Here’s one of my most versatile recipes ever. This savory, keto-friendly 5-ingredient Cream Cheese Olive Spread or Dip is ready in a mere minute — the cold version, that is. If you have a little more time on your hands, though, you can make a hot version—then take it straight from the oven, still oozing golden, gooey cheese, and slather it on keto crackers (like these keto crackers). Turn it into an occasion by serving the dip alongside sugar-free cocktails!
Tips for making the Cream Cheese Olive Spread or Dip
No tricks necessary here: this is a very quick and easy recipe to throw together (ideal if surprise guests turn up!) Plus, the ingredients are very basic; it’s comprised of storecupboard essentials that keto-ers are likely to have on hand.
This dip or spread tastes great cold or hot. The cold version is naturally faster to make, but the hot version is equally easy — you just bake it in the oven with some extra cheese on top.
In the video, you’ll see how to prepare the hot version. Here are the step-by-step instructions for making the cold version:
Take a mixing bowl and add all the ingredients: so, cream cheese…
…shredded sharp cheese…
…mayonnaise (preferably homemade, for the healthiest fats and to avoid food additives!)…
…chopped pitted olives (here I use chopped pimento-stuffed olives, but feel free to use pitted pure black or green olives)…
…and a clove or two of crushed garlic (not a must, but it really perfects the flavor).
Mix until well combined, about half a minute, then transfer to a serving dish. That’s it! Unbelievably easy!
Here are three different versions with pimento-stuffed olives, green olives, and black olives.
This recipe makes a wonderful spread, too. This bread here is my crisp bread with plenty of this spread smeared on top. Divine!
My Cream Cheese Olive Spread or Dip experiments
A cream cheese- and mayo-based dip had been on my to-do list for a long time. I wanted something savory to accompany keto crackers and bread—something quick to make, too.
At first, I was planning to use canned artichoke to make a Cream Cheese Artichoke Dip, but then I figured that olives would lend even more flavor — and make the finished dish nicely salty.
I also wanted to add shredded sharp cheese to give the dip some texture and to thicken it. I didn’t want to add so much cheese, though, that it would overpower the taste. Oh yes, and garlic was a must-have as well! At first I thought it would be optional, but since I wanted the dip to be full of flavor, I decided to add it straight to the ingredient list. So, now I had all 5 of my ingredients: cream cheese, mayo, olives, shredded cheese and garlic.
Now that I’d decided on the ingredients, it was time to ponder the amounts. 8 oz (230 g) cream cheese sounded like a good start. And I wanted to add plenty of homemade olive oil-based mayo, too, for richness and a smooth texture. 1/3 cup (80 ml) mayo might be too little, I thought, so I decided to go with 1/2 cup (120 ml).
What about the shredded cheese? Not too little, but definitely not too much, either. 1 cup (240 ml) shredded sharp cheese sounded just perfect — at least I could start with it and add more if needed.
And the olives, then. Coming up with the ideal amount required some thought. Olives should lend enough flavor, but without being overpowering. Maybe 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped olives would do the job? I chose pitted green kalamata olives for the first experiment.
Finally, I decided to add one crushed garlic clove. Two cloves might also have been okay, but, as with the olives, I didn’t want the garlic to overpower the other flavors, either. Oh yes, and since almost all the ingredients already had salt, I didn’t need to add any extra.
I combined all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mixed with an electric mixer until well combined. The consistency looked just perfect! A wonderful, spreadable consistency that would do double duty as a dip.
Excitedly, I conducted the first taste test. I took a cracker and scooped up a good amount of the dip with it. I took the first bite. Oh my! I was in heaven! The taste was divine—delicious and rich with savory olives, a tang from sharp cheese, and a bit of a kick from the garlic. The smoothness of the mayo really took it over the top both taste-wise and texture-wise. And the ingredient amounts were just right. I could hardly believe that my first experiment was so successful. Well, careful planning seemed to be the key — and, of course, cooking for decades couldn’t help but teach me something!
But I wasn’t finished: I still wanted to make a hot, oven-baked version. So I made another, similar dip with pimento-filled olives. I transferred the dip to a glass baking dish and sprinkled some extra cheese (about 1/2 cup = 120 ml) on top before baking it at 350 °F (175 °C). After 15 minutes the cheese had melted and the top looked golden brown.
Again I grabbed a cracker and tasted the hot dip for the first time—and I had to do a happy dance. It was that good! (Luckily I was alone in the kitchen…) I was thrilled that both the cold and hot versions tasted so awesome. I can’t wait to serve them to friends — or include them in my keto course. Dip, crackers, and cold drinks — the combo is unbeatable!
Here’s the recipe for the dip — 2 ways:
|Nutrition information||In total||Per 1/4 cup (60 ml)|
|Protein||41.6 g||5.0 g|
|Fat||182.7 g||22.1 g|
|Net carbs||9.2 g||1.1 g|
|kcal||1848 kcal||223 kcal|
Tips for variation
Since the flavors are plenty strong, there’s no need to add other seasonings. If you want more heat, though, you can try a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Chipotle lends an excitingly smoky flavor.
Feel free to add some chopped fresh herbs, though. Parsley is mild enough that it lets the other flavors shine, yet it adds a subtle, fresh herby flavor. For something a bit stronger, try fresh oregano, and if you can stand the flavor of cilantro (not everyone can…!), feel free to try that too. Like I said, I wouldn’t recommend adding anything too strongly-flavored, or you’ll end up overcomplicating things. Keep it simple!