Cream Cheese Just Might Be the Most Versatile Food

I hadn’t really given much thought to the versatility of cream cheese until the day before my last grocery run, when all I had left in the fridge was celery, pancakes, around seven blueberries, and a partial block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

As I enjoyed a snack of celery and cream cheese (with a little garlic and onion powder for added pizzaz), and later a lunch comprised of a deliciously improvised blueberry and cream cheese pancake sandwich, I got to thinking. Cream cheese goes with pretty much anything, whether its spicy, sour, sweet, salty, or umami. ANYTHING. There is literally no taste sensation that goes badly with cream cheese. In fact, I can’t think of a single thing that doesn’t go well with cream cheese. Like I actually can’t.

To prove my point, here’s a list of things I can confirm cream cheese goes with:

Bagels. Obvious, but I had to say it. The classic bagel, shmear, and lox combo just can’t be beat. 

Celery. Throw in some raisins and ya got ants on a salty, creamy, and delicious log.

Pickles. A rice cracker or Triscuit, cream cheese, a dill pickle chip, and a few dabs of hot sauce? An elite snack.

Mac and cheese. Believe me, adding cream cheese to your homemade mac and cheese is the move. It thickens it up, smooths it out, and provides little pockets of molten cheese that will literally melt your mouth off (in a good way).

Spoon. I am not above this. None of us are above this.

Ham-and-tortilla rollups. This combo without cream cheese would just be sad.

Takis / Flamin’ Hot Cheetos / Any violently red chip. Nothing like a cold, tangy, creamy, cheesy dip for your hot chips. It’s like queso but white, cold, and without any added spices—but in this instance that’s fine because the hot chips bring all the heat and spices you need.

TikTok Ramen. It’s a thing. People are making cheesy ramen and it looks good as hell.

Cheesecakes. We are all aware of this, I just wanted to remind you how good cheesecake is and how big a role cream cheese plays in that.

Pancakes. Found this one out this week—highly recommend. When the pancake has some vanilla in it, it kind of gives off cheesecakey vibes.

Actual cake. Cream cheese frosting, anyone?

Fruit. Name one fruit that wouldn’t go gloriously with cream cheese. It was a trick question, you can’t. Blueberries, strawberries, grapes, mangoes, apples, cherimoyas—you truly cannot go wrong.

Candy. I know, experimental. But I feel like Red Vines would be really good dipped in cream cheese. Heck, I’ve actually had Sour Patch Kids with cream cheese before (don’t @ me, it was a very last-minute gingerbread house building party and it was legitimately so good). And chocolate in cream cheese is a no-brainer.

Everything else. It’s that simple.

I really and truly cannot think of anything that wouldn’t benefit from the addition of cream cheese and, honestly, thank you to cream cheese for bringing such unbridled positivity into this world (and my next bowl of ramyeon, because that video has my mouth watering).

About the Author

Jessica Block

Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. She loves spicy snacks, Oreos, baking bread, teeny tiny avocados, and trying new foods whenever she can. Also, if you give her a bag of Takis she will be your best friend.

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  • Okay but now you have me needing to try the pickle snack because that has 2 am standing in front of the fridge snackage written all over it.

  • Goya Maria cookies are crispy and not so sugary as most other cookies. I like to schmear cream cheese on them. It’s a great taste.