A quick and easy holiday appetizer, this red pepper jelly cream cheese dip takes just minutes to make! Made with whipped goat cheese, cream cheese, lemon zest and a hint of rosemary. Serve with crackers, celery or crostini.
Sometimes you need quick and easy, especially during the holiday season.
I've made some pretty creative last-minute appetizers in my day...
You forget about that Christmas work party or your friends holiday ugly sweater party and you're supposed to bring an appetizer but you worked until 5 and now you have to rush home, get yourself AND the kids ready (cue the martini!).
That's where this simple red pepper jelly cream cheese dip comes to the rescue.
It takes just 5 minutes to make and tastes delicious.
Creamy, tangy and sweet, it's an easy appetizer recipe using hot pepper jelly.
(Plus, it's festive with the red jelly, white dip, and green rosemary on top!)
All you need is 6 simple ingredients: goat cheese, cream cheese, fresh rosemary, lemon zest, olive oil and red pepper jelly.
What do I need to make this red pepper jelly appetizer recipe?
- cream cheese
- goat cheese
- lemon zest
- fresh rosemary
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
- red pepper jelly
You can find the red pepper jelly in the market where other fruit spreads are found.
Sometimes it's called just hot pepper jelly.
If you're not pinched for time, you can even make your own red pepper jelly.
Goat cheese can be substituted for feta cheese. Both cheeses have that yummy tang to them!
How to make red pepper jelly cream cheese dip:
- Place softened cream cheese and goat cheese in food processor. Add lemon zest, salt, pepper and rosemary.
- Process until combined. Slowly stream in olive oil, a tablespoon at a time. Process until mixture is smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes).
- Spread whipped cheese mixture into a small serving bowl. Top with red pepper jelly and a small sprig of rosemary for garnish (optional).
- Serve room temperature with crackers, celery or crostini.
I like to warm my cream cheese and goat cheese in the microwave for about 20 seconds to get it really softened. This helps is whip better in the food processor.
The red pepper jelly can also be microwaved to get rid of any lumps.
You can also make this a warm cream cheese dip by baking the whipped cream cheese mixture for 10 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned.
Let cool to room temperature, then spread the red pepper jelly on top.
What to serve with goat cheese & pepper jelly?
- bread sticks
- celery sticks
- raw bell pepper slices
- crostini (sliced crusty bread that's drizzled with olive oil and toasted until crispy)
- pretzel thins
I personally think the best crackers for cream cheese and red pepper jelly are anything buttery and crispy.
There's these rosemary crackers I absolutely love, especially because they go so well with the rosemary in the spread.
Breadsticks are always fun for a different type of cracker and don't forget some fresh and crunchy veggies always add a pop of color on the serving plate 😉
Can I make red pepper jelly cream cheese dip ahead?
This recipe takes such little time and effort to make, you probably don't need to make it ahead!
However, if you wanted to, you could make the whipped goat and cream cheese component up to 3 days ahead. Just store it in the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before topping with the jelly and serving.
As mentioned above, you can even warm the goat cheese mixture in the oven until bubbly. Let it cool slightly before topping with the red pepper jelly.
You can store any leftover dip in the refrigerator but be aware the red pepper jelly tends to get a bit watery.
This is why I recommend making and serving the day of because it tends to not look as pretty once refrigerated!
For more easy holiday appetizers try:
- Puff Pastry Baked Brie with Fig Jam
- Air Fryer Goat Cheese & Sweet Potato Bites
- Roasted Tomato & Garlic Bruschetta with Ricotta
- Savory Rosemary Shortbread Mini Tarts
Don't forget if you give this recipe a try, comment or leave a star rating below. I love to hear your feedback!
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup red pepper jelly
- Place softened cream cheese, goat cheese, lemon zest, rosemary, salt and pepper in food processor. (*see recipe notes)
- Pulse until combined. Slowly stream in olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture comes together and is smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes).
- Remove from food processor and spread into serving bowl.
- Place red pepper jelly in small bowl and stir to break up any lumps (you can microwave it for 10 seconds to help the consistency become more spreadable).
- Top whipped cream cheese mixture with red pepper jelly and spread evenly.
- Garnish with rosemary if desired. Serve with crackers, celery sticks, bread sticks or crostini.
*I like to place my cream cheese and goat cheese in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds to get it nice and soft.
*For warm dip: spread whipped cream cheese mixture into oven safe serving bowl. Bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes until bubbly. Let cool before spreading red pepper jelly on top.
*Leftover dip can be stored in the refrigerator up to 5 days. The red pepper jelly tends to get watery once refrigerated which is why I recommend making the dip the day of.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 179mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 4g