This Garden Vegetable Vegan Cream Cheese recipe is will be the star of any bagel! It's a perfect weekday breakfast, or serve it up for an easy brunch.
When I was a kid, my dad would get up early on Sunday mornings and hit the deli for bagels, cream cheese, and all of the fixin's. One of the stars of the show, as far as I was concerned, was the Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese.
This wasn't like most store-bought vegetable cream cheese. This deli made their schmear in-house, and it was packed with big pieces of bell pepper, carrot, and green onion.
It was delicious on its own, but my favorite way to make it was on a scooped bagel with tomato and onion slices, a big scoop of capers, and a squeeze of lemon. Perfection.
Making Your Vegan Vegetable Cream Cheese
To make this Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese recipe, I started with an 8-ounce package of vegan cream cheese.
Leave the cream cheese out to soften a bit while you prep your veggies. Finely chop your carrots, green onions, and bell peppers. You can do this in a food processor, if you prefer Then fold the cream cheese and veggies together with a little bit of dried dill.
Add some salt and pepper, if that's your thing, and you're ready to spread!
You can make your Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese up to two days ahead. I think it actually tastes better the next day, as the flavors get a chance to meld. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I do not recommend freezing, because the veggies are not going to be a pleasant consistency when they defrost.
Let's scoop some bagels!
I've got a video and written instructions for the Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese below, but before we get to that, let's talk about a critical step: scooping that bagel!
I come from a family of bagel-scoopers. We are firm believers that scooping is the only way to get the correct bagel-to-toppings ratio. To scoop your bagel, just use your fingers to scoop that extra dough out of the bagel, creating a moat to hold more creamy, delicious cream cheese and veggies.
More Brunch Goodness
Need some more brunchy ideas to round out your spread? These go great with bagels and cream cheese:
Garden Vegetable Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe
For the Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese
- 1 8 ounce package vegan cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced carrot
- 2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced green onion
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper - or to taste, optional
For the Bagel Sandwich
- 4 vegan bagels of your choice - halved and scooped (see the "Let's scoop some bagels!" section above)
- red onion - sliced into rings
- tomato slices - 1 large tomato should do the trick
- capers - to taste
- 8 lemon wedges - 1-2 lemons, depending on how citrusy you want your bagel sandwich
Make the Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese
- In a medium-sized bowl, soften the cream cheese with a fork.
- Stir in the rest of the cream cheese ingredients, until they're well-combined. Refrigerate while you prep everything else for the bagel sandwiches.
Build Your Bagel Sandwich
- To make 1 bagel sandwich: Divide the cream cheese between the scooped bagel halves. Add 1-2 rings of onion, then top with 1-2 tomato slices each. Spoon on 1 tablespoon of capers per bagel half, then squeeze the juice of ¼ fresh lemon on top.
- Family style: If you prefer, you can do like my family did on Sunday mornings, and just set everything out on the kitchen table. People can use the toppings to build their own best bagel sandwich.
- I highly recommend using a food processor to mince the carrots and bell peppers for this recipe. Your food processor will get those pieces much smaller. I used my mini Cuisinart for this, and it worked great!
- If you're not crazy about capers, you can omit them.