This easy homemade garlic cheese spread is a soft, creamy dip blended with garlic and herbs. It’s the perfect cheese appetizer to serve with crostini, crusty bread, crackers, and vegetables. Garlic cream cheese is absolutely irresistible, and you’ll want to eat it on repeat.
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Homemade garlic and herbs cheese spread
Looking for a garlic cheese dip? Look no further! This is the easiest and most delicious garlic cheese spread. It’s the perfect dip and appetizer and deserves a spot in your recipe collection. Make it for a party or dip on throughout the week.
This creamy garlic spread recipe is super simple and only takes a few minutes to make. It’s filled with so much tasty aroma from all of the garlic and herbs. I know you’re going to love this deliciously soft and creamy garlic cheese appetizer!
Why you’ll love garlic cream cheese
- Easy appetizer: Don’t confess to your guests that this garlic cheese butter spread is ready in 10 minutes and uses only 5 easy ingredients.
- Flavorful: The combination of garlic, cheese, and herbs is super aromatic. Plus, you can customize the recipe by adding your favorite herbs and spices.
- Versatile: This garlic parmesan spread is not only delicious for dipping, it also blends well into almost any dish, from salads to soup, casseroles, baked potatoes, stuffed chicken… you name it.
So, what goes into this garlic cheese spread recipe? This is just an overview. Specific measurements and the full instructions are included in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- Cream cheese gives a creamy consistency and makes the garlic cheese dip easy to spread. Be sure to warm the cream cheese to room temperature to blend easily.
- Salted butter creates a melt-in-your-mouth texture. You’ll need 1 stick salted butter. Of course, you can also use unsalted butter and add 1/2 tsp salt.
- Garlic: Use 2 to 3 freshly minced garlic cloves or 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic powder. I had good results with both. However, I don’t recommend minced garlic because it can have a weird aftertaste.
- Parmesan cheese: Although grating fresh parmesan cheese is best, I usually grab a package of pre-grated parmesan cheese for convenience. Grana Padano and Asiago will work, too.
- Herbs: Feel free to season with any herbs you have available. A blend of parsley, oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, chives, and dill is perfect. Dried herbs make this recipe easy to whip up on a whim, and I often use Italian seasoning. Of course, you can include fresh herbs if you prefer. They should be finely minced, and you want to double the quantities for dried herbs.
I didn’t add any additional salt since parmesan can be quite salty, and salted butter contains salt as well. If you find your garlic cheese bread spread lacking, simply add a few pinches of salt and black pepper to adjust the flavor to your liking.
How to make garlic cheese spread
The steps for how to make garlic cheese spread couldn’t be simpler:
Step 1: Soften butter and cream cheese
- Bring the cream cheese and butter to room temperature by taking them out of the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before getting started with the recipe.
Step 2: Whip up garlic cheese spread
- Place the softened butter and cream cheese into a large mixing bowl. Add the minced garlic, grated parmesan cheese, and herbs.
- Mix until everything is well combined, and the mixture has a soft, fluffy texture.
- You can do this step with a hand-held mixer, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Step 3: Season
- Optionally, season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
Step 4: Serve
- Serve as a dip with crackers and veggies or slathered on bread and bagels. This garlic cheese spread tastes best at room temperature, so take it from the refrigerator 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
Tips for the best garlic cheese spread
- Soften the butter and cream cheese. Remove the cream cheese and butter 30 minutes to an hour to soften before getting started. If you forgot to take them out in time, warm the ingredients in the microwave in 15-second intervals until softened.
- Use whipped cream cheese if mixing by hand. In case you don’t have a mixer or food processor and want to mix this garlic cheese butter spread by hand, prepare the recipe with whipped cream cheese. It’s significantly easier to whip up than regular cream cheese.
- Adjust the seasonings. Feel free to adjust the amount of gralic and seasonings according to your personal preferences. As I’ve mentioned, you can use fresh and dried herbs as you have them available.
- Roasted garlic: Swap out fresh garlic with roasted garlic.
- Light cream cheese: Use light cream cheese for a lighter garlic cream cheese spread and low-calorie option.
- 3 Pepper garlic spread: For a peppery version, add 1/2 tsp of each freshly ground black pepper, pink pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Buffalo garlic spread: Stir 1 tbsp hot sauce and 1 tsp paprika into the garlic spread.
- French onion: For a tasty French onion dip, stir 1/3 cup caramelized onion into the cheese mixture. To caramelize the onion, cut 2 to 3 large onions into thin slices and roast with 1 tbsp brown sugar + 2 tbsp water in a large saucepan over medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes until browned and caramelized.
The beauty of this herb garlic spread is that it’s foolproof to prepare and tastes oh-so-scrumptious. It shines as a spread or dip, and you can serve as a tasty party appetizer with crusty bread, bagels, crackers, or vegetables.
But it doesn’t end there. You can also use this garlic spread whenever a savory recipe calls for cream cheese. The dip adds excellent flavor to salads, baked potatoes, stuffed chicken breasts, and other chicken recipes. Stir into hot pasta for a quick pasta sauce or pasta salad. Swirl it into a bowl of hot soup or bake with it.
How to use garlic cheese spread
I love how versatile this garlic cream cheese dip is. Not only can you enjoy it as a simple cheese spread, but it’s also a delicious component for all sorts of appetizers. Here are some cheese spread appetizer ideas to try:
- stuffed mushrooms
- jalapeno peppers with stuffing
- stuffed dates
- rolled into tortillas for pinwheel appetizers
- garlic cheese ball
- stuffed cherry tomatoes
- baked in phyllo cups or puff pastry
- on bruschetta
- in grilled cheese and sandwiches
- burger topping
- garlic cream cheese pasta
Making garlic cheese spread ahead of time
If you make garlic cream cheese spread in advance, it’s ready to serve when unexpected guests drop by. To prepare the recipe ahead of time, simply mix together the ingredients and store in an airtight container or a plastic bowl in the refrigerator for 1 week, it will even last 2 weeks.
When you’re ready to serve this easy garlic spread, remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature, so the texture becomes soft and spreadable. You can also give it a quick mix to fluffy up the texture.
How to store garlic spread dip
This easy cream cheese spread will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Store it in a sealed, airtight container, so it doesn’t take on any smells from the refrigerator. Garlic spread tastes best a room temperature, so be sure to let it sit on the counter for a bit to warm up before serving.
Can you freeze it?
For the best results, don’t freeze this garlic cheese recipe. The texture of the cream cheese will change when it’s frozen and then thawed.