Spicy Pepper Cream Cheese
Today, we’re making Spicy Pepper Cream Cheese!
Here’s the deal…we’re getting pepper flavor from 3 different sources (well, techinally 4), mixing it with a little cream cheese, and we get a delicious new schmear to add to our repertoire! This recipe is so simple, but it’s such a fun way to spice up our morning routine.
Let’s start with the peppers. We’re going to use a poblano pepper, some diced green chiles, some red pepper flakes, and a little pinch of black pepper. We’ll roast our poblano pepper alongside a garlic clove until it’s nice and tender, and that’s basically the hardest work that we have to do for this recipe.
Now roasting a poblano pepper does a few things. 1. It really helps to accentuate that slightly spicy, slightly smoky pepper flavor, and 2. It makes it a nice smooth texture that’s perfect for blending into our fluffy cream cheese. But after the poblano finishes in the oven, we’ll want to make sure we remove the outer skin from the pepper which can sometimes get a little stringy. I also like to remove the seeds from the pepper, because my tolerance on the spice scale is pretty low. But, if you like things a little spicier, feel free to leave some in.
Next, we’ll blend all of our peppers together to break them down into a nicely minced texture that we can mix into our cream cheese. It’s a simple as throwing everything into a small food processor, hitting the button, and done!
From there, all that’s left to do is mix our pepper mix into our cream cheese. I chose to use whipped cream cheese for this recipe, because I absolutely love how light and fluffy it is. And bonus, you don’t have to let it soften first before you work with it. But, you could absolutely use a regular block of cream cheese if you prefer. Just let it soften first so that you can easily mix in the peppers.
The end result is a cool, creamy, slightly spicy spread that we can use in so many ways. Of course, bagels are the number one choice for this cream cheese. But you can also use it for dipping crackers, as a spread on a sandwich, or even as a topping for a baked potato. There are so many options!
Another great thing about this spread is that the spice level is in your control. If you like things spicier, leave those poblano seeds in or add a few more red pepper flakes. If you like things on the milder side, use less red pepper flakes. For my tastebuds, this recipe is JUST enough spicy. It’s got a little kick without setting my mouth on fire.
Ok, everyone! We got out our spicy vibes today. What are we feeling next? Salty? Sweet?
Until next time…enjoy! And, let’s eat!
Spicy Pepper Cream Cheese
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 clove garlic, skin still on
- 2 tbsp diced green chiles, drained
- ¾ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 8 oz whipped cream cheese
- cooking spray
Roast the Poblano
- Preheat oven to broil and place top rack 6 inches from the heating element. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place poblano and garlic clove on the prepared baking sheet.
- Spritz both sides of the peppers and the garlic clove in the skin with cooking spray until lightly coated. Broil for 5 mins.
- Flip the poblano. Broil 5 more mins until pepper's skin starts to bubble and char.
- Remove from oven, and place pepper in a heat safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit and steam for 15 mins.
- After poblano has steamed for 15 mins, peel the outer skin off of the pepper. Discard stem and remove seeds.
- When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze roasted garlic clove out of the skin into a small food processor or blender.
- Add roasted poblano, diced green chiles, and red pepper flakes to the food processor. Process until peppers have broken down to a mostly smooth but slightly chunky consistency.
Finish the cream cheese
- Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl.
- Add pepper mix, salt, and pepper. Stir until completely combined. Serve!
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.
- This cream cheese is great served on bagels, crackers, or as a schmear for a sandwich!
- You could certainly use a regular block of cream cheese that's been softened. But, I love the texture of whipped cream cheese, because it's always soft and spreadable.
- This cream cheese is a perfectly mild level of spicy, for me. If you want to up the heat factor, leave the seeds in the poblano before blending.