Stuffed celery with cream cheese is a treat in its self. A combination of crunch and cream equals one of the most popular appetizers. Stalks of celery are filled with cream cheese, blue cheese, chopped green olives and pecans. A holiday family favorite that’s so easy to make and always popular. Simply stated, everyone loves cream cheese stuffed celery sticks.
This recipe was first published in November of 2015, and updated with new photos December 2020.
About This Recipe and Why It Works
I happen to think that a stalk of celery is the perfect vessel for a mixture of cream cheese and chopped green pimento-stuffed olives.
Throw in some crunchy pecans and blue cheese and you’ve got an appetizer full of memories.
The holidays are upon us and with it comes all of the gatherings with family, friends and food. And I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving or Christmas without cream cheese stuffed celery on our relish plate.
Growing up, I remember the wonderful aromas of a turkey or ham in the oven was torture for a room full of us hungry kids, so we’d always sneak bites off the relish plate while waiting for dinner.
It seemed the stuffed celery always took the biggest hit, and along with some uncles, we’d all be fighting for that last stalk.
Along with the flavors, the textures of stuffed celery are its most endearing quality. Cool luxurious celery and cream cheese with a salty bite of olives, the slight undertone of blue cheese, and a crunch from pecans = heaven.
Celery sticks are somewhat like deviled eggs, there’s a lot of recipes and many filling options. But when it comes down to it, people are looking for that classic old fashioned straight forward recipe that they know and love.
The one that starts with cream cheese.
They’re easy to make. Let’s take a look.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Celery: The star of the show. For this recipe, I like to purchase the bags of packaged celery hearts as opposed to the larger whole celery bunches that aren’t packaged. The trimmed hearts make for a quicker assembly because there’s fuss.
- Cream Cheese: You can purchase either full fat or reduced fat cream cheese. I suggest full fat for full flavor and texture.
- Blue Cheese: Blue cheese in stuffed celery brings a whole new depth of flavor. You can purchase a wedge of blue cheese and crumble it yourself, or choose a good quality blue cheese that’s already been crumbled. I like Boar’s Head.
- Green Olives: I choose Mezzetta Olives because of the flavor, quality and the large variety they offer. Simply stated, they do olives right. Look for Mezzetta jarred large Spanish olives stuffed with pimento. The larger the olive, the easier they are to handle and dice.
- Sour Cream: Sour cream simply makes the filling for celery sticks even creamier. And adds that irresistible tang. Again, I recommend full fat.
- Chopped Pecans: Adds that special crunch to that creamy filling.
- Milk: Adding a small amount of milk, thins the filling and makes it easier to spread.
Just combine all the ingredients in a bowl and with a fork stir them together until well blended.
Then using a dinner knife or spreader, simply pat the filling into the prepared celery.
How to build a relish plate around celery sticks
Now that we’ve got our cream cheese celery sticks stuffed, let’s make a relish plate that everyone will relish.
- The celery sticks should be the star of the show, so use a bowl that will accommodate those sticks. Standing up and leaning them is a great way to serve them. Start with a large round serving platter and place the celery sticks in a bowl in the center. Then build the relish plate around them.
- Cherry tomatoes compliment the red in the olive pimento filling. A great choice for the platter.
- Pickled okra. It’s fabulous, it’s green and the spicy flavor is a nice compliment to any relish plate.
- One of our favorites and also one of the most popular articles on my site, Pickled Beets! Just drain them well before adding to the platter.
- Fresh carrot sticks and radishes bring a pop of color and added crunch.
- Sliced cucumbers or cucumber sticks.
- Pickled asparagus.
- Cornichons or any variety of pickle spears, or pickle bites.
- And of course browse that olive aisle. Mezzetta has a wide variety of olives, and pickled vegetables that will make any relish plate pop.
When it comes right down to it, just have fun with your relish plate. And the bigger the better.
Tips For Success
You can prepare and refrigerate the filling a day in advance. But wait until the day of to stuff the celery. Just give the cream cheese mixture a chance to soften at room temperature and fill those celery sticks a few hours before show time. Keep them in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Super crisp celery is a must for a good celery stick. If your celery has become a little wilted in the refrigerator. Just place it in cold water and add a few ice cubes. It will spring back to life.
Absolutely. My mom always used walnuts in her celery sticks. I have gotten in the habit of using pecans simply because I usually have them on hand due to baking projects.
Recipe for Stuffed Celery Sticks with Blue Cheese, Cream Cheese and Green Olives
I hope you give this Cream Cheese Stuffed Celery Appetizer recipe a try. They’re absolutely delicious and addicting in flavor.
And if you do, please come back and let me know how you liked it and give the recipe a star rating.
Your feedback is valuable to me for developing future recipes. And if you have a favorite celery appetizer recipe, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
And if you love preparing small bite appetizer recipes, check out my Appetizer Category. You’ll find tons of ideas including the most popular appetizer recipe on my site for Campechana, a Mexican shrimp appetizer.
Happy Holidays to you and your family! And please … over eat … I insist! 🙂
Cream Cheese Stuffed Celery Appetizer
- 12 stalks of celery cleaned and cut into 3 to 4 pieces about 4 – 5 inches long
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 10 pimento stuffed green olives chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1 tablespoon sour cream make that a heaping tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- Bring cream cheese to room temperature
- In the meantime wash, dry and slice celery. Choose stalks that have a wider "boat" to make them easier to fill. Cut the sticks to an even size of 4 – 5 inches. Celery keeps a long time in the refrigerator, save the pieces for later to make soup or mirapoix.
- Dice olives and pecans and set aside. When the cream cheese is softened, in a medium sized bowl, add olives, pecans, blue cheese and sour cream. Mix very well, adding milk to make the mixture more spreadable.Fold in the pecans and olives.
- With a spreader or a knife, heap the cream cheese mixture on the stalks of celery and pat it in to neatly fill the celery stick. Using the back of the knife or spreader, clean the sides of the celery.
Stuffed Celery Sticks …They’re what’s for an Appetizer.
Great recipe that was always made by my father-in-law at every family gathering! He eliminated the chopped pimento olives, however, and sprinkled a good amount of paprika on top of each stuffed celery stalk. Delicious and looks festive and beautiful!
Gillian Michell says
Wilted celery. I always revived wilted lettuce in WARM water because it opens the cells and makes it rehydrate quickly and effectively. I’m not sure if I’ve done the same with celery, but I think it would work the same way.
BTW, I think you write food porn! Great tips on ingredient substitutes and advice on techniques too!
Debbie Farr says
My moms stuffed celery is made with Peimento Cheese Spread that you find in a little glass jar at the grocery store! I hadn’t heard of this recipe, but I can’t make it unless mom has gone to my sisters for the holidays. Thank you for sharing!
Debbie Farr says
“Pimento”. Darn iPhone…?
Lea Ann Brown says
I’ve had it that way too – it’s all good. 🙂
A favorite “kicked-up” with the walnuts and blue cheese – thank you! Just bought the blue cheese at Trader Joe’s and will make next week. My family was introduced to olive-cheese stuffed celery sticks by my sister-in-law and quickly embraced the tradition. Her dad made it every year.
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
This post brought a smile as my mother always had a relish tray at Thanksgiving and Christmas that had stuffed celery. Shw too served it in a cut glass dish. Thanks for the nice memories.
Fantastic appetizer Lea Ann, happy holidays!
We made our version on Thanksgiving eve, this way we had more time to them.
Lea Ann Brown says
I love celery sticks, and glad to hear it’s a tradition in your house also.
Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen says
My MIL used to make something similar and I haven’t had it in years. Love your version with the walnuts and blue cheese.
I love this idea! Yummy and a little crunch! Have a beautiful Thanksgiving my friend!
Jaime, the German granddaughter says
Wow! How creative Lea Ann. Old favorite with a new twist. Happy Thanksgiving! May you have much to be grateful for.
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Lea Ann, you just took me back to my newlywed days! The first time I was planning a big turkey dinner for my husband, he said “I’ll make the stuffed celery. That was always my job.” I said, “What is stuffed celery?” I guess there are only two kinds of families in the world: stuffed celery families and NOT! It’s good, and I be he’s going to like it with the addition of olives; he’s included to put green olives in everything.