Living Vegan In Charlotte, NC – Easy Vegan Recipes – Vegan Restaurant, Product, and Cookbook Reviews

Easy Green Olive and Cream Cheese Sandwich Spread/Holiday Dip (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Olive Cream Cheese Dip with Sliced OlivesGreen olive and cream cheese spread is a Southern classic.

It has two major heydays a year.

First, in the spring and summer, when it’s used as a sandwich spread.

Go to any Southern bridal party, and chances are you’ll find a plate of green olive and cream cheese tea sandwiches right next to a platter of pimento cheese sandwiches. (What’s a tea sandwich? Typically they were made out of very thinly sliced white bread with crusts removed, cut into triangles.)

These green olive and cream cheese sandwiches were also likely to show up at picnics.

And a tub of this sandwich spread frequently lurked in the fridge, to make spur-of-the-moment sandwiches on hot summer days.

Olive Cream Cheese Sandwich

Obviously, this is not a tea sandwich!

In winter, this green olive spread would resurface – but this time, as a holiday dip, with crushed pecans or walnuts added. Instead of being sliced, the olives might be coarsely chopped – and the green olives and red pimentos against the creamy white cheese certainly did look festive! In this incarnation, it was served with crackers or crudites and was especially good with celery.

This morning, I used this (a vegan version, of course!) as a spread for my bagel.

Green Olive Cream Cheese Bagel

This seems like it would have been a no-brainer to veganize. In fact it took me several tries, due to vegan cream cheese having a different, softer consistency than regular cream cheese, as well as a slight “aftertaste.”  The solution was pretty simple, though – use less mayo and olive juice, and add a wee bit of garlic powder to cover the aftertaste.  The result – Delicious!

Ingredients for Vegan Olive and Cream Cheese Sandwich Spread

1 8-oz. tub Vegan Cream Cheese (I used Follow Your Heart)

1/2 cup Green Pimento-Stuffed Olives, sliced and drained (a little less than a small 5.75 oz. jar)

1 teaspoon Olive Juice, from the jar

1 – 2 teaspoons Vegenaise

1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder

Directions for Vegan Olive and Cream Cheese Sandwich Spread

Empty the tub of “cream cheese” into a small mixing bowl.

Add the green olives (make sure they are drained).

Add 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon olive juice from the jar, and 1 teaspoon Vegenaise.  Mix.  If you have trouble mixing, you can add another teaspoon of Vegenaise, but cap it at two teaspoons or your spread will be runny instead of creamy.

Transfer into a glass or Pyrex container, cover with a lid, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour or overnight. You’ll be amazed how the flavors mingle and marry!

Use as sandwich spread. Now that I’m older, I prefer this on toasted, crunchy bread rather than thin white delicate slices!

Note:  Some people prefer to make their dip with sliced, not chopped, olives.  If this is what you’d like to do, just add 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts before refrigerating.

Ingredients for Vegan Olive and Cream Cheese Holiday Dip:

1 8-oz. tub Vegan Cream Cheese (I used Follow Your Heart)

1/2 cup Green Pimento-Stuffed Olives (a little less than a small 5.75 oz. jar)

1 teaspoon Olive Juice, from the jar (MAYBE!)

1 teaspoons Vegenaise

1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/4 cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts

Directions for Green Olive and Cream Cheese Holiday Dip

Empty the tub of “cream cheese” into a small mixing bowl.

Coarsely chop the olives OR put them in your food processor and pulse two or three times. Drain as well as you can and add to cream cheese.

Add 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon Vegenaise.  Mix.  Chopped olives tend to be a bit “juicier” than sliced olives, so this should be a little easier to mix. Add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon olive juice from jar, only if needed.

Add the chopped nuts.

Transfer into a glass or Pyrex container, cover with a lid, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour or overnight.

Before serving, transfer into a pretty serving bowl.  Serve with crackers or crudites.

Olive Cream Cheese Dip

Olive Cream Cheese Dip

Notes:

This spread is gluten-free if you use Follow Your Heart Vegan Cream Cheese. There are several other brands of vegan cream cheese, but I’m not sure if they are gluten-free or not.

This spread isn’t supposed to taste “garlicky” – the powdered garlic is there just to mask the “aftertaste” of the vegan cream cheese. Don’t taste, assume there isn’t enough garlic, and add more – that will throw off the flavor. We’re just wanting a hint.

The main concern is that the cheese doesn’t get too runny. That’s one reason I prefer slicing my own olives instead of using pre-sliced salad olives – it’s almost impossible to drain the salad olives thoroughly enough!  Also, I have found pits lurking in salad olives.  By slicing my own olives, I can easily recognize and remove any unpitted olives.

Olive Cream Cheese Spread with Nuts

Olive Cream Cheese Spread with Nuts

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Categorised in: Sandwiches & Sandwich Fillings, Vegan Recipes

2 Responses »

  1. I wanted to let you know that I tried your Curried Split Pea soup – it was really good. I’ll definitely make it again. Delicious!

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