Jalapeno Cream Cheese: The Jalapeno Popper “Dip”

jalapeno cream cheese dip
Jalapeno cream cheese is a zesty and delicious addition to party platters and snack times. It can be used as a spread or dip, and can be served warm or cold. The basic recipe uses plain cream cheese, fresh diced jalapeno, and garlic and onion powder. Cheddar cheese and bacon bits can be added to the baked recipe to create a warm, gooey dip that tastes just like jalapeno poppers! 

What Is Jalapeno Cream Cheese?

Plenty of versions of jalapeno cream cheese exist. A popular version includes cream cheese, fresh jalapenos, garlic powder, and onion powder. Shredded cheddar cheese and bacon bits are a common addition, especially when serving the dip warm.

Adding some jalapeno heat to your cream cheese elevates the flavor profile almost instantly. Customize your recipe by adjusting the amount jalapeno peppers and spaces to your liking.

The spicy, fresh, and tart taste of raw jalapeno peppers cuts through the tangy flavor of plain cream cheese. The zesty cheese makes an excellent accompaniment for spicy dinners, cheese trays, breakfast, etc. You can snack on it with crackers or crudites.

The cheese is also delicious melted into pasta or baked and served warm with crusty French bread as an appetizer.

A common alternative is to use mayonnaise or sour cream to lighten it up. You can also add black pepper or chili powder for more spice, or add fresh herbs like chives or parsley.

Leftovers should be put in an airtight container and refrigerated

Is Jalapeno Cream Cheese Baked?

You can bake jalapeno cream cheese or serve it cold.

There are recipes for both cold and baked versions. Cold versions work best as a spread, and baked dip is delectable when served with crunchy, cold veggies like celery and carrots.

The baked version is best when it is fresh from the oven, still oozing and bubbling hot, but it’s still delicious at room temperature. You can also add bread crumbs to the top before baking for some extra crunch and flavor.

To make the dip taste like a bacon jalapeno popper, add shredded cheddar cheese and bacon bits and bake it. Because shredded cheddar is aged longer, its cheesy flavor is more pronounced.

What Does Jalapeno Cream Cheese Taste Like?

Jalapeno cream cheese is creamy and smooth with a kick of heat. Garlic, onion, pepper, and salt give it a savory flavor.

If you’ve ever had a jalapeno popper, it tastes like that — but as a dip! Jalapeno poppers are hollowed out green jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, then baked. Sometimes shredded cheddar cheese and other spices are added to the cheese filling.

Jalapeno popper.
Jalapeno popper.

How Spicy Is Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip?

Store-bought jalapeno cream cheese dip is mildly spicy. It’s the perfect balance for people who want some great jalapeno flavor without too much heat. Homemade jalapeno cream cheese can be as spicy as you like it!

Remember that green jalapenos, which are less spicy than ripe red jalapenos, range from 2,500-10,000 SHUs. That’s a pretty big range, and you never know how hot a pepper is when you’re buying them in the store.

To be safe, start with one pepper and taste a tiny bit of it raw before folding it into your cream cheese. Want it spicier? Add more!

To make your dip less spicy, you can saute the jalapenos in a bit or butter or olive oil. Cooking the jalapenos will mellow the spice and give you a more savory, less verdant flavor profile. This is also why a lot of people prefer baked jalapeno cream cheese dip.

What Is Spicy Jalapeno Cream Cheese Good On?

You can use the spicy jalapeno cream cheese as a spread or dip.

As a spread, use it on:

  • Tortillas to make a turkey rollup.
  • Burgers as a topping – it’s extra creamy and delicious when it melts from the burger’s heat!
  • Sandwiches in place of mayonnaise.
  • Bagels for breakfast or snack time.
  • Finger sandwiches — think fancy cucumber sandwiches! You can replace the cucumber with a mild or sweet pepper, like bell pepper, banana pepper, or cubanelle pepper. For a beautiful color contrast, use fresh cherry or pimento peppers or Fresno chiles for more heat. Or, create a sweet and spicy flavor profile by using green pepper jelly!

As a dip, eat it with:

  • Fresh veggies, like carrots, celery, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Crackers — choose buttery crackers for a richer flavor, or crispy wafer crackers to lighten it up. For more heat, serve the dip with a cracker with cracked black pepper or garlic.
  • Bread, like crunchy toasted French bread or miniature breadsticks. You can also hollow out a large sourdough boule to make a bread bowl. Reserve the bread from inside, cube and toast it for dipping. Then bake your cream cheese dip right inside the bread bowl. YUM!
  • Pasta, mashed potatoes, and casseroles — you can use jalapeno cream cheese dip to give almost any dish a creamy, cheesy kick.
baked jalapeno cream cheese dip
Baked jalapeno cream cheese dip.

Where To Buy Jalapeno Cream Cheese

Philadelphia brand makes a Spicy Jalapeno cream cheese available in almost any grocery store. You can also check with your local bagel shop or breakfast restaurant, as many make their own and will sell it to customers in small tubs.

For store-bought dip, check the expiration date. Once opened, cream cheese will only last about 10 days in the fridge before you start seeing moldy spots or discoloration. Homemade dip has a shorter shelf life.

How To Make Jalapeno Cream Cheese Spread

While many recipes are available online, you can whip up a basic 5-ingredient recipe in only 15 minutes.

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jalapeno cream cheese dip

Basic Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip Or Spread

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


Looking for the perfect dip for the next super bowl party or game day or movie night? Try this easy jalapeno cream cheese spread recipe.


Units Scale
  • 8 oz plain cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 12 tbsp mayonaise
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 finely diced fresh green jalapeno (more or less to taste)


  1. Using a wooden spoon or a hand mixer on low, blend the softened cream cheese, garlic powder, and mayonnaise until smooth.
  2. Add jalapeno to the cream cheese mixture and then stir until blended. If you're worried about the heat level, add half the jalapeno, taste, and add more as needed.
  3. NOTE: The longer your mixture sits, the hotter it will become as the capsaicin is released from the peppers and mixes with the cream cheese.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 80

If you want a hot dip that tastes like a bacon-wrapped jalapeno popper, check out this recipe from Kraft.

Nutritional Information For Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip

While it’s decadent tasting, jalapeno cream cheese contains some essential nutrients, like vitamin A, B-12, riboflavin, zinc, and phosphorus. Additionally, it is a great source of vegetarian protein.

  • KCAL – 80
  • Fat – 5g
  • Saturated fat – 3g
  • Sodium – 430g
  • Cholesterol – 15mg
  • Total carbohydrates – 4g
  • Sugars – 3g
  • Protein – 4g
  • Iron – 0%
  • Calcium – 10%
  • Vitamin A – 4%
  • Vitamin C – 0%


ErIka didn’t grow up with gardening or peppers but she’s turned out to be a spicy foods enthusiast. Today, she not only loves super-hot chilies but also finds solace growing hot peppers. She grows different types of peppers using growing devices, automated indoor gardens, and containers. Keep it here for all matters peppers!

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