Charred Jalapeño with Lime Cream Cheese Spread

With the addition of a few simple ingredients, cream cheese can push an appetizer or sandwich from good to outrageously delicious. Try serving this Latin-inspired spread alongside tortilla chips or the Mexican pork cracklings called chicharrones.




1 cup




  • 2 jalapeños, halved lengthwise
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • zest of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika


  • 1

    Place a cast iron skillet, grill pan or heavy bottom sauté pan on high heat.

  • 2

    When the pan is hot, place the 4 jalapeño halves into the pan, skin side up, without any cooking oil and allow them to sit undisturbed for 3 minutes to char the sliced side. Use a smaller pan to press the peppers for a harder sear.

  • 3

    After the jalapeños are charred, remove them from the heat and set aside to cool.

  • 4

    Mix the tempered cream cheese with the cream, lime zest, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and paprika, in a bowl or in a food processor until ingredients are completely combined.

  • 5

    Once the charred jalapeños are cool, mince them (remove seeds and veins for milder heat.)

  • 6

    Fold the charred jalapeños into the seasoned cream cheese (optional -reserve a pinch for garnish.)

  • 7

    Scoop flavored cream cheese into a small dipping bowl and garnish with a bit more lime zest, a pinch of charred jalepeños and sprinkle of paprika.

  • 8

    Serve with tortilla chips, pork skins or pita chips.

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