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What can you add cream cheese to in a recipe to make it better?

Versatile cream cheese is a fairly robust fridge product, but beyond that foil lid, those last few dollops can go from pure white to something altogether fungal in a short space of time. After you’ve had your fill of spreading it on sandwiches and bagels, try one of our leftover-friendly dishes.

How to store cream cheese

After the seal has been broken, use the cream cheese as soon as possible. It lasts about a week and a half, maybe two weeks. The most obvious sign of spoilage is mould, however other pointers are a sour smell, grey or yellow tinges or a slimy, watery texture.

We don’t advocate freezing cream cheese since the excessive temperature causes it to split, resulting in a crumbly product.

Leftover cream cheese recipes

We picked recipes that utilize three-quarters of a regular 200g container of cream cheese or less.

1. Omelette

Pea and herb frittata in a pan

Cream cheese may be added to a thick, grilled frittata. For this version, leave a few lumps of cheese intact when whisking the egg mixture – this way you can enjoy melty cheese pockets when it’s cooked.

2. Cakes and bakes

Cranberry and cream cheese muffins on a tray

Although other dairy products, such as yogurt or buttermilk, may be used in cake batter, cream cheese is better utilized as a topping. If you don’t have enough to make a full batch of frosting, dollop a small amount onto cupcakes before baking, which results in a deliciously soft, embedded icing.

3. The ultimate sandwich

Two toastie halves with blackberry sauce and cream cheese

While cream cheese in a butty is nothing new (a natural partner for smoked salmon, ham, chicken, turkey and tuna), we have a sandwich that flips the whole concept on its head. Enjoy this fried breakfast delicacy with a topping of warm cream cheese and blackberry sauce. French toast will never be the same.

4. Fondue

melty cheese fondue in a round baking dish

Although an overflowing cheese box may be unusual in many houses, if you find yourself with an abundance of fromage to snack on, toss it all into a food processor and blitz into a Swiss chalet-worthy fondue.

5. Frosting

Carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting and walnuts

Combine a little cream cheese, icing sugar, and butter to make your own velvety cake frosting.

Easy carrot cake
Apricot, cinnamon & olive oil cake
Carrot & cream cheese cupcakes
Fruity traybake
Courgette & orange cake

6. Sauces

Creamy pea, leek and ham spaghetti in a bowl

As cream cheese is melted, it becomes silky and smooth, making it excellent for tossing into hot spaghetti or adding to casseroles in lieu of crème fraîche or cream. If you want to get inventive, use it instead of garlic butter in a cheat’s chicken Kiev, or skip laborious egg yolk whisking and use it as a base to homemade hollandaise or béarnaise. Just melt over low heat before adding the mustard, lemon, and herbs.

7. Cheat’s cheesecake

Two glass pots of layered berry cheesecakes

These miniature Swedish-style cheesecake pots are a simple yet elegant dinner party dessert. Mix cream cheese with double cream and orange zest, then pour on a crushed ginger snap base and top with zingy lingonberry jam.

8. Meatballs

Two glass pots of layered berry cheesecakes

Creating a buried cheese center inside a mince patty is one of the culinary world’s great ideas. Although a piece of mozzarella or cheddar buried in a burger works great, placing a dab of cream cheese in a meatball will have your guests in raptures. Just make sure you warn them first – when very hot, the cheese becomes a lava-like stream.

9. Ice cream

Beef meatballs on skewers in a bowl

Enjoy all the flavours of a classic cheesecake in frozen form by folding cream cheese into an ice cream mix. This blueberry version doesn’t even need a churner.

10. Paté

Blackcurrant cheesecake in a square tub