It could be that even though you needed just one block cream cheese, you bought the two-pack because it was on sale—and only used one. Or maybe you bought a block of the creamy stuff thinking your kids would use it for bagels only to find out that they’re on to the next thing and it’s about to expire. Whatever your circumstances, if you’ve got a block of cream cheese, we’ve got the delicious recipe for you!
Take your pick of 42 amazing recipes that use cream cheese for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and beyond. From no-bake cheesecake to pastas that take creamy sauces to new heights, these cream cheese recipes are tops and will keep you coming back for more.
But before you start whipping anything up, try these easy pro-tricks to keep it extra creamy and make cooking a breeze.
First Step You Don’t Want to Forget
To prevent dreaded lumps, it’s best to soften the cream cheese before adding it to your dishes. First for Women’s Food Editor Charles Grayauskie likes to soften cream cheese on the countertop. “Place the unwrapped block on the countertop for 30 minutes to an hour. If you’re in a rush, simply place the still-wrapped cream cheese block in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes.”
For even speedier softening, you can microwave the cream cheese. “Just be careful that you don’t zap it for too long or you’ll end up melting the cream cheese,” Charles shares. Place unwrapped block of cream cheese on microwave-safe plate and microwave in 10 second increments until softened but not hot.
How To Incorporate Reduced-fat Cream Cheese
Want to swap in reduced-fat cream cheese for the full-fat version? Just be sure to reduce any added liquid in the recipe by a few tablespoons as low fat cream cheese has more moisture than full-fat.
How To Store Leftover Cream Cheese
Want to keep leftover cream cheese longer? Stash in an airtight freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. Once thawed, Charles recommends you use it in cookies or casseroles — instead of adding a schmear to your bagels — as the texture will have changed.
Cream Cheese Breakfast Recipes
Blueberry Crumble Muffins
Watch a smile slowly spread over your family members’ faces as they bite into these goodies and discover yummy globs of luscious cream cheese. Get the recipe from Crazy for Crust.
Easy Fluffy Homemade Biscuits
Even though cream cheese is seriously dense, a little in the batter of these biscuits results in irresistibly airy and flaky final results. Get the recipe from Blessed Beyond Crazy.
Everything Bagel Breakfast Casserole
If a bagel and schmear could team up with a classic breakfast platter, this would be the delicious result–and it’s irresistible. Get the recipe from Well Plated by Erin.
Apple Coffee Cake
This tempting treat gives even your worst morning a boost with a hidden ripple of sweet, silky cream cheese in the center. Get the recipe from Yammie’s Noshery.
Cream Cheese Pancakes
Skip the bagel and mix tiny chunks of this creamy dairy staple into your pancake batter for indulgent flapjacks you’ll absolutely flip for. Get the recipe from Faithfully Free.
Sausage Breakfast Casserole
Cream cheese is the secret ingredient that helps all that shredded cheddar cheese melt with the perfect amount of ooey gooeyness to satisfy your most stubborn cravings. Get the recipe from Plain Chicken.
Cream Cheese Recipes for Soups, Sandwiches and Sides
Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup
The shredded cheeses are what give this soup its signature flavor, but the cream cheese adds a silky texture that takes the whole thing over the top. Get the recipe from Well Plated by Erin.
Even Creamier Grilled Cheese
Classic grilled cheese sandwiches are already creamy, comforting, and delicious. But did you know that adding cream cheese to the mix makes them even better? Get the recipe from Woman’s World.
Baked Cream Cheese Wontons
They’re crunchy and creamy all in one bite, and baking them means you can have more of them without the guilt of the fried versions — win! Get the recipe from Damn Delicious.
Hot Ham Sandwiches
Three kinds of succulent ham slices and plenty of melted Monterrey-Jack cheese go into these sandwiches, but it’s the cream cheese that adds a special gooeyness. Get the recipe from Written Reality.
Bacon Cream Cheese Bites
This quick and easy appetizer is completely stress-free. After all, even if the ratio of bacon to cream cheese is a little off, they’ll still be incredibly delicious snacks. Get the recipe from Garnish with Lemon.
Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese
Instead of vying for the cheese for the spotlight in this sandwich, the jalapeño popper part only adds to the luscious gooeyness of the whole thing thanks to the cream cheese. Get the recipe from Small Town Woman.
Slow Cooker Creamed Corn with Bacon
Even the pickiest eaters who shun all veggies will dive straight into this side dish. What’s not to like with plenty of cream, cream cheese, and bacon lending their flavors? Get the recipe from Plain Chicken.
Cream Cheese Dip Recipes
Red Pepper Dip with Pita Points
This smoky bold dip is delicious warm or cold, and it works well as leftovers, too. Spread it on a sandwich for a flavorful lunch the next day. Get the recipe from First for Women.
Philly Cheesesteak Dip
Add this to your party repertoire, and you’ll always know where to find all of your guests: standing around the table that’s holding this cheesy dip. Get the recipe from Chef In Training.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this dessert dip that conjures the classic Italian confection at a mere fraction of the time and work. That means you get to the yum part even faster. Get the recipe from First for Women.
Cheesy Sausage Dip
Your game day guests will wonder what’s in this bowl until they finally dunk a chip, and then they’ll be hovering over the snack table the rest of the day. Get the recipe from Plain Chicken.
Salted Caramel Cheesecake Dip
Grab the apple slices, pretzels, and Nilla wafers, because you’re going to want to dip them all in this luscious pecan-studded spread after just a little taste. Get the recipe from Wonky Wonderful.
Texas Trash Dip
Wait until after that first addictive bite to judge this warm bean dip. You’ll get hooked, and so will all the guests at your next Super Bowl viewing party — promise! Get the recipe from An Affair from the Heart.
Cream Cheese Chicken Recipes
Bacon-Wrapped Cream Cheese-Stuffed Chicken
It might not be the healthiest dinner, but you can be sure that the whole family will sprint to the dinner table, and there will be no leftovers to package up after. Get the recipe from Homemade Hooplah.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna
Classic French meets classic Italian in this cheese- and meat-stuffed pasta dinner that will have everyone begging for seconds. Get the recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.
Three Cheese Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
Cream cheese gets soft enough when cooked to become a luscious sauce, but it stays thick enough to coat each noodle perfectly. Get the recipe from The Recipe Critic.
Chicken Pot Pie Rollups
All the creamy comfort of the classic recipe — with a fraction of the pesky prep work so you can get to the eating faster. Get the recipe from Plain Chicken.
Creamy White Chicken Chili
Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Shredded chicken gets delightfully moist when it’s mixed with cream cheese before getting packed into crispy tortillas, making these one seriously good snack. Get the recipe from Lil’ Luna.
Cream Cheese Pasta and Casserole Recipes
Cheesy Ziti Bake
You could make your baked pasta with tons of veggies and herbs and skip the cheese, but why would you? Just look at this delicious dish! Get the recipe from Lil Luna.
Million Dollar Spaghetti
Cream cheese and cottage cheese might be unexpected choices to you in a pasta dinner recipe, but they just add creaminess to the Cheddar cheese, the star of the show. Get the recipe from Sugar Apron.
We’re calling cream cheese the key ingredient here because the jalapeños heat things up, and you need that sweet, creamy add-in to cool things back down. Get the recipe from Aunt Bee’s Recipes.
Twice Baked Potato Casserole
This beloved bar appetizer becomes a family favorite dinner when its gooeyness is transformed into a cozy casserole. Get the recipe from Food Pusher.
Dessert Recipes with Cream Cheese
Cherry Coconut Cheesecake
As fancy as it looks, this dessert is deceptively easy to make. And it’s so delicious, you’ll be making it over and over again. Get the recipe from Woman’s World.
Easy Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert
It’s never been easier to have guests over at the last minute and still make their jaws hit the floor while dishing up dessert; just turn to this low-effort, no-fail recipe. Get the recipe from From Valerie’s Kitchen.
Sweet-on-You Cheesecake Pops
These cute-as-can-be cheesecake ‘pops’ will delight everyone at your next get-together. And they’re endlessly customizable, so they’re perfect for celebrations (or just yourself) year-round. Get the recipe from First for Women.
White Chocolate Oreo Truffles
There’s no learning how to make chocolate ganache for these creamy centers! All you need is crushed Oreos and plenty of luscious cream cheese. Get the recipe from Cakes Cottage.
Cherry Topped Cookies
This dreamy dairy aisle staple makes up the bulk of the base of these cookies, which means they oh so sweetly melt in your mouth. Get the recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen.
Carrot Cake Cheesecake
If you’re a cream cheese fan, look no further than this beyond amazing sweet treat that doubles your serving in each and every slice! Get the recipe from Shugary Sweets.
Chocolate Chip Brownies
Get ready for gooey, fudgy indulgence because the dairy-aisle staple is used not only in the frosting but also in the dense brownies themselves. Get the recipe from Creme de la Crumb.
Buttery Pecan Cookies
They’re basically insanely decadent shortbread cookies for people who love pecan pie, so ditch the walnuts and get with this yummy nut instead. Get the recipe from Simply Recipes.
Keto Mocha Ice Bombs
To never choose between these two gooey and luscious desserts ever again? That’s what we call heaven on earth! Get the recipe from Lil’ Luna.
Cream Cheese Bars
The flaky, buttery crust in these confections is plain old crescent roll dough, meaning you can whip up a batch of these beauties — pronto! — but they taste like you worked hard in the kitchen. Get the recipe from Lolly Jane.
Peach Cream Cheese Cake
The cream cheese layer sinks into the cake in this sweet treat, keeping it moist and tender and the perfect base for freshly sliced summer peaches. Get the recipe from Julia’s Album.
Cheesecake Stuffed Skillet Cookie
This blogger gets major points for making our most extravagant dessert dreams come true in an easy-to-make recipe. Get the recipe from Cafe Delites.
Strawberry Cheesecake Donut Holes
These globes of goodness weigh in at only 52 calories for a couple insanely delicious bites of sugar-dusted dough, cheesecake filling and strawberry preserves! Get the recipe from Cafe Delites.
Cream Cheese Brownie Muffins
With a warm brownie base and a cheesecake swirl instead of standard frosting, these muffin/cupcake hybrids are everything we never knew we needed in a dessert. Get the recipe from Pretty. Simple. Sweet.
Peanut Butter Pie with a Pretzel Crust
Lighter Mini Cheesecakes with Oreo Crust
The cookie crust ensures that though these sweet treats are lighter on your waistline, they aren’t lighter on flavor or satisfaction. Get the recipe from Yummy, Healthy, Easy