Anyone can mash together shredded and cream cheese and roll it around in dried beef and parsley flakes. But to be the rock star guest at a party, walk through your host’s door carrying a bucket of iced Coronas and a platter full of taco cheesecake.
Don’t crinkle your nose on this one. Taco cheesecake seems odd, I know. We think of cheesecake as being sweet and creamy and on our dessert plate, not as a savory appetizer on our party menu or in our tailgating cooler in the back of a truck.
Think of it this way — you stir together taco seasoning, cream cheese, chili peppers, pepper jack cheese, and roll it in into a cheeseball. So why not add a few more ingredients to make it even creamier, bake it, and then chill before serving with tortilla chips and crackers?
It’s the kind of food you can’t stop thinking about once you start craving it. And you won’t want to tell anyone this, but it is not difficult to make. You don’t even need a special pan.
Taco cheesecake is one of my sister’s favorite cheesecakes. She likes to add chopped black olives. You should also serve it with a homemade pico de Gallo.
You may want to buy a few more party dresses because your social calendar is about to fill up like a teenager in the cool kid crowd. Especially if you make Key Lime Cheesecake with Patrón Sauce. You will simply be walking the red carpet at that point.
Bake mini cheesecakes using mini cheesecake pans. I use Chicago Metallic but there are many brands out there.
If you like savory cheesecake…
Everyone will be asking you for the recipe when you bring savory cheesecake to a party. Serve it as an appetizer with an assortment of crackers, crusty breads, nut, pretzels, pita bread, cucumbers and carrots.
- 2 mini cheesecake pans 12 cavities each
- 4 teaspoons yellow cornmeal
- 24 oz cream cheese, 3 (8 oz) packages, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
- ½ cup taco sauce or salsa
- 1.25 oz taco seasoning
- 2 eggs, large, room temperature
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 4.5 oz can chopped green chilies , OR, ¼ cup finely diced jalapeño pepper and ¼ cup finely diced bell pepper
- Toppings: pico de Gallo, sour cream, chopped black olives, tomatoes
- Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray (2) mini cheesecake pans. Sprinkle the cornmeal onto the bottom of each cavity.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese on medium-high until smooth.
- Add sour cream, taco sauce or salsa, and taco seasoning. Beat on medium until creamy.
- Slowly beat in the eggs, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Fold in the pepper jack cheese and green chilies and/or peppers.
- Evenly distribute batter into 24 cavities of the pans. Bake 15-20 minutes or until tops are just set and edges are just lightly browned.
- Cool at room temperature for one hour. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours. Remove cheesecakes from pans. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
- Serve cold or at room temperature. The cheesecake is fine to sit out on your party platter for 3-4 hours.
All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets