Creamy Jalapeno Dip

I love chips and crackers. The salty taste and crisp texture are such a great combination. But what is even better is a creamy dip to accompany the crunchy chips or crackers – one that adds a little bit of softness and extra flavor. This recipe for Creamy Jalapeno Dip is not only delicious, but it’s also an easy and creamy dip recipe to whip up. So why not try it out at your next gathering or party? It’ll be a sure crowd pleaser!

One of the main ingredients in this jalapeno dip recipe is, of course, jalapenos, which are a variety of chili peppers of the Capsicum annuum species. Depending on the cultivar, jalapenos can have a range of 1,000 to 10,000 Scoville units (a measurement of spicy heat – the Carolina Reaper is the hottest known pepper measuring up to 2,200,000 units while the common Bell pepper measures at 0). The name jalapeno is Spanish for “from Xalapa”, a town in Veracruz, Mexico, where this pepper was commonly cultivated. Jalapenos, however, were in use by the Aztec population prior to the Spanish conquest, and the use of this pepper dates back thousands of years. In 1999 approximately 107 acres were dedicated to growing jalapenos in Mexico but by 2011 that number had fallen to around 101 acres; still, jalapenos represent thirty percent of Mexico’s chili production (although California produces the most jalapenos per year). A 100 gram serving of raw jalapenos provides us with only 29 calories and jalapenos are a great source of vitamins E, B6, C and K. So if you like more than a little heat, go ahead and add more of these delicious and healthy peppers to your creamy dip recipe!

Speaking of a creamy dip recipe, what makes it so creamy is the cream cheese, which is the base of this dip recipe. Cream cheese is a very soft and mild-tasting fresh cheese, usually with a high fat content. If you want to bring the fat content down, try substituting low-fat cream cheese (it has the same great taste, but usually 30-35% less fat). Cream cheese is similar in taste and texture to cheeses such as Mascarpone and Boursin. Although cream cheese hasn’t been around as long as jalapenos, early batches of cream cheese are mentioned in England from around 1583, although recipes incorporating cream cheese didn’t appear in U.S. cookbooks until the mid-eighteenth century. By the 1820’s, however, dairy farms in and around Philadelphia had gained the reputation for making the best examples of cream cheese available. William A. Lawrence, a dairyman, was the first to mass-produce this cheese in 1873, and it has become an increasingly popular cheese even since.

So what will you need to make this delicious Creamy Jalapeno Dip recipe? It’s quite simple. Cream cheese, mayonnaise, Mexican blend cheese, parmesan cheese, a can of chopped green chilies, a can (or more, if you want a spicier heat) of diced jalapenos, panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and butter. To start your creamy dip off, combine the first six ingredients and blend until smooth (and a helpful tip: there is no need to drain the chilies or jalapenos before adding into the mixture – the extra liquid will help flavor the dip and give it a softer, creamier texture). Spread this blended mixture into a greased casserole dish. Your next step is to combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and butter and then sprinkle the crumb mixture over the dip. Bake this creamy dip recipe for approximately 20 minutes or until the top is browned and the dip is bubbling around the edges. Serve this delicious and creamy jalapeno dip with your favorite chips or crackers (I love this dip recipe with Ritz) and enjoy!

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