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Italian Antipasto Cheese Loaf


Feel free to customize this delicious appetizer.  Switch out any of the add-ins for whatever you want. To make it meatless, skip the salami but add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan (will give it a great flavour punch). Other ideas: marinated artichokes, capers, any other type of olives you want, pickles/gherkins finely chopped, any other pickled vegetable or antipasto-type things. Finely chopped cooked chorizo, crumbled bacon, or even ham works!



Cheese Loaf:

  • 500 gms cream cheese, softened (two 250 ml. packages. You can use spreadable cream cheese in a pinch but then eliminate the sour cream) 
  • 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream, mayo or plain yogurt 
  • 1/2 tsp. EACH thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, black pepper OR 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning

1 tsp. EACH garlic powder, salt, red pepper/chilli flakes (adjust to taste)

  • 2 cups cheddar or other cheese, freshly grated (get creative; any combo of your favourite cheeses besides bland mozzarella will work)
  • 200 gms. Lepp’s Fennel Summer Sausage, finely chopped (again, get creative and use a combo of highly flavoured cured meats such as summer sausages, salamis or soppressetos from our deli case.  I love adding hot soppressata)
  • ¼ cup Fume Smoked Olive Tapenade, or 3/4 cup green olives, finely chopped
  • 280gm / 9 oz. roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (or do half roasted red peppers and half chopped artichoke hearts)
  • 1/3 cup green onion, finely minced (3 – 4 stalks)


  • 220g / 7 oz sun-dried tomato strips with oil, roughly chopped 
  • 1/4 cup parsley or chives, finely chopped 
  • Rosemary sprigs, for garnish


Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray, then line it with cling wrap.  Use two strips, so you have an overhang.

Using a stand or hand-held mixer, blend cream cheese, sour cream, herbs and spices together for a few minutes until smooth.  

Add shredded cheese, diced meat, and olive tapenade and mix on low speed until blended.  

Add roasted red peppers (and artichoke hearts, if using) and green onions and stir with a wooden spoon,  or mix on low speed for just a few seconds until blended.   You don’t want to puree the ingredients!  

Scrape into loaf pan and level surface, pressing to remove air pockets. Smaller pan = taller loaf.

Cover with cling wrap overhand and refrigerate for a minimum of four hours.  It’s best made the day before serving so the flavours have time to develop.  Turn out onto a platter and peel off the cling wrap.

Top with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and pour over the oil. Garnish with parsley and rosemary sprigs to give it a festive look.

It is best to serve closer to room temp than fridge cold. Serve with crackers! Knives for smearing are optional as it’s soft enough to scoop with crackers.

This delicious recipe adaption from Recipe Tin Eats makes a LOT of appetizer.  You can easily cut the recipe in half and use a small loaf pan or a bowl lined with cling wrap to form it.  However, everyone eats more of this than planned, and you’ll find yourself returning to your fridge many times post-party for an indulgent nibble!  It’s best to give it a good rest in the fridge overnight to fully develop the flavours, so it’s a great make-ahead. 

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