cream cheese
Pantry Staples

Crunchy Veggie Cream Cheese

I’ve developed a weekly ritual where I trek down to a local bagel shop and work for a few hours just to get out of the house. I always order the exact same thing (so far) which is a bagel and their delicious crunchy veggie cream cheese.

Last week I probably weirded out some of the workers there by obsessively dissecting my cream cheese to figure out all the veggies that it included.

Yep. I reverse engineered cream cheese. And you should be glad that I did.

Adding a bunch of really crunchy vegetables to cream cheese just takes it to another level. Not to mention it makes it somewhat healthier.

Yield
8-10 bagels worth
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Yum

Crunchy Veggie Cream Cheese

Lots of different crunchy vegetables diced up and mixed with cream cheese. Perfect on a bagel!

Ingredients

1 pound cream cheese, room temp
1 large carrot, or 6-7 baby carrots
3-4 radishes
1/2 red pepper
1 stalk celery
3 scallions
2 Teaspoons fresh ground pepper
Pinch of salt

Helpful Equipment

food processorBox grater
Print Recipe  

Directions

1) Take your time grating or mincing veggies until they are evenly shaped and fairly small.

2) Mix in cream cheese.  This will be a lot easier if your cream cheese is room temp.

3) Season with salt and pepper.

4) Schmear it!

Prepping the Veggies

Ideally, you want to end up with about 2-3 cups of very finely minced or grated veggies for this recipe. The above measurements are far from scientific and you should feel free to add more or less if you want.

This ratio worked great for me though. I thought it ended up with the perfect mix of veggies and cheese.

veggies

You don’t need a lot.

The fastest way to get the veggies to a nice even mince is to use a grater. I was being pretty lazy on this day and decided to try out my grater disc on my food processor. It worked pretty well except on the celery and scallions. Those I just diced by hand.

grater

Say hello to my little friend.

As you can imagine though, the most important thing for this recipe is just making sure your veggies are minced or grated super-fine.

So take your time and use the best tools you have to get the job done. Even a box grater would work great for this.

Here’s my finished veggies.

veggies

Colorful stuff!

Mixing in Cream Cheese

Mixing in the cream cheese is really easy if you let it come to room temperature before you try mixing it. Otherwise, it’s a bit of a workout.

I, of course, forgot to take my out of the fridge so I had two hard blocks of cheese in my bowl.

cheese added

It helps it your cream cheese is room temp.

The Secret Ingredient

Once you get everything mixed up, you can add the secret ingredient: LOTS of crushed black pepper.

It gets mixed in with the veggies and everything and just works beautifully.

pepper

Lots of pepper is the key.

Once everything is mixed together, you’ll have a nice and thick mixture. It’s creamy, but crunchy.

It looks a bit like a hot mess, but trust me. It’s good.

mixed

BAM.

Of course, the first thing I did with my cream cheese is deploy the traditional schmear.

schmear

Definition of Schmear.

This is a quick and simple recipe that you can make it just a few minutes and it keeps fine for a week or two.

It really does take the standard bagel to another level and is vastly better than the veggie cream cheese that you can buy in the store.

11 comments on “Crunchy Veggie Cream Cheese

  1. nick! you just reminded me!
    there was an authentic NY style bagel joint here near me, they moved closer to martha's vineyard but they had this scallion & bacon cream cheese. crazy good. I recreated it at home and never posted it because, well, i didn't think anyone would like it. but i should because yours looks INSANELY good.
    My recent post quarter pound oatmeal-raisin cookies

  2. This is a real head slap moment – even if I was the one slapping myself.

    Take what Nick is referring to as a "schmear of cream cheese" in a small bowl and add to it 1tablespoon of Berkshire Grain Granola, it's light & crispness will add an interesting texture without a chomping crunch that might land you at the dentist on Tuesday (tomorrow is Presidents Day, everyone knows dentists will be off skiing). Go ahead lather up your bagel add some fresh fruit slices, or a natural fruit spread.

    These days I've been dabbling in making my own NY Style Bagels, which could not be easier. http://hubpages.com/hub/Homemade_bagel_recipe_Mak

  3. Nick, I am almost 89 years old and this recipe reminded me of my childhood – vegetable cream cheese was a staple in our house – on bagel, Kaiser rolls, challah, from a tablespoon directly into the mouth – amazing what the mind can forget – now I am all set to make some to go with the bagels in my freezer (homemade). Thanks for the posting.

  4. From the simple to the sublime.

  5. Okay in the Caribbean, this is called making "Cheese Paste" so we eat cheese paste sandwiches. You grate a piece of cheese and add green pepper, grated garlic, chopped onions, mayo and what ever else like carrots and chives, mix it up and eat it in sandwiches!

  6. I just made this and it is really good! Thanks for the inspiration. And it was a good excuse to use my new food processor :)

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