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Festive Marinated Cheddar Appetizer

Festive Marinated Cheddar Cheese Appetizer ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #holiday #appetizer #recipe

A stunning appetizer that you can easily make ahead of time and keep in the fridge until the big day. Be prepared for it to go fast because in my experience people just LOVE this stuff.

I finally found the perfect way to marinate cheddar cheese! Okay it’s not the first time … there was another time I found a good marinade for cheddar … the honey orange thyme marinade was really nice, yes, but not everyone liked the honey.

So yeah, cheddar can be a little tricksy … it doesn’t like the same spices that feta, Dubliner or Havarti like. Cheddar goes really well with something a little sweet, so the sweet peppers in this recipe are just perfect, without being too sweet. The herbs add so much color and flavor as well … and then a bit of sun dried tomato cheese spread in between each slice of cheddar … THAT is the extra touch that makes this cheese a little magical!

I made this special appetizer for our yoga teacher training graduation day. It was the first cheese to disappear … along with the sundried tomato cheese spread. I made extra of that as well and served it in a little bowl with a knife and some Italian garlic bread crisps. They were both a big hit. I think you can probably buy sun dried tomato pesto if you don’t want to make it at home, but it is really easy to make. I love to make it and store it in the freezer so I have it on hand for things like this. I just pop it in the microwave and scoop out a couple Tablespoons, then put the rest back in the freezer for next time.

If you cover the cheeses and the toppings all the way with oil, the appetizer will keep for several days. Don’t wait weeks or months (like you can with other marinated cheeses), because the vibrant green color of the fresh herbs will eventually darken and will no longer look appealing.

Serve with a nice wine and you will have some VERY happy guests!

Festive Marinated Cheddar Appetizer

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes

Yield: 6 - 12 appetizer size servings

Festive Marinated Cheddar Appetizer


  • 3 - 4 red, yellow, orange sweet mini peppers (use a mix of colors for best effect)
  • 4 oz. Greek cream cheese (or Neufchatel), softened
  • 2 - 3 Tablespoons sun dried tomato pesto (recipe here)
  • 8 oz. white cheddar, cut into slices and then into squares
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh snipped chives or green onion
  • 2 - 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Put the peppers on a baking sheet and roast until the peels are charred, turning so that all sides get roasted. Once roasted, put the peppers in a small bowl and cover with a plate until they are cool. Most of the peel should slip right off once they cool. Pull the peel off, pull out the core/seeds and chop the peppers.
  2. Find a rectangular container that the cheddar fits nicely in and cut a sheet of wax paper to fit the container so that it covers the bottom and comes all the way up the longer sides of the container. This will help you lift the cheese from the container once it's done.
  3. Mix the cream cheese with the pesto, adjusting the amount of pesto to your liking. Use a knife to spread the cream cheese mixture onto a square of cheddar, top with another square of cheddar, then more cream cheese, then more cheddar. Repeat until all the cheddar is gone or the cream cheese is gone. You may need to make 2 or 3 stacks. Gently set your cheese stacks in the container.
  4. Mix together the chopped peppers, parsley, chives or green onion and garlic with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt, a pinch of sugar and freshly ground black pepper. Toss a little more, the spoon this mixture over the cheese stacks.
  5. Pour olive oil to cover all the cheese and the topping, cover and let marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours or in the fridge overnight.
  6. At serving time, carefully lift the wax paper, letting the excess oil drain back into the container. Set the cheese stacks with the topping onto a long serving plate with a nice edge to keep the olive oil from escaping. Serve with crackers or Italian Garlic Bread Crisps (recipe here).


RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/

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Festive Marinated Cheddar Cheese Appetizer ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls #holiday #appetizer #recipe

This post was shared at Weekend Potluck and Pretty Pintastic Party.

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4 Responses

  1. Absolutely Gorgeous!

    November 22, 2017 at 4:17 pm

  2. What a beautiful and delicious appetizer! Love it!

    November 24, 2017 at 11:34 pm

  3. This looks absolutely delicious! I’ve never even thought of marinating cheddar cheese before; I always think of the usual suspects, like feta. But this sounds simply too good to pass up! Definitely bookmarking this so that I can add it to my cheese board spreads! Thanks for such a mouth-watering idea!

    November 27, 2017 at 11:35 am

    • Ann

      Thanks Shannon! It is really marvelous. I hope you try it. 🙂

      November 28, 2017 at 8:11 pm