I'm not a big dessert guy and almost always prefer another savory course instead, but if I am going to have dessert, cheesecake is one of my favorites. When you combine those two facts, it's no surprise I tried an experiment with a savory cheesecake. A nice green salad, with or without tomatoes, would be a perfect pairing for this.

Recipe Summary test

20 mins
1 hr 10 mins
2 hrs 45 mins
3 hrs 75 mins
1 9-inch savory cheesecake


Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Filling:
For the Herb Cracker Crust:


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Butter a 9-inch springform pan well.

  • Start the filling: Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Saute peppers and onions with a large pinch of salt until onions just start to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

  • While the pepper mixture is cooling, prepare the crust: Combine crushed cracker crumbs, dried Italian herbs, and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Stir until crumbs are coated.

  • Transfer the buttered crumbs into the prepared springform pan and press down into an even layer. Set aside until needed.

  • Continue the filling: Combine eggs, flour, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the creme fraiche, cream cheese, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and mix until smooth. Stir in parsley, tarragon, thyme, and cooled pepper mixture until evenly combined.

  • Transfer cheese mixture into the prepared springform pan. Tap the pan gently to settle the contents and place on a baking sheet.

  • Bake in the lower center of the preheated oven until a skewer poked into the center comes out clean, 60 to 75 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and carefully remove the ring.

  • Cheesecake should be thoroughly chilled in the refrigerator before serving, about 2 hours. Cheesecake can be served at room temperature, but it will not have the classic smooth, firm cheesecake texture, and will be more like a very light cheese quiche.

Chef's Notes:

You can use hot peppers instead of sweet, or a combination of both. I used water crackers for this, but any non-sweet cracker will do. You can use sour cream instead of creme fraiche. Use 1/2 cup any chopped fresh herbs you like in the filling.

Feel free to add any other savory ingredients into this, like cooked crumbled sausage or crisp bacon.

Nutrition Facts

518 calories; protein 11.5g; carbohydrates 16.2g; fat 46.5g; cholesterol 193.6mg; sodium 735.5mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (2)

Rating: 5 stars
One of the best original recipes I have ever made. Turned out just as advertised by Chef John. Serve chilled as suggested. It's a texture thing. I would serve a thin piece of this as a salad course or as part of a cheese board with fruit for dessert. This went particularly well with sweet cherries. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I lost a bet and got sucked into doing a keto diet for 45 days. My biggest lament was my loss of Cheesecake. But Chef John came in right in right in the nick of time with a savory cheesecake that I barely have to modify to make it low carb. This will more than do to replace my favorite dish for the next month and a half. Many thanks. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Looks great can’t wait for it to cool Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yummy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was killer, fantastic, and superlative! However, I added 1 cup diced, smoked ham and 1 cup diced gruyere and spread it over the cracker crust, then added the cream cheese mixture, baked, cooled and refrigerated. Perfect! Read More