Recipe: $4.93 | Per Serving: $0.82 | Yield: 6-8
Looking for a quick appetizer to whip up for dinner parties and barbecues and summer get-togethers and Memorial Day? This dip is one of my easy go-to starters, especially in the summer when basil season is in full swing. Basil Cream Cheese Dip is super easy, and it’s one of the most popular things I’ve brought to a party; even most of the kiddos at school like it!
It all started with a preschool cooking project at work last December. We were making Veggie Christmas Trees, and I needed some sort of green spread to simultaneously turn our pitas green, and hold our veggie “ornaments” on. I usually try to do veggie-based projects to expose our 3 and 4-year olds to different healthy foods, and I certainly didn’t want to use food dye, so simple basil cream cheese spread was born!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, how healthy are your ornaments! ???? Super fun cooking project for the toddlers and preschoolers. Cut (whole wheat) pita into thirds or sixths. Blend/purée fresh basil, olive oil, and cream cheese and spread on pita. Top with healthy veggie ornaments like cherry tomatoes and carrots. #realfood #kidsnacks #christmas #christmassnacks #ochristmastree #usefoodnotdyes
After that first iteration, I was totally hooked. We’ve even added it to our monthly menu at school, paired with crackers and veggies, and I kid you not, most of the kids eat it up!
You could shake things up by adding some other soft greens to blend with the basil, such as fresh baby spinach or arugula, especially if you want to bulk up the veggie content for kids. You could also try using this as a sauce for a creamy pasta dish. Yum! Basically, you just chop up the basil in your food processor.
Add the cream cheese.
And blend! Add olive oil/garlic/lemon/salt to taste and be on your happy way.
I’m posting this particular recipe on a Saturday, which is totally bizarre, I know, but I was planning to post it next week, and then someone asked me for the recipe for her Memorial Day festivities, so I then realized that I could just post it over the weekend. I know, it’s not really good blogging etiquette, but I don’t really follow that super well anyway.Print
- 1.5 ounces fresh basil leaves – may need to purchase 2.5oz* see note
- 5–6 ounces cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or water
- optional: squeeze of lemon or clove of garlic
- Start by pulsing the basil in the food processor until finely chopped. Add the cream cheese and blend until smooth.
- Taste and adjust flavor and texture as desired. Olive oil or water will thin it out, lemon, garlic, and salt will give an oomph of flavor. Blend until all ingredients are well combined.
- Serve with crackers and sliced raw vegetables. I super love the combo of Triscuits/woven wheat crackers and grape/cherry tomatoes.
*I usually purchase between 1-2.5 ounces of basil for this recipe. I know that seems very variable, but the 2.5oz of Organic Basil from Trader Joe’s has at least an ounce-worth of stems, which I don’t use. So you want 1.5 ounces of LEAVES.