Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Dried Beef Roll-up appetizers

by: Chica

Dried Beef Roll-up appetizers
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The most popular snack I’ve ever prepared is undoubtedly my Dried Beef Roll-ups. Almost every time a friend of mine is planning a party or event, they ask me to contribute by bringing my famous “beef thingies”. When I walk in the room with a plate full of these savory snacks, everyone rushes to the table, and no matter how many I make, they are usually gone within a half hour. It’s an easy recipe with killer results, and I’d love to share it with you.

The key ingredient, as you’ve probably guessed, is dried beef. Most people don’t know what that is, but if you’ve ever had “creamed chipped beef”, it’s in that. The exact flavor of dried beef is really hard to describe, but it’s yummy, salty, semi-dry, and comes in round slices about 3″ across. You can buy it in the “canned meat” section of the grocery store, and I recommend Armour brand if you can find it. It comes in little jars or sometimes in plastic packets.

dried beef roll-up appetizers

Finding the dried beef is by far the hardest part of the recipe. Once you’ve got that, the rest is quite easy! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 small jars or packets of Armour Dried Beef (or 1 large jar)
  • 1 8oz block of cream cheese
  • 1 bunch of green onions

Leave the cream cheese on the counter for a couple of hours so that it softens to room temperature, which will make it much easier to spread. Spread some cream cheese on a slice of dried beef.

dried beef roll-up appetizers

If you are a big fan of onions, you can leave them whole, but for a milder, crowd-pleasing taste, slice them in half lengthwise so that the white part isn’t too strong.

dried beef roll-up appetizers

Place a piece of onion on the beef and roll it up completely.

dried beef roll-up appetizers

Do a few and then line them up and trim off the ends of the onion. You can use the leftover onion on the next roll-ups.

dried beef roll-up appetizers

For better presentation and to make them bite size, cut each roll-up in half crosswise.

dried beef roll-up appetizers

Arrange the roll-ups in a sunburst pattern on a pretty plate. Serve either chilled or at room temperature. (You can do these a couple of hours ahead of time, but don’t make them too early, because the onions will wilt after a while.)

And that’s it! I know it sounds so easy, but people actually beg for the recipe all the time. This is a perfect example of something that’s greater than the sum of its parts, mostly due to the unique flavor of the dried beef. Enjoy!

Dried Beef Roll-up appetizers
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26 comments so far:

  • 1
    isappb 03/24/2008 at 10:06 am

    The dried beef sounds yummy I will definately try this. I make something similar, the difference being I use sliced ham instead of beef. Get pretty much the same response from family and friends.

  • 2
    JJ 05/19/2008 at 4:27 pm

    This sounds great and easier than our family’s favorite dried beef appetizer. I’ve also had a hard time finding the dried beef but had success at Walmart. Our version coats a dill pickle with cream cheese with finely-chopped peanuts mixed in, wraps that (liberally) with dried beef then chops the whole thing into “coin”-shaped slices 1/4-1/2″ thick.

  • 3
    Chica 05/19/2008 at 5:14 pm

    Hi JJ. That sounds very tasty!

  • 4
    AgnesEthel 05/06/2009 at 10:51 am

    I put my cream cheese mixture into a plastic baggie. I cut a very, very small tip off one corner. Then squeeze the bag (and cheese mixture) toward the small hole. This is the easiest way I have found to quickly spread my cream cheese onto my dried beef. Add your onion and roll. I have used the “already flavored” variety of Cream Cheese and found that my rollups go even quicker!
    The little Jars now come with snap on & off lids, making them great for my husband to use with his tool set for screws, nut, bolts, or for me to use in my sewing area for buttons, safety pins, and notions.

  • 5
    Chica 05/06/2009 at 10:57 am

    What clever ideas, AgnesEthel! I love the way you are re-using the jars. They are such a cute size :)

  • 6
    Karin 01/18/2010 at 8:19 am

    My family’s version uses a pickle also. We just ate them at Christmastime. We do not use chopped peanuts. We use the dried beef, cream cheese and a full dill pickle and then slice it into rounds before serving. So yummy, but very salty!

  • 7
    Cindy 08/13/2010 at 1:59 pm

    Thank you!!! You just saved my @ss! Been looking for an easy appitizer for over an hour!

  • 8
    Chica 08/13/2010 at 2:26 pm

    Awesome, Cindy! Let us know how it comes out :)

  • 9
    Penny 12/02/2010 at 1:56 pm

    Great recipe! I have made a similar dried beef roll up with same ingredients for over 50 years but sliced and served on crackers with a srig of broccoli or olive to decorate the top. I was looking for a different version because the crackers become soft in short time. Thanks so much for this idea.

  • 10
    phillip sykes 03/10/2011 at 11:55 am

    Does anyone know a recipe for a cream cheese and horseradish filling for the armour dried beef?

  • 11
    Mary 11/22/2011 at 1:58 pm

    I’ve made a similar treat for years, using a slice of a sweet pickle rather than the onion. The sweet and salty combination really makes a hit.

  • 12
    michelle morton 12/23/2011 at 12:30 pm

    I searched for a dried beef,cream cheese roll up recipe forever that didn’t have pickles in the middle, I love green onions, thank you so much for this idea!!!

  • 13
    Chica 12/23/2011 at 12:31 pm

    You’re welcome, Michelle. I hope you enjoy it!

  • 14
    Vicki 02/02/2012 at 1:58 pm

    You could also slice a celery stalk in a thinner strip and put it in the middle. Add a little horseradish to the cream cheese mayo mix. Also you can use any kind of thinly sliced lunch meat – Buddig smoked turkey, deli sliced pastrami – lots of combos.

  • 15
    Chica 02/02/2012 at 3:08 pm

    Vicki, the celery sounds like a great alternative for folks like my sister who don’t like onions. Thanks for the tip!

  • 16
    JD 03/05/2012 at 2:50 pm

    i do this very often, except i rinse the dried beef first under running water and then pat dry. green olives or jalapenos are good filling alternatives as well!

  • 17
    Chica 03/05/2012 at 4:36 pm

    JD, I personally love the extra saltiness so I don’t rinse, but I’ve got a friend who does it like you do. I think green olives sound like a wonderful addition, so thanks for the suggestion!

  • 18
    bette stoelzing 10/12/2012 at 2:14 pm

    In the mid 1960s a dietitain friend made these with chopped onion mixed in the cream cheese. I simplified them by cutting the cream cheese into ten sections,laying each chunk acrosse the meat then laying on two chunks of green onion, rolling them up and snipping them in half, removing so much of the work. Have lived in 5 different states since then and made them everywhere! You don’t need that special meat–the Buddig’s pastrami is my favorite and is reasonable! If done 12 hours in advance the fl avor of the onion permeates nicely…………. Chica was probably not even born when I started making these!!!!

  • 19
    Chica 10/12/2012 at 4:27 pm

    Bette, thanks for sharing your story. I love your idea for cutting the block of cheese into sticks — what a time-saver!

  • 20
    linda 11/13/2012 at 8:00 pm

    O my soooo good.only made them with cream cheese just added.onion for first tim wow …..I love em

  • 21
    Chica 11/14/2012 at 8:39 am

    Linda, isn’t it amazing how much flavor that little bit of green onion adds? Glad you liked them!

  • 22
    MJ 11/30/2013 at 12:21 am

    I just made these for a post-Thanksgiving dinner appetizer because I was thinking of old holiday recipes. My aunt used to whip these up. Wouldn’t they be great made with prosciutto?
    I softened the cream cheese, added a tablespoon or so of mayonnaise, some wasabi sauce for a kick, some garlic powder and some grated Parmesan cheese. Spread the mixture on with a knife and rolled them tightly. They’ll chill, covered, and then be cut into bite-size pieces. One pkg. of cheese does two jars of dried beef.

  • 23
    Chica 11/30/2013 at 11:28 am

    Sounds delicious, MJ!

  • 24
    Ba 06/25/2015 at 12:40 pm

    My dad made a similar appetizer. He mixed the cream cheese with a little horseradish and rolled up the chip beef and cut them in half. No onion.

  • 25
    Lori 11/26/2015 at 4:34 pm

    This is pretty fun reading variations of A holiday snack that my family has been making since the depression. We use plain or herbed cream cheese, yet the saltyness of the dried beef is addicting. We end up making 2 to 3 jars worth and you’re right its never enough. My grand children prepare them for all holiday meals these days. They usually eat as many as they make. :)

  • 26
    Kathy 11/23/2016 at 5:31 pm

    My grandkids love these they liked yours but they prefer it if I used garden vegetable cream cheese. I cannot make enough for 3 growing boys

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