make a simpler version by using only cream cheese. Or you can substitute it with sour cream or greek yogurt.

Can I use store-bought cranberry sauce instead of making it from scratch?
While homemade cranberry sauce adds a fresh and vibrant flavor, you can use store-bought cranberry sauce as a time-saving alternative. Simply heat it and proceed with making the cream cheese dip.

Here are a few more of my Healthier Thanksgiving recipes I recommend:

Cranberry Orange Dip with Cottage & Cream Cheese Recipe

Gluten-Free diet-friendly recipe
Make the best-tasting ginger orange cranberry sauce with honey recipe for Thanksgiving dinner or as a delicious appetizer or spread for toast. It's naturally sweetened without processed sugar and takes less than 20 minutes to make. You'll never want to buy a canned version again!
5 from 1 vote
Servings 12
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients
  

Orange Cranberry Sauce:

  • 12 oz fresh cranberries 3 cups
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cottage Cheese Dip:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 green onion

Instructions
 

Orange Cranberry Sauce:

  • Carefully grate the outer orange peel using a zester to create orange zest. Set the zest aside for later use. Cut the orange in half and juice it to obtain 1/3 cup of fresh orange juice. Set the juice aside.
  • Rinse the cranberries under cold running water to remove any impurities and drain them thoroughly.
  • Combine the orange juice, honey, maple syrup, orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla extract, fresh ginger, and salt in a medium saucepan.
    Stir until well combined.
    Add the rinsed 3 cups of cranberries to the saucepan.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the cranberries simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until they start to burst and the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. Stir occasionally.
  • Taste the cranberry sauce and adjust the sweetness or seasoning to your preference. You can add more honey, maple syrup, or spices if needed. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the cranberry sauce cool for a few minutes.

Cottage Cheese Dip

  • Combine the cottage cheese, cream cheese, garlic powder, and salt in a small blender, food processor or immersion blender chopper cup and blend until smooth. Spread the cottage cheese mixture on a serving platter, shallow bowl, or pie plate. Then, spoon the cooled cranberry sauce over the top of the cream cheese. Garnish with diced green onion and orange zest.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Adjust Sweetness to Taste: Taste the sauce as it cooks and add more honey or maple syrup to suit your preference.
Consistency: The ginger cranberry sauce thickens as the cranberries burst and cook down. If you prefer a thicker sauce, let it simmer a bit longer, but be cautious not to overcook, as it can become too dense. You can thin it with a bit more orange juice if it’s too thick.

Nutrition

Calories: 55kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.004gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.02gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 50mgPotassium: 50mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 32IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword appetizer, cottage cheese, cranberry, cream cheese, dip, honey, naturally sweetened, orange
Did you make this recipe?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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