Savory Cheesecake Appetizers {vegan}

Savory Cheesecakes for a Virtual Vegan Potluck

Regular visitors know that the recipes I share here rarely venture far from the sweet stuff. However, when Annie announced  World Vegan Day for the second Virtual Vegan Potluck, I immediately knew that I wanted to do something a little different and debut a savory dish. I decided on individual savory cheesecakes, topped with a pumpkin seed pesto.

I admit that at first I was concerned with how a savory cheesecake would turn out. Was I crossing a line I shouldn’t be? But those fears were quickly alleviated. The pesto paired up beautifully with the rich, creamy filling, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results. In fact, the next time I attend a “live” potluck, I’m bringing savory cheesecakes :-)


Don’t miss out on the other fantastic dishes! Use the navigation buttons, at the end of this post, to move yourself up and down the buffet table… And let’s not forget a big thank you to Annie (An Unrefined Vegan), Somer (Vedged Out), and Jason (Jason and the Veganauts) for organizing this event!





Savory Cheesecake Appetizers


1/2 cup Finely Ground Wheat Crackers (I used Wheat Thins)

1/4 cup Ground Pumpkin Seeds

2 tsp Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 325°F and line muffin tins with paper liners. I used a tin that makes medium sized muffins (cups are about 2 inches wide).

Stir together the cracker crumbs and ground pumpkin seeds. Blend in the olive oil.

Using a tablespoon to measure, scoop crust and press into the bottom of liners.

Bake for 5 minutes.



8 ounces Dairy-Free Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)

1/4 cup Pureed Soft Tofu

1 tsp Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (or All-Purpose)

Combine cream cheese, tofu, and flour in a food processor and blend until smooth. Can also use a mixer for this, but food processors work better, as they don’t aerate the filling.

Scoop filling onto crusts (I started with a tablespoon each, and then divided the remainder evenly amongst them). Spread the filling out to the edges of the crusts and smoothing the tops.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Cool completely, then remove from tins, cover loosely, and refrigerate overnight.


Pumpkin Seed Pesto:

1 cup Coarsely Chopped Basil, lightly packed

2 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds, raw

1 clove Garlic, chopped

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp White Miso

Salt and Pepper to taste


In a food processor, pulse the basil, pumpkin seeds, and garlic until minced.

Add oil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and miso. Blend until thoroughly combined.

Stir in salt and pepper.


Just before serving, remove cheesecakes from paper liners. Place a dollop of pesto on each cheesecake (I used about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon each), and spread out to look pretty.

Makes approximately 16 cheesecakes.






62 thoughts on “Savory Cheesecakes for a Virtual Vegan Potluck

    1. Starr Post author

      Thanks! I hadn’t heard of them either, and was hoping I came up with something new. No such luck. I peeked around the internet and they’d been done… Oh well, they were yummy anyway :-)

  1. Pingback: roasted cauliflower soup with truffle croutons (gluten-free) | Barefoot Essence

  2. Pingback: Virtual Vegan Potluck – November 2012! «

    1. Starr Post author

      Never would have guessed that someone would just happen to have some pumpkin seed pesto ready at hand! But it’s perfect timing, because you’re half way done! :-)

    1. Starr Post author

      Thank you :-)

      Obviously I’m no high altitude baking pro, but I don’t think these guys would give you a problem. The only thing, as I understand, is that with cheesecakes, you should bake them with a hot water bath. The crust should be fine though (there’s no leveling taking place or any real moisture to be lost).

    1. Starr Post author

      Thank you! :-)… and did you notice how easy it would be to make them gluten-free? It dawned on me after making them, and I just about kicked myself for not thinking of it sooner!

  3. Sophie33

    What georgous savoury cheesecake appetizers! I especially love that pumpkin seeds pesto! Yummmm! Waw too! I also entered & loved it so much! It was my 1st time!

    1. Starr Post author

      Thanks Sophie! I came up with the pesto recipe a few years ago (I usually use pine nuts). We love it on penne pasta with sliced sun dried tomatoes… I started to go through the blogs this morning, but only made it through to breads before running out of time (work is such a kill joy :-)). Can’t wait to see what you made!

    1. Starr Post author

      Thank you :-) Whenever I bring appetizers to a potluck, I choose finger foods. I think it’s easier to eat and mingle that way.

    1. Starr Post author

      Thanks!… My boyfriend was skeptical when I first mentioned them to him, but I knew I couldn’t be the only one who thought these were a good idea! :-D


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