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Quite possibly the easiest appetizer or snack that you’ll ever serve, this Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly Dip is a Southern classic! Offer the sweet, savory, creamy, and spicy spread with Wheat Thins, Ritz, or Table Water crackers for a crowd-pleasing favorite. It’s ready in about 2 minutes with just 2 ingredients!

Close up side shot of red pepper jelly and cream cheese on a board with crackers

There’s hardly a recipe to share at all, and instead just a suggestion. If you haven’t tasted cream cheese and pepper jelly together, then you are seriously missing out. Even if you don’t love the two ingredients on their own, something magical happens when they come together on a snack board!

A softened block of cream cheese that’s topped with red or green pepper jelly has been a staple at Southern gatherings for decades, because it always disappears fast. There’s no cooking or baking required, and the entire dish comes together in about 2 minutes. It’s a perfect companion for cocktails and cold beverages!

Ingredients for Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly Spread

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for one of our favorite appetizers. As always, specific measurements and complete assembly instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Cream cheese: a block of full-fat cream cheese that’s softened at room temperature so that it’s easy to spread.
  • Pepper jelly: a favorite Southern preserve — somewhere between a jam and a relish. I used Braswell’s brand here, but Stonewall Kitchen and other similar brands are also good. Pick your favorite — red, green, or hot!
Ingredients for cream cheese and pepper jelly recipe

How to Make Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese

Y’all…it doesn’t get any easier than this! Just remember to allow enough time for the cream cheese to soften at room temperature before assembling.

  1. Place cream cheese on a plate or serving tray.
  2. Top with pepper jelly.
  3. Spread on crackers.
Square image of hot pepper jelly and cream cheese on a board with drinks in the background

Serving Suggestions

This dip is traditionally spread on crackers. Arrange it on a snack tray or charcuterie board and pair it with a variety of nuts, meats, and fruits. There’s nothing better alongside a glass of wine or a cold beer!

The Best Crackers for Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly

This is definitely a matter of personal preference, so pick your favorites. Here are a few good options that we love with the dip:

Cream cheese and pepper jelly crackers on a small blue and white plate

Storage

Leftover spread will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Recipe Variations

  • For a spicier spread, use hot pepper jelly or jalapeno pepper jelly.
  • I typically use red pepper jelly, which has a little bit of zesty kick, but it’s not too spicy (the kids still enjoy it). For a change, you can use green pepper jelly, which is also mild.
  • Use the same flavor combination to make sandwiches or to fill phyllo cups.
  • Swap out the pepper jelly and top the cream cheese block with a jar of chutney or other preserves.

Tips for the Best Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese Dip Recipe

  • Allow plenty of time for the cream cheese to soften at room temperature. Do not microwave the cream cheese or it will be too soft to spread.
  • Use enough pepper jelly so that there is a thick layer on top of the cream cheese, with some falling over the edges as well. You might not need the entire jar, so adjust to your taste and presentation preferences.
  • Set out a variety of crackers for folks to pair with the dip. Good options include Ritz, Townhouse, Triscuits, Wheat Thins and Carr’s Table Water crackers.
Close up side shot showing how to serve cream cheese and pepper jelly

More Recipes with Red Pepper Jelly

Close up side shot of red pepper jelly and cream cheese on a board with crackers

Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly

Prep: 2 minutes
Total: 2 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 90 kcal
A Southern classic, this 2-ingredient, 2-minute spread is the easiest appetizer or party snack that you'll ever serve!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 (10-11 ounce) jar red pepper jelly
  • Crackers, for serving

Instructions

  • Place cream cheese on a serving plate. Top with pepper jelly (you might not need the entire jar – just pile it on top in a thick layer, allowing some to fall over the edges). Spread on crackers.

Notes

  • Allow plenty of time for the cream cheese to soften at room temperature. Do not microwave the cream cheese or it will be too soft to spread.
  • Use enough pepper jelly so that there is a thick layer on top of the cream cheese, with some falling over the edges as well. You might not need the entire jar, so adjust to your taste and presentation preferences.
  • Set out a variety of crackers for folks to pair with the dip. Good options include Ritz, Townhouse, Triscuits, Wheat Thins and Carr’s Table Water crackers.
  • For a spicier spread, use hot pepper jelly or jalapeno pepper jelly.
  • I typically use red pepper jelly, which has a little bit of zesty kick, but it’s not too spicy (the kids still enjoy it). For a change, you can use green pepper jelly, which is also mild.
  • Use the same flavor combination to make sandwiches or to fill phyllo cups.
  • Swap out the pepper jelly and top the cream cheese block with a jar of chutney or other preserves.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon cream cheese with jellyCalories: 90kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 51mgPotassium: 20mgSugar: 10gVitamin A: 306IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: cream cheese and pepper jelly, dip, spread
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. I make my own jelly. From green pepper to jalapeno to pineapple habanero on the heat scale. Merlot wine jelly is also good with cream cheese as a spreadable appetizer or with cream cheese on a bagel.

        1. No, I’m sorry. I don’t have my own recipe for pepper jelly at this point. I just buy it from my neighbors at the farmer’s market. 🙂