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No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

May/June 2012

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This no-bake cherry cheesecake is an easy summertime treat. This no-bake cheesecake recipe has omega-3-rich walnuts in the graham cracker crust and uses nonfat Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cream cheese in the filling to keep saturated fat in check. If you want a bright red topping, use sour cherries. Sweet cherries give it a more purple hue. To make gluten-free no-bake cherry cheesecake, use gluten-free graham crackers.


No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

Makes: 12 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 4 cups halved pitted sour or sweet cherries, fresh or frozen (thawed, drained; see Tips)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Half a 14-ounce box graham crackers, preferably whole-wheat
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tips)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 8-ounce packages reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
  • 2 cups nonfat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Combine cherries, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch with 4 teaspoons water, then stir into the cherry mixture; return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid thickens and looks syrupy, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  2. Process graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Add walnuts and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl; stir in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Drizzle with oil and stir to combine. Press into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  3. Beat cream cheese, yogurt, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread over the crust. Spoon the cherry mixture over the top. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • Tips: To pit fresh cherries, use a tool made for the job—a hand-held cherry pitter; it also works for olives! Or pry out the pit with the tip of a knife or vegetable peeler.
  • To toast chopped, small or sliced nuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Nutrition

Per serving: 348 calories; 17 g fat (4 g sat, 7 g mono); 20 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrates; 22 g added sugars; 9 g protein; 2 g fiber; 273 mg sodium; 228 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (17% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 1 1/2 carbohydrate (other), 1 starch, 1/2 fruit, 3 fat


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Recipe Categories

Type of Dish
Desserts, other
Ethnic/Regional
American
Health & Diet Considerations
Low cholesterol
Low sodium
Ease of Preparation
Easy
Total Time
More than 1 hour
Servings
8 or more
Main Ingredient
Vegetarian, other
Preparation/ Technique
No-cook
Meal/Course
Dessert
Season
Spring
Summer
Publication
May/June 2012
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