Sweet & Spicy Pepper Relish Cheese Spread
Are you looking for a beautiful and delicious appetizer for New Year’s Eve? This Sweet & Spicy Pepper Relish Cheese Spread is a great crowd pleaser. This homemade pepper relish, with its spicy jalapeno peppers, sweet syrup, and creamy cheese layer, is amazing together. Pair it with crackers and it’ll be a party favorite.
This Sweet & Spicy Relish recipe came about thanks to my sister-in-law. She got my creative foodie juices flowing this past Thanksgiving when she brought an amazing pepper jam sauce (recipe passed down from her grandmother) to use like a cranberry sauce with our Turkey. She gave me her family’s recipe for their sweet red bell pepper jam and I’ve been exploring its flavors ever since. This Sweet & Spicy Pepper Relish recipe is the product of my experimentation and is now a new found favorite. On any given day you will find at least one jar of it in my fridge ready to use at a moments notice.
Back to this delicious Sweet & Spicy Pepper Relish Cheese Spread. The show-stopping pepper relish is definitely the star of this appetizer and when you taste it, you’ll know why. You can prepare the relish ahead of time which makes this quick and easy hors d’oeuvre a low stress no-brainer! The ingredients are so simple too. Here’s what you’ll need. The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post.
First up are the peppers. You can get extra festive with this relish by switching out the color of peppers used. For example, to make a Christmas-y red and green sweet & spicy jingle pepper relish, using red bell peppers and jalapeno peppers or use a red, orange and yellow bell pepper with jalapenos, like I have, for a flare of New Years fun. Seed the peppers and give them a nice fine dice.
Once the peppers are prepared. It’s time for the “brine.” Mix together the salt, warm water and garlic, then pour over the peppers. Let this sit for 15-30 minutes while you prepare the syrup.
In a sauce pan, add the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil until mixture begins to thicken (about 5-8 minutes). Remove from heat.
Drain brine off peppers and rinse in cold water. Make sure to rinse the peppers well to remove all the salt. Squeeze excess water from peppers. If this step is skipped or not done well the relish will be salty or to runny. When the peppers are mixed into the syrup, some of the moisture from the peppers will come out and thin the syrup a bit.
Add drained peppers to syrup and let cool. Make sure the pan is remove from the heat. If the peppers are heated too much they will lose their color and texture. Once cold, store in the fridge until ready to serve with the cheese.
To prep the cream cheese, warm in the oven for a few minutes to soften.
Then turn out onto the serving dish of your choice. Make sure whatever serving dish you choice, has a lip on the edge to avoid spillage. Once the warmed cream cheese is in place, top with the cold/chilled homemade Sweet & Spicy Pepper Relish.
This is a fantastic party spread for a large crowd or as a snack for one (because you can store the relish and cream cheese in the fridge and use as you please). Add some yummy crackers along side this Sweet & spicy Pepper Relish Cheese Spread and everyone will love it!
If you’re not a cream cheese fan (my husband can’t stand it LOL) try this relish on hamburgers, hotdogs, sandwiches and more.
What kind of party appetizers do you like?
Sweet & Spicy Pepper Relish Cheese Spread
- 3 bell peppers color of your choice, seeded and diced fine
- 6-8 jalapeno peppers seeded and diced fine
- 1/3 cup salt
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Mix warm water, salt and garlic powder until salt is mostly dissolved to make brine. Pour brine over diced peppers. Let sit 15-30 minutes.
pour brine off peppers and rinse well (2-3 time) using cold water and squeeze to remove excess water. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan add sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil and boil for 5-8 minutes until mixture begins to thicken like a syrup.
Remove from heat and add drained peppers. Stir. Let cool and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Warm cream cheese in oven (300 degrees for 8-10 minuteto soften. Place on serving dish with lipped edge.
Add cold/chilled Sweet & Spicy Pepper Relish on top of warmed cream cheese.
Serve with crackers.
Sweet & Spicy Pepper Relish came be used on hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and more.
Make sure to remove syrup from heat before adding peppers. If peppers cook, they will lose their color and texture.
To make a Christmas-y pepper relish use red bell peppers and green jalapeno peppers only.