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March 16, 2023 3 min read


Pepper jelly is a delicious and versatile condiment that can elevate any cheese and cracker spread. With its unique combination of sweetness and heat, it pairs wonderfully with a variety of cheeses and crackers, creating a delightful balance of flavors and textures. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore some of the best cheese and cracker pairings to complement your pepper jelly, along with tips and suggestions for creating a memorable and mouthwatering appetizer spread.

I. Choosing the Right Cheese

A. Creamy and mild cheeses

Creamy and mild cheeses are a popular choice for pairing with pepper jelly, as their smooth texture and subtle flavors provide an excellent contrast to the spicy kick of the jelly. Some cheeses to consider in this category include:

  1. Cream cheese
  2. Brie
  3. Camembert
  4. Goat cheese
  5. Gouda

Cream Cheese - Pairs well with Pepper Jelly

B. Bold and flavorful cheeses

For those who prefer a more robust cheese pairing, bold and flavorful cheeses can also work well with pepper jelly. The strong flavors of these cheeses can stand up to the sweet and spicy condiment, creating a harmonious balance. Some cheeses to consider in this category include:

  1. Blue cheese
  2. Aged cheddar
  3. Smoked gouda
  4. Gorgonzola
  5. Stilton

Gorgonzola Cheese

II. Selecting the Perfect Crackers

A. Classic options

Classic cracker options are always a safe bet when pairing with pepper jelly and cheese. These crackers typically have a neutral flavor and a crisp texture that complements the creamy cheese and spicy jelly without overpowering them. Some classic cracker options include:

  1. Water crackers
  2. Saltines
  3. Toasted baguette slices
  4. Wheat crackers
  5. Butter crackers

Water Crackers

B. Creative alternatives

For a more adventurous cracker pairing, consider trying some creative alternatives that add extra flavor and texture to your cheese and pepper jelly spread. These crackers can enhance the overall flavor experience and add visual interest to your appetizer platter. Some creative cracker alternatives include:

  1. Multigrain crackers
  2. Flavored crackers (e.g., rosemary, black pepper, or sesame)
  3. Pita chips
  4. Rice crackers
  5. Gluten-free options, such as nut-based crackers

Multigrain and various other crackers

III. Assembling Your Cheese and Cracker Spread

A. Presentation tips

When assembling your cheese and cracker spread, consider these presentation tips to create an eye-catching and inviting appetizer:

  1. Choose a variety of cheese types and textures, and arrange them on a platter or cutting board.
  2. Place small bowls or jars of pepper jelly throughout the spread for easy access.
  3. Offer a selection of different cracker types, and group them together for a visually appealing display.
  4. Garnish the spread with fresh herbs, edible flowers, or fruit for added color and interest.

Traditional Cheese, Cracker, and Meat Plate

B. Serving suggestions

When serving your cheese and cracker spread, encourage your guests to experiment with different cheese and cracker combinations to discover their favorite pairings. Provide small plates, utensils, and cheese knives to make it easy for guests to sample the different options. You can also offer additional condiments, such as honey, fig jam, or olives, to add variety and complement the flavors of the cheese and pepper jelly.

Cheese and Cracker Spread


With its unique sweet and spicy flavor, pepper 

jelly is a fantastic addition to any cheese and cracker spread. By carefully selecting a variety of cheeses and crackers that complement the flavors and textures of your pepper jelly, you can create a memorable and mouthwatering appetizer that will delight your guests. Don't be afraid to get creative with your pairings and presentation, and encourage your guests to explore the different combinations to find their favorites. With these tips and suggestions in mind, you're well on your way to assembling the perfect cheese and cracker spread featuring your delicious pepper jelly.

Pepper Jelly on cheese and crackers