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Pesto Cream Cheese Spread

This is a terrific appetizer to serve when hosting an Italian-theme-meal. People may be a little hesitant to try it, but once they dip in, they won't be able to stop! —Cynthia Emshoff, Sarasota, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    about 1-1/2 cups


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Assorted crackers


  • Line a 5-3/4x3x2-in. loaf pan with plastic wrap. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and garlic powder until blended; set aside. In another small bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, butter, parsley, garlic, basil and marjoram until blended. Stir in walnuts. Gradually stir in oil.
  • Spread about 1/4 cup cream cheese mixture in prepared pan. Carefully spread with a third of the Parmesan mixture. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Unmold; serve with crackers.

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  • salsadelinda
    Apr 14, 2013

    Awesome recipe! Was gone at the end of a blind wine tasting party. My biggest fan was a 3 year old licking her chops! She was devouring it like ice cream... my tip is saran wrap doesn't work, I lined the pan with non-stick foil... didn't come out as pretty at the picture but tasted delish!

  • hrsykole
    Mar 18, 2013

    Perfect for St Patrick's day. My tin was a little smaller so I used the extra pesto to decorate the plate. Also I ran out of time so I put it in the freezer for an hour then pulled it out and still came out perfect.

  • DFJohnson
    Mar 16, 2013

    Would you be able to substitute commercially-made pesto in this???

  • cheriwinkle
    Mar 19, 2010

    Oops, I forgot! I used Neufchatel cheese (33% less fat 'cream cheese') to help with calories and fat.

  • cheriwinkle
    Mar 19, 2010

    I made this for a meeting and did not need to have it necessarily look so fancy, so I made 4-1/2 layers in a fancy bowl. I'm a fairly accomplished cook and I had some difficulty spreading the crm cheese layer over the pesto layer. Next time I will have the cream cheese very soft and/or let the pesto layer chill a bit before doing the next crm cheese layer. I layered crm cheese-pesto-crm cheese-pesto-then a thin layer of crm cheese. Put a sprig of parsley on top and chilled it about 1-1-1/2 hrs. Everyone raved about it!

  • Sahara2854
    Mar 7, 2008

    No comment left