Homemade vegetable cream cheese is easy to make and perfect for brunch! This version is made with fresh red onion, carrots, celery, and herbs, but you can customize it with your favorite flavors. Serve your veggie cream cheese with toasted bagels, smoked salmon, and other toppings for an epic bagel platter for a special brunch.
During the spring months, there seems to be a lot of reasons to indulge in brunch and not the kind that requires waiting in line at a restaurant because, I don’t know about you, that is about the last thing I want to do on a weekend morning.
So, whether it’s Easter, Mother’s Day, or a college or high school graduation celebration weekend, this bagel platter with homemade veggie cream cheese plus lots of fresh bites along is a delicious way to celebrate – even if it’s just for a regular Saturday because you don’t need a holiday to treat yourself.
And it starts with a homemade vegetable cream cheese, which may leave you wondering why you would make your own when you can just buy a tub at the store. I know, I used to think that, too, until I learned that not only is it easy to make, but you can customize based on your tastes and what you have on hand.
- Red onion
- Fresh chives and parsley
- Softened cream cheese
- Kosher salt
How to Make Vegetable Cream Cheese
It starts with room temperature cream cheese and I must stress the “room temperature” part because it makes it so much easier to whip up the spread.
It’s best to make it in advance because all the flavors have time to mix and mingle. I like to leave the cream cheese out overnight and make it in the morning.
A food processor makes easy work of this vegetable cream cheese. First, process the vegetables until they’re finely chopped. Next, add the cream cheese and chopped herbs and process it until the spread is combined and smooth.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the veggies by hand and, if your cream cheese is really soft (leaving it out all night will ensure this happens), you can combine the cream cheese with the veggies in a bowl with a hand mixer.
Cover the vegetable cream cheese and chill it for up to two days before serving. Leftovers will keep for up to a week!
A Few Tips
You can do any combination of flavors for your vegetable cream cheese, so feel free to experiment. I would avoid high-water content veggies but everything else is fair game – red bell peppers, jalapenos, other fresh herbs, radishes… you see where this is going.
A great reason to make veggie spread is to use up the leftover fresh vegetables from one of those crudité platters served at a party. All those carrots, broccoli, and peppers that no one touched can be turned into veggie cream cheese the next day.
I use regular full-fat cream cheese for this recipe but you can use low-fat or Neufchatel cheese which is a soft French cheese that is similar but a little lighter.
The cream cheese on its own with a toasted bagel is delicious all on its own but for special brunch occasions, it’s fun to make a simple bagel platter that guests can dip into and top their bagels with all sorts of fresh bites.
Because you make the vegetable cream cheese in advance the only thing you need to do the day off is toast the bagels and assemble the platter. I used a marble board but a sheet pan or wooden cutting board are great choices to use as a platter. Here are a few things I like to include:
- Toasted everything bagels
- Sliced seedless baby cucumbers
- Slice radishes
- Sliced smoked salmon
- Carrot and celery sticks for dipping
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More Brunch Recipes
- Fresh & Bright Pineapple Smoothie
- 10 Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes
- Banana Walnut Muffins
- Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese
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Homemade veggie cream cheese is easy to make and can be customized with different ingredients. Make this spread up to two days in advance to allow the flavors to develop.
- 1/8 of a red onion (cut the onion in half and then each half into quarters, so you have 8 wedges. You only need 1 unless you really love onion, in which case add more!)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled
- 1 medium celery rib
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, and herbs in a food processor. You can also shred them with a box grater.
- Transfer the chopped vegetables to a medium bowl and stir in the herbs and salt. Next, add the cream cheese and stir all of the ingredients together until all of the veggies and herbs are evenly distributed. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Veggie cream cheese will last for up to a week in the fridge.
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Mix
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
- Calories: 205
- Sugar: 2.8g
- Sodium: 333.1mg
- Fat: 19.6g
- Saturated Fat: 11.5g
- Unsaturated Fat: 6g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 4.6g
- Fiber: 0.4g
- Protein: 3.7g
- Cholesterol: 57.3mg
Keywords: homemade vegetable cream cheese, veggie cream cheese
The nutrition information in this recipe is an estimate only and was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.
Post and photos updated from the archives. First published in May 2015.