This Cheesy Jalapeño Braided Pastry is made with a sheet of puff pastry, fontal cheese, pickled jalapeños, butter, and baked to perfection.
Who said pastries had to be sweet? This is a Mexican style puff pastry braid made with a delicious cheese and spicy jalapenos combination. You will need to cut the sheet in a certain way, and braid after you fill it with cheese. This lovely pastry is then baked until golden brown. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it is absolutely delicious.
Jalapeño cheese braided puff pastry is a delicious and flavorful appetizer or snack that combines the spicy kick of jalapeño peppers with the creamy richness of cheese, all wrapped in flaky puff pastry dough. It is typically made by spreading a mixture of diced jalapeños and shredded cheese over a sheet of puff pastry dough, and then braiding the dough to create a visually appealing and appetizing presentation. The pastry is then baked until golden brown and crispy, resulting in a savory and indulgent treat.
The combination of jalapeños and cheese in the puff pastry creates a perfect balance of flavors, with the heat from the jalapeños adding a zesty kick that is tempered by the creamy, gooey goodness of the melted cheese. The puff pastry dough provides a light and airy texture, contrasting with the spiciness of the jalapeños and the richness of the cheese.
Jalapeño cheese braided puff pastry is often served as an appetizer at parties, gatherings, or game nights, and it can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature. It can be made with various types of cheese, such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or cream cheese, depending on personal preference. Some variations may also include additional ingredients like bacon, herbs, or spices to further enhance the flavor profile.
Why you will love this recipe
- Spicy and flavorful: The jalapeños add a zesty kick of heat to the puff pastry, creating a bold and exciting flavor that can tantalize your taste buds. If you enjoy spicy foods, the jalapeños in the puff pastry can add that extra level of heat that you crave.
- Creamy and cheesy: The combination of cheese and puff pastry creates a creamy and gooey filling that oozes out when you take a bite. The melted cheese adds richness and depth of flavor, which pairs perfectly with the spiciness of the jalapeños.
- Texturally pleasing: The flaky and buttery layers of puff pastry provide a delightful contrast to the creamy cheese and the crunchy jalapeños. The contrast in textures makes every bite interesting and enjoyable.
- Visually appealing: The braided presentation of the puff pastry creates an eye-catching appearance that is sure to impress your guests. The braided pattern adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your appetizer spread.
- Versatile: Jalapeño cheese braided puff pastry can be served as a standalone appetizer or snack, or it can be incorporated into a larger meal as a side dish or accompaniment to other dishes. It's versatile and can be enjoyed in various settings, from casual gatherings to special occasions.
- Easy to make: While it may look fancy, jalapeño cheese braided puff pastry is relatively simple to make. With just a few ingredients and some basic braiding techniques, you can create a visually stunning and delicious appetizer that will impress your guests without spending hours in the kitchen.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Puff pastry
- Mozzarella cheese
- Pickled Jalapeño
- Everything but the bagel seasoning
See recipe card for quantities.
See the video below for step by step instructions.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Add the pastry sheet onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mark the pastry at 1 ½” from both edges lengthways. Cut off two corners from the top and bottom (see video).
Using a sharp knife cut slanting strips along both sides of the pastry. Spread a generous amount of sliced cheese down the center. Top the cheese with sliced jalapenos.
Fold both ends at the top and bottom over the filling, to prevent any spilling. Braid the rest of the way down the bread.
Brush melted butter over the bread. Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes.
What to serve with Jalapeño Cheese Braided Pastry
- Salad: A fresh and crisp salad can be a great accompaniment to the rich and savory flavors of Jalapeno Cheese Braided Pastry. Consider serving a green salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a tangy vinaigrette. Alternatively, a creamy coleslaw with cabbage, carrots, and a mayo-based dressing can also complement the spiciness of the jalapenos and the creaminess of the cheese in the pastry.
- Salsa or Dipping Sauce: Since Jalapeno Cheese Braided Pastry has a hint of spiciness from the jalapenos, serving it with a side of salsa or a dipping sauce can enhance the flavors. You can make a fresh tomato salsa, mango salsa, or avocado salsa for a burst of freshness and acidity. Alternatively, a creamy dipping sauce like sour cream, ranch dressing, or a jalapeno-lime crema can add a cooling contrast to the heat of the jalapenos.
- Fresh Fruit: Fresh fruit can provide a refreshing and light contrast to the richness of Jalapeno Cheese Braided Pastry. Consider serving a platter of sliced fresh fruit such as watermelon, pineapple, or mango for a burst of natural sweetness and juiciness.
Puff Pastry: You can use store-bought puff pastry or make your own. I opted to just buying the Pillsbury puff pastry sheet. You can usually find them near the dairy aisle.
Jalapeños: Since we are only baking for 10-15 minutes, I wouldn’t use fresh jalapeños or else your mouth will be on fire. Buy the pickled jarred sliced jalapeños.
Cheese: Use any cheese that melts easily, like mozzarella, cheddar, Colby, Swiss, fontina, provolone, and Monterrey Jack.
Braided Pastry Recipe Variations
Sweet Fruit Braided Pastry: For a sweet twist, you can use a filling made of diced fruits such as apples, berries, or peaches, mixed with sugar and a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg. The sweet and tangy fruit filling complements the flaky pastry, creating a delightful dessert or breakfast option.
Nutella and Banana Braided Pastry: This sweet and indulgent braided pastry is perfect for chocolate and banana lovers. Nutella, a popular chocolate-hazelnut spread, is combined with sliced bananas to create a decadent filling that is then wrapped in flaky puff pastry.
Mediterranean Veggie Braided Pastry: This vegetarian option is packed with Mediterranean flavors and makes for a delicious and healthy appetizer or light meal. A filling of roasted vegetables, feta cheese, and fresh herbs is wrapped in puff pastry to create a flavorful and aromatic braided pastry.
Spicy Chicken and Cheese Braided Pastry: This recipe features a savory and spicy filling made of cooked chicken, cheese, and jalapeños, for a satisfying and flavorful braided pastry that is perfect for game days or gatherings. The combination of spicy jalapeños, tender chicken, and gooey cheese creates a delicious and hearty filling.
- Baking Sheet: A flat baking sheet or baking pan is essential for baking the braided pastry in the oven.
- Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat: Parchment paper or a silicone baking mat can be used to line the baking sheet, preventing the pastry from sticking and making cleanup easier.
- Rolling Pin: A rolling pin is used to roll out the puff pastry dough into the desired shape and thickness.
- Knife or Pizza Cutter: A knife or pizza cutter is used to make cuts in the puff pastry dough for creating the braided pattern.
- Pastry Brush: A pastry brush is used to apply egg wash or other glazes onto the puff pastry dough, giving it a shiny and golden finish.
- Mixing Bowls: Mixing bowls are used for mixing together the filling ingredients, such as cheese, vegetables, and herbs.
- Cutting Board: A cutting board is used for preparing the filling ingredients and for assembling the braided pastry.
- Optional: Cooling Rack - A cooling rack can be used to cool the braided pastry after baking, allowing it to firm up and prevent it from becoming soggy.
How to store Braided Pastry
- Room Temperature: Braided pastry is best consumed fresh, as its texture may degrade over time. If you have leftover braided pastry, you can store it at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 1-2 days. However, keep in mind that the puff pastry may lose its crispness and become slightly softer over time.
- Refrigerator: If you need to store braided pastry for a longer period of time, you can store it in the refrigerator. Place the braided pastry in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. However, note that the puff pastry may lose its crispness and become softer in the refrigerator.
- Freezer: Braided pastry can also be frozen for longer storage. Wrap the braided pastry tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container suitable for freezer storage. Label the container with the date and type of pastry for easy identification. Braided pastry can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
- Reheating: To reheat stored braided pastry, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the pastry on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through and crispy. You can also reheat individual slices of braided pastry in a toaster oven or microwave for a quicker option.
Braided Pastry Recipe Top tips
- Use Cold Ingredients: When working with puff pastry dough, it's important to keep the ingredients, especially the butter or margarine, cold. This helps create flaky layers in the pastry when it bakes. Make sure to use chilled butter and cold water or other liquids as called for in the recipe, and work quickly to keep the dough from becoming too soft.
- Chill the Dough: After rolling out the puff pastry dough, it's a good idea to chill it in the refrigerator for a short time before adding the filling and braiding. This helps the dough firm up and makes it easier to handle without becoming too sticky or misshapen.
- Use Sharp Tools: When making cuts in the puff pastry dough for the braided pattern, use a sharp knife, pizza cutter, or pastry wheel to ensure clean, straight lines. This helps create a neat and professional-looking braid.
- Don't Overstuff: When adding filling to the braided pastry, be careful not to overstuff it. Too much filling can cause the pastry to burst open during baking or become soggy. Follow the recipe's recommended amount of filling, and distribute it evenly along the length of the dough.
- Bake at the Right Temperature and Time: Follow the recipe's recommended baking temperature and time for the braided pastry to ensure it bakes evenly and becomes golden brown and crispy. Keep an eye on it during baking to prevent over-browning or burning.
- Let it Cool: Allow the braided pastry to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes after baking. This helps it firm up and prevents it from becoming too soggy. Serve it warm or at room temperature for the best taste and texture.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove