If you're looking for a quick and easy appetizer for a last minute party, you have to try this Hot Jezebel Dip! Featuring a block of cream cheese covered in the classic Southern jezebel sauce, this sweet and spicy appetizer is the perfect vintage recipe for any occasion.
I'm a sucker for vintage recipes, and as soon as I heard the name for this easy appetizer recipe, I just had to try it!
Likely named for the biblical Jezebel, this sweet and spicy sauce was very popular in the South and the gulf coast, starting as early as the 1950's. It reached its peak of popularity in the 1970's, when pouring a jar of warmed preserves over cream cheese was increasing in popularity.
Reasons to Love It:
- Easy. All you have to do is mix up the sauce and serve it over a block of cream cheese - could it be any easier!?
- Flavorful. This sweet and savory sauce combo has the perfect amount of zesty spiciness.
- Retro. Perfect for a vintage-inspired party, or to bring back memories for those who may have enjoyed it during the peak of its popularity.
- It's a Southern thing. If you just love Southern recipes and lore, you have to try this classic appetizer.
- Apricot preserves: These can be found in the jams and jellies section of your local grocery store. If desired, you can use an apricot fruit spread, which is lower in sugar.
- Dijon mustard: You definitely want to make sure this is dijon and not typical mustard, as the flavor of dijon is mellow and perfect when paired with apricot. Honey dijon would work well too!
- Horseradish: Look for a jar of prepared horseradish in the condiment aisle of your grocery store. It's not the same as horseradish sauce (which is often cream-based), but instead is primarily made with grated horseradish and vinegar. It's spicy, pungent, and a key element to any hot jezebel sauce recipe.
- Crushed chilies (optional): for extra heat and color I like to sprinkle a pinch of chili flakes into the sauce, and then a little bit on top. If you like a little less heat, feel free to leave them out.
- Cream cheese: The most common way to serve this tasty sauce is poured over a brick of softened cream cheese. The spicy kick of the sauce pairs perfectly with the cool creaminess of the cream cheese.
- Crackers: If you're making the cream cheese version of this recipe, you'll want to provide some crackers for dipping. Use your favorite crackers, offering a variety of options for your guests.
How to Make Hot Jezebel Sauce
- Pour the jar of apricot preserves into a medium bowl.
- Add the dijon mustard, prepared horseradish, and a pinch of crushed chilies (if desired).
- Stir well and taste, adding salt, pepper, more dijon, or more horseradish to your liking.
- Optional: For the best flavor, let the apricot mixture chill for 8-24 hours.
Serving with Cream Cheese
- Allow a block of cream cheese to soften at room temperature for several hours.
- Spoon about half of the sauce on top of the block of cream cheese.
- Serve and enjoy with your favorite crackers, crostini, or pita chips.
If you don't have enough time to let the cream cheese soften you can heat it in 10-15 second intervals in the microwave until scoop-able. It's important not to overheat the cream cheese, so stick to the short intervals - no matter how tempted you may be.
- With almonds. Top your spicy jezebel dip with a few sliced almonds for a loving tribute to the 1970's.
- Different types of preserves. If you want to change up the flavor, you can easily do so by swapping the apricot preserves for something else, Apple jelly or pineapple preserves would be tasty options!
- As a dipping sauce. Portion the spicy sauce into mason jars and serve with crackers, pita chips, egg rolls, chicken nuggets, or anything else that you love to dip!
Ways to Use Leftover Hot Jezebel Sauce
- Glazed meatballs
- With pork chops
- Egg rolls (or spring rolls)
- Pork loin or pork tenderloin
- Holiday ham
- A spicy ice cream topping
- For dipping with chicken tenders
- A spicy condiment for burgers
If you loved this recipe for Hot Jezebel Dip, let me know by leaving a 5-star review in the recipe card or comment below! You can also tag me on Instagram @dashfordinner.
Hot Jezebel Dip
- 8 oz cream cheese brick style, softened*
- 1 jar (12oz) apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Pinch crushed chilies (optional)
- Crackers or crostini
- Transfer the full jar of apricot preserves into a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the dijon mustard, prepared horseradish, and cracked black pepper to your taste.
- Stir well to combine. Optionally, refrigerate for 1-24 hours to allow the flavors to mingle, or serve immediately.
- To serve, place a block of softened cream cheese on a plate and pour about half of the sauce over it. Sprinkle with a pinch of crushed chilies (optional).
- Serve with crackers and additional sauce on the side (if desired).
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