The idea of a savory cheesecake may seem unusual, even bold, but it’s the essence of modern gastronomy, where chefs are constantly pushing the boundaries of traditional recipes.
A tribute to the endless possibilities of culinary innovation, Savory Caprese Cheesecake combines the rich creaminess of cheese with the vibrant flavors of Italian Caprese salad.
For the crust, we used a base of crumbled Italian taralli. Instead of cream cheese, we made a mozzarella-based cream. Finally, we topped it with cherry tomatoes and basil. This savory Caprese cheesecake requires no cooking and is ready in no time.
This Italian savory cheesecake recipe not only offers a taste experience that balances salty and creamy elements, but also pleases the eye with its beautiful presentation.
Caprese cheesecake can be enjoyed as an impressive appetizer, a centerpiece for brunch or lunch, or even as a creative twist on a cheesy entree.
Whether for a sophisticated soiree or simply to expand your culinary repertoire, this mouthwatering creation is sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests!
Now let us show you how to make this savory caprese cheesecake, either as a classic cake to serve in slices or in pretty individual portions for your summer parties.
How to Make Caprese savory Cheesecake
- Prep Time: 15 Min
- Cook Time: 0 Min
- Cooling Time: 1 1/2 Hours
- Servings: 4-6
- 250 g (~9 oz) of ripe cherry tomatoes
- 250 g (~9 oz) of fresh high quality Buffalo Mozzarella or Fior di latte mozzarella
- 200 g (7 oz) of ricotta cheese
- 80 g (3/4 cup) of grated Parmigiano
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves
- 100 ml (~7 tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil
- 250 g (~9 oz) of Taralli (or breadsticks or saltine crackers). You can even make Italian taralli at home with our recipe!
- a pinch of fine salt to taste
Make the Crust
Step 1) – First, to make the savory Caprese cheesecake, prepare the crust. We used taralli, but you can also use breadsticks or saltine crackers (see Ingredients). So put the taralli in an electric mixer and crush them.
PLEASE NOTE: If you want a more elegant result and a perfect slice, grind the taralli very finely, almost to a powder. You will obtain a crust with a sandy, firm texture. If, on the other hand, you prefer a more rustic look and like to feel the crunchiness contrasting with the creaminess of the filling, grind the taralli a little coarser. The crust will be more crumbly and crunchy. We chose the second option.
Step 2) – Put the ground taralli in a bowl and add the extra virgin olive oil. Mix well, compacting the crumbs as much as possible so that they absorb all the oil.
Pour the mixture into a cake pan with a removable rim. Use a spoon to level and compact as much as possible, pressing well.
Place the crust in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Make the Cheese Filling
Step 3) – Prepare the mozzarella cream. Cut the mozzarella into pieces, place in a blender and pulse. Blend until fairly smooth (small pieces of mozzarella will remain).
Step 4) – Place the shredded mozzarella in a colander. Press with a spoon to remove as much excess liquid as possible. Allow to drain for a few minutes. To speed up, you can squeeze it with your hands.
Place the mozzarella, ricotta and parmigiano in a bowl and combine.
Step 5) – Remove the crust from the refrigerator and top with the cheese filling. Spread the filling evenly and flatten.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
Unmold and Decorate
Step 6) – At the end of the chilling time, remove the cheesecake from the pan. Use a spoon to gently pull it away from the edges and open the rim of the pan.
Store in the refrigerator while you prepare the tomatoes.
Step 7) – Wash and dry the tomatoes, then halve or slice depending on size and season with a pinch of salt.
Arrange the tomatoes on the cheesecake as you wish. Garnish with a few fresh basil leaves and, if you like, a few mozzarellas.
If you like, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil before serving.
Mini Caprese Cheesecake
For your parties with friends or for a dinner party as an appetizer, you can make small single-portion caprese cheesecakes.
The ingredients listed will make about 4-6 mini caprese cheesecakes, depending on the size of the molds.
We used an 8 cm (3 inch) round steel mold, but you can also use smaller ones.
Make your mini cheesecakes directly on the plate you will be serving them on.
First make the crust with the chopped taralli and press very well. Then add the cream cheese and press.
However, we recommend to add the tomatoes and the basil at the last moment, so that the cream cheese remains perfectly white and contrasts with the cherry tomatoes. Also, the moment to unmold by removing the rim is very delicate and it would be very difficult to do it with the tomatoes on top.
If you think you can’t unmold them without some minor mishap, it will be fine to assemble them in small single-portion glasses, perfect for buffets or brunch with friends and family.
How to Store Savory Caprese Cheesecake
Savory Caprese cheesecake will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator, tightly sealed in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap.
Freezing is not recommended.
Savory Caprese Cheesecake: Some Variations
THE CRUST: If you want to enrich the crust with an original touch, you can add some walnuts or pine nuts to the taralli.
THE CHEESE: As for the cheese filling, if you prefer a milder taste, you can leave out the Parmigiano. On the contrary, if you prefer a stronger taste, you can use buffalo mozzarella or buffalo ricotta.
If you want to bring out the basil flavor, you can chop some leaves with the mozzarella or add a teaspoon of Ligurian pesto to the ricotta.
THE TOPPING: To garnish you can add some green or black olives or some capers. These are all Mediterranean ingredients that go well with caprese.
A special idea to better simulate the sweetness of the cheesecake
is to make the topping with a savory tomato and basil “jam” instead of fresh tomato slices.
Make a very thick tomato and basil sauce. About 250 grams (~1 cup) of tomato sauce will cover a cake pan about 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter.
Soak 3 sheets of gelatin in hot water, squeeze and dissolve in the sauce.
Allow to cool and sprinkle the top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least two hours.