Garlic Dill Schmear

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Tangy, garlicky, and full of creamy dill flavor – this easy bagel schmear is loaded with flavor and perfect for spreading on your morning bagel!

a hand holding an everything bagel with garlic dill schmear all over it
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dill schmear in a bowl with chopped chives and pickle seasoning sprinkled on top

Garlic Pickle Bagel Schmear Spread

“Schmear” is a Yiddish term that has been adopted into English, especially in American Jewish communities, to refer to a spread or smear of a cream cheese (or similarly creamy) based mixture, usually spread on bread or similar items. It’s often used on bagels, flatbreads, pitas, or sometimes even on smoked salmon!

Schmear is the ultimate rich and creamy spread – and this version packed with garlic, sour cream, cream cheese, chives, and Trader Joe’s pickle seasoning, is over the top delicious!

Indulge in a burst of flavor with a homemade garlic dill schmear featuring Trader Joe’s pickle seasoning. This delightful spread combines the rich creaminess of a schmear with the tangy zest of dill and garlic. By blending cream cheese, minced garlic, chopped dill, and a generous sprinkle of Trader Joe’s pickle seasoning, you’ll create a versatile condiment perfect for bagels, sandwiches, or vegetable dips. The seasoning’s unique blend of spices adds depth and a pickle-infused twist to the schmear, elevating your culinary creations to a new level of deliciousness.

everything bagels on a table covered in dill schmear with chopped chives and pickle seasoning sprinkled on top

How to Make Garlic Dill Schmear

To make this recipe, you will need:

  • Cream Cheese: Cream cheese forms the creamy and indulgent base of the schmear. Its smooth texture and slightly tangy flavor provide a luxurious backdrop for the other ingredients.
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream adds extra creaminess and tanginess to the schmear, balancing the richness of the cream cheese. It also contributes to the spreadable consistency of the mixture.
  • Minced Garlic: Minced garlic brings a potent and fresh garlic flavor to the schmear. It infuses the spread with a bold garlicky kick, enhancing the overall taste profile.
  • Garlic Powder: Garlic powder amplifies the garlic flavor without adding texture. Its powdered form ensures an even distribution of garlic taste throughout the schmear.
  • Chopped Chives: Chopped chives introduce a mild onion-like essence and a touch of color to the schmear. Their subtle onion flavor complements the garlic and adds a layer of freshness.
  • Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning: This seasoning blend is a star ingredient, contributing a medley of flavors typically found on an everything bagel – including sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and salt. Its savory, slightly nutty, and umami-rich components provide depth and a delightful crunch to the schmear.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use this process:

  • Prep. Finely mince garlic and chives. Add paddle attachment to a stand mixer, and place ingredients in bowl – or add to a large bowl and use a wooden spoon to mix.
  • Mix. Mix vigorously, until softened cream cheese, sour cream, and ingredients are incorporated and there are no lumps of cream cheese.
  • Chill. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to set.
  • Serve! Spread over bagels, breads, or use as a vegetable dip! I like to top with a shake of additional Pickle Seasoning and more chopped chives for serving.
everything bagels topped with garlic dill schmear, fresh chives, and pickle seasoning

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Garlic Dill Schmear

Ingredient Proportions: Pay attention to the ratios of cream cheese and sour cream. Adjust these to achieve the desired level of creaminess and tanginess in your schmear. You can start with equal parts of cream cheese and sour cream and adjust from there.

Flavor Balance: Taste as you go. Add minced garlic, garlic powder, and chopped chives gradually, tasting after each addition. This helps you achieve the right balance of garlic and onion flavors without overwhelming the schmear.

Fresh Ingredients: For the best flavor, use fresh ingredients like minced garlic and chopped chives. Fresh garlic imparts a vibrant taste, and fresh chives contribute a lively green color and a more authentic onion flavor.

Consistency: Achieve the ideal consistency by allowing the cream cheese to soften at room temperature before blending. This makes it easier to combine the ingredients evenly and creates a smoother schmear.

Mixing Techniques: Use a hand mixer, stand mixer, or even a food processor to thoroughly combine the ingredients. This ensures a consistent texture and helps evenly distribute flavors throughout the schmear.

Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning: Add the Everything Bagel Seasoning to taste. Start with a conservative amount and gradually increase if needed. Remember, a little goes a long way, so you don’t want to overpower the schmear with too much seasoning.

Chilling Time: Allow the schmear to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Chilling allows the flavors to meld and intensify, resulting in a more harmonious and delicious schmear.

Customization: Feel free to get creative! If you prefer a stronger garlic flavor, adjust the amounts of minced garlic and garlic powder accordingly. You can also experiment with additional herbs and spices to personalize the schmear to your taste.

Storage: Store the garlic dill schmear in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s best consumed within a few days to maintain its freshness.

Presentation: Consider garnishing the schmear with a sprinkle of chopped chives and a light dusting of the Everything Bagel Seasoning just before serving. This adds visual appeal and a hint of extra flavor.

everything bagels on a table covered in dill schmear with chopped chives and pickle seasoning sprinkled on top


What is garlic dill schmear?

Garlic dill schmear is a flavorful spread made by combining ingredients like cream cheese, sour cream, minced garlic, garlic powder, chopped chives, and other seasonings that contain dill. It’s commonly used to enhance the taste of bagels, sandwiches, or as a dip.

Can I adjust the seasonings to taste?

Absolutely! The beauty of making schmear is its flexibility. You can adjust the amounts of garlic, dill, and other seasonings to achieve your preferred flavor profile.

How do I achieve the perfect consistency?

To achieve the perfect consistency, ensure your cream cheese is softened at room temperature before mixing. Gradually add sour cream or other liquids until you reach your desired spreadability.

Can I use herbs instead of Pickle Seasoning?

Yes! Instead of Trader Joe’s pickle seasoning, you can use fresh minced garlic or garlic salt, chopped dill (fresh or dried), and onion powder.

Can I make this schmear ahead of time?

Absolutely! In fact, allowing the schmear to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight allows the flavors to meld and intensify.

How long does schmear last in the fridge?

Typically, garlic dill schmear can last 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container. However, always use your judgment and discard if it shows signs of spoilage.

Can I use schmear in other recipes?

Yes, garlic dill schmear can be used to add flavor to cooked dishes. It can be used as a topping for grilled meats, stirred into pasta, or melted onto roasted vegetables.

What can I serve with garlic dill schmear?

Garlic dill schmear is versatile. Spread it on bagels, toast, or sandwiches. It’s also a great dip for veggies, pita chips, or crackers.

Can I make a spicy version?

Absolutely! You can add a touch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to create a spicy garlic dill schmear.

Is there a vegan version of this schmear?

Yes, you can create a vegan version by using dairy-free cream cheese and non-dairy yogurt or sour cream alternatives.

everything bagels on a table covered in dill schmear with chopped chives and pickle seasoning sprinkled on top

What to Serve With Garlic Dill Schmear

Bagels: The classic choice! Spread garlic dill schmear onto toasted or untoasted bagels for a savory and creamy topping.

Crackers: Spread the schmear on your favorite crackers for a quick and tasty appetizer.

Bread: Whether it’s slices of freshly baked bread like our no knead bread or a rustic baguette, garlic dill schmear makes a delightful spread.

Vegetable Platter: Use the schmear as a dip for a colorful assortment of fresh veggies like carrot sticks, cucumber slices, bell pepper strips, and cherry tomatoes.

Pita Chips: Dip crispy pita chips into garlic dill schmear for a satisfying snack.

Sandwiches: Use the schmear as a flavorful spread in sandwiches or wraps, adding a creamy and garlicky twist. We love this on Sabich for a cool, creamy kick!

Grilled Meats: The schmear can serve as a flavorful topping for grilled chicken, steak, or even fish.

Roasted Vegetables: Spread garlic dill schmear onto roasted vegetables like potatoes, asparagus, or cauliflower for an extra layer of flavor.

Pasta: Mix a dollop of the schmear into warm pasta dishes for a creamy, garlicky sauce.

Finger Sandwiches: Make mini finger sandwiches by spreading the schmear onto small bread slices and topping with slices of smoked salmon, cucumber, or other fillings.

Stuffed Mushrooms: Fill mushroom caps with garlic dill schmear for an appetizer that’s sure to impress.

Deviled Eggs: Add a twist to deviled eggs by incorporating a bit of garlic dill schmear into the filling.

Crostini: Spread the schmear onto toasted crostini and top with your choice of ingredients like roasted red peppers, olives, or prosciutto.

Grilled Cheese: Elevate your grilled cheese sandwich by spreading garlic dill schmear on the inside before grilling.

Pizza Dip: Use the schmear as a base for a creamy pizza dip, and serve it with breadsticks or pizza dough strips.

everything bagels on a table covered in dill schmear with chopped chives and pickle seasoning sprinkled on top

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a hand holding an everything bagel with garlic dill schmear all over it

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a hand holding an everything bagel with garlic dill schmear all over it

Garlic Dill Schmear

Delicious tangy bagel spread with cream cheese, sour cream, and pickle flavor!
Course Spreads
Cuisine American
Keyword cream cheese, pickle seasoning, sour cream, spread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 about 2 cups
Calories 131kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 bunch chives chopped finely
  • 1-2 garlic cloves finely minced, reserve a bit for garnishing
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s pickle seasoning plus more for garnish


  • Add ingredients to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or to a big bowl with a wooden spoon.
  • Mix vigorously to blend, making sure all lumps of cream cheese are incorporated.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set.
  • Smear on bagels, chips, etc and garnish with reserved chives and a shake of Pickle Seasoning.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 745mg | Sugar: 2g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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