This quick and easy Mexican Cream Cheese Appetizer is great to take to summer gatherings because you can make it ahead of time, and the ingredients for the recipe are easy to find. It’s also a great starter for parties any time of year.
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Do you ever realize you were supposed to bring an appetizer somewhere but you have no time to make anything let alone run to the store to get all the ingredients you need?
If you know what I mean then you will love this appetizer!
Why you should make this easy summer appetizer
This Mexican Cream Cheese Appetizer is quick, easy, can be made-ahead, not too rich, and it has ingredients that are usually in your kitchen: cream cheese, garlic, tomatoes, cheese, oil, vinegar (or you can use lime juice), and spices. You can grab the crackers on the way to the party.
From start to finish, it took me 29 minutes to make, bake & serve. And everyone at the party will be glad you brought it!
How to Make this Mexican Cream Cheese Appetizer
This is such an easy appetizer that everyone enjoys. Just stir together the topping and pour it over a block of cream cheese. Then bake or grill it, and serve it with a box of crackers.
- Preheat the oven or grill
- Stir together the topping of tomatoes, garlic, oil & vinegar, spices, jalapeño, and some of the shredded cheese.
- Place a block of cream cheese on a block of cream cheese, and mash it down some so it is thinner and has more surface area covering the foil.
- Cover the cream cheese with the topping, sprinkle a little more cheese on top, and cook.
- Pull out of the oven (or off the grill) and place on a platter with a box of crackers, and serve!
Tips for Making this easy summer appetizer
There aren’t too many things that you need to know because this is so simple. You can make it immediately before serving or you can make it ahead of time.
Make Ahead Tips
You can make this the morning of or night before, stick it in your refrigerator, and either grill it or put it in the oven about 10 minutes before you need it. It’s also pretty tasty at room temperature.
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Variations & Substitutions
- Regular cream cheese or reduced-fat cream cheese can be used here. I have made with both, and I don’t notice the difference.
- Apple cider vinegar or lime juice both taste great here, too.
Alternative prep & cooking methods:
This can be cooked on the grill or in the oven.
This is easy and delicious and everyone enjoys it. It is so nice to have this recipe for times when you need a crowd pleasing appetizer with ingredients that are not hard to find.
MORE SUMMER APPETIZER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE:
- Cheesy Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers
- Pineapple Salsa
- Ricotta and Fig Bites
- Cold Veggie Pizza
- Cucumber Hummus Cups
Mexican Cream Cheese Appetizer
- 3/4 cup diced tomatoes 1 small tomato or 16 grape tomatoes
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lime juice
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1 TBSP minced jalapeño
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar divided
- 8 ounce package cream cheese
- 1 TBSP chopped cilantro or parsley optional
- Preheat the oven to 375°F or heat the grill to medium heat.
- Stir together the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar (or lime juice), chili powder, paprika, salt, cumin, jalapeños if using, and 6 tablespoons cheese.
- Put the block of cream cheese on a sheet of heavy-duty foil or double layer of regular foil, and put on a baking sheet. Press down the cream cheese into a thinner layer.
- Spoon the tomato mixture over the cream cheese. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese over everything.
- Bake for 12 minutes or grill for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle cilantro or parsley on top if using, and serve with whole grain crackers.
Get excited because tomorrow I have a really fun 4th of July treat!!
Originally published June 28, 2012. Recipe has been retested, updated, and rephotographed.
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