When it comes to easy and crowd-pleasing appetizers, cream cheese will always have your back. Spread it on toast bites and top with sliced radishes for an elegant hors d'oeuvre or warm it up with beans and spices for a party dip. Whatever the scene, whatever your need, cream cheese is your willing and able ally in the appetizer department.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Radish, Boursin, and Chive Tartines

Part of what makes cream cheese such a fantastic ingredient for appetizers of all kinds is its versatility. It can certainly stand on its own, taking center stage on a simple crostini or dolloped onto apricot halves. The soft texture and mild tangy flavor of cream cheese are a win with almost any party guest. 

But cream cheese will also considerately step aside and blend into the background when asked, letting other ingredients run the show. It's key to making cheese balls creamy and dips addictively dippable, but it also won't overwhelm these dishes.

Do you have a favorite appetizer with cream cheese?

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A Trio of Cheese Balls

Related: 10 Appetizers Ready in 10 Minutes

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