10-Minute Kentucky Benedictine Spread is made with just a few simple ingredients. This southern spread combines cream cheese, crisp cucumber, onion, and spices in one bowl, resulting in a creamy and tangy dip that's perfect to serve with crackers or as small tea sandwiches.
What recipe could be more fitting for me to share that is not only southern, but from Kentucky, and specifically created in Louisville, KY where my family lives?! This 10-minute Benedictine spread is everything you love about Derby City, Kentucky and just the South in general. Similar to 10-minute Kentucky beer cheese dip and pimento cheese, this is a cool creamy dip full of flavor and perfect for any gathering you are hosting!
World-famous chef Jennie Carter Benedict was from Louisville, KY where she established and built a highly successful food career in the early 1900s. Along with catering and opening a restaurant on 4th Street in downtown Louisville, Jennie Benedict & Co, came the famous cucumber and cream cheese sandwich spread that she created. While her original recipe is not recorded and is still her secret recipe, Benedictine spread is a staple recipe here in Kentucky and amongst the South.
It is a simple recipe made of 10 ingredients and one bowl. It is perfect to serve for bridal showers, holidays, Derby parties, or any get-together you are hosting. Serve as a dip or as a traditional Benedictine finger sandwich. Through different rounds of recipe testing, let me show you how I love to make this Kentucky classic dip!
You will just need 10 ingredients for this recipe. It sounds like a lot but it is just a couple of simple fresh veggies, spices, cream cheese, and mayo!
- English Cucumber - 1 medium size will do. You will need to peel, remove the seeds from the middle, and finely dice for this recipe.
- Onion - onions can vary in size, but I like to use a bigger size of a small yellow onion, resulting in about ½ cup. Finely dice so that no big chunks are present.
- Garlic Clove - use a garlic press (affiliate link) to get a super fine mince. This adds a kick of flavor!
- Cream Cheese - use full-fat cream cheese and set it out on the counter for about 30 minutes before making it to let come to room temperature. This will help it be able to mix easily and not have any clumps in it while making.
- Mayonaise - use your favorite brand of high-quality mayo. We like Duke's in our house. Do not use Miracle Whip. Just a tiny bit is needed for flavor but more so to thin out the dip to be a more spreadable consistency.
- Lemon Juice - just a little squeeze of lemon helps brighten up some of the heavier flavors.
- Fresh Dill - fresh dill is best for the optimal flavor!
- Salt, White Pepper, and Cayenne Pepper - all help out round out the flavors perfectly.
- Green Food Coloring - strange addition, but the tiniest bit of green food coloring gives this Benedictine spread its famous light green color. You may think it comes from the cucumber, but since we peel the skin off and dice, it actually comes from the smallest about of food coloring. I use Wilton icing color in leaf green.
How to Make
STEP ONE: Peel the cucumber and slice off the ends. Cut in half and with a spoon, gently scrape the seeds out to remove. Finely dice and add to a large mixing bowl. You want to dice as small as you can so that there are no big chunks.
STEP TWO: Finely dice the onion. Mince the garlic clove. Add the to the bowl with the cucumber.
STEP THREE: Add softened cream cheese, mayo, lemon juice, fresh dill, and spices. Mix well until everything is evenly combined.
STEP FOUR: Add a tiny amount of green food coloring and stir. Add a small amount at a time and keep adding until it is a very very light green coloring. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.
For the food coloring, I have Wilton icing colors on hand from cake making. I just take a toothpick or butter knife and stick the tip in to gather up the smallest amount, and then drag that through the dip. I have found this to be not only the easiest but least messy way to add just the smallest amount of food coloring possible without getting green EVERYWHERE (only speaking from experience lol).
How to Serve
Once you are ready to serve, place it in a serving bowl alongside your favorite crackers, french bread, and or fresh veggies. It is a smooth and creamy texture - so whatever you like to serve with dips will be perfect!
Traditionally this dip is made into Benedictine Tea Sandwiches that are a staple at any bridal shower here in Kentucky. These are the perfect little finger sandwiches served on white bread with the crust cut off and cut into triangles. They are also great to serve at holiday parties, teas, showers, Derby parties, or any get-together where you need a small bite-sized hand-held nibble!
Frequently Asked Questions
Keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Absolutely! Makeup to 24 hours before serving. Just follow the directions below, place in a serving bowl wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until needed.
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