This fresh and easy Veggie Cream Cheese Spread is perfect for bagels! With only 4 ingredients you can whip this up in no time. Crunchy carrots, Crisp Celery, Green Onion, and Neufchâtel Cream Cheese.
On some Tuesdays, I pick up the Bakers Dozen Special at Panera. We LOVE their bagels. I freeze them the same day. I like to make my own vegetable cream cheese spread with fresh ingredients rather than buying their pre-made version. When I lived on the East Coast, there was an old-school bagel shop and they made all of their spreads with fresh ingredients.
I created this easy veggie cream cheese spread recipe years ago based on how that shop made it. It only has 4 ingredients. I use a food processor to chop up the celery and carrots and then stir the green onion in.
1. Cream Cheese
What is the difference between Cream Cheese and Lower Fat Neufchâtel cheese?
Cream cheese originated in the United States in the late 1800s, while Neufchâtel cheese is a French cheese that has been around since at least the 6th century. Cream Cheese has a higher fat content and seems a little bit thicker to me. I like them both and either are great with this easy spread. I've used both. Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese comes in both varieties.
2. Pre-Shredded Carrots
I use pre-shredded carrots from the bag for this recipe because they have a lower moisture content than a freshly grated carrot and won't make the spread too orange and wet. Sometimes they are called “Matchstick.”
3. Celery: Chopped
4. Green Onion: Sliced
Snipped Fresh Chives can be used in place of green onions.
I use a small electric chopper to grind up the celery and carrots or the Food Processor. When I use a larger food processor, I put all of the ingredients (except the onion) in and pulse until blended. Then I stir the onion in manually at the end so it doesn't get broken up. The more you pulse it, the more flavor it will have. If you are making the spread for a sandwich or wrap, you'll definitely want to pulse the cream cheese mixture until smooth.
If you do not have a chopper or a food processor, you could use a blender for the vegetables, or just chop everything really fine, by hand.
The great thing about this spread is that you can keep it in a sealed tight container for one week.
It's a flavor explosion on the EVERYTHING Bagel. I don't add salt or additional garlic powder, dill or flavorings because the veggie cream cheese spread is just meant to compliment my very flavorful Everything Bagel, not overpower it. If you wanted you could stir in some red bell pepper or even finely diced roasted bell pepper from the jar but sometimes -less is more-it depends on what you are putting this on.
If you're looking for something with more of a kick, say for crackers or a plain bread, try mixing your favorite herbs, additional cheeses or spices into your vegetable cream cheese recipe to create unique variations like jalapeno-cheddar spread. Cream cheese spreads also make great additions to other sandwiches and wraps, taking them to a whole other level.
WATCH the VIDEO BELOW to See How EASY it is:
Veggie Cream Cheese Spread
- 1 food processor or mini-chopper or chop manually by hand with a knife
- 2 8-ounce packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese may use low-fat Neufchâtel
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- ¾ cup celery diced
- ½ cup green onion, washed well and patted dry, green part only finely sliced
- Place cream cheese in large mixing bowl to soften, set aside.
- In bowl of processor or chopper, add celery and carrot. Pulse until finely chopped.
- Pour mixture onto the cream cheese. Add onion.
- Stir until well-blended.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
- If you have a larger sized food processor, you may add cream cheese, celery and carrots at the same time and pulse. Then gently add the onion.