Delicious chipotle cranberry sauce tops this Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce recipe! Add a little honey and lemon zest, then serve with apples, bread, and pecans. Perfect for sharing with friends and family.
This Baked Brie with Chipotle Cranberry Sauce offers a harmonious blend of creamy brie, contrasted by the tartness of cranberries with an unexpected smoky kick from chipotle.
The sweetness of honey and a hint of citrusy freshness from the lemon zest balance out the flavors. When paired with crunchy nuts, bread, and crisp apple slices, it’s a delightful explosion of textures and tastes, perfect for pleasing a crowd.
This Baked Brie Cheese with homemade cranberry sauce recipe makes a beautiful appetizer for your Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year guests.
Table of Contents
Why We Love This Recipe
Versatility: Suitable for both gluten-free and vegetarian diets, this recipe caters to a range of dietary preferences, making it a crowd-pleaser.
Complex Flavors: The combination of creamy brie, tart cranberries, smoky chipotle, sweet honey, and zesty lemon creates a layered and sophisticated flavor profile.
Quick and Easy: With a total preparation and cooking time of just 20 minutes, this appetizer is both delicious and efficient, ideal for gatherings where time is of the essence.
Texture Play: The softness of the baked brie juxtaposed with the thickness of the cranberry sauce and the crunch from nuts and apples offers a delightful textural experience.
Presentation: The vibrant red of the cranberry sauce atop the white brie makes for an attractive and festive presentation, perfect for holiday gatherings.
Wheel of Brie: Brie is a soft, creamy cheese known for its buttery flavor. It’s rich and mild with a slightly tangy finish. When baked, it becomes gooey and sumptuous, serving as the creamy base for the toppings.
Whole Cranberries: Cranberries are naturally tart and a bit bitter. They bring a refreshing and tangy contrast to the dish, balancing the richness of the brie.
Dried Chipotle Pepper: Chipotle peppers are smoked dried jalapeños. They introduce a smoky depth and mild spiciness to the sauce, offering a unique contrast to the tartness of the cranberries and the creaminess of the brie.
Honey: Honey provides a natural, floral sweetness that adds complexity and complements the spicy chipotle and tart cranberries. It also offers a slightly sticky texture, helping to bind the topping to the brie.
Lemon Zest: Lemon zest adds a bright, citrusy aroma and taste. This hint of freshness lifts the dish, cutting through the richness and adding a zesty note to the overall flavor profile.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Fruits and Nuts: Substitute cranberries with other fruits like blueberries, raspberries, or figs for a different flavor profile. Mix in toasted walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts to the cranberry sauce for added crunch. You can use orange zest instead of lemon zest if you prefer.
Herbs and Spices: Add fresh herbs like fresh rosemary or thyme to the cranberry sauce for an aromatic twist. Instead of chipotle, try using a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, or star anise for a warm, spiced flavor.
Cheese Variation: Try using camembert instead of brie for a slightly different taste and texture.
Sweeteners: Replace sugar and honey with maple syrup or agave nectar for a different kind of sweetness. Brown sugar can give a deeper, caramel-like flavor to the cranberry sauce.
Peppers and Heat: For a spicier kick, add a dash of red pepper flakes or use a fresh jalapeño instead of dried chipotle. For a smokier version without the heat, consider smoked paprika.
Serving Accompaniments: Serve with a variety of crackers or toasted baguette slices instead of or in addition to apples and nuts. Offer a side of fresh grapes or pear slices for added freshness.
Cheese Selection: Ensure you use a high-quality brie for best results. The flavor and texture of the cheese are paramount, so it’s worth investing in a good brand.
Handling the Brie: Allow the brie to come to room temperature before baking. This ensures even melting and prevents the center from being too cold.
Fresh Cranberries: Whenever possible, opt for fresh cranberries over frozen for the best texture and flavor. If using frozen, make sure to thaw and drain them well to prevent excess moisture.
Balancing Flavors: Adjust the sugar or honey depending on the tartness of your cranberries and personal preference. Taste as you go to find the perfect balance.
Chipotle Heat: The heat level in chipotle peppers can vary. Start with a small amount and adjust according to your desired spiciness.
Zesting the Lemon: Only zest the yellow part of the lemon skin, avoiding the white pith, which can be bitter. Using a microplane zester will give you the finest zest.
Serving Temperature: Baked brie is best enjoyed warm. If you’re serving it at a gathering, try to time it so that it comes out of the oven shortly before serving.
Presentation: Garnish with fresh cranberries, rosemary sprigs, or even edible flowers for an enhanced visual appeal.
Reheating: If the brie cools down and you’d like to serve it warm with the brie melty, you can briefly reheat it in the oven. Just ensure you don’t overbake, as the cheese can become too runny.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! The sauce can be prepared a few days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just reheat before serving.
You can omit the chipotle for a non-spicy version or consider using smoked paprika for the smoky flavor without the heat.
Present the baked brie on a platter surrounded by dippers like sliced apples, bread, and nuts. Perfect for sharing.
Maple syrup or agave nectar can be used as a substitute for honey.
The brie should feel soft to the touch when pressed gently. Be careful not to overbake, as the cheese can become too runny.
Storage and Reheating Info
Baked Brie: Allow the baked brie to cool completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place it in an airtight container to prevent the cheese from absorbing any odors from the fridge. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
Chipotle Cranberry Sauce: Let the sauce cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator. It should be good for up to a week.
Baked Brie: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the brie on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Heat for about 8-10 minutes or until it becomes soft and slightly gooey again. Be careful not to overheat as the cheese can become too runny.
Chipotle Cranberry Sauce: The sauce can be reheated in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until it’s warmed through. Alternatively, you can use a microwave. Transfer the sauce to a microwave-safe bowl and heat in short intervals, stirring in between to ensure even warming.
Tips: If you’re planning to eat the baked brie within a day or so, consider leaving the cranberry sauce on top. However, if you intend to store it for longer, it’s best to separate the cheese and the sauce to maintain their individual textures.
Baked Brie with Chipotle Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- 1 16- ounce round brie
- 2 cups whole cranberries - rinsed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 small dried chipotle pepper - de-seeded and minced
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Zest from one lemon
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C). Place the brie on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until soft.
- Meanwhile, place the cranberries, water, sugar, and chipotle pepper in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, until the berries have softened and the sauce is thick.
- Top the baked brie with the honey, followed by the cranberry mixture and lemon zest. Serve with an assortment of nuts, bread, and sliced apples for dipping.