Red Pepper Cheesecake

This red pepper cheesecake, made with three types of cheese, roasted red peppers, and tartly sweet apricot jam, topping makes an unexpected and elegant holiday appetizer or cheese course.

A round of red pepper cheesecake, topped with apricot jam and surrounded by crackers.

This red pepper cheesecake creates a stunning savory appetizer or cheese course that’s an ideal and impressive something to set out for guests for any occasion.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Red Bell Pepper Cheesecake

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 5 H, 25 M
  • 4 to 6 servings

Special Equipment: 4 1/2-inch (11-cm) round springform pan* (see Note below)

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Ingredients

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  • For the red pepper cheesecake
  • 4 ounces ricotta cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained, patted dry, cut into thin strips, and halved (about 1/2 cup)
  • For the homemade pita chips
  • 4 pitas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot water

Directions

  • Make the red pepper cheesecake
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Wrap the outside of a 4 1/2-inch round springform pan* (see Note below) with 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  • 2. In a food processor, pulse the ricotta, cream cheese, and goat cheese to combine. Add the sugar, egg, and a pinch of salt and pulse a few more times until well mixed, thick, and creamy.
  • 3. Fold in the red pepper strips with a rubber spatula. Scrape the cheese mixture into the springform pan.
  • 4. Place the springform pan in a roasting pan and pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden at the edges and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 45 minutes. (Don’t worry. The cake will become firm when it is cold.)
  • 5. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour. Then refrigerate until the cheesecake is chilled through, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
  • Make the homemade pita chips
  • 6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Cut each pita into 8 triangles (like a pie). Place the triangles on rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle the triangles with the oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Bake until crisp and golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Serve the cheesecake
  • 7. In a small bowl stir together the jam and the hot water and stir until the jam is liquidy. Remove the sides of the springform pan from the cheesecake and place it on a serving plate. Drizzle the jam mixture over the top of the cheesecake. Serve the pita chips alongside. Originally published June 16, 2008.

*What You Need To Know About The Special Pan For This Cheesecake

  • This recipe calls for a rather wee 4 1/2-inch springform pan, which is a tad, well, not so common. As you can read in the recipe tester comments below, this savory cheesecake is definitely worth the small investment, though. Because this pan is not too big. Not too small. Just the right size.

Recipe Testers Reviews

This is an easy, delicious, unusual, and beautiful appetizer to serve. The apricot jam topping adds just the perfect amount of sweetness. It’s so good you might have to make 2 cheesecakes or double the recipe as my dinner party of 4 ate the whole thing in a manner of minutes.

Homemade pita chips are the ideal accompaniment.

I had great success with this savory cheesecake recipe! I actually made it twice, once for a party and once for my coworkers, and it got raves both times. It’s very easy, and I think it’s worthwhile to get the pan that it called for because it really adds to the presentation. Easy and delicious.

A delicious treat well worth making. The texture was luscious and the red flecks made the dish beautiful to look at. I love the sweet and savory flavors together. The pita crisps are a great idea as the cheesecake alone would be rich.

This savory cheesecake recipe was very simple to make and easy to double; I took this, along with a few other appetizers, to a wine-tasting dinner that my husband and I are a part of. What's nice is I was able to prep it in the morning, bake it, cool it, and then let it sit in the fridge until party time. We served it with pita chips and rice chips, which we all actually liked better. Overall, this is a very simple recipe and well worth getting the right size pan for.

A few tips:
1. Make sure that you really dry off the jarred red peppers so that your cheesecake doesn’t turn pink. I found I was able to chop them into pretty small pieces without it effecting the color.

2. I learned in a baking class years ago all that you need to do to make sure that you have a smooth top on any cake is to spin the pan or lightly tap the pan on the counter.

I tend to enjoy savory cheesecakes more than sweet cheesecakes. This one is a winner. It’s a creamy, savory treat that’s perfect as an appetizer or even lunch. I love the combination of cream, ricotta, and goat cheese. The roasted red peppers give it a mild sweetness.

All in all, I loved it. I think it needs a crust though, for a contrast in texture. Crushed bagel chips or seasoned bread crumbs would be a nice touch.

This red pepper cheesecake was a big hit served as a midday snack. My guests loved it.

I thought the ricotta made it just the slightest bit weepy, so I’ll choose a drier brand or let it drain a little before using. And I would have preferred it a little tangier and will up the goat cheese ratio next time.

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Comments

  1. If you do the math, a 6-inch round pan has just about twice the surface area as a 4.5-inch round pan. (To be more precise, you’d need a pan 6.36 inches in diameter, to get twice the surface area.) Many of us who own Instant Pots and have used them for making cheesecakes already have 6-inch springform pans. Thus, I’m going to suggest that doubling the recipe and using a 6-inch springform might work reasonably well. Furthermore, since this savory cheesecake gets baked in a water bath, it might also be amenable to an expedited baking in a pressure cooker.

    I’ll let you know if I try it.

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