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Southwestern Cheesecake Appetizer

(Shared recipe submitted by Sandy.)

Sandy writes: "Here is a recipe I have been serving at holiday parties since 1994. This is a tried-and-true, very elegant appetizer for any party. Looks very fancy. Also, it's not real spicy. Add some jalapenos to the cream cheese to zip it up before you bake it if you want it spicy."


Place tortilla chips in a large plastic food bag; seal and finely crush with mallet or rolling pin to measure 2/3 cup.

Preheat oven to 325° F. Combine crushed chips and margarine. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, process cottage cheese in a food processor or blender until smooth. Beat cream cheese and cottage cheese in large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the cheddar cheese and chiles. Pour mixture over baked crust. Return to oven; bake for 60 minutes.

Combine sour cream and dip in a small bowl; mix thoroughly. Remove cheesecake from oven and carefully pour sour cream mixture over top. Return cheesecake to oven. Bake 10 minutes more. Remove cheesecake from oven. Let stand at room temperature to cool slightly. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool completely before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake until ready to serve. Just before serving top with tomatoes, onions and olives. Cut into wedges to serve.

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Notes: Put the green onion in a circle around the top outside edge, next the tomatoes and then the olives in the middle. This is really fancy looking when you serve it. I always get compliments when I have this at parties. It is also very good hot, right out of the oven.

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