The best cheese spread is the perfect snack. And, no, we’re not talking about those little containers that come with the red plastic rectangles for spreading. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those, they’re just…well…you can do better.) We’re talking about spreadable cheese so good you could put it into a fancy crock and have it pass for an app at a gastropub. We’re talking about the best pimento cheese, the best pub cheese, and the best cheese spreads that break the mold (or come in a mold).
I tasted 17 different cheese spreads to find the best cheese spread for crackers, sandwiches, or just eating straight off the knife (oh, by the way, your great aunt asked me to tell you to stop doing that; she says it’s uncouth). I was looking for creamy texture (this is spreadable cheese, after all, so it should be easy to spread). I was looking for a sharp cheese flavor. Many of these cheese spreads are made with butter so they’re easy to spread, and that’s great, but they need to mostly taste like cheese—not just butter flavored with a little cheese. And I was looking for a little something that kept me coming back for more. The best cheese spread should be hard to resist. Even with such high standards, I found five cheese spreads that satisfied my requirements. Here’s the spreadable cheese you should try. (And one quick plug for Queen Charlotte’s Hatch Chile Pimento Cheese. It is very good but it is currently unavailable so I couldn’t include it on this list. But when hatch chile season rolls around again, look out for it.)
- Kaukauna Port Wine Spreadable Cheese
It looks like sherbet but it’s actually cheese. But also it is still appropriate for dessert! This spreadable cheese from the very Wisconsin company, Kaukauna, has a nice fruity flavor thanks to the port wine. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever had before. It’s earthy and salty and richly wine-y all at once. Add it to a charcuterie board and serve it with pecans for scooping up (and a little glass of port, if you have it handy).
Credit: Merc / Target
- 365 Aged Asiago Cheese Spread
If you love zesty, tangy, zippy asiago cheese, then you will think this is the best cheese spread. Because it is spreadable asiago cheese. That’s it. And it doesn’t need to be anything more. It’s extremely smooth and creamy and it would be incredible on a sandwich with a bunch of veggies.
Credit: Merc / Whole Foods
- My Three Sons Gourmet Pimento Cheese Spicy White Cheddar
This spreadable cheese doesn’t hide the heat. It has a lot of zesty spice up front that just keeps on going. And there are lots of little chunks of sharp cheddar to keep you texture freaks interested. Pair this spicy pimento cheese with some cooling, crunchy celery sticks.
Credit: Merc / Instacart
- Cabot Pimento Cheese Spread
This is the best pimento cheese I tasted in this taste test. It really tasted like homemade pimento cheese. It gets some sweetness from the pimento peppers, saltiness from the cheese, and it has a nice bite on the end as well from the spices. Plus, it’s smooth and creamy and spreadable.
Credit: Merc / Instacart
- Trader Joe’s Syrah Soaked Toscano Cheese Spread & Dip
We ranked this the number four best Trader Joe’s cheese overall, but it’s coming in number one in this ranking. It’s so creamy and rich with a tang that makes your mouth water. I could easily eat a full container of this with a bag of pretzels. When Trader Joe’s does it right, they really do it right. Do yourself a favor and get this ASAP before it goes away (you know how they love to take away the things we love).
Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s
Best Dessert Cheese
Best Sandwich Spread
Best Pimento Cheese
Best of the Best