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Emeril's Southwest Cheesecake

  • Yield: 16 servings


  • 1 cup finely crushed tortilla chips (about half of a 13 1/2-ounce bag)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup minced jalapeÒos
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons Emeril's Southwest Essence
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • 5 large eggs
  • 6 ounces grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese
  • Simply Salsa
  • Cilantro Pesto


  • Preheat the oven to 325?F.
  • Combine the chips and butter in a small bowl and mix to blend. Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, jalapeÒos, 1 teaspoon Southwest Essence, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Season the chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons Essence. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fold the vegetables, chicken, grated cheeses, remaining 2 tablespoons Essence, and remaining tablespoon salt into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the mixture into the springform pan and bake until the center has set, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack. When cool, transfer to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly before serving.