Greek Yogurt Low Fat Cheesecake

August 19, 2010 · 13 comments Print This Post

Greek yogurt low-fat cheesecake

Greek yogurt low-fat cheesecake

When I got my Greek style yogurt maker, it came with a book of recipes, one of which was a cheesecake.  After doing some research, I found that you can use a 1:2 ratio of Greek yogurt to cream cheese to make a Greek yogurt cheesecake.  I saw a few “low fat” cheesecake recipes that talked of using cottage cheese to lower the fat content of the cheesecake without losing much in the way of taste.  I finally found a cheesecake recipe that called for Greek style yogurt, cottage cheese, and of course, cream cheese.

To a cheesecake connoisseur, low-fat cheesecake is borderline blasphemy, an urban myth, a mystical creation which hasn’t been discovered.  Well, no more.  I think we’ve all tried “low fat” cheesecake, and found that “low fat” is a code phrase for “bland and tasteless”.  Not so with this cheesecake.  This is a cheesecake you could easily serve and people would never know it’s a low fat version.  Actually, if they try a piece of it first, they probably won’t believe you when you tell them it’s low fat.  How good is it?  Well, living up to this blog’s name, I had a piece of it for breakfast this morning (that’s the highest compliment I can give a dessert)

Greek Yogurt Low Fat Cheesecake

6 oz graham cracker crumbs (about 8 graham crackers)
4 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups 2% cottage cheese
8 oz low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, at room temperature
pinch of salt

  • Stack 3-4 paper towels on a plate and spread the cottage cheese over the paper towels; let sit for 15 minutes.  Repeat with fresh paper towels.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Pulse graham crackers and 2 tbsp sugar in a food processor until crackers resemble fine crumbs.
  • Toss cracker crumbs with melted butter and press into the bottom of a 9″ spring-form pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake crust for 10-15 minutes until just starting to brown.  Place crust on a wire rack to cool.
  • Heat a medium-sized pan of water while preparing the filling.
  • Beat cream cheese in KitchenAid for 1 minute; add cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.  Beat for another 1-2 minutes, or until smooth.
  • Add remaining sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
  • Carefully spray the sides of the spring-form pan with cooking spray.  Tightly wrap the outside of the spring-form pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Place spring-form pan inside a roasting pan and pour filling into spring-form pan.  Place roasting pan in the oven, and carefully pour the hot water into the baking pan to form a water bath.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven to 250 degrees (do NOT open the oven door).  Continue to bake until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center reads 150 degrees, about 2 1/2 hours.
  • Remove spring-form pan from the water bath, and transfer to a wire rack.  Cool for 10 minutes, then run a paring knife around the edge of the cake.  Cool to room temperature, about 3 hours, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Serves 12

Notes:
  • Some low fat cheesecake recipes call for corn starch to thicken the cheesecake.  I tried this and found the resulting cheesecake more cake-like, and less custard-like.
  • I used low-fat cottage cheese, yogurt, and cream cheese.  When made with no-fat versions, the cheesecake that never came together and tasted pretty bland.
  • Use your favorite toppings as you would with any cheesecake.  I used caramel topping and homemade blueberry syrup.

Modified version of http://low-fat-cooking.suite101.com/article.cfm/pumpkin_cheesecake_recipe

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren August 24, 2010 at 2:46 pm

This cheesecake looks & sounds amazingly delicious! Cheesecake is a favorite dessert of mine, and I also like to make lightened versions. In fact, I will be posting a recipe later this week for mini peanut butter cheesecakes (made with lower fat ingredients as well).

I’m looking forward to making your cheesecake sometime soon :) .

Brandy November 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I have a recipe for a pumpkin cheesecake that I would like to make healthier the recipe is basically healthy except for the creamcheese part. I see that you said there is a 1:2 ratio on yogart to cream cheese. The recipe calls for 3, 8oz pks of cream cheese so how would I substitute this amount?

Tom November 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm

@ Brandy
I don’t think you would be able to substitute greek yogurt for cream cheese in a pumpkin cheesecake. The pumpkin itself will make for a slightly softer cheesecake, even with the use of cream cheese. I think if you used greek yogurt instead of cream cheese, it would be too soft.

The source of my recipe was actually a low-fat pumpkin cheesecake recipe; check it out, and it might suit your needs (haven’t made it myself)

Kim January 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Do you have any baking recommendations if I want to turn this into mini cheesecakes (muffin pan)? Cooking times?

Tracey Podlowski January 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I made the low fat greek yogurt cheesecake with some modifications and it was absolutely wonderful. We dinner company, one of who was diabetic so I altered the recipe to be a shortbread crust, put a layer of roasted pecans on top of the baked crust, I used pressed cottage cheese, 0 fat greek yogurt and light cream cheese. I substituted the sugar with Splenda and added a little lemon essence for flavour. I served it with fresh berries. It set very well and was a smashing success. I had to convince everyone it was healthy.

Tom January 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Glad the cheesecake came out so well Tracey!

The roasted pecans sounds great, it is definitely something I’ll need to try on a cheesecake in the near future!

Tom January 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I’ve never made mini-cheesecakes, but I’ve got my eye on King Arthur Flour’s mini-cheesecake pan (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/bite-size-cheesecake-pan).

Your best bet would be to Google mini-cheesecake recipes and see what they recommend.

Or just wait a month, and I’ll post something about my experiences with a mini-cheesecake pan. :-)

Toby July 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Cheesecake sounds deliciouus; can’t wait to try it. I have one suggestions regarding your directions. You say to mix graham crackers and sugar. The only sugar you have in your ingredients list if the 1 and 1/2 cups that I assume you use later with the cake mixture. How much sugar goes in the graham crackers? Thanks

Barb August 18, 2012 at 11:01 am

Hi, Tom –

I’m about to make this cheesecake and notice that you don’t say how much sugar you add to the graham crackers. Looks like that’s missing. Because I know that you certainly don’t use 1-1/2 cups in the crust. I’m going with what I usually add to my graham cracker crusts but would appreciate if you’d correct that one little item in your ingredients list.

Thank you!

Tom August 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm

@Toby
@Barb

Thank you for noticing my oversight in listing how much sugar to put in with the graham crackers!

I used 2 tbsp in the crust, and the remaining sugar went in the cheesecake batter.

Recipe adjusted!

Tammy October 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Does the Greek yogurt need to be plain or could one use, say, vanilla yogurt (which has additional sugar).

Tom October 25, 2012 at 4:51 am

@Tammy

You could use either one, but if you use vanilla Greek yogurt, reduce the amount of sugar by about 2 tablespoons due to the amount of sugar in vanilla Greek yogurt. I say “about” 2 tablespoons because of the varying amount of sugar between manufacturers.

Pauline November 29, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I discovered a pumpkin cheesecake recipe made with no cream cheese at all, but instead uses strained Greek yogurt. This is a crustless, gluten free version and I’ll definitely be making it again. It kept well for many days after Thanksgiving, too. The recipe and video are here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZqgAw4Esso

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