Fire up the grill and smoke infuse the perfect pepper jelly and cream cheese appetizer recipe to share with your friends and family.
Smoked cream cheese is going viral across social media these days and I knew I wanted to create a simple version that combined this trend with the classic version of this appetizer recipe using hot pepper jelly.
While I don’t know who started this delicious trend, I am no stranger to smoking cheese (check out this smoked chorizo queso, grilled brie, three ingredient beer cheese sauce and smoked burrata recipe).
This recipe truly could not be simpler, below I’ll share a few tips, techniques for smoking, and a few different ways to doctor up the jelly on top! Grab all the details below or jump to the recipe at the bottom of the page and dive in.
- Small Cast Iron Skillet
- Paring Knife
Grab the details below to help guide you through the recipe. Enjoy!
What is pepper jelly?
While traditionally we think of jelly as being fruit based, pepper jelly is a spicy sweet combination of the jelly you know and love.
While you can definitely make your own jars of pepper jelly or other versions of this sweet spicy goodness from scratch, I personally like to buy it premade. Homemade jelly is made up of sugar, pectin, and vinegar. Simply add your peppers into the mix to extract the flavor.
If you like your jelly hot, then leave the seeds in with your peppers when you make the jelly. Remove your seeds if you desire a more mild jelly. The combination of sweet and spicy is so good though!
I found a peach pepper jelly from my local farmers market but often purchase red pepper jelly from the grocery store (I love the one from Trader Joe’s).
Smoked Cream Cheese Ingredients:
- 8 oz. Block of Cream Cheese: Make sure the cream cheese is not softened and cold right out of the fridge.
- 1 tbsp. All Purpose BBQ Rub: You can also use whatever other rub you prefer or try my homemade Tajin (chile and lime) rub. The heat goes so well with the pepper jelly!
- 1/2 cup Pepper Jelly: Use any flavor you prefer, mine was a locally made jelly that was a jalapeno peach variety.
- Garnish: I added some pickled jalapenos and some crispy bacon over the top (because it’s delicious).
Smoking Instructions and Tips:
You can cook your smoked cream cheese on a charcoal or pellet grill. Preheat your grill to 250 F. and set it for indirect heat. Use any wood chip flavor you prefer (I like a fruit woods for this personally).
Remove the cream cheese from the aluminum foil packaging. Place it in the base of a cast iron skillet or use a foil pan if needed. Use a small paring knife and score the top of it in a crosshatch pattern.
Use the dry rub and sprinkle it on all sides, top, and the bottom of the block of cheese. Place it on the grill on indirect heat for two hours or until heated through.
Remove it from the grill and either serve from the cast iron pan or place on a serving plate if desired. Place the jelly over the top of the cream cheese and add the extra pickled jalapenos and bacon if desired.
What to serve with your pepper jelly cream cheese dip:
I love to serve this with sliced pieces of toasted baguette. You can use a variety of crackers as well or even sliced sweet peppers, carrots or celery.
- 8 oz. Cream Cheese Block (cold)
- 1 Tbsp. All Purpose BBQ Rub
- 1/2 cup Pepper Jelly
- Garnish with extra pickled jalapenos and bacon
- 1. Preheat your grill to 250 F. and set it for indirect heat.
- 2. To a small cast iron skillet, add the block of cream cheese to the pan. Use a paring knife to score the top of it in a crosshatch patter if desired.
- 3. Coat the cream cheese in the rub on all sides, bottom, and the top. Place on the grill and smoke for up to two hours. It should puff up slightly and be hot all the way through.
- 4. Remove from the grill and top with the pepper jelly. Add sliced jalapenos and bacon pieces over the top if desired.
- 5. Serve with toasted bread rounds, crackers, and vegetables for healthier way to enjoy this dip!
Play around with other spices over the top (like everything but the bagel seasoning or even a pumpkin pie spice for something sweeter).
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 8gNet Carbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g