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Marinated Cheese

Colorful ... beautiful ... absolutely delicious ... and always the hit of the party.  This Marinated Cheese may just be the most perfect party food for any occasion.

Marinated Cheese Image - this may just be the most perfect party food around.

You know those dishes that are always the first ones gobbled up at a party?  And that you always seem to be giving out the recipe for?  This Marinated Cheese is one of those.  Yes, this beautifully colorful dish is always the hit of the party!

I learned this tasty recipe from my Mom ... who adapted it from the lovely team at Southern Living.  After just the first time making it, Marinated Cheese quickly became one of Mom's go-to recipes for parties and entertaining.  And after I tasted it for the first time?  Marinated Cheese quickly became one of my party go-to's, too.

Because this stuff is just so amazingly delicious.

The marinade is simple to make with a combination of olive oil, white wine vinegar, fresh parsley, and garlic.  And let me just say, it packs a ton of flavor.  Once the cheese marinates for a few hours, the edges of the cheese pick up the vinegar and garlic flavors of the marinade quite nicely, without those flavors becoming too overpowering.  It's a wonderful flavor compliment to the cheese!

As for texture, the cheese slices stay "intact," so to speak, rather than becoming saturated throughout and mushy from their soak time.  It's still perfectly easy to scoop them onto a cracker with a spreader or a cocktail fork.

Marinated cheese - colorful, beautiful, and absolutely delicious.  It's the perfect party food for any occasion.

As for how to make marinated cheese, it's really quite easy.  Though others always think it looks tougher to make than it is!

First mix up the colorful marinade ...
Mom and I find it easiest to just put all the marinade ingredients in a jar.  Then just pop the lid on and shake the jar to quickly and easily mix the marinade ingredients together.

Making the marinade for marinated cheese image

Then cut up cream cheese and cheddar cheese and line it up in a shallow pan in an alternating pattern like this:

Preparing the cheese for marinated cheese image

Pour the marinade over the cheese slices, ...

Pouring marinade over the cheese for marinated cheese image

... and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Cheese marinating for marinated cheese image

When it comes time to impress your guests, transfer the marinated cheese to a platter and spoon the marinade over the top.  And I have a feeling your guests will be impressed! ... this stuff is colorful, beautiful, and absolutely delicious.

From what Mom and I have seen of it's popularity at parties, Marinated Cheese may just be the most perfect party food for any occasion.


Marinated Cheese Image
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Marinated Cheese
Ingredients
  • 1 (8 oz.) block sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese*
Marinade:
  • 1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. white wine vinegar
  • 3 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 T. minced green onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (2 oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Directions
  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a jar; cover tightly and shake vigorously. Set aside.
  2. Make sure cheeses are well-chilled (I put them in the freezer for about 15 minutes). Cut block of cheddar in half lengthwise; then cut crosswise into 1/4"-thick slices. Set aside. Cut the cream cheese, following the same procedure. Arrange cheese slices alternately in a shallow baking dish, standing slices on edges.  (If it becomes difficult to slice the cheeses nicely while you're working with them, just put them back in the freezer for a few minutes before continuing.}
  3. Pour marinade over cheese slices. Cover and refrigerate at least eight hours.
  4. To serve, transfer cheese slices to a serving platter in the same alternating pattern. Spoon some of the marinade over the cheese. Serve with assorted crackers.
* I recommend using full-fat cream cheese, rather than 1/3-less fat Neufchatel, for this recipe.  Full-fat cream cheese is a tad bit firmer, which makes it easier to cut and stack the cheese slices.

Enjoy!

Enjoy these other party food favorites from The Kitchen is My Playground ...









This post is linked with Weekend Potluck.

41 comments

  1. I saw this recipe or one like it in a holiday appetizer booklet... wonder if it was published by Southern Living! Good to know it is so good. Would love for you to link it in our
    Star Recipes Collection!

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    Replies
    1. I have made this on two occasions and both times it was a big hit. Everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. It is delicious and so easy to make!! I love that it comes out looking just like the picture !!

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  2. This looks amazing! I can't wait to try it.

    Heather

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  3. Oh wow! That is fabulous. And SO easy!! On my must-make list.

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  4. Trying this weekend at our dinner party. Hope mine looks and taste as good as yours! Found you by way of ftlob...stop by sometime and say hello...

    chandra
    www.astylishlittlelady.blogspot.com

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  5. Oh my goodness! Saving this one for the picnic too!
    You are awesome!
    Yvonne

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  6. Oooooooo... yummo! I bet that marinade would be great on other cheeses too. Oh yes, I think I'll try it. Wow.

    :)
    ButterYum

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  7. Now, that is a great snack! Thanks for sharing!!

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  8. This looks so good! Thank you so much for sharing this at Recipe Sharing Monday. The new party is now up and I'd love for you to link up again :)

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  9. With a "Southern Living" pedigree, I know this is wonderful! My husband would go crazy over this. I'm going to add this to my holiday to-do list. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

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  10. Well, I would never have thought to marinate cheese but this looks amazing! I can't wait to try this.

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  11. This is gorgeous!!!! I am totally pinning this for later :)

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  12. Love this for an easy Super Bowl snack! Pinning now! :)

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  13. Tracey,
    This will be a great party tray for the upcoming Big Game Day. Hope you are having a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  14. I've only ever seen feta or bocaccino marinated. This is so smart; what a great party dish, it looks delish and so pretty.

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  15. You had me at marinated cheese. ;o)

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  16. This is such a crowd pleaser and so pretty too.

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  17. Thank you for sharing at our Ladies Night Cocktail Link Party!

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  18. Replies
    1. Hi, Brenda! The marinade is real easy to make ... just combine all the marinade ingredients (listed under the "Marinade" subtitle in the recipe above) in a jar and shake them up. Enjoy!

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  19. This may be a strange question...but, do you serve these on crackers or just with toothpicks/appetizer forks?
    It looks DELISH & I WILL be making this for the Holidays!! Yumm!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, this is a super recipe for the holidays, Dawn! Serve it with assorted crackers ... it's especially good with a 'basic' butter/club cracker. Enjoy!

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  20. I made this for my Christmas party last night. The only change I made was mozzarella in place of cheddar. Only because it was for Christmas so the red and green stood out more. Great recipe everyone loved it. Thanks presentation outstanding!!!

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  21. Hi Tracey, I made this last night for our Christmas Party. I used an old English Cheddar and a sharp american cheddar. It was a huge hit! People were raving over it. It is going on regular rotation at parties now.

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    Replies
    1. So glad you and your guests loved it, Christie!

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  22. Why do I need to marinate it on one plate and transfer to another later? Can I just marinate it on the serving platter so it's all ready to go?

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    Replies
    1. If you plan on serving it in a deep dish with sides, by all means you can serve it in the dish you marinate it in. If you plan on serving it on a flat platter, the marinade will run all over the place. I marinate in a casserole-type dish so the cheese sits in a deep pool of marinade, then transfer the cheese to a flat platter {for a nicer presentation} and spoon just a little of the marinade over the top.

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  23. Love it! Great idea with alternating the cream cheese and cheddar. Love the marinade and it would be just perfect with a glass of wine or two. Take care, BAM

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  24. I actually got this recipe from a co-worker... at a party. It's as easy and delicious as it sounds! Love it!

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  25. I wonder how this would taste using goat cheese?

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  26. This is so beautiful and can't wait to add it to my Cheesy Round Up!

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  27. I don't understand how you eat it tho.....use toothpicks or cocktail forks to transfer cheese to cracker?

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    Replies
    1. I place a spreader, cheese knife, or small by the platter to use for transferring the cheese to crackers.

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  28. Have you tried substituting canola oil for the olive oil? I'd love to make this, but I have a major aversion to olive oil. :)

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  29. I saw this recipe in Southern Living many years ago while my children were still at home. I made it for a shower. I'll have to admit, it didn't "sound" appetizing but did it anyway. It was a hit and the little bit of leftovers I brought home were devoured by my older son. It is now HIS favorite thing to make for his guests. We've made it so many times, I don't need to look at a recipe. I use equal parts olive oil and canola. Olive oil can be overpowering.

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  30. Would it be OK to use red wine vinegar?

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn't recommend it. White wine vinegar has a much milder flavor than red wine vinegar ... subbing would drastically change the flavor of the dish.

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  31. I pinned your Marinated Cheese, it is a great appetizer! I really appreciate you sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and hope you are having a safe and enjoyable weekend.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  32. What a beautiful appetizer! Your Marinated Cheese looks very dangerous actually - I think I'd find it quite addictive! Thank you so much for sharing it, and for being a part of The Hearth and Soul Link party. Pinning!

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  33. I have seen this in those little books at the check out but was never crazy about trying it because I thought the cheese would get a funny texture. Thanks for this! This is up on the list for my next party. Pinned!

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    Replies
    1. The cheese stays pretty much "normal" texture. The only textural change I've seen is with the cream cheese IF it sits in the marinade for SEVERAL days ... then it does get a little mushier than usual. But at our house, it's very rare to have leftovers long enough for that to happen!

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