Cheese Spreads and Dips
Blushing Cheese Dip
As you dip the roasted beets into this delicate fondue, it will gradually turn pink. The cheese stays molten and creamy for a long time--this recipe, adapted from executive chef Jason Berthold of San Francisco's Monsieur Benjamin, is a fondue breakthrough, as far as we're concerned! When the fondue cools, it has the texture of cream cheese; post-Valentine's Day, spread it on toast as a delicious snack.
Goat Cheese Spread
Layer pesto, sun-dried tomato, and a mixture of goat cheese and cream cheese for an impressive appetizer with Mediterranean flavors. Serve with French bread slices or crackers.
Cheese Dip with Crawfish
You'll have a hard time keeping guests away from this creamy, cheesy dip that's packed with tasty crawfish meat. If you can't find frozen crawfish tails, you can substitute chopped cooked shrimp.
Crumbled bacon is the crowing glory of this creamy cheese dip that features cream cheese, blue cheese and sour cream. You're guaranteed not to have any leftovers when you bring this dip to a party.
Modern Cheese Balls
These are not your mother's cheese balls. First, they're made with goat cheese and shaped into bite-size balls, making them super easy to serve and eat. Also, they're rolled in a variety of tasty toppings: wasabi-coated peas, crushed gingersnaps, granola, and a Parmesan-fennel seed mixture.
Baked Pimiento Cheese
Baking pimiento cheese takes this popular sandwich spread to a whole new dimension of gooey, cheesy goodness. It's so incredibly good that your guests may want to lick the serving dish when all the dip is gone.
Layered Sun-dried-Tomato-and-Basil Spread
This festive recipe is filled with flavors featuring cream cheese, tomatoes, pine nuts, and basil. Make it now and enjoy or make it 3 days in advance to serve at your next holiday party.
Pinecone Cheese Ball
Deviled ham and softened cream cheese form the base and smoked almonds dot the surface of this edible holiday pine cone. Assembly takes just 10 minutes, but guests will think you spent hours. Make several in advance and chill until the next celebration.
Smoky Green Chile-Cheddar Cheese with Avocado-Mango Salsa
This smoky green chili cheese dip, made with smoked cheddar, Monterey Jack and cream cheese is always a big hit at parties. Its spicy flavors pair well with the exotic avocado mango salsa for a mouthwatering burst of Tex-Mex flavor. Better yet, it freezes well.
This recipe makes a lot, but it can be frozen for up to a month. It fits perfectly into 4 (10-oz.) ramekins. Try it out at your next holiday party with multi-grain crackers or crispy potato chips.
Cherry Chutney Cheese Torte
Holiday guests won't believe this beautiful cherry chutney cheesecake is light. If you don't have time to strain yogurt, buy Greek style yogurt (it's already strained) and proceed as instructed. To save time, make the cherry chutney up a few days before your party.
Buttery Blue Cheese Spread with Walnuts
Blue cheese and toasted walnuts are one of those amazing culinary matches, but here the richness goes one step further. There's a splash of sherry and a generous amount of softened butter in this cheese spread. Freeze it for up to a month in advance.
Rosemary Cheese with Fig Preserves
Take the elegance level at holiday parties up a notch with this French inspired make-ahead cheese spread. A blend of goat cheese, cream cheese, rosemary, and honey, it's crowned with store bought fig jam. Serve it with fancy crackers or toasted baguette slices.
Spicy Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pimiento Cheese
Spicy homemade pimento cheese is a rare treat and a welcome addition at any holiday party. Make this spread up to four days in advance, and have fun serving it in unusual containers and with all kinds of funky crackers and breadsticks.
Red Pepper-Cheese Dip
A mixture of fat-free yogurt and cream cheese help keep this roasted red pepper-garlic dip light; cumin and cayenne keep it spicy. Make some up ahead of time for parties and drop-in guests. Serve with roasted pita chips, garlic flatbread, or chips.
Katie's Pimento Goat Cheese
This super-easy variation of the classic Southern sandwich spread features goat cheese instead of the traditional cheddar, plus minced onion and crushed whole pimientos and garlic for full-bodied flavor.
Colby-Pepper Jack Cheese Dip
Get a double punch of cheese flavor with cream cheese and colby-Jack and add some heat with chili powder, green chiles, and jalapeño peppers. With the addition of chicken, you can almost count this hearty dip as your main dish.
Cream Cheese-Olive Spread
This easy 4-ingredient cheese spread is perfect for last-minute entertaining. Serve with assorted crackers or baguette slices.
Goat Cheese Mousse
Offer a savory goat cheese spread as a holiday appetizer and serve it with chutney or jam and crackers. It's great for parties since you can make it a day or two ahead.
Sweet-'n'-Salty Honey Cheese Spread
Transform a simple log of goat cheese into an impressive party appetizer by rolling the log of cheese in sunflower seeds and drizzling with honey. Serve with fresh berries and crackers.
Herbed Cheese Spread
Fresh chives, parsley, and tarragon flavor this appetizer cheese spread that's made with feta and cream cheese. Garnish with a wreath of fresh rosemary springs and dots of dried cranberries for a festive, holiday look.
Blue Cheese-Bacon Dip
This warm blue cheese dip is one of our top-rated appetizer recipes and ideal for entertaining. You can bake it in individual cups or a 1-quart dish and serve with fresh fruit, crackers or flatbread.
Baked Tex-Mex Pimiento Cheese Dip
Turn pimiento cheese sandwich spread into a hot and spicy appetizer by adding chopped jalapeño pepper to the cheese mixture and baking it in a casserole dish.
Warm Cheese-and-Spicy Pecan Dip
Crunchy spiced nuts take a classic cheese dip to new heights. Avoid overcooking the dip or it could separate; remove from the oven when it starts to bubble around the edges. We love this gooey dip with toasted baguette slices, but you can also serve it with your favorite crackers.
Chicken Parmesan Dip
This is a rich and creamy way to use up leftover marinara sauce or chicken. For an extra-Italian twist, use Italian sausage instead.
Prosciutto-Asiago Pimiento Cheese
This recipe gives some Italian flavor to Basic Pimiento Cheese. With crispy prosciutto and Asiago cheese, you’re definitely stepping up your dip game. Friends and family will think it is oh-so-fancy but you will know it was super simple. From backyard cookouts to a porch party, this recipe can work for any occasion. It also makes the perfect snack for those long summer days. Hand shred your cheese for a better texture and flavor. We also prefer diced pimientos over sliced.
A go-to appetizer for parties, this spinach and artichoke dip has all the creamy-inside, brown-and-crispy-on-top texture and cheesy taste that makes dips like this appealing, but with less calories and fat.
Flaming Cheese (Saganaki)
This decadent cheesy appetizer is easy to make, fun to serve, and sure to impress. Enjoy this gooey, buttery melted cheese dish right from the skillet with plenty of toasted bread. Kasseri is a Greek cheese made from a blend of sheep and goat’s milk; good kasseri cheese can be found at Middle Eastern markets, or you can purchase a block online.
Pomegranate-Goat Cheese Dip
A burst of fruity flavor sets this dip apart from the crowd.
Pecan Cheese Spread
This Pecan Cheese Spread will remain a staple in your refrigerator once you have a taste. Sweet, cheesy, and with a hint of heat, this spread hits every flavor just right, and chopped toasted pecans add a bit of crunch for texture variety. This seven-ingredient recipe only takes five minutes to whip together, but it will make a much bigger impact on a biscuit than plain cream cheese or butter. Start by beating cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, honey, cayenne pepper, and seasoned salt until smooth. The cayenne pepper brings that touch of spice that every Southern dish needs, but the sweet honey, soft mascarpone cheese, and fluffy cream cheese are the main focus. After mixing those ingredients, stir in white cheddar cheese and chopped toasted pecans to finish the spread off. Place it in a bowl or pretty butter dish and chill until you’re ready to serve. This Pecan Cheese Spread would be especially delicious on our Ham Biscuits, but we can’t think of many things that would taste worse with a swipe of this spread on top. This spread would look beautiful as part of a breakfast, brunch, or luncheon lineup with biscuits and breads, where any homemade touch makes an impact. Pecan Cheese Spread would also be a smart addition to any cheese plate at a cocktail party. A well-rounded cheese plate has several key factors, and a soft cheese is always on the list. Wow your guests with a soft, homemade spread that didn’t come straight from the store.
Chipotle Pimiento Cheese
Give your classic pimiento cheese an extra kick with some chipotle chiles. Who says you can’t make a classic better? We started with our Basic Pimiento Cheese and made a few adjustments to give this spread the extra heat your friends and family will love. Lime juice, chipotle chiles and pepper Jack cheese combine perfectly for a personalized take on a Southern classic. Be sure you hand shred your cheese. The pre-grated stuff just doesn’t taste the same. It only takes 15 minutes to come together, and the extra effort is totally worth it. We prefer diced pimientos to sliced. So find an excuse for making a batch of this tasty Chipotle Pimiento Cheese.
BBQ Chicken Bean Dip
Step aside, Buffalo chicken. Move it along, basic bean dip. The game day dip to rule all game day dips has arrived. This bold yet balance BBQ Chicken Bean Dip has so much going for it: It’s easy to make, you likely have most of the necessary ingredients on hand, and most importantly—this cheesy chicken appetizer will be a winner with any crowd. The barbecue sauce used in to make the dip couldn’t be easier to mix up, and it’s one you can come back to again and again for all of your BBQ needs; however, if you want to shave a few minutes off the recipe, you can certainly use your favorite bottled sauce instead. We suggest topping the dip with cheese towards the end of baking in order to prevent the dip from becoming too greasy.
Chocolate Cookie Butter Cheese Ball
For an easy, no-bake treat that everyone will love, look no further than this decadent and chocolatey dessert cheese ball. Serve with dippers like strawberries, apple slices, and pretzels. It’s like an easy-to-make (and easy-to-share) “deconstructed” take on chocolate cheesecake.
Horseradish Pimiento Cheese
If you’re in a need of the perfect thick spread pimiento cheese, the secret is using less mayonnaise. Be sure to use a high quality mayonnaise though and skip the low-fat options. You can easily adjust our Basic Pimiento Cheese recipe or break out a new flavor with this horseradish version. This recipe will have you’re horseradish-loving friends and family will be coming back for seconds. Not only do we call for a little horseradish, but we also suggest using horseradish-flavored white Cheddar cheese for the extra kick. Be sure to hand shred the cheese. The pre-graded stuff just misses out on flavor.
Lasagna Dip With Pasta Chips
Olive Garden got this one right, folks—lasagna in dip form is all kinds of wonderful, especially served with freshly fried, crisp pasta chips. Trust us, this meaty, cheesy appetizer will be a welcome addition to any party.
Greek Crab Dip
With the salty richness of feta cheese and brightness from fresh lemon juice and herbs, this is an incredible twist on a classic creamy crab dip. Lump crab meat gives the dip an added touch of decadence, but it could also be made with less-expensive claw meat. Served with warm, crusty baguette slices this savory crab dip is the perfect “something different” to bring to your next potluck or party.
Creamy Feta-and-Herb Dip
The real secret to a crowd-pleasing crudités platter? A rich, tangy homemade dip. Choose feta that’s sold in blocks stored in brine. Crumbled feta contains an additive that prevents clumping, and it will not blend as smoothly. Serve on a tray piled with colorful baby vegetables such as rainbow carrots, English cucumbers, and French Breakfast radishes. This dip can easily be made ahead, refrigerated, and transported for a party. Instead of the usual plastic container, choose to store the dip in a mason jar, which can also double as your serving dish. If you do make it ahead, give the dip a quick stir before serving to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.
Goat Cheese and Gouda Pimiento Cheese
We’ve turned a classic on its head. If you want to turn your Basic Pimiento Cheese up a notch, try switching up the cheese you use. We’ve combined sharp white Cheddar, Gouda, and goat cheeses to make an extra creamy and rich pimiento cheese that is sure to impress your guests at the next summer party. What are the two steps to a better tasting pimiento cheese? Hand shred your cheese. It tastes so much better than the pre-graded stuff. Also, go for diced pimiento over sliced. Top this spread with toasted walnuts or pecans for a crunch everyone will love.
Christmas Owl Cheese Ball
For a holiday appetizer that’s as adorable as it is delicious, you can’t go wrong with this owl cheese ball.
Skillet Nacho Dip
We combined our favorite elements of cheesy queso dip and loaded beef nachos into one epic skillet dish.
Basic Pimiento Cheese
There are countless views on pimiento cheese perfection. It can be a smooth and spreadable version sandwiched between two slices of white bread. It can be chunky, spiked with hot sauce and cayenne pepper, and stuffed into celery sticks. It can be made with extra mayonnaise for a creamy cracker topper. The list goes on and on. We found that, apart from the fundamental ingredients (cheese, pimientos, and mayo), the best pimiento cheese is the one you grew up eating. However you enjoy it, two things are essential: First, hand shred the cheese—some finely, some coarsely—for the best texture (a food processor will get the job done, but don’t cheat with the pre-grated stuff). Second, pick jarred pimientos that are diced, not sliced. This classic recipe works as a dip, spread, or all by itself.