Olive Rosemary Cream Cheese Spread

Olive and rosemary cream cheese spread with bagel chips

January 6, 2023

This recipe is inspired by the “bread service” at Zaftigs Delicatessen, one of my favorite restaurants in Brookline, MA. Now that I can no longer drop by to have this treat, I had to come up with a similar version that I can whip up when the craving strikes.

Waste not, want not

I’m guessing that this dish began as a way to used up day-old bagels while providing a little nibble for guests while they wait for their meal. To go alongside the homemade bagel chips, Zaftigs serves an herbed cream cheese. The flavor is subtle, not something that hits your tastebuds hard – a little woodsiness from the rosemary, a faint briny bite from the olives. Nothing in this spread overpowers your tastebuds but it gets you ready for the main meal to come.

Olive and rosemary cream cheese spread closeup

A few simple ingredients

Half the ingredients are in the name itself – olives, rosemary, and cream cheese. There’s also a little sour cream to provide some lightness and spreadability that won’t break the crispy bagel chips. A little minced garlic, salt, and pepper round out the seasonings.

To serve

If you happen to have some day-old bagels, then slice them thinly and lay them out on a baking sheet. Spray the slices with a little cooking spray and lightly sprinkle with salt. Pop the pan in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, until the chips are crisp. If you don’t have any bagels, just pick up some premade bagel chips at your local grocery store.

The spread can be used straight from the fridge. Or for a softer spread, let it sit out for 15 minutes or so before serving.

Bagel toast with olive and rosemary cream cheese spread
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Olive and rosemary cream cheese spread closeup

Olive Rosemary Cream Cheese Spread

  • Author: She’s Almost Always Hungry
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This lightly flavored cream cheese spread is inspired by the “bread service” at Zaftigs Delicatessen in Brookline, MA.



8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

12 tablespoons finely chopped black olives

1 clove garlic, finely minced

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and sour cream until well blended. Add the rosemary, olives, and garlic. Mix well. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Chill for 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld.

Serve with homemade or store-bought bagel chips.


The flavor of this spread is intentionally subtly. For a more intensely flavored spread you can increase the amounts of olives, rosemary, and garlic.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Spreads, Appetizers
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 114.04
  • Sugar: 1.31 g.
  • Sodium: 115.54 mg.
  • Fat: 11.14 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 6.46 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 2.01 g.
  • Fiber: 0.01 g.
  • Protein: 1.94 g.
  • Cholesterol: 32.87 g.

Keywords: olives, rosemary, cream cheese

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