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Spicy Marinated Cheese

Spicy Marinated Cheese is an easy, make-ahead party appetizer that gets better with time. Squares of cream cheese and cheddar cheese, (I sometimes use Colby Jack as well), are marinated in a spicy mixture of oil, vinegar, dried basil, and garlic and sprinkled with green onions and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. It makes a visually stunning summer appetizer or a festive Christmas appetizer.

Spicy Marinated Cheese

The spice comes from a chopped jalapeno and some crushed red pepper flakes.

The cheese gets cut into squares that are just the right size for putting on a cracker.

The cream cheese slices are the best.  🙂

Seriously. They take me to my happy place.

Spicy Marinated Cheese makes an easy party appetizer.


You’ll want to put the cream cheese in the freezer for a little while so that it is firm enough to cut.

You can use roasted red peppers or pimentos instead of the sun-dried tomatoes.

Spicy Marinated Cheese is great for sharing. Put out a bowl of olives next to it for a tasty treat. Maybe add a tray of cured meats and you practically have a whole meal.

Spicy Marinated Cheese makes an easy party appetizer

Serve Spicy Marinated Cheese with crackers and you have a real crowd-pleaser.

Spicy Marinated Cheese

Spicy Marinated Cheese is an easy, make-ahead party appetizer that gets better with time. 


  • 1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, placed in freezer for 20 minutes
  • 1 (8-ounce) block sharp cheddar or colby jack
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil


  • Combine oil through red pepper flakes in a medium bowl and whisk well.
  • Cut cream cheese and cheddar cheese in half lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange slices alternately on a serving dish that has a little bit of an edge. 
  • Pour marinade over cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  • Sprinkle green onions and sin-dried tomatoes on top and serve with crackers.


Cream cheese will be easier to cut if it is partially frozen. It helps to spray a knife with cooking spray or to use dental floss to cut it.
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Appetizer

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4 thoughts on “Spicy Marinated Cheese”

  1. Late to the party on commenting, but I’ve been making this at least once a year for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas for the last several years and it’s always a hit! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

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