The Spread to Beat in Louisville this Year

Benedictine, the classic Kentucky recipe, gets a dill pickle update

Photo: Jessica Fey

“Everybody loves cream cheese,” says Ryan Rogers, of Feast BBQ, Royals Hot Chicken, and the upcoming Bar Vetti in Louisville. Thus the timeless appeal of his hometown’s favorite spread: Benedictine, invented by caterer Jennie Benedict in the early 1900s as a filling for tea sandwiches. It can be as simple as cream cheese, cucumbers, chopped onions, and a splash of green food coloring. Rogers, though, puts some extra work into his recipe. “We didn’t just want to make a neon green cream cheese spread,” says the chef. “We wanted to build some flavor into it.” He uses both pickled and crisp, sweet-and-salty marinated cucumbers, as well as a pinch of dill. Serve it on toast with a side of brown liquor.


  • Dill Pickle Benedictine Spread (Makes about 3 cups)

    • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened

    • Heaping 1/2 cup chopped dill pickle, or dill pickle relish

    • 2/3 cup Marinated Cucumbers (recipe follows), chopped and drained, plus more for garnish

    • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

    • 1 tsp. chopped dill, plus more for garnish

    • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

    • Toast, for serving

  • Marinated Cucumbers

    • 4 medium Kirby cucumbers

    • 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. granulated sugar

    • 1 tbsp. salt


  1. For the Dill Pickle Benedictine Spread: Mix cream cheese in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix to incorporate. Keep in a sealed, airtight container for several days. When ready to serve, spread on toast and garnish with dill and more marinated cucumber.

  2. For the Marinated Cucumbers:* Thinly slice cucumbers and place in a medium mixing bowl. Combine sugar and salt, then sprinkle mixture over cucumber slices until they tastes just barely overseasoned. Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then drain and rinse.


    *Rogers brought this recipe from New York’s Momofuku, where he worked while earning a degree at the French Culinary Institute.

Recipe from Ryan Rogers of Feast BBQ, Royals Hot Chicken, and the upcoming Bar Vetti in Louisville, Kentucky