A few months ago, this little recipe from Bon Appetit caught my eye. They called it Roasted Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese Toasts, but since there is absolutely no Pimiento in the recipe, I changed the name to Roasted Red Pepper & Jalapeno Cheddar Spread. I changed up the recipe, too – I just couldn’t help myself!
I thought this would be a perfect whip-together dip/spread no-brainer recipe for a Holiday buffet or pre-dinner appetizer. And it turns out it was!
About Roasted Red Pepper & Jalapeno Cheddar Spread:
This easy spread saved us last night for an impromptu dinner party – when the roast took a little longer to prepare and we were waiting on the potatoes to finish up so we could mash them, everyone was perfectly happy noshing on a few crackers spread with this smoky happiness.
Beautiful, creamy with just a whisper of heat, and all the fantastic cheddar flavor of a traditional Southern Pimiento Cheese, I know I’ll pull out this recipe again and again. And I won’t wait for a Holiday to do so – this is going to be marvelous through the Holidays and also anytime we want a little something for game time or tv watching.
Best of all, this homemade dip or spread is going to beat out any store or deli-bought spread, not only in flavor but in price, too, even if you’re using an expensive higher-end cheddar. And it’s going to cut down on a lot of the processed ingredients.
So spread some joy this Holiday season, with Roasted Red Pepper & Jalapeno Cheddar Spread on crackers, on toast, or maybe you’ll want to try it as a grilled cheese, all warm and melty. If you do go with grilled cheese, you probably want to use an Artisan style bread. Maybe you’ll want to plan ahead and try it on my Easy No Knead Overnight Crusty Bread).
Making Roasted Red Pepper & Jalapeno Cheddar Spread:
This recipe is especially quick and easy if you’re like me and roast extra peppers and jalapenos whenever you make some for a recipe. I buy them when the price is low, roast a few, portion them, and slide them into Ziplocs to freeze. Then they’re there to make salsas and dips at the drop of a hat!
If you don’t have a freezer stash, it’s never too late, and while you’re roasting up those peppers for this recipe, you can make a start at it. If you’re really in a time crunch or don’t want to put forth the effort (hey, I get it!!) you can sub in a jarred red pepper and a few jalapenos from one of those small cans. It does make Roasted Red Pepper & Jalapeno Cheddar Spread a little costlier, though.
The jalapenos in a little can aren’t super pricey but roasted red peppers? My gosh, I just about cringe anytime I don’t have a freezer stash of my own and have to buy a jar.
One note about the garlic powder in this recipe. Garlic powder does have its place and one of those places is in a spread like this. Raw garlic can become sharper and overpowering as it sits and roasted garlic will take over the flavor with its garlicky goodness! You’ll want to stick with the powder for this one.
How to Store:
This spread will keep well in the refrigerator for about five days; that makes it a perfect make-ahead recipe! I personally think the flavor and texture just get better and better. Ya gotta love that!
Options for Roasted Red Pepper & Jalapeno Cheddar Spread:
- I can think of a zillion ways to vary this little spread, the first being to make it more traditional – just leave out the Roasted Red Pepper & Jalapeno, add 3/4 teaspoon of Worcestershire and use the little jarred Pimientos.
- It would be simple to tweak the flavor profile over to something a little Southwestern. Nix the Red Peppers and sub in Roasted Poblanos (or the little green chiles in a can).
- I also am excited to try this sometime with a little finely chopped bacon – can you imagine?? Or how about using different cheese? Provolone or some other grated cheese comes to mind immediately! And of course, you couldn’t go wrong with a good white cheddar.
I actually touched on a few ways to save money already. I mentioned buying peppers and jalapenos when they are at a low, roasting them, and freezing them. Jalapenos are never usually pricey, but red bell peppers certainly can be and jarred red peppers are outrageous!
Condiments, like Mayo, are best bought either in the summer when they usually go on sale often and usually hit rock bottom during the summer holidays. if you don’t stock up then, you may have another chance prior to the super bowl. You’ll want to check out Saving During Summer and Superbowl Savings if you’d like an idea of what to look for at rock-bottom prices and what to leave behind.
Cheese is always a variable. Grocery store cheese goes on sale often, and the higher-end cheeses tend to go on sale before holidays. While some keep longer than others, it makes sense to get in the habit of buying cheese when it’s at a great price and then having it on hand to use as needed. If worst comes to worst and you overbuy, cheese can be frozen. It is often crumbly when defrosted, so it is best used in recipes like this or in casseroles where it will still melt beautifully.Print
Roasted Red Pepper & Jalapeno Cheddar Spread
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- 2 red bell peppers, cut in half if broiling
- 2 jalapeños
- 1 cup mayonnaise, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound sharp cheddar, grated
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
To roast the bell pepper and jalapeño, cut the bell pepper in half. Place the halves along with the whole jalapeno on top of a piece of foil (turn the sides up to contain any juices) on top of a baking sheet. Broil, turning and adjusting as needed, until blistered and lightly charred in places. Remove from oven as each piece is ready.
If the foil is large enough, simply fold it over the peppers and tightly seal; it not, place in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let steam 10 minutes. Peel and seed peppers, then finely chop.
Mix mayonnaise, garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika in a medium bowl. Fold in cheddar and chopped peppers; season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Keywords: Appetizer, Bell Peppers, cheddar, Cheese, Hot Peppers, Jalapeno, pimento cheese, Roasted Red Pepper, Southern Cooking, Spreads and Dips
I will be bringing this Spread to Throwback Thursday, No. 17, where I’m honored to be a co-host as well as to Fiesta Friday number 98, with two brand-new co-hosts, Sadhna @ Herbs, Spices, and Traditions and Natalie @ Kitchen, uncorked.
Make sure to stop by and check out all the posts, and please do contribute one of your own! See you there!