This vintage recipe for Cheesy Cocktail Rye Appetizers is a classic party snack that will never go out of style! Mix up the cheese and olive spread in advance and these warm, melted cheese snacks will take just minutes to prepare.
I’ve been eating these little Cheesy Cocktail Rye Appetizers for as long as I can remember. I believe this recipe was a trendy thing that was circulating during the late 60’s or early 70’s and in my house, my mom served them every holiday season.
My entire family loves them and many of us still have a tradition of making them at different times of the year. They are great for watching football, holiday gatherings, and the perfect finger food for New Year’s Eve while sipping on a Cosmopolitan.
I make them at Christmas time when I have lots of people coming and going. I keep the cheese spread in a container in my fridge and in 10 minutes I can have warm, yummy appetizers ready to serve.
Table of contents
- Bread: My mom always made these using cocktail rye or party rye bread from Rubschlager or Pepperidge Farm. This item is seasonal but I can find it at many grocery stores during the holidays. Sliced baguette is a great backup if you can’t find the cocktail rye. It’s delicious on both!
- Cheese: You’ll need a pound of sharp cheddar cheese.
- Butter: A stick of cold butter. The butter needs to be cold and hard from the fridge as you’ll be grating it.
- Eggs: You’ll need 3 hard-boiled eggs. Get this done in advance with my Perfect Easy to Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs recipe.
- Olives and green chiles: Mom always used a can of chopped black olives and diced green chiles. If you’re using sliced olives, give them a rough chop first.
- Jalapeño: For a kick. You can omit it if you’d like.
- Tomato soup: A can of Campbells Tomato Soup is the secret ingredient!
- Seasoning: A little salt and pepper.
Use a food processor: You want thick shreds of cheese and a food processor shredding disc is perfect for this. I shred the sharp cheddar first then transfer it to a large mixing. Then I use the food processor to shred the cold stick of butter and the hard-boiled eggs. You can accomplish all of this with a box grater and a little elbow grease if you don’t have a food processor.
Finely diced onion: I also use my food processor with the chopping blade to finely dice the onion. If you’re using a knife, be sure the onion is finely diced so it will soften properly during the short baking time.
How to Make Cheesy Cocktail Rye Appetizers
- Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
- Mix to combine it well. Then, transfer the cheese spread to an airtight container and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake your appetizers.
When you’re ready to serve them, just spread the cheese mixture on the cocktail rye bread and place them on a baking sheet.
- Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and bread is slightly toasted.
- Allow them to cool for a minute on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a serving plate.
Store the cheese spread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
I haven’t tried freezing the cheese spread but based on the ingredients, I think leftovers would freeze well. If you want to try it, transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to 2 months. Thaw it completely in the refrigerator before assembling and baking the appetizers.
More Holiday Appetizer Ideas
- Cheesy Hot Crab Dip
- Antipasto Skewers
- Artichoke Dip
- Olive Dip
- Bacon Jam
- Holiday Tortilla Pinwheels
- Check out my entire collection of appetizer recipes for more inspiration!
Cheesy Cocktail Rye Appetizers
- 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup cold butter
- 3 hard boiled eggs
- 4 ounce can chopped black olives, drained
- 4 ounce can diced green chiles, drained
- ½ cup finely diced onion,
- 1 jalapeno, seeded as desired and diced
- 10.75 ounce can Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup
- salt and pepper to taste
- 60 slices cocktail rye bread or sliced baguette
- Grate the cheese, butter, and hard boiled eggs into thick shreds in a food processor with the shredding disc or with a box grater. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Assemble and Bake
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Use a knife to coat the cocktail rye or baguette slices with the cheese spread. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the bread is slightly toasted. Allow to cool for a minute, then move to a serving plate.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
This post was originally published on December 17, 2011. It has been updated with new text and images.