Cheesecake isn’t typically something that comes to mind when you are looking for quick, easy dinner ideas. After all, there’s nothing better after a satisfying meal than having a piece of smooth, creamy cheesecake topped with fresh fruit for dessert.
Who knew cheesecake could be carefully crafted to be served as a dinner entree?
This cheesecake recipe, as a main course, provides a warm, rich palette tantalizing change to the traditional recipes we usually serve our family or friends.
I ran across this cheesecake recipe years ago and have made it several times. I will caution you that this is not for those watching their waistline because it is very rich and has more than few calories.
It’s OK to Indulge with Cheesecake in Moderation
However, there are those of us that “fall off the wagon” on occasion and just need to indulge every once in a while. Serving this cheesecake with a crisp romaine salad and a glass of premium white wine can make this a great meal for that special occasion. It’s also a great meal to prepare if you are entertaining friends.
If you don’t find this rich enough, you can top this cheesecake with a homemade marinara sauce or meat sauce but I prefer it as is. You’ll want to savor this meal and try not feel miserable after you indulge yourself.
Spring-form pan preferred but not required
Because it takes the better part of an hour to cook and another hour to cool, this is not something you want to tackle if you’re in a hurry.
This is something, however, you can make ahead, keep it in your refrigerator and warm to room temperature when you are ready to serve it.
Some people will want to substitute ingredients, but in my opinion, the full fat version and staying with the nutty, slightly sweet flavor of the Gruyere cheese is what marries these flavors together.
- 1-1/2 pounds of cream cheese at room temperature
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon (depending on preference) freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
- 4 ounces of Gruyere cheese, shredded
- 1 package frozen, unseasoned chopped spinach (thawed & squeezed dry)
- 2-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces of mushrooms (any variety or mixed) finely chopped
- Crust recipe -
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter for spring-form pan or casserole dish
- 1-1/3 cups of fine breadcrumbs, toasted
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter a 9-inch spring-form pan or 9-inch square or round casserole dish
- Mix toasted bread crumbs with the 5 tablespoons melted butter and press into bottom and sides of casserole dish or pan
- Bake crust for 8 to 10 minutes until it sets and then completely cool it
- Blend in a food processor or blender the cream cheese, heavy cream, salt, nutmeg and red pepper until smooth
- Blend in eggs one at a time
- Divide the mixture evenly into two medium sized bowls
- Add the Gruyere cheese to one half and stir
- Add the green onion and spinach to the other bowl and mix to combine
- Put the spinach mixture first onto the crust
- Turn oven temperature down to 325 degrees
- Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium high heat and add the mushrooms
- Saute the mushrooms until all their liquid has evaporated stirring frequently (about 10 minutes)
- Season mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste and then spread evenly over the spinach filling
- Carefully spread the cream cheese and Gruyere cheese filling over the top of the mushrooms getting the filling to the crust edges
- Set your pan or casserole dish on a cookie sheet and place on the center rack in your oven
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Turn the oven off and with the oven door open, let the cheesecake cool for about an hour
- Remove from the oven and place on a rack. Remove spring-form if using spring-form pan
- Serve at room temperature