This post is sponsored by Philadelphia® Cream Cheese. I’m pleased to partner with them to bring you this delicious recipe featuring their products. All opinions are mine alone
The “big game” is right around the corner and I’ve been dreaming up the perfect food spread for the occasion. Whether you attend game day watch parties for the actual football game or you’re just tagging along for the food I have the perfect appetizer for sports fans and foodies alike.
Mini Savory Italian Cheesecakes!
I want to change the way you view cheesecake and show you a different concept that doesn’t include your typical graham cracker crust and sweet cheesecake filling that’s often on your dessert menu. This Mini Savory Italian Cheesecake recipe makes for an easy and delicious appetizer that’s packed full of Italian seasonings and has a buttery cracker crumb crust.
In terms of preparation, I love making this recipe because they are easy to make ahead of time (especially because they need time to set). Hosting and party-planning can be stressful, so these are perfect to prep the night before, then all you have left to do is add toppings before serving.
These Mini Savory Italian Cheesecakes pack a punch of Italian flavors from the Oregano, Basil, Marinara, Parmesan and Ricotta Cheese. However, the real hero in this recipe is the delicious and creamy Philadelphia® Cream Cheese. The silky and delightful texture pairs great with the crunch of the cracker crumb crust.
It’s a good thing this recipe yields 20 mini cheesecakes, because these will go fast from your game day spread!
Let’s get to the recipe.
- 2 ½ cups Ritz Cracker crumbs
- ½ cup salted butter, melted
- 2 egg whites
- 2 eggs
- 2, 8-ounce packages Philadelphia® Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 cup parmesan, grated
- 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup Mariana sauce
- ½ cup grape tomatoes, diced
- 3 tablespoon parmesan, shredded
- Fresh basil, chopped for garnish
- 20 Cupcake liners
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
- Line 2, 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners (20 total), then set aside.
- Combine cracker crumbs, butter and egg whites, then press 2 tablespoons crumb mixture into bottom of cupcake liners. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool for 5-10 additional minutes.
- Lower oven temperature to 300 Degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, grated parmesan, ricotta, oregano, basil, sugar, salt and eggs until well combined and mixture is smooth.
- Fill each liner with 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes. Centers should have a slight jiggle.
- Cool are room temperature for 20 minutes, then refrigerate for 3 hours (or overnight).
- When ready to serve, drizzle with marinara sauce, top with diced tomatoes, sprinkle with shredded Parmesan and top it all off with fresh, chopped basil.
- Serve & Enjoy!