Baked or Fried Cream Cheese Wontons that are restaurant delicious!
Enjoy gourmet-tasting Cream Cheese Wontons in the comfort of your own home! These crispy cream cheese rangoons are crunchy on the outside giving way to warm, oozing, melted cream cheese inside. The cream cheese filling is mixed with pineapple, coconut, green onions and ginger AKA your new addiction. These easy cream cheese rangoons taste straight out of a restaurant – or dare I say even better?! I’ve included step by step photos, easy to follow instructions, and how to freeze cream cheese wontons for an easy snack or appetizer any night of the week! (updated photos, same recipe)
Cream Cheese Wontons
There are a few things my husband makes really well: pasta, and pasta, steak, pigs in a blanket, and cream cheese wontons. Patrick would always bring his famous wontons to New Year’s Eve parties or any other get togethers and they would fly off the plate!
Aside from Patrick’s cream cheese wontons, I used to devour them at my local Pick Up Stix every chance I got. I could never get enough of the crispy wonton outside giving way to warm, oozing, melted cream cheese inside. Seriously, does it get any better?!
Yes it does! Because now you can make this cream cheese wonton recipe in the comfort of your own home AND you have the option to bake wontons instead of fry them. So, If you have never made cream cheese rangoons before, you are in for a treat. Not only are they one of the best appetizers you will ever sink your teeth into – perfect for all your Game Day or holiday parties – they are SO easy!
Are wontons and Rangoons the same thing?
The answer is, yes! Whether you’ve ordered cream cheese rangoons or cream cheese wontons at your favorite restaurant – they are identical, just with a different name. I just call them delicious.
Rangoon is a actually a Burmese city. Wontons filled with cream cheese and imitation crab are named after the city – crab rangoons, whereas wontons just filled with cream cheese are often referred to as wontons – but they are used interchangeably.
Wontons when not referred to as “cream cheese wontons” refer to dumplings like in my Wonton Soup. They use the same wrapper but have a savory, meaty filling. So now you have multiple reasons to buy wonton wrappers!
Where did cream cheese wontons originate?
The wonton wrapper comes from the Canton region of china. The word “wonton” is Cantonese for “swallowing clouds” – swallowing clouds of cream cheese and pineapple – pick me!
Despite the origin of the wonton wrapper, cream cheese wontons do not come from China. Rather, a Polynesian restaurant in San Francisco, named Trader Vic’s, starting serving crab rangoons in 1956.
The rangoons were loosely based off of a traditional Burmese recipe but largely Americanized because dairy was not widely available in that area of Asia at the time – another successful marriage of American and Chinese cuisines!
I added additional Polynesian flair to the traditional cream cheese wontons with pineapple, coconut, ginger, etc. and voila! we get the tasty tropical dish of swallowing clouds with pineapple.
What are cream cheese wontons made of?
Traditional cream cheese wontons are super simple. They are made of cream cheese, scallions, seasonings such as onion and/or garlic powder and wonton wrappers.
I wanted to mix up the traditional cream cheese wonton recipe and create pockets of crispy, creamy tropical paradise, so I added crushed pineapple, coconut, ginger, green onions and sriracha to the cream cheese. It is HEAVEN!
Also, instead of frying the wontons (which you can totally do if you prefer), I have had great success baking them instead (pictured below). After biting into a baked wonton, Patrick questioned, “These are baked?! You can’t even tell the difference!”
Where do I find WONTON WRAPPERS?
You can’t make cream cheese wontons without wonton wrappers! But you’re in luck, wonton wrappers are easy to find at any grocery store, and definitely at specialty Asian markets.
At my grocery store(s), the wonton wrappers are located near the produce, at the end of the aisle in the refrigerated section. You need 36 wonton wrappers for this rangoon recipe, so make sure you check the wrapper count. Depending on the brand of wontons wrappers you purchase, you may need one or two packages.
Can I use Fat Free Cream Cheese?
Yes! You can make cream cheese rangoons with full-fat cream cheese or low fat cream cheese. Full fat cream cheese obviously has more flavor and melts better, but cream cheese wontons made with low-fat cream cheese will still be tasty.
How to Make Cream Cheese Wontons
To make your cream cheese wontons, simply:
- Mix up your wonton filling ingredients.
- Add the filling to the center of the wonton wrapper
- Brush the edges with water, fold into a triangle or desired shape and press the edges together.
- Brush wontons with oil and bake or fry.
How easy is that?! I love that there is no cooking meat or chopping veggies involved in making these crispy on the outside, pineapple, coconut creamy inside rangoons!
HOW TO FOLD WONTONS
Folding wontons is easy, especially if you just make a triangle, but folding up all 4 corners is easy too. There really is no right or wrong way to shape your wontons as long as the edges are sealed together. Here is my easy method:
Step 1: Lay out Wrappers
- Working on a flat, dry surface, lay out 4-6 wonton wrappers. Keep remaining wontons covered with plastic wrap or in a large freezer bag. You can work with more or less wontons at a time depending on your comfort, speed and skill level. The key is to not let the wrappers dry out by sitting out too long while you’re working on other wontons.
Step 2: Add cream cheese filling
- Place a heaping 1 teaspoon wonton filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. Don’t fill your wontons with too much filling or they won’t stick together.
Step 3: Fold wrappers
OPTION 1: TRIANGLE
- Working with one wonton at a time, brush the top 2 sides of wonton with water with your finger.
- Next, bring the two opposite corners of the wonton together (2 dry, 2 wet) to form a triangle and enclose the filling, pinching edges of the wrapper together to firmly a seal, pressing out any air.
- Place finished wontons on parchment paper if frying or baking rack on top of a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray if baking.
- Assemble remaining wontons in the same manner.
OPTION 2: “Pouch”
- Working with one wonton at a time, brush two top sides with water.
- Bring 2 opposite corners of the wonton together and pinch to seal.
- Next, pull the other two corners up so all the tips are touching, pressing along the edges to seal, pressing out any excess air.
TIPS TO PREVENT WONTONS FROM TEARING
There are a couple tricks to prevent cream cheese wontons from tearing:
- Don’t over stuff: if the cream cheese rangoons are stuffed with too much filling, they will spring apart. Stick to one teaspoon of filling per wonton.
- Don’t dry out: wonton wrappers can easily dry out which will make them brittle and break or tear easily. To prevent this, keep any wrappers you are not working with under a damp cloth or in a sealed bag. Only remove them when you are ready to use them. As soon as you have filled your wonton wrappers, place them on parchment paper or greased baking rack under a damp cloth.
- Use parchment: placing the finished wontons on parchment paper is important so they don’t stick, otherwise, they can stick to a cutting board/other surface and tear.
- Limit water: don’t use too much water to seal the wontons otherwise the wontons become soggy and the edges will not stick together. Only lightly dampen the edges.
- Clean work surface: before you start a new batch of wontons, wipe your working surface so it is dry otherwise your wonton wrappers will become soggy and tear.
How to Bake Cream Cheese Wontons
You can bake or fry your cream cheese wontons and they will both be delicious. To bake, simply line wontons on a lightly greased baking rack and spray with cooking spray. Bake 8-12 minutes or until corners are browned and crispy.
How to Fry Cream Cheese Wontons
To fry cream cheese wontons, heat about 4 inches deep oil in a heavy bottomed pot to 350 degrees F. Fry about 5-6 wontons at a time, whatever will fit comfortably so they can move around and aren’t touching. Fry until golden. Transfer fried wontons to a paper towel lined plate and repeat until all the wontons are cooked.
Tips for Frying Wontons
- Don’t overcrowd the pan or the wontons will stick to each other.
- Use enough oil so the wontons can sit comfortably in oil without touching the bottom of the pan.
- Use a deep-fry thermometer if you have one – it will save you a few “test wontons” or wrappers
- If you don’t have a thermometer, medium-high heat should be about right, but every stove is different. Test the temperature first with a a spare wonton wrapper or wonton. If it browns too quickly, turn the heat down.
- Remove the wontons when you think they could become a little browner because they will deepen a little when removed from the pan.
- Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer cream cheese wontons to a paper towel lined baking sheet or serving platter so they stay crispy. You don’t want them sitting in oil.
- Make sure to wait 5 to 10 minutes before serving the wontons, or the cream cheese filling will be piping hot.
WHAT OIL IS BEST FOR FRYING?
Not all oils are suitable for frying. For this cream cheese wonton recipe, you will need to use an oil with a high smoking point such as:
- Vegetable oil
- Corn oil
- Peanut oi
- Avocado oil
- Soybean oil
- Safflower oil
- Canola oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Sunflower oil
Can Cream Cheese wontons be refrigerated?
Cooked cream cheese wontons can be refrigerated but I do not recommend refrigerating uncooked wontons. Wonton wrappers dry out very quickly and will become brittle when refrigerated if they have not been cooked, which will cause them to tear and leak when baked or fried. It is better to freeze uncooked wontons instead (see section below).
- TO STORE: Line cooked cream cheese wontons in a single layer on a paper towel lined plate/platter and cover with foil.
- TO REHEAT: Place wontons on a baking sheet and crisp them up in the oven at 300 degrees for 5-10 minutes.
CAN I FREEZE UNCOOKED WONTONS?
Instead of refrigerating wontons which will dry them out, you can freeze them instead! To freeze wontons:
- Place assembled, uncooked wontons on a parchment-lined baking sheet/plate (whatever will fit in your freezer) without touching.
- Loosely cover with plastic wrap.
- Freeze wontons until solid, about 1 hour.
- Transfer wontons to a freezer bag.
- Cook wontons directly from frozen by either baking or frying, adding a couple extra minutes to cooking time.
CAN I FREEZE COOKED CREAM CHEESE WONTONS?
Yes, these cream cheese wontons freeze beautifully! Freezing the wontons creates a fabulous easy- snack/appetizer option for all those busy parties or nights.
- Place assembled, wontons on a parchment-lined baking sheet/plate (whatever will fit in your freezer) without touching.
- Loosely cover with plastic wrap.
- Freeze wontons until solid, about 1 hour. Flash freezing them allows them to be stored together without sticking to each other.
- Transfer wontons to a freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air.
- To reheat, place wontons on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Best Dip for Cream Cheese Wontons
My favorite dip for cream cheese rangoons is sweet and sour sauce. The sweet and tangy dip enveloping the crunchy, creamy cream cheese wontons is heaven. The sweet tanginess cuts through the creaminess with taste bud precision.
I’ve taken traditional sweet and sour sauce and made it using pineapple juice. It might just be the best sweet and sour sauce known to wo-man. You will need:
- garlic loves
- pineapple juice
After you simmer your sweet and sour sauce, you can taste and customize it so it’s YOUR favorite sweet and sour sauce. Add more sugar for sweeter, more vinegar for more tang and sriracha for a kick.
SHORTCUT DIP: If you don’t have the ingredients for sweet and sour sauce, cream cheese rangoons are also delicious with Asian Sweet Chili Sauce! You can also purchase a number of premade dips in the Asian section of your grocery store, including sweet and sour sauce.
Cream Cheese Wonton Variations
- Mix in some imitation crab to create cream cheese crab rangoons!
- You can mix in other proteins as well like cooked pork or chicken.
- Mix cream cheese with Nutella and use more nutella for dipping
- add chopped strawberries to cream cheese (with or without chocolate chips).
- Add some powdered sugar to the cream cheese filling then sprinkle the cooked wontons with powdered sugar; serve with orange marmalade or lemon curd for dipping.
- Mix cream cheese with orange marmalade, apricot preserves, strawberry preserves, lemon curd etc. and some powdered sugar; sprinkle cooked wontons with powdered sugar.
- Mix cream cheese with garlic powder, onion powder, herbs and ANY cheese such as cheddar, pepper jack, Gouda, etc.
- Add bacon and chives to cream cheese.
- Mix cream cheese with artichokes and spinach for artichoke spinach dip wontons!
- Like above, fill them with any your favorite cream-cheese based dip – store bought or homemade.
- Mix cream cheese with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs.
Before you leave to make this scrumptious and versatile cream cheese wonton recipe, did you know there is a Hollywood film make in 2001 called Miss Wonton? I mean, if they can make a movie about it, its good enough to eat, right?!
I won’t be in Hollywood anytime soon, but I can promise you. Patrick and I are going to experiment with some of these great ingredient substitutions for our favorite Wontons! What will you try next?!
Looking for more Asian appetizer recipes?
- Sweet and Sour Chicken Egg rolls
- Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Korean Meatballs
- Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Want to try this cream cheese wonton RECIPE?
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