Time for a Healthier Greek Yogurt Cheesecake! We’re changing a few ingredients to lighten up this classic dessert and I know the cheesecake lovers out there will really enjoy this one. A standard graham cracker crust and creamy cheesecake filling, top it with a berry compote for something extra special.
ASK and you SHALL RECEIVE.
So I recently asked on Instagram if you would be interested in more cheesecake recipes. To my surprise loads of people said YES. On second thought I don’t know why I was surprised– cheesecake is the shit. Most people wanted a good ole, healthier plain version. I only have one cheesecake on Fit Mitten Kitchen and it’s a loaded peanut butter cheesecake with a mocha ganache – peanut butter + chocolate + coffee. Possibly a bit much for some.
Oh, I also have mini lime cheesecakes too – perfect for parties and no cutting involved.
But because so many people asked for a plain cheesecake I thought it should probably happen ASAP. Of course we’re putting the Fit Mitten Kitchen spin on the classic dessert by changing up a few things to make this cheesecake a touch lighter, a bit healthier and using less sugar than your average cheesecake recipe.
Healthier Greek Yogurt Cheesecake
We’re doing part Greek yogurt, part cream cheese! This combination lightens up the dessert quite a bit but you still get the classic cheesecake taste. Of course there is nothing wrong with a traditional cheesecake – all about balance and moderation – but if I can swap some ingredients and lessen the sugar amount I always like to give it a go. Sometimes it works, other times the real deal is preferred.
Thankfully (for both yours and my sake) this greek yogurt cheesecake turned out lovely and is ready to share with you all.
what you need
- cream cheese (low fat or regular)
- plain Greek yogurt (0% or 2%)
- granulated sugar
- lemon juice
- graham crackers
This Greek yogurt cheesecake really doesn’t require a ton of ingredients and it’s fairly simple to make. But there are some *do not skip* steps involved for you to get the best possible outcome for this dessert…
Room Temperature Ingredients
Have you ever tried to make a cream cheese dessert and tried to speed the process up by just using the cream cheese straight from the fridge? It doesn’t work. You must must MUST use room temperature ingredients here. The Greek yogurt, cream cheese, and eggs all need to sit out at room temperature prior to combining– I probably waited a good hour until I started this step.
If you don’t wait for those ingredients to come to room temperature, you’ll end up with a lumpy mess and that is no good.
The Water Bath
What is a water bath? A water bath is used to help create a steamy environment for the cheesecake and it helps prevent the cheesecake from cracking. I learned that from Sally in this post, when I was making the peanut butter cheesecake last year.
While you can technically skip the water bath, you may end up with cracking. If you’re looking to cover the top of the cheesecake with a ganache or fruit, you may not necessarily care. But if you’re a little type A and strive for perfection, give the water bath a try. It’s a small additional step that will make sure your cheesecake doesn’t crack when baking.
Cooling + Chill Time
Make sure you give your cheesecake enough time to get to room temperature, then chill in the fridge. Because the Greek yogurt makes this cheesecake a little on the lighter side, it is not as dense as a normal cheesecake recipe and really needs a full eight hours in the fridge before cutting into.
What’s great about cheesecake is it can be prepped ahead of time. You can make the crust one day, and the cheesecake portion the next and then have it chill the day before you need it. Or you can start mid-morning and have this Greek yogurt cheesecake ready for dinner time.
Topping choices are endless when it comes to plain cheesecake. You could do fresh fruit, salted caramel, chocolate sauce, ganache, etc. I opted for a berry compote here and it was the perfect addition, in my opinion.
You simply just cook down fruit with a little bit of lemon or orange juice. I added chia seeds to help thicken the compote a bit (instead of adding something like flour or cornstarch) so I like to think of it as a fun health boost. Plus berries = antioxidants = superfoods = this greek yogurt cheesecake is officially healthy. Heehee.
for the crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, gluten-free if needed (about 10–11 sheets)
- 5 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
- 1 TBSP granulated sugar
for the filling
- 2, 8oz blocks cream cheese, room temperature (low fat or regular)
- 1 3/4 cups plain Greek yogurt, room temperature1 (2% preferred)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar2
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp lemon juice
Simple Berry Compote
- 1 1/2 cups total strawberries and blueberries (or mix with raspberries)
- 2 TBS lemon or orange juice
- 1/2 TBS chia seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- In medium bowl combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and sugar; stir until thoroughly mixed. Press evenly into bottom of 9″ or 10″ springform pan, use back of measuring cup to flatten. Bake for 8 minutes; remove from oven to cool before wrapping edges/bottom tightly in foil. Reduce oven temperature to 325ºF
- Meanwhile prepare the cheesecake filling; using paddle attachment of stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat together cream cheese until smooth for about 2 minutes. Add in granulated sugar, greek yogurt, vanilla and lemon juice, beating again until completely smooth.
- Add in eggs one at a time, mixing on low-medium speed. Try not to overmix here. Stop mixing as soon as last egg is incorporated.
- Pour cheesecake filling onto pre-baked crust in foil-wrapped springform pan; place pan in bottom of roasting pan with 1″ hot water. Carefully transfer to oven and bake at 325ºF for 45-55 minutes or until middle has just set. The middle should jiggle slightly (like jell-o) but look firm.
- Turn off oven, crack door, and allow cheesecake to cool in oven for 1 hour before covering and transferring to fridge and chilling for 8 hours.
- For the simple berry compote, bring berries and juice in small saucepan to simmer and cook down for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chia seeds to thicken if desired. Serve with greek yogurt cheesecake.
1 I used Tilllamook 0% plain Greek yogurt, which isn’t nearly as tart as other 0% fat yogurts. Use 2% if possible, or even full-fat if you prefer. 2 I opted to cut the sugar down to 2/3 for this recipe, but if using a tart 0% yogurt you may want 3/4 cup. If you decide to use a vanilla yogurt, stick with 2/3 cup or even use 1/2 cup instead. Room temperature ingredients are not optional, everything must be the same temperature (eggs, Greek yogurt and cream cheese) to ensure a smooth cheesecake batter. Cheesecake can be prepped a day in advance. Keep chilled just before serving. Nutrition approximate; calculated with 2% yogurt and full-fat cream cheese.
- Serving Size: 1/16
- Calories: 187
- Sugar: 12g
- Sodium: 201
- Fat: 12
- Saturated Fat: 7
- Unsaturated Fat: 2
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 15
- Fiber: 1
- Protein: 6g
- Cholesterol: 66
SOME OF THE PRODUCTS I USED IN TODAY’S RECIPE
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