Your Spinach and Artichoke Sauce Needs Some Pepper

A hot spinach and artichoke sauce, or in my case Brussels sprouts and artichoke sauce , requires a lot of cheese. But which types are better to use? Cream cheese is a given, and parmesan, mozzarella, pecorino, and gruyere are common, but pepper jacks are usually scarce .

I’m going to agree with you: I don’t usually think about cheese and pepper jacks that much. It’s okay, I just don’t have a ton of applications in my daily life. But one day I ate a spinach and artichoke sauce that changed everything for me. It was the perfect combination of creamy and cheesy, offering good cheesy cravings and a mild sweet heat that kept my taste buds in check through the sauce.

The secret ingredient was – you probably guessed it – pepper jack cheese, and I don’t understand why it’s not listed as an ingredient in every hot spinach and artichoke sauce recipe. It melts like mozzarella and adds flavor by infusing the sauce with a light heat (or, if you’re using something like Tillamooka’s habanero jack, not a very light heat). This is actually wonderful.

And, just like with Brussels sprouts , there is no need to invent an entirely new recipe to use it – just add the amount of grated cheese to your recipe and replace some (or all) of these cheeses with pepper jacks. If you are worried about losing consistency and mouthfeel from the sauce, simply replace the shredded mozz cheese – the mozz and peppers behave very similarly in a hot sauce situation.

If you don’t want to give up other cheeses, that’s fine too – an extra handful of grated peppers won’t do any harm to your sauce. None of my acquaintances complained about “too much cheese” in the cheese sauce, because that would be absurd. (The pepper jack also bubbles and browns really nicely, so be sure to add a little to the top of the sauce before frying.)

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