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Herb & Roasted Pepper Cheesecake

 Herb & Roasted Pepper Cheesecake
Roasted red peppers and fresh herbs basil, chive and thyme add notes of sweetness, licorice and a hint of peppery finish in ways that will surprise you. Add a drizzle of oil just before serving, and pass the pita chips. —Laura Julian, Amanda, Ohio
24 ServingsPrep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + chilling

Ingredients

  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups roasted sweet red peppers, drained and finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled cooked bacon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Roasted sweet red pepper strips and additional minced chives, optional
  • Baked pita chips

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a
  • double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely
  • wrap foil around pan.
  • Place cream cheese, ricotta cheese, salt and pepper in a food
  • processor; cover and process until smooth. Add eggs; pulse just
  • until combined. Add red peppers, herbs, bacon and garlic; cover and

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Herb & Roasted Pepper Cheesecake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • pulse just until blended. Pour filling into prepared pan. Place
  • springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of boiling water to
  • larger pan.
  • Bake 35-45 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull.
  • Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake
  • on a wire rack 10 minutes; loosen edges from pan with a knife. Cool
  • 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove rim from pan. Just before serving, drizzle cheesecake with
  • oil; top with red pepper strips and chives if desired. Serve with
  • pita chips. Yield: 24 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 slice (calculated without toppings and chips) equals 134 calories, 12 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 61 mg cholesterol, 333 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 4 g protein.