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Is Cream Cheese Keto? The Best Keto Cream Cheese

Is cream cheese Keto? Yes, the Keto diet is to induce and maintain ketosis, so every high-fat, low-carb food is allowed. The problem, however, is how to use cream cheese to make Keto-friendly dishes and which brands to choose.

Is Cream Cheese Keto? The Best Keto Cream Cheese
Highlights
  • The Ketogenic diet, high in fats and low in carbs, is effective for weight loss and managing conditions like diabetes and epilepsy.
  • You can use cream cheese in many Keto-friendly recipes like cheesecakes and cookies.
  • There are many cream cheese brands available, but not all of them are Keto-friendly.
  • Choose cream cheese that is low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats, containing non-GMO ingredients and artificial additives.

What Is a Keto Diet?

The Ketogenic or Keto diet is a simple but effective eating plan, which involves consuming fewer carbohydrates and more fats. Why?

Because the Keto diet makes your body use fat for energy through a process called ketosis, where your body produces energy from fat instead of sugar and carbs [1].

The Keto diet can help you

  • Lose weight [2].
  • Manage diabetes by reducing the need for insulin by carb reduction [3].
  • Slow certain cancers by reducing sugar, as some cancer cells rely on sugar [4].

Protect brain cells and reduce the risk of epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease [5] [6].

To induce and maintain ketosis and reach the benefits of a Keto diet, you need to minimize carbohydrates and increase the intake of fat and protein. So, let’s find out if we can consume cream cheese and answer the question, “Is cream cheese Keto?”

Learn More: Carnivore vs Keto: Result, Meal Plan and Food List

Is Cream Cheese Keto-Friendly?

Cream cheese is allowed on the Keto diet due to its high fat content and minimal carbohydrates, which help induce ketosis. But that’s not the only reason why cream cheese is keto-friendly.

What Makes a Cream Cheese Keto-Friendly?

Cream cheese is an excellent option for the Keto diet due to its nutritional composition.

  • A 2008 study showed that cream cheese is not only a rich source of fats but also provides essential nutrients like calcium and protein, which are vital for bone health, muscle maintenance, and overall well-being [7].
  • Cream cheese also contains probiotics – beneficial live bacteria that support gut health. A 2019 study showed that the probiotics in cream cheese can improve digestive health by balancing the gut microbiota - the community of helpful microorganisms living in our intestines [8].
  • The fat-to-carbohydrate ratio of cream cheese is 6:1, meaning that there are 6 grams of fat for every gram of carbs, which is important in a Ketogenic diet that aims to maintain ketosis by increasing fat and minimizing carbohydrates.
  • Another key feature of cream cheese that makes it Keto-friendly is its very low sugar content. Since sugars are carbohydrates that can disrupt ketosis, having minimal sugar content is crucial on a Keto diet.

Here's a table showing the nutritional content of cream cheese per 100 grams [9]:

So, how can we use cream cheese in our Keto diet? Well, there are many ways.

Learn More: Is Tofu Keto? How to Eat Tofu on Keto?

How to Eat Cream Cheese on Keto?

You can add cream cheese to your Keto diet using the following ways.

  • Spread on Keto Bread: Enjoy cream cheese by spreading it on Keto bread to make a quick and low-carb snack.
  • In Keto Snack Wraps: Spread cream cheese on lettuce leaves and roll them with deli meat or smoked fish for a delicious combo.
  • In Keto Sushi Rolls: You can use cream cheese as a complement to Keto sushi rolls and combine it with different flavors.
  • With Eggs: For breakfast, add some cream cheese to scrambled eggs for a creamy and delicious texture.
  • In Keto Smoothies: Mix cream cheese with low-carb fruits like berries and make healthy smoothies.
  • On Keto Pizza: You can use cream cheese alone or mixed with other Keto-friendly cheeses as a topping on Keto pizza.
  • As a Filling for Meats: Add cream cheese to meats like chicken breast and pork chops for a better taste.

These creative uses of cream cheese can add a lot of variety to your Keto diet, especially if you're looking for a snack. But you can also use cream cheese in various Keto recipes.

Learn More: Are Sunflower Seeds Keto? 5 Ways to Add Them to Your Diet

The Best Keto Cream Cheese Recipes

Here are 10 easy-to-make Keto-friendly recipes to make yummy Keto dishes:

Cloud Bread Blinis With Smoked Salmon

These cloud bread blinis are great as an appetizer, finger food, or a snack. You can make and enjoy them, especially at breakfast [10].

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp (30-35 g) cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/4 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • A pinch of pepper

For the Horseradish Cream

  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 3 oz. smoked salmon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • Some dill to garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C / 300°F and line a large oven tray with parchment paper.
  2. Separate egg whites and yolks into two bowls.
  3. Beat egg whites with vinegar/ lemon juice and salt until stiff peaks form.
  4. Mix cream cheese, salt, onion/ garlic powder, and pepper with yolks until smooth.
  5. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture.
  6. Spoon cloud bread mixture onto the tray, leaving space for expansion.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until it becomes golden and fluffy.
  8. Prepare horseradish and cream cheese sauce and salmon.
  9. Assemble blinis with sauce and salmon when cooled.

The table below shows the nutrient content of 4 blinis with a dollop of sauce and smoked salmon:

CalorieCarbohydrateSugarFatProtein
155 2.2 g 0.9 g 10.5 g 13.6 g

Learn More: Can You Eat Cheese on The Carnivore Diet? What Is The Best Cheese?

20-Minute Keto Pizza

This low-carb pizza is an ideal dinner for those who are following a Keto diet or looking to reduce their carb intake [11].

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. (2 tbsp) cream cheese
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Place mozzarella and cream cheese in a large microwave-safe bowl and put it in the microwave for 45 seconds.
  3. Take it out of the microwave, add egg, almond flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, and garlic, and stir until well combined.
  4. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to flatten it to about 0.25% thickness. Shape with hands if needed.
  5. Transfer the pizza (with parchment paper) onto a baking sheet or pizza stone and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven (keep it on) and top your pizza with your favorite sauces, cheese, and toppings.
  7. Bake the pizza for an additional 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Here’s the table of nutrition for 1 slice of Keto Pizza:

CalorieCarbohydrateSugarFatProtein
249 5 g 2 g 19 g 14 g

Learn More: Can You Eat Cheese on a Keto Diet? How Much?

Cheddar Ranch Savoury Fat Bombs

These fat bombs are great for the Keto diet because they provide enough fats and few carbohydrates. You can eat these bombs as snacks or main meals [12].

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. cream cheese
  • 6 oz. cheddar
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 5 tbsp chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp parsley

Instructions

  1. Mix cheddar, cream cheese, garlic powder, and dried dill in a bowl.
  2. Chill the mixture in the freezer for 8 minutes, covered with plastic wrap.
  3. Roll into 14 cheese balls.
  4. Coat each ball in a mixture of pecans and parsley.
  5. Serve or store in the fridge for up to a week.

Now, let's take a look at the nutritional breakdown for 14 cheddar ranch fat bombs:

CalorieCarbohydrateSugarFatProtein
116 1 g 1 g 11 g 4 g

Keto Sausage Cream Cheese Pinwheels

These rolls are a great choice for a low-carb appetizer, breakfast, or even a quick dinner [13].
Ingredients

  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp ground flax meal

For the filling:

  • 1/2 pound cooked breakfast sausage, drained
  • 3 oz. of cream cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Melt mozzarella cheese and cream cheese in short bursts and stir until smooth.
  3. Add almond flour and ground flax meal, then mix into a soft ball of dough.
  4. Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper into a 12x9 rectangle.
  5. Combine sausage and cream cheese, then spread it evenly on the dough.
  6. Roll the dough tightly into a log.
  7. Cut the log into rolls about the width of two fingers.
  8. Place the rolls on a greased baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes until they're golden brown.

Below, you can find the nutritional values for 1 roll of Pinwheels:

CalorieCarbohydrateFiberFatProtein
203 2.7 g 0.6 g 16.5 g 12.4 g

Keto Chicken Cheese Bake

This creamy and delicious chicken and cheese casserole is perfect for a low-carb diet [14].

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup avocado mayonnaise
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cups red onion
  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 8 oz. baby spinach

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a big skillet, cook bacon until crispy, then set it aside on paper towels.
  3. Combine cream cheese, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, avocado mayonnaise, heavy cream, hot sauce, mustard, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika while the bacon is cooking.
  4. Cook over medium heat and stir until it becomes creamy.
  5. Crumble the cooked bacon and add it to the cream mixture.
  6. Clean the skillet, add two tablespoons of the bacon fat, and fry onions for three minutes over medium-high heat.
  7. Add the remaining tablespoon of bacon fat, then add mushrooms and fry for five minutes.
  8. Add garlic and spinach, toss to coat the spinach, and cook until it wilts (about two minutes).
  9. Add the cream mixture and cooked chicken, heat it, then pour everything into a casserole dish.
  10. Sprinkle two cups of mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes.
  11. Place it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to brown the top.
  12. Allow it to sit for ten minutes to set, then serve.

Here is the table of nutrients found in 10 serves of Keto Chicken Cheese Bake:

CalorieCarbohydrateSugarFatProtein
541 7.7 g 3.8 g 43.9 g 29.6 g

Keto Cream Cheese Cookies

These cream cheese cookies are super chewy and can be made with only 5 basic ingredients and in just one bowl [15]. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a big baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until they're well combined.
  3. Use a cookie scoop or a big spoon to scoop out 2 tablespoons of the cookie dough onto the lined tray.
  4. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes until the edges turn golden brown.
  5. Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool completely on the pan.

The following table provides insights into the nutritional composition of 1 cookie:

CalorieCarbohydrateFiberFatProtein
198 5 g 3 g 18 g 7 g

Creamy Keto Cheesecake Fluff

Cheesecake fluff is a perfect creamy dessert that is 100% sugar-free and Keto-friendly [16].

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 oz. cold heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated stevia (or other low-carb granulated sweeteners)
  • 1 and half tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped strawberries 

Instructions

  1. Mix the cream cheese and sweetener until it's creamy.
  2. Add vanilla extract and sour cream and beat until mixed well.
  3. Add the heavy cream.
  4. Whip until the mixture gets stiff.
  5. Divide the mixture among the glasses, top with chopped strawberries if you like, and serve.

You can see the nutrient content of 1 serving of this cheesecake fluff in the table below:

CalorieCarbohydrateSugarFatProtein
322 4.8 g 3 g 32 g 5.2 g

Sugar-Free Cheesecake

This sugar-free and low-carb cheesecake is another delicious recipe that everyone will love. It might take some time to bake, but it’s worth it [17].

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (75g) almond flour or ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup (30g) coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp powdered sweetener
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup (57g) melted butter 

For Filling

  • 1.5 cups (360g) cream cheese or mascarpone
  • 2/3 cup (107g) powdered erythritol
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream or double cream
  • 5 - 10 drops of liquid stevia (optional)

Topping (optional)

  • 3/4 cup (180g) heavy cream or double cream
  • 1/2 cup (75g) strawberries
  • 1/3 cup (40g) raspberries

Instructions

For the Base:

  1. Mix all the dry base ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add melted butter and mix until it forms a crumbly texture.
  3. Grease a 7-inch non-stick baking tin with melted butter.
  4. Press the base mixture into the bottom of the tin and smooth it out neatly with a spoon.

For the Filling:

  1. Combine cream cheese, powdered erythritol, lemon juice, and vanilla with an electric mixer for about 1 minute. You can sweet it with liquid stevia.
  2. Whip the cream in a separate bowl until it's thick but not overly stiff.
  3. Fold the whipped cream gently into the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Spoon the filling onto the base and smooth the top.
  5. Place it in the fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight to set, or you can put it in the freezer until it's firm but not completely frozen.

For the Topping:

  1. Whip ¾ cup of heavy cream in a bowl with an electric whisk until it's thick but still soft.
  2. Remove the cheesecake from the tin, top it with the whipped cream, and smooth it for a soft texture.
  3. Add sliced strawberries and raspberries on top, and if desired, dust with a bit of powdered erythritol.

In the table below, you can find the nutritional values for 12 serves of this cheesecake:

CalorieCarbohydrateSugarFatProtein
290 5.2 g 3.3 g 29.2 g 4.7 g

Dill Veggie Dip with Cream Cheese

It’s a very simple appetizer that you will love and can make in less than 5 minutes [18].

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/8 tsp dried chives
  • 1/8 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 dash onion powder
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dill weed

Instructions

  1. Put cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream in a medium bowl.
  2. Use a mixer to mix them until they become creamy.
  3. Add heavy cream, chives, parsley, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, and ground black pepper and mix them.
  4. Stir in grated cucumbers and dill weed.
  5. Chill the mixture and serve it with raw vegetables.

Here’s the list of nutrients found in 24 serves of Dill Veggie Dip with Cream Cheese:

CalorieCarbohydrateSugarFatProtein
58 0 g 0 g 2 g 0 g

Lemon Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Here’s a low-carb and delicious cake with a layer of cream cheese topped with a crumble. You can bake it at any time of the year and enjoy [19].

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 1/2 cup erythritol
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest grated
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup erythritol
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice

Crumble Topping

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup erythritol
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

Instructions

Cake Layer:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (375°F).
  2. Grease and line an 8-inch springform cake tin with parchment paper.
  3. Mix erythritol and butter in a bowl until soft and well combined.
  4. Add egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract, then stir thoroughly.
  5. Add coconut flour, salt, and baking powder, and mix well.
  6. Whisk egg whites in another bowl until they become stiff.
  7. Fold the whipped egg whites into the cake mixture. If the mixture seems dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and spread it out evenly.

Cream Cheese Layer:

  1. Mix softened cream cheese with erythritol in a bowl.
  2. Add the egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and zest, then mix until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the cake layer in the tin and spread it.

Crumble Topping:

  1. Mix coconut flour and erythritol in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Add the butter and gently mix with your hands until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  3. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cream cheese layer.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake is firm and the top is cooked.
  5. Let it cool, and then refrigerate to firm it up.

Take a look at the nutritional profile of 1 slice of this cake in the table below:

CalorieCarbohydrateFiberFatProtein
290 9 g 4 g 26 g 7 g

Although all the above recipes contain cream cheese, not all kinds of cheese are Keto-friendly and suitable for your needs in this diet.

Learn More: The 10 Best Keto Thickeners for Soups and Stews

What Is the Best Cheese for Keto Diet Needs?

So, we’ve learned that cheese is a great food choice for Keto because it's generally high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates. However, not all cheeses are the same; some are better suited for a Keto diet based on their fat content and level of processing.

Here's a list of the best cheeses you can use on Keto:

  • Cheddar Cheese: It’s a type of cow's milk cheese with a creamy texture and tangy flavor.
  • Gouda Cheese: It originates from the Netherlands and has a mild and slightly sweet taste.
  • Goat Cheese: It’s made from goat's milk and has a creamy texture and tangy flavor.
  • Blue Cheese: It has a strong taste and contains blue or green mold veins.
  • Cream Cheese: A very soft and creamy cheese that can be used in cooking.

Here’s a table providing the nutrition profile in 100 grams of these cheeses [20]:

CheeseCalorieCarbohydrate (g)Sugar (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)
Cheddar Cheese 408 2.44 0.33 34 23.3
Gouda Cheese 357 3.57 3.57 28.57 25
Goat Cheese 386 0 0 32.1 25
Blue Cheese 357 3.57 3.57 28.57 21.43
Cream Cheese 350 5.52 3.76 34.4 6.15

Cream cheese, as mentioned in the table, can be among the best choices with its good nutrition content. But cheddar and gouda are also great options with less sugar, fewer carbohydrates, and more protein.

Learn More: Can You Eat Cheese on a Keto Diet?

Another important factor to keep in mind is the cheese brand. Let's find out which cream cheese brands are the best for a Keto diet.

The Best Brands of Cream Cheese for Keto Diet

Cream cheese brands listed below are great for Keto because they’re low in carbohydrates, high in healthy fats, and made with organic, non-GMO (non-genetically modified organism) ingredients without any artificial additives [21].

  • Green Valley Creamery, Organic Cream Cheese
  • Organic Valley, Neufchatel 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese
  • Trader Joe’s, Mascarpone
  • Belgioioso, Mascarpone Cream Cheese
  • Di Stefano, Premium Mascarpone Cheese

Below, you'll find a table that breaks down the nutritional content of these cream cheese brands per 30 grams.

BrandCalorieCarbohydrate (g)Sugar (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)
Green Valley Creamery 90 1 0 10 1
Organic Valley 70 1 0 6 2
Trader Joe’s 60 0 0 7 0.5
Belgioioso 60 0 0 6 0.5
Di Stefano 60 0 0 6 1

Despite the above brands, some cream cheese brands may contain unhealthy ingredients or additives in their products, making them unsuitable for a healthy Keto diet.

The Worst Cheeses to Eat On Keto

If you're shopping for Keto foods, it's best to avoid the following cheeses due to their nutritional profile. They’re low in protein and fat but high in carbohydrates and sugar, which doesn't align with the goals of the Keto diet [22]:

  • Canned or Spray Cheese: This processed cheese contains  artificial additives like preservatives.
  • American Cheese: It’s also a kind of processed cheese containing unhealthy additives. 
  • Ricotta Cheese: It’s not Keto-friendly because of its low levels of fat and protein.
  • Cottage Cheese: This curd-like texture cheese has the lowest amount of fat and protein among cheeses and is one the worst choices in the Keto diet.

These cheeses have moderate net carbs and may include unhealthy sweeteners and oils. Also, they have less protein and may be used in unhealthy foods like fast foods.

The table below shows the nutritional profile of 100 grams of these kinds of cheese [23]:

CheeseCalorieCarbohydrate (g)Sugar (g)Fat (g)Protein (g)
Canned or Spray Cheese 290 8.73 7.32 21.23 16.41
American Cheese 307 8.85 6.24 23.06 16.09
Ricotta Cheese 158 6.86 0 11 7.81
Cottage Cheese 84 4.31 4.1 2.3 11

What about tofu? It’s one of the most commonly used products, but can we use it on a Keto diet?

Is Tofu Keto-Friendly?

Tofu is made from soybeans, which are converted into soy milk that coagulates into curds and compressed into cubes [24]. Tofu is a great choice for anyone following a Keto diet due to its nutritional composition.

It’s high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and also contains healthy fats, like monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (found in fatty fish like salmon).

Here’s a table of tofu nutrient contents in 100 grams [25]:

CaloriesProteinFatCarbohydrate
94 10 g 6 g 2 g

Moreover, tofu's versatility adds to its appeal for Keto dieters. Its adaptable texture and flavor make it a good option for a variety of Keto recipes.

Summary

Well, the answer to the question, “Is cream cheese Keto?'' is yes. Cream cheese is an excellent addition to a Keto diet due to its low-carbohydrate and high-fat profile. It can also be used in various snacks and main meals.

However, it's important to be mindful of the cream cheese brand you choose. Not all cream cheeses are suitable for Keto, so choose those with high fat and protein content and minimal carbohydrates and sugar.

Also, search for cheeses that are free from artificial or unhealthy additives like added sugar and trans fats to fully enjoy the benefits of cream cheese in your Keto lifestyle.

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