Cranberry Bacon Cream Cheese Appetizers

October 25, 2018 by Heather Cabaniss

Last Updated on

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bacon Bites are perfect for the holidays, or anytime you need a quick and super tasty cream cheese appetizers! A hot, crispy pastry yields to a creamy, cheesy center, and is bursting with savory bacon and sweet pockets of cranberries. Hi friends! It’s Heather from Totally Tailgates, stopping by with a delicious cream cheese appetizers today. These are SO easy – everyone will think you were baking for hours! Plus, your house will smell AMAZING!

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bacon appetizer on a white plate

If you are looking for the perfect (a.k.a. simple & no-fail!) cream cheese appetizers for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, holiday parties, tailgate Bowl Game parties or New Year’s Eve, look no further. These tasty cranberry cream cheese bacon bites are embarrassingly simple to make, and I am not kidding when your friends will think you were in the kitchen all afternoon baking for them!

My husband and I love cooking together. As empty nesters, cooking has become one of our hobbies, which of course parlays nicely into our love of tailgating! My husband, Copa, is master of meal planning and is known for his legendary breakfasts. When the holidays roll around, planning and cooking meals puts us both in full overdrive!

Lingering while baking Great-Great Grandma’s Christmas Cookies is wonderful, but when you get home from work at 5pm on a Friday night and guests are “just dropping in for a sec,” spending hours in the kitchen just is not ideal. I promise you that you can have hot, homemade cream cheese appetizers on your coffee table in under thirty minutes with this recipe!

My Entertaining Cheat Sheet

When we entertain, I typically offer only four appetizers. That’s right… just four. This keeps things super simple on my end while still providing my guests with yummy options. Here’s what a sample menu looks like at our house for football parties, New Year’s Eve, pool parties, etc. :

Following my entertaining model above, I like to partner these Cranberry Cream Cheese Bacon Bites with meatballs, specifically with Slow Cooker Bourbon Meatballs. Having a slow cooker option along with a “pick up and go” hot appetizer really rounds out the hot & hearty options.

Bite taken out of cranberry cream cheese bacon bites appetizer

Tips For Making Cranberry Cream Cheese Bacon Bites

  • Keep your dough refrigerated until right before you are ready to cut & fill. Cold dough is much easier to work with than room temperature dough! I mix up the filling first and let that hang out in a bowl until the dough is rolled out onto the wax paper.
  • Wax paper? Yes, for this recipe I like to unroll the dough onto a rectangular piece of wax paper. It makes pulling up the individual squares a snap!
  • The cream cheese will be easier to blend if it is at room temperature prior to incorporating it with the other ingredients.
  • Use real bacon! Bits bought in a jar just will not yield the same savory result. It is better to leave out the bacon than use an artificial or prepackaged product.
  • For the dried cranberries, I use Craisins.
  • The secret ingredient is the chive & onion cream cheese. Yes, you can use regular cream cheese in a pinch, but the chive and onion really brings this recipe to the next level!

How to make Cranberry Cream Cheese Bacon Bites

The bundles are really a breeze to make. Remember my tip to use wax paper? Yep, I practice what I preach! Unroll the dough, slice & fill with the cream cheese mixture.

Dough on countertop cut into squares

Once filled, take one square at a time and form bundles. You will make the corners meet in the center and press them together. It is fine to have a little of the filling and cranberries visible; we will not close all the seams together, just the center seam.
step by step of making cream cheese appetizers by folding present dough corners to the middle
Did I mention how FABULOUS your house will smell as these bake? SO good. The chive & onion cream cheese along with the bacon bring out savory aromas that will drive everyone into your kitchen! 

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bacon Bites appetizer on a white plate

 Cream Cheese Appetizers – Cranberry Cream Cheese Bacon Bites Recipe

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bacon appetizer on a white plate
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Cranberry Cream Cheese Bacon Bites

Savory, hearty appetizer bites that are perfect for easy holiday entertaining.
Servings 24


  • 1 16 ounce tub chive and onion cream cheese
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 3 tbs dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 tube crescent dough sheet
  • 1 egg white optional


  • Heat oven to 375. 
  • In a bowl, combine cream cheese, bacon, cheddar cheese, cranberries and pecans. Set aside. 
  • Roll out dough onto a rectangular sheet of wax paper. Make four cuts top to bottom, and six cuts across the width. This yields 24 dough squares. 
  • Using a small spoon, scoop a little bit of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each square. Then, working with one square at a time, meet the four corners to the center and press together. Brush squares with egg whites, if desired. Bake 8-12 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve warm. 

Hi there! I’m Heather from Totally Tailgates….the home of Southern Sideline Hospitality. Join me for the best game day foods, fashions and stops along the way! Want to know all about sorority recruitment? I have a series on rush tips for PNMs and their mamas – it’s never too early to plan for rush!

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One thought on “Cranberry Bacon Cream Cheese Appetizers

  1. Trish says:

    These look delicious and totally up my alley. I love easy recipes!

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