Appetizers, Sides

Sweet and Savory Pumpkin Cream Cheese Rangoons

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These pumpkin cream cheese rangoons are a fall twist on a unique appetizer. The pumpkin cream cheese filling is a savory fall snack while the dip is a sweet spiced treat. And when combined they make a great appetizer for any fall gathering.

The pumpkin season is upon us – that means we can now make pumpkin treats and recipes galore. So, check out these sweet and savory rangoons. A savory pumpkin cream cheese filling encased in a crispy wonton wrapper is as perfect as it sounds.

Fried pumpkin cream cheese rangoons on a baking sheet

If you’ve never tried making rangoons before, know that they are a bit of work. But with the help of this recipe, you can whip up these fun little treats in no time. I make these delicious, festive rangoons by mixing cream cheese with canned pumpkin, adding spices, and folding it all together in a wonton wrapper!

These snacks are not only fun and delicious to eat, but they also look great. So let’s get into all of the steps involved with making them.

What Are Rangoons?

Crab rangoons are typically fried appetizers found primarily in American Chinese restaurants. As far as I’m aware, its origin has been traced back to a Polynesian-style restaurant from San Francisco in the 1950s.

You may have heard them called crab puffs, crab pillows, crab cheese wontons, or cheese wontons. But I’ve always known them as crab rangoons.

The pumpkin cream cheese filling inside of the fried rangoons

Crab rangoons are made of wonton wrappers that are filled with sweetened cream cheese and a mixture of crab meat. The wonton wrappers are deep-fried and folded into some form of star or pouch, creating a pocket to hold the filling. They are typically served with some kind of sweet and sour dipping sauce to round out the experience.

So, I took this general appetizer idea and wanted to twist it into a fall-themed dish.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Rangoon Ingredients

These pumpkin cream cheese rangoons include a few different parts: the pumpkin cream cheese filling, the wonton wrappers, and the sweet dip.

To make this easier, we’re going to use store-bought wonton wrappers. You may be able to find some in either the fridge or freezer section of your grocery store. They are thin squares of dough that are roughly 3 inches on each side. If you’re really dedicated, you can make the wrappers yourself.

The main ingredients in the pumpkin cream cheese filling are cheese and pumpkin. Surprise! To complement it, we’ll add some garlic, shallots, salt, pepper, sage, oil, and maple syrup. This filling is a savory pumpkin treat. Similar to a filling you might make for homemade ravioli.

Since crab rangoons are typically served with a dipping sauce, I wanted to make one for this dish as well. In order to balance things out, the dip for these pumpkin cream cheese rangoons is sweet. I’m not going to lie, it is basically cream cheese frosting… so read on for that.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling

It’s not too hard to make pumpkin cream cheese filling.

Start with chopping the garlic, shallot, and sage. Then saute them together with olive oil in a pan until the shallot just becomes translucent.

All of the ingredients for making the pumpkin cream cheese filling

Then add all of the other filling ingredients into a bowl and get to mixing. You can mix by hand or with a hand mixer. Just make sure to get everything thoroughly combined.

The filling itself is mostly savory. The sauteed mixture along with salt, pepper, cheese, and pumpkin all add to the creamy, delicious filling. And then a little bit of maple syrup helps bring in a bit of sweetness that will help the rangoons pair with the dipping sauce.

Mixed filling for the wonton wrappers

Once again, make sure you get a smooth consistency. We’ll be dolloping this out into the center of the wonton wrappers in order to fold and fry them. And you don’t want a rangoon that’s only cream cheese.

How to Fold Rangoons

I’ll be folding these into a kind of 4-point star formation that I’ve traditionally seen with crab rangoons. But you could just fold them in half, or like wontons, or really any way that seals it together. These instructions are for the star rangoons.

The goal is to fold them into a neat little package that will seal so no filling comes out while cooking. To start, set up a rangoon filling station. Have your wonton wrappers, pumpkin cream cheese filling, and a small bowl of water ready to go. Also, make sure there’s space to hold a bunch of uncooked rangoons.

It may take a few tries to really learn it, but It’s easy to fold rangoons.

Step-by-step instructions for folding together the pumpkin rangoons
Step-by-step for filling and folding rangoons

Start by setting out a single wonton wrapper (step 1). Then add about 3/4 of a tablespoon of filling to the center of the wrapper. Dip a finger in the bowl of water and trace the outside edges of the wonton wrapper, rewetting as needed (step 2). It is hard to see in the photo, but the entire edge is dragged with water. This helps the edges stick and seal when folded together.

Now take the midpoints between each corner and pull them up and together so that all four midpoints meet at the center of the wrapper (steps 3-5). Try to keep things even so that edges line up. Then gently press all of the edges together so that they seal together.

When done correctly you should end up with a rangoon that looks like step 5, though you may have a few gaps in the seal at the edge or center. They don’t need to be perfect.

Cooking Methods: Fry, Bake, or Air Fry

Now we need some heat. So what kind of cooking method should you use? There are a few options: deep frying, air frying, or baking.

My preferred method is deep frying these pumpkin cream cheese rangoons. They get more crunch and better overall texture this way. The biggest con is that it is definitely the worst for your health. But sometimes, sacrifices must be made in the name of flavor…

Air fried and deep fried pumpkin cream cheese rangoons
Air fried pumpkin cream cheese rangoons are on the left with deep-fried ones on the right

You can also opt to bake them in an oven. This will take longer, and I think it lends itself to the filling overflowing and the corners of the rangoons over-browning.

Air frying is basically like a midpoint between deep frying and baking. I think it crisps up better than straight baking but not as much as air frying. And it is still prone to overflowing and over-browning. Note that for both baking and air frying I suggest spraying a bit of canola oil over the rangoons to help them cook.

Sweet Cream Cheese Dip

I’m not gonna lie, this dip is basically just a cream cheese frosting. A cream cheese frosting with a whole lot of fall flavors mixed in. And I know that sounds strange, but trust me the combo of savory rangoons with a sweet dip is divine.

A cream cheese frosting is essentially cream cheese mixed with something sweet and any flavors you’d like. For this appetizer dip, we’re sweetening with maple syrup and flavoring with cinnamon, cloves, and fresh thyme. The thyme brings in a bit of the savory flavors found in the rangoons, but the rest is pure, sweet fall flavor.

And, just like the pumpkin filling, it’s super easy to make. This dip has similar flavors to my brown sugar pumpkin spice butter.

Just chop up the thyme and then combine all 5 dip ingredients in a bowl. Then mix it thoroughly until combined.

Mixed together dip to pair with the pumpkin cream cheese rangoons

I used a hand mixer for this. But you can also use a stand mixer or any old spoon. Just make sure that whatever method you use, it is all mixed together without any clumping cream cheese.

Sweet cream cheese dip is a fantastic dipping food. It’s tangy and creamy. And best of all, it’s incredibly easy to make.

What to Serve with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Rangoons

These pumpkin cream cheese rangoons are best served as an appetizer.

Obviously, I serve the rangoons with the sweet dip that I include in the recipe. I think this dip is key to bringing together the sweet and savory flavors. They aren’t quite the same without it.

Sweet dip to complement the savory filling in these wontons

If you are looking for meals to serve with this appetizer, look at any of the following:

However you serve it, just know you’re in for a delicious combination of sweet and savory fall flavors.

How did yours turn out?

I’d love to hear when you try out these pumpkin cream cheese rangoons! Take a pic of your food and share your success with me by adding it to your Instagram stories or feed, and tagging me @doyouroux, or by using #doyouroux.

Plus, leave a rating to let me know how you liked the recipe. It helps me out a lot to know how things worked out… or didn’t.

Sweet and Savory Pumpkin Cream Cheese Rangoons

Recipe by Marc PetersonCourse: AppetizersDifficulty: Intermediate
Servings

15

servings
Prep time

35

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Total time

55

minutes

These sweet and savory pumpkin cream cheese rangoons are a perfect holiday appetizer or snack for the fall season.

Ingredients

  • Sweet Dip
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened

  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • Rangoons
  • 1 small shallot

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 15-ounce can of pureed pumpkin

  • 1 and 1/3 cup cream cheese

  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 75 wonton wrappers

  • Small bowl of water

  • Vegetable oil for deep frying or canola cooking spray for air frying and baking

Directions

  • Sweet Dip
  • Mix together all of the dip ingredients in a medium bowl using a mixing spoon, stand mixer, or electric hand mixer
  • Place the mixed dip in the fridge until the rangoons are ready to serve, then give it a quick stir before serving
  • Rangoons
  • Chop the shallot and sage and mince the garlic
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and then add in the shallot, sage, and garlic
  • Stir and cook until the shallot just begins to become translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes, and then remove it from the heat
  • Combine the sauteed mixture from the frying pan with the pumpkin, cream cheese, ricotta, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a bowl
  • Mix together the pumpkin filling with a mixing spoon or electric hand mixer to thoroughly stir all of the ingredients until fully combined
  • Make a rangoon filling station by setting out the pumpkin filling, wonton wrappers and a small bowl of water
  • Preheat the oil (if deep frying) or the oven (if baking or air frying) to 350°F (175°C)
  • Working with 1-3 wonton wrappers at a time, place about 3/4 of a tablespoon of pumpkin filling into the center of the wonton wrapper
  • Dip a finger in the bowl of water and run it along the entire outside square edge of the wrapper, rewetting as necessary
  • Take the midpoints between each corner and pull them up and together so that all four midpoints meet at the center of the wrapper, then gently press all of the edges together so that they seal up
  • Repeat steps 8-10 until all wontons are filled
  • If deep frying, place 4-5 rangoons at a time in the heated oil and cook until golden brown and crispy (about 3 minutes), then remove them to paper towels to drain
  • If baking or air frying, lightly spray the rangoons with canola oil to give them a little fat for cooking, then place them in the oven or air fryer at 350°F (175°C) for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven and for 5 to 10 minutes in the air fryer until golden brown
  • Serve the rangoons with the sweet dipping sauce and enjoy!

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