Fiesta Cheesecake


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Crust: 1½ Cups finely crushed tortilla chips ¼ Cup butter, melted "Cheesecake": 2 (8 oz.) + 1 (3 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened 2 large eggs 2½ Cups (10oz.) Monterey Jack Pepper Cheese, shredded 1 (4.5 oz.) Can chopped green chilies, drained (or 1 can chopped jalapenos for more kick) ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper Topping: 1 8oz. carton of sour cream ½ Cup each, chopped: green, red, yellow bell pepper ½ Cup chopped green onion (scallion) 1 medium tomato, chopped (I don't use this b/c it gets the cheesecake too runny for me) 2 Tablespoons chopped black olives 2 bunches of fresh Cilantro

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Crust: Combine crushed tortilla chips and butter; press in bottom of a lightly greased 9 - inch spring form pan. Bake at 325° degrees for 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Cheesecake: Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer 3 minutes or until fluffy; add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in shredded cheese, chilies and ground red pepper. Pour mixture into prepared pan, and bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack then gently run a knife around edge of pan to release sides - carefully remove sides of pan. Let cool completely on wire rack. [For best flavor, let this cool completely, add sour cream (see below), and refrigerate it over night, finishing up the next day.] Topping: Spread sour cream evenly over top (if you didn't do it earlier) cover and chill. Arrange bell peppers and next 3 ingredients on top as desired. Place on a bed of fresh cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips