Mac and cheese… cheesecake??? YES! This savory cheesecake is filled with cheese and pasta and even a little tomato and basil. Never had a savory cheesecake? Well get ready for your life to change! Savory cheesecakes in my opinion might even be better than their sweet counterparts. Can you believe it? I have no idea why they aren’t more common!
Where did I come up with this one?
This recipe has been on the list to make for almost a year now. Most times during the year though, bringing a mac and cheese cheesecake to a party is just weird. But at a christmas party, it’s somehow normal. Let’s be clear, this isn’t a cake of mac and cheese, this is a savory cheesecake with cheddar and pasta in it. It came out super festive and awesome, and I would suggest anyone to bring it as a unique app to your next gathering.
Start with the crust
Breadcrumb crust, cause obviously. A cheesecake would typically have a graham cracker crust but I decided breadcrumbs would be a better match for the mac and cheese
Make the cheesecake filling
Cheddar in the mix with the usual soft cheeses. As you can see in the middle picture here, it is a little chunky at first. After you add the egg and milk it smooths right out.
Mix in the mac and cheese!
Stir a well drained can of tomato into the cooked pasta. Then dump in the cheesecake mixture. Once it’s combined, add it to the springform pan to bake.
Baking the mac and cheese cheesecake
Bake at 275 for 45 minutes, shut off the heat and leave it in the hot oven another 45. I didn’t do a water bath for this one because with all the chunks of pasta and tomatoes this cake is less likely to crack on top than a traditional cheesecake would.
Serving the mac and cheese cheesecake
I like this to be slightly warmer than room temperature to serve. Pop it out of the springform pan and slice into appetizer sized slices.
Creamy and delicious. And very different than any cheesecake or mac and cheese I’ve ever had.
I know I said appetizer sized slices but I was hungry!
I love how you can see the mac and cheese right in the cross section of the cheesecake. There is no doubt what you are getting into when you take a bite!
Twists on the mac and cheese cheesecake
You could switch up the flavors on this mac and cheese cheesecake. I used basil and tomato but you could swap out any herb you wanted or other spices. I would also play around with the cheeses. Gruyere would be great in here instead of, or alongside, the cheddar.
Make ahead instructions
This is a little harder to make ahead because it is perfect served slightly warm. You could fully bake it a few days early, let it cool, then wrap with plastic. When it is time for the party, just bake it again at a low temperature for a half hour to warm. Half hour might seem long but it is a thick and dense cake! Let it cool another 10 minutes before slicing.
Mac and Cheese Cheesecake
- 8 oz ricotta
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 8 oz cheddar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 pound elbow mac
- 1 can diced tomatoes strained really well
- about 15 basil leaves finely chopped
- 1 1/5 cups bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 350
- Line a springform pan with butter and parchment paper. Mix the butter with the breadcrumbs and press into the bottom of a springform pan. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 325.
- Meanwhile bring water to a boil for the pasta, start draining the tomatoes, and chop up the basil.
- In a food processor, process all the cheeses until smooth-ish. Add in the egg, milk, basil, and sugar and blend until actually smooth.
- Cook the pasta about 3 minutes less than suggested on the package. Srain the pasta and add it to a large bowl with the tomatoes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then dump in the cheesy goodness. Stir well and pour into the springform pan.
- Bake at 325 for 45 minutes, then shut the oven off and crack the door, but leave the pan in there for another 45. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and let it sit for 30 minutes. Slice and serve.