Cheesecake isn't just for dessert! This savory version is my family's favorite for merry munching around the holidays. —Julie Tomlin, Watkinswille, Georgia
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream, divided
- 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- Assorted crackers
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1 cup sour cream and soup until smooth. Add the eggs, Romano cheese, garlic, cornstarch, basil, thyme, Italian seasoning and pepper; beat until blended.
- Pour into a greased 9-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove sides of pan. Spread remaining sour cream over top. Serve with crackers. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 24 servings.
Originally published as Herbed Cheesecake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2002, p27
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