Sometimes it's the sauce that really makes the meal, and cream cheese can be used as a very delicious and versatile sauce base. Its mild and creamy flavor is pleasing on its own, but it also works well with sweet sauces and savory sauces alike. You can't ask for an easier or more delicious option for dinner.
Creamy Garlic Sauce
This sauce is a dream over chicken, salmon or scallops, but it's also good over vegetables. In fact, this just might become your go-to sauce for livening up any number of dishes.
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a heavy saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter with the garlic. Do not let it brown.
- Add the cream cheese and stir slowly until it melts and blends with the butter and garlic.
- Slowly stir in the milk and salt, and continue heating on low for another 3 minutes.
- Pour the sauce over the meat, fish, or vegetables.
Savory Cream Cheese Herb Sauce
This sauce works especially well poured over pastas or vegetable dishes.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour. Continue heating and stirring until it forms a roux.
- Add the milk and stir until it's completely incorporated with the roux.
- Add the cream cheese, and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce becomes creamy.
- Add all the fresh herbs and other seasonings, and continue stirring and heating for another minute.
- Pour the sauce over the vegetables or pasta and enjoy.
Sweet Lemon Cream Sauce
This sweet sauce is delicious poured over angel food cake, pound cake, crepes, or even blueberry scones. You can also pour it over bread pudding for a decidedly different spin.
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk.
- Heat and stir over a low heat until the cream cheese melts, but do not allow the mix to reach a simmer.
- Stir in the water and lemon juice. You can add a little more water if you want a thinner sauce.
- Remove the sauce from the heat, and pour over your chosen dessert.
Hints for Working with Cream Cheese in Sauces
Cream cheese based sauces are usually quite easy to create. However, do take note of these helpful tips:
- Always heat on low to avoid burning.
- Control the thickness of the sauce by adding more or less liquid.
- Cut calories by using low fat cream cheese, if you wish.
Experiment on Your Own
Once you try out a few of these recipes, you're probably going to want to experiment with adding different ingredients to create your own unique cream cheese sauces. Don't hesitate to test out your ideas. That's how the greatest cooks develop new recipes.