Delicious and addictive, Cream Cheese Wontons are crispy, creamy heaven with every bite. This Chinese takeout favorite is easy to make at home, and absolutely everybody loves them.
Once you learn how to fold wontons into a plump little package, the rest is smooth sailing. (Easy instructions below, so don’t worry.) After that, you can deep fry the wontons, or bake them, or fry them in an air fryer—whatever gets that crispy dumpling into your mouth the fastest.
Cream Cheese Wonton Ingredients:
- Wonton wrappers. What you want are the square wonton wrappers made with wheat flour (not rice). They measure about 3 1/2” square and are usually light yellow in color. Each package will probably have more wrappers than you need, so you can wrap up what you don’t need and freeze them for Crab Rangoon or more wontons. (Maybe tomorrow.)
- Cream cheese.
- Egg. A beaten egg wash will seal the edges of the wonton wrappers together.
- Dipping sauce. Some of the best dipping sauces for fried dumplings down below!
So, where can you find Chinese Wonton Wrappers at the store?
- At the grocery. Because they’re so small, wonton wrappers can be a little tricky to find, even in well-stocked groceries. Look in the refrigerated produce section, where they’re sold in little square packages. However, sometimes they’re in the freezer. Some stores only sell one variety, so look carefully.
- At the Asian market. You’ll find lots of choices, and may have dozens to choose from. Look for the square, egg-based wrappers, which are usually yellow and thinner. These hold up well in the hot oil.
How to make homemade Cream Cheese Wontons:
These photos walk you through the steps, without giving exact ingredient amounts. Look at the recipe card at the bottom for the specifics, in case you’re making wontons for hundreds!
- It all starts with the delicious filling. Mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and scallions together in a bowl.
- Next, beat the egg and the tablespoon of water together to make an egg wash, which will act as glue for sealing the wonton wrapper seams together.
- Keep the filling bowl and the egg wash waiting in the wings while you set up your clean work surface.
How to fold the wonton wrappers:
Just a couple folds to melty cream cheese paradise! As you work, place finished dumplings on a baking sheet or large tray. Then cover them with a damp towel or plastic wrap, so they stay moist while you work.
- First, working in batches, arrange 5 to 10 wonton wrappers on a clean, dry work surface.
- Then using the tip of your finger or a pastry brush, brush all four edges of each wrapper with the egg wash. Next, place about 1 rounded teaspoon of cream cheese filling in the center of each wonton wrapper.
- Then, to fold, first lift and press the seams of 2 opposite corners together to cover the cream cheese.
- Almost there! Next, lift the remaining 2 opposite corners and bring them to join the first corners to form a small package. This next step is crucial: firmly press all the seams together and then fold over the top where all the corners meet.
If the wrapper does not seem to stick, apply additional egg wash and keep pressing.
You did it! Bust out that deep fryer and you’ll be devouring a pile of the best cream cheese wontons in mere moments.
Frying Cream Cheese Wontons:
If you don’t own a deep fryer, you can fry wontons in a pot on the stove.
- First, heat a couple inches of vegetable oil in a sturdy pot. If you want to save on oil, start with a smaller amount of vegetable oil in a small pot. If you’re making a larger amount, you might want to size up. Either way, you can cook the dumplings in batches.
- Next heat the vegetable oil until it reaches 375 degrees. Use a thermometer to get an accurate temp–any hotter and you run the risk of the oil catching fire; cooler, and your wontons will soak up too much oil and taste greasy.
- When ready, carefully lower the wontons into the hot oil and cook each batch for about 2 minutes, until golden brown. You can gently turn them with a slotted spoon or tongs, if you like.
- As they cook, use a slotted soon to remove the wontons and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to soak up the residual oil.
Baking crispy Cream Cheese Wontons:
Traditionally, crab rangoon and cream cheese wontons are deep fried, but oven baking works, too—especially for larger batches of wontons.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the wontons in a muffin tin, one wonton per compartment, or on a sheet tray. If you like, you could brush the wontons with vegetable oil.
- Then simply bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
Air-frying crispy Cream Cheese Wontons:
Too hot to fry? Air fryer to the rescue.
- First, spray the inside of the air fryer basket with nonstick spray.
- Next, place as many wontons as you can fit without touching into the air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your fryer, you should be able to fit 7 to 8 wontons.
- Cook the wontons in the air fryer at 350 degrees for 6 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown.
Cream Cheese Wonton Tips:
- Seal the edges. Above all, the edges of the wonton wrappers need to be sealed tight to lock in all that cream cheese filling. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your hard work in the cooking oil when the break open. Store-bought wrappers tend to on the dry side, unlike the ones that are made from scratch. Press the seams together completely so the filling stays inside the dumpling as they fry. If you need to, use a little more egg wash to get the job done.
- Keep the wrappers damp.Use a damp paper towel to place over the wonton wrappers as you work. This will keep them moist and pliable.
- Start small. Fill and fold only a few dumplings at a time, at least until you get the hang of it. Once you’ve got the technique mastered, you can assemble larger batches no problem.
- Portion control. A small cookie scoop works great to portion out the delicious cream cheese filling. Or try a teaspoon dipped in cold water in between scoops–that keeps the filling from sticking to the metal.
- Make ahead wontons. Cream Cheese Wontons can be made up to a few hours in advance, then fried up at the last minute when it’s time to eat. Space out the filled wontons on a sheet tray, then cover with a damp paper towel or a tight layer of plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
- You want the oil hot (but not too hot.) Deep fried wontons soak up way too much cooking oil, if your oil isn’t hot enough. Double check to make sure the oil is 375 degrees before lowering the dumplings in to cook.
So many great dipping sauces, so little time:
- Pepper jelly. Believe it or not, the Midwestern appetizer staple makes a delicious dipping sauce for rangoon and cream cheese wontons. One great brand is by Stonewall Kitchen, which has a perfect balance of sweet and spice.
- Sriracha. American-made Sriracha pepper sauce is fantastic on its own as a sauce. Duck sauce, aka plum sauce. Bottled Chinese plum sauce, traditionally served with duck, is made for fried dumplings. Koon Chun brand is good.
- Chinese hot mustard. Caution: this stuff is strong, so don’t inhale! Carefully mix together ¼ cup dry mustard with 3 tablespoons cold water, until it resembles a dippable consistency.
- Homemade dipping sauce: Mix together 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 2 teaspoons Sriracha. Garnish with chopped scallions or chopped chives.
Freezing Cream Cheese Wontons:
- Assemble the wontons a day before you need them, and pop them in the freezer. Make sure they’re not touching when they freeze, so they don’t stick together.
- When you’re ready to fry, don’t thaw them out—just add them to the hot oil. They may need a couple extra minutes of cooking time, just so you know.
Fun additions to cream cheese wontons:
- Crab. Obviously, crab is the favorite ingredient to add to the cream cheese filling. After all, this recipe is just Crab Rangoon without the crab! Fresh, cooked crab or imitation crab meat both work. Add about 6 to 8 ounces of crabmeat to the recipe, as it’s written.
- Bacon. Because bacon goes with everything! Crispy bits of cooked bacon added to the filling might be the best thing ever.
- Chicken bouillon powder. A little bit of chicken bouillon powder (½ teaspoon) ups the flavor of the cream cheese.
Cream Cheese Wontons
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and green onions. To make egg wash, in a small bowl whisk together egg and water.
- Working in batches, arrange 5 – 10 wonton wrappers on a clean, dry surface. Brush all 4 edges of each wrapper with the egg wash using a pastry brush or your finger.
- Place 1 rounded teaspoon of cream cheese filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. To wrap, first lift and press the seams of 2 opposing corners together over the filling. Then, lift the remaining 2 opposing corners and bring them also to the middle to form a small parcel. Press all seams together and fold over the top where all 4 corners meet. If the wrapper does not seem to stick, apply additional egg wash. Repeat with all remaining wonton wrappers and filling.
To fry cream cheese wontons:
- In a deep fryer or deep pot, heat oil to 375 degrees (do not let the temperature greatly exceed 375 degrees or the oil may smoke and burst into flame). Fry wontons in small batches until golden brown, about 15 to 20 seconds. Drain on paper towels. Serve with pepper jelly if desired.
To bake cream cheese wontons:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 24 regular-sized muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 1 filled wonton in each cup. Bake until edges are golden brown and filling is heated through, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving and serve with pepper jelly if desired.