Skillet Cranberry Cheddar Dip

A fun and easy party dip. Heat it on the grill (perfect for a summer cookout!) or in the oven. 

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(Disclosure: I entered this recipe into a contest sponsored by Cape Cod Select Premium Cranberries. I was not compensated for the recipe development. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.) 

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Beautiful, tart ruby-red cranberries! Why limit them to the holidays?? 

While most people tend to just think of cranberries during the holidays and winter months, frozen cranberries are a delicious way to enjoy their flavor and health benefits in every season! Cape Cod Select cranberries are the #1 selling brand of frozen cranberries. A family-owned business producing all natural, non-GMO cranberries that contain no additives or preservatives. I've found them in the freezer section of a local grocery store (where to buy Cape Cod Select frozen cranberries) or you can order them online

Come summer months, my cooking is limited to the stovetop, toaster oven, slow cooker and grill. It is too hot for the oven! The beauty of this recipe is that it can be prepared on the grill or in the oven. Perfect for year-round cookouts or parties! There is minimal clean-up too as you just eat it out of the pan. It's a great appetizer to munch on with crackers or chips while the rest of the meal cooks on the grill.

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With only 5 ingredients, this appetizer is so quick and easy to make. Start by mixing together cream cheese and white cheddar cheese (cranberries and cheddar cheese make a perfect pair!). I use either regular or low-fat cream cheese (fat-free doesn't melt well in my opinion). Lately I've been loving Cabot Alpine Cheddar Cheese but another time I made this recipe using Cabot White Oak Cheddar Cheese and liked it even better! The White Oak Cheddar Cheese has a slightly sweet hint that really balanced the tartness of the cranberries. 

Spread the mixture in the skillet, top with cranberries and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and nuts. Slide it onto the grill (keep a hot pad or towel nearby to pick up or move the skillet - cast-iron gets hot!).  Soon the cranberries will start to release their juices and the rosemary will infuse the mixture with a woodsy flavor. Smell a whiff if you can without getting too close!

After about 10-15 minutes the mixture should be hot and bubbly. The cranberries will retain their shape so that with each bite you get a burst of tart, acidic flavor mixed with creamy cheese and crunchy nuts. Serve with sturdy crackers, graham crackers or gingersnaps. Delicious!! 

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Skillet cranberry cheddar dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 6-ounce package white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese (low-fat or regular), softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups cranberries, frozen or fresh
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ¼ cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Suggested dippers: sturdy crackers, graham crackers, gingersnaps

Place shredded cheddar cheese and cream cheese in a bowl. Mix to combine. Spread into a 9 or 10 inch cast-iron skillet (see note below). Top with cranberries, rosemary and pecans. Place skillet over direct heat on grill, close grill cover (if possible) and cook for 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Note: If you do not have a grill or skillet, place mixture in a 2 quart baking dish. Heat in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

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