Do you love the amazing cream cheese rangoons from Panda Express, but you're tired of paying top dollar for them? Fortunately, they're super simple and quick to make at home, and your whole family will absolutely love this tasty appetizer! Cream cheese rangoons are the perfect way to start off a meal of copycat Chinese takeout.
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Craving rangoons on a weeknight? Here's the good news--you might already have a lot of these ingredients in your fridge or pantry at home. If not, it will be quick to grab what you need at the grocery store.
- Cream Cheese: make sure it's the brick kind, not the tub spread variety, and that it's softened to room temperature.
- Green Onions: thinly slice the green part of the onion for this recipe.
- Garlic: I used dried garlic powder for convenience.
- Wonton Wrappers: these are typically in the refrigerated produce section of the grocery stores where I live. If you can't eat wonton wrappers, substitute with egg roll wrappers or rice paper.
- Deep Frying Oil: make sure to use a high smoke point oil, such as peanut or vegetable oil, for this step. You'll also need enough to fill a pot or saucepan 2 inches deep.
What is in Panda Express rangoons?
This simple appetizer consists of a creamy filling made from cream cheese, green onions, garlic powder placed in a wonton wrapper and deep fried. They have a delightful flavor from the onion and garlic, and are super crispy from the deep frying.
Do Panda Express' cream cheese rangoons contain crab?
No, they don't contain crab, so they're perfect for those who have seafood allergies.
Are wontons and rangoons the same thing?
Rangoons are made with wonton wrappers, but they're not the same as wontons. Wontons originate from China and are typically filled with meat and boiled, while rangoons are a Chinese American invention that's filled with cream cheese (or in many restaurants, crab as well).
How do I fold the wonton wrappers for rangoons?
Basically, think of the wonton wrapper as a diamond. Place the filling in the center and a dot of water halfway down each side. Bring the center of each side into the middle and pinch to seal. (See the "How to Make" section of this post for a visual demonstration.)
This post shows you how to fold the wrappers the way Panda Express does, but you can always change it up if you find this technique too challenging. Do what works for you!
Can I make these ahead of time?
You absolutely can make rangoons in advance! Make sure to fry them up fresh, as they'll taste a lot better. Uncooked rangoons can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days as long as they are sealed in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap.
Want to make them way in advance? Shape the rangoons and flash freeze them on a cookie sheet for 1 hour, then place in freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months. When you're ready to cook them, drop them in the hot oil and simply increase the cooking time a little.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients for the cream cheese rangoons.
Place the cream cheese, green onions, and garlic powder in a bowl.
Mix well to combine.
Place a small spoonful of the filling on each wonton wrapper, then place a dot of water on each side of the wonton wrapper. The dot of water should be halfway from each corner.
Bring the sides into the center and pinch to seal. Make sure the wonton wrapper is sealed where the drop of water was to help it stick together.
Repeat until all of the wontons are shaped. Don't worry if the first few don't look as good; you'll get the hang of the shaping quickly.
Deep fry the rangoons in 350 F oil until they're golden brown.
Drain the rangoons on paper towels.
Serve with sweet-and-sour dipping sauce and enjoy right away!
- Crab: Add canned crab to the filling.
- Extra Garlic: Use fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder.
- Dessert: Omit the garlic and onion from the cream cheese and add a few tablespoons of sugar instead. Sprinkle the hot rangoons with sugar after deep frying.
- Air Fryer: Fry at 300 F for 6-10 minutes, turning and spritzing with oil halfway through.
- Baked: Bake the rangoons at 325 F for 8-10 minutes, or until browned.
- Don't use too much water on the wonton wrappers when shaping, or it may not stick well.
- Be sure not to let the cream cheese filling ooze out when shaping the rangoons, as it may bubble out as they fry.
- Remove the rangoons from the hot oil when they are still a light golden brown. They'll darken a couple more shades as they cool.
Looking for more Panda Express entree recipes?
- Orange Chicken
- Honey Sesame Chicken
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Firecracker Chicken
- Sweet Fire Chicken
- Mushroom Chicken
- String Bean Chicken
- Black Pepper Chicken
Looking for more Panda Express copycat side recipes?
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Panda Express Cream Cheese Rangoons
- Place the softened cream cheese, green onion, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well blended.
- Separate a wonton wrapper from the stack and place it on the work surface. Drop about 2 teaspoons of the cream cheese filling on the wonton wrapper, then place a dot of water on each side of the wrapper. Bring the center of each side into the middle and pinch firmly. (See photos in the blog post for a visual demonstration of this technique.) Repeat until you have used up all of the cream cheese filling.
- Carefully place three rangoons in the hot oil, letting them float around the pot until they are a nice golden brown. Be sure to remove the rangoons when they are a little lighter in color than you would like, as they will darken a couple of shades as they cool. Use a slotted spoon or spider to lift them from the oil, then let them drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the rangoons are fried.
- Let the rangoons cool for 5-10 minutes before enjoying, as they will be extremely hot from the oil. Enjoy immediately with sweet-and-sour dipping sauce or as an appetizer for other Panda Express dishes.
- When you shape the wontons, make sure that no filling is oozing out, or more may bubble out during the frying.
- Don't flip the rangoons upside down when they're frying, or the cream cheese may leak out.