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RECIPE: Savory Cheesecake As A First Course

We love cheesecake. Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s a sweet cheesecake, but every once in a while we come across—or decide to bake—a savory cheesecake.

There’s no sugar.

Using a base of cream cheese—just like dessert cheesecake—it’s an unsweetened cheesecake that combines savory ingredients: herbs, vegetables, seafood and/or other cheeses.

Savory cheesecakes are always a big hit, because few people have ever had one—and most people welcome a new way to enjoy cheese.

They can combine just about any flavors, from shrimp to jalapeño to roquefort.

Savory cheesecakes can be served as/at:

  • Party Food: Served it as a cocktail spread, with party bread and crackers.
  • Buffet: Slice the cheesecake and place on a buffet with its garnishes.
  • First Course: Serve as first course or cheese course with a mesclun salad.
  • Cheese Course: Serve it before or instead of a dessert.
  • Tea Time: Serve at afternoon tea, instead of tea sandwiches and scones.
  • Sliced Or Individual: Can be a large cheesecakes or individual cheesecakes.
    In addition to the featured Garlic & Herb recipe below, try these delicious recipes, courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

    Just take a look at the photos: You’ll want to make them all!

  • Blue Cheese Cheesecake Recipe
  • Cool & Creamy Tuna Cheesecake Recipe
  • Grand Cru Gruyère & Lobster Cheesecake Recipe
  • Nacho Cheesecake Recipe
  • No Bake Savory Basil Cheesecake Recipe
  • Provolone & Corn Cheesecake Recipe


    This is a savory cheesecake using Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese, with a Parmesan cracker crust, topped with whipped Boursin® and a fresh tomato-olive salsa.

    Chef James Musser used the lighter Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese instead of cream cheese.

    The crust is made from parmesan crackers, but you can use wheat crackers or any savory cracker (we used Wheat Thins).

    This is a party-size recipe, but you can cut it in half. Alternatively, since it’s made with two pans, you can freeze the second pan (here’s how to freeze cheesecake batter).

    For a first course or a cheese course, serve it with a salad lightly dressed with Dijon vinaigrette.

    For a wine pairing, try a Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc. If you prefer a red wine, try a lighter style like Beaujolais or Pinot Noir.
    Ingredients For 24 Slices

  • 18 ounces wheat crackers
  • 1¾ packed cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for brushing
  • 8 packages Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded colby or mild cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
    For The Tomato-Olive Salsa

  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 pint herb-marinated kalamata olives, sliced
  • ¼ cup shaved red onion
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    For The Whipped Boursin Topping

  • 4 packages Boursin Black Pepper Cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons dried herbs, such as herbes de Provence
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnish: microgreens, slice of red onion, halved cherry tomato (see photo #1)

    [1] Garlic-herb cheesecake made with Boursin cheese. The recipe is below (photo © Carlos Garcia | Flavor & The Menu).

    Basil Cheesecake Recipe
    [2] A no-bake savory basil cheesecake. Here’s the recipe (photo courtesy Eat Wisconsin Cheese).

    Nacho Cheesecake Recipe
    [3] Nacho cheesecake. Here’s the recipe (photo © Taste Of Home).

    [4] Blue cheese cheesecake. Here’s the recipe (photo © Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board).

    [5] Goat cheese and basil cheesecake. Here’s the recipe from Love And Olive Oil (photo © Love And Olive Oil).


    1. MAKE the cheesecake: Preheat a convection oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of two 9-inch springform pans with parchment paper. Brush the sides and bottom with melted butter.

    2. PROCESS the wheat crackers into a fine crumb (we pulsed it in a food processor), then combine with 1 cup of the parmesan cheese and the melted butter, until moistened. Press the crumbs into the bottom of each pan and bake for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Turn the oven down to 250°F.

    3. PLACE the Garlic & Fine Herbs Boursin in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
    Scrape down the sides and blade and add the eggs, yolks and sour cream. Mix for 3 minutes, until incorporated with no lumps remaining. Scrape the sides and blade and mix in any unincorporated cheese.

    4. ADD the colby, the remaining ¾ cup Parmesan, the onions, salt, black pepper and white pepper. Mix for 3 minutes on medium until incorporated. Divide the filling between the two pans.

    5. BAKE at 250°F for 1½ hours, until set and lightly browned on top. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour before wrapping and refrigerating. Once cooled…

    6. UNWRAP and run a knife around the perimeter of the cheesecakes to release from the pans. Cut each pie into 12 even slices.

    7. MAKE the Tomato-Olive Salsa: In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, onion, vinegar, salt and pepper until incorporated. Allow the salsa to marinate while the cheesecakes are cooking. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

    8. MAKE the whipped Boursin topping: In a food processor, combine the Black Pepper Boursin, heavy cream and dried herbs. Process to combine, then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

    9. TO PLATE: Rewarm the cheesecake slices in a 350°F oven for 4 to 6 minutes, until heated throughout. Place a dollop (about 1 tablespoon) of whipped Boursin on top of each. Add the Tomato-Olive Salsa to the side of each slice. Garnish the top with microgreens.
    > Discover The History Of Cheese

    > Find More Types Of Cheese In Our Cheese Glossary


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