Recipe: Patriotic Cheesecake Parfaits

By Marge Perry

Take all the great, rich flavor of cheesecake, layer it with summer’s best berries, then add a little crunch and a touch of chocolate, and you have what may just be the perfect summer dessert. Best of all, a great big, celebratory serving of this parfait clocks in at less than 400 calories.

*This recipe can also be made to serve six instead of four. Just use smaller glasses and divvy the recipe up into six parfaits with less than 250 calories each. We pinky-swear it won’t feel skimpy!

In honor of Old Glory, this version is red, white and blue, but you can certainly toss in other fruit as well. Each fruit layer may be made with a combination of fruits, or you can alternate to create red and blue stripes.

The crumb layer may be made several days ahead and stored in a closed container at room temperature; the cheesecake layer may be made a day or two ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. Wait until just a couple of hours before serving to assemble the parfait, to ensure the crumb layer stays crunchy.

Patriotic Cheesecake Parfaits

Serves 4-6


8 ounces Neufchatel (light) cream cheese, at room temperature

One 5.3-ounce container vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup light sour cream

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

6 chocolate wafer cookies, crumbled

1/2 cup crisp rice cereal

14 cup Grape-Nuts cereal

1 cup blueberries

1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries


Beat the Neufchatel, yogurt and sour cream with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar and again beat until smooth.

Combine the crumbled cookies and cereals in a small bowl.

Build the parfaits: Place a small spoonful of the cheesecake mixture in the bottom of each of four parfait glasses or wine goblets. Add a layer of fruit, followed by a second layer of the cheesecake mixture; top with a layer of the crumbs. Repeat. Arrange a final layer of berries on top, place a decorative dollop of the last of the cheesecake mixture and sprinkle with the crumbs.

Per serving (1/4 of total recipe): Calories 369; Fat 15 g (Saturated 9 g); Sodium 388 mg; Carbohydrate 47 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 13 g

Per serving (1/6 of total recipe): Calories 246; Fat 10 g (Saturated 6 g); Sodium 259 mg; Carbohydrate 32 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 9 g

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Marge Perry is an award-winning food, nutrition and travel writer and teacher whose work appears regularly in Rachael Ray Every Day, AllRecipes, Newsday, and on her blog, A Sweet and Savory Life. In addition, Marge is a chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and an Adjunct at New York University, where she teaches food writing.

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