Savory Cheesecakes

These tiny cheesecakes--really cheeseballs in disguise--are a genius addition to the apps spread at your next group dinner.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr 40 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 savory cheesecakes (10 to 12 servings)
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Ingredients

Crust:

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pans

1 1/4 cups herbed cracker crumbs 

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Cheddar-Pimiento Cheesecake:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup shredded Cheddar 

2 tablespoons chopped pimientos

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 to 3 dashes hot sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crumbled candied or regular bacon, for topping 

Thinly sliced scallion greens, for topping

Blue Cheese Cheesecake:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons diced pitted Medjool dates

1 teaspoon diced shallots

Candied walnuts, for topping 

Honey, for drizzling 

Mozzarella-Basil Cheesecake:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup grated Parmesan 

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus 1 sprig, for topping

1/4 cup quartered cherry tomatoes

Balsamic syrup or vinegar, for drizzling 

Olive oil, for drizzling 

Goat Cheese-Herb Cheesecake:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

4 ounces goat cheese

1 tablespoon heavy cream

2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Worcestershire sauce, for seasoning

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons apricot, fig, onion or raspberry jam

Directions

Special equipment:
four 4-inch springform pans

For the crust: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of four 4-inch springform pans with nonstick spray.

Mix the cracker crumbs, butter and pecans in a medium bowl until evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pans. Bake until the crusts are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool the pans on a rack. 

Once completely cool, spray the sides of the pans with cooking spray and line with strips of parchment.

For the Cheddar-pimiento cheesecake: Add the cream cheese, Cheddar, pimientos, Worcestershire, hot sauce and some salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Beat together using an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture on top of one of the cooled crusts in the pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 4 hours. 

When ready to serve, unmold the sides of the pan from the cake and peel off the parchment. Top with the candied bacon and scallion greens.

For the blue cheese cheesecake: Add the cream cheese, blue cheese, cream and some salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Beat together using an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in the dates and shallots. Spoon the mixture on top of one of the cooled crusts in the pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours. 

When ready to serve, unmold the sides of the pan from the cake and peel off the parchment. Top with the candied walnuts and a drizzle of honey. 

For the mozzarella-basil cheesecake: Add the cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, cream and some salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Beat together using an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in the chopped basil. Spoon the mixture on top of one of the cooled crusts in the pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours.  

When ready to serve, unmold the sides of the pan from the cake and peel off the parchment. Top with the cherry tomatoes, drizzles of balsamic syrup and olive oil and a sprig of basil.

For the goat cheese-herb cheesecake: Add the cream cheese, goat cheese, cream, parsley, rosemary, lemon zest, Worcestershire to taste and some salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Beat together using an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture on top of one of the cooled crusts in the pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Spread the jam over top. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours. 

When ready to serve, unmold the sides of the pan from the cake and peel off the parchment. 

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