No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Recipe

This no-bake cherry cheesecake bars recipe is the only picnic dessert recipe you'll ever need

This weekend, I'm hosting a picnic and each of my friends is going to bring a dish. I am in charge of dessert. Lucky for me it's cherry time at my farmers' market. (Sweet and tart cherries are also available year-round canned or frozen.)

I've already chosen my dessert. This no-bake cherry cheesecake bars recipe is part bar, part cherry pie and part cheesecake fused into a super-easy, no-bake dessert that will become your go-to for warm-weather picnicking. The best part? You don't need the oven!

This no-bake cherry cheesecake recipe has omega-3-rich walnuts in the graham cracker crust and uses nonfat Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cream cheese in the filling to keep saturated fat in check.

If you want a bright red topping, use sour cherries. Sweet cherries give it a more purple hue. To make gluten-free no-bake cherry cheesecake, use gluten-free graham crackers.

No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Bars Recipe

    Prep Time: 40 minutes

    Cook time: 5 minutes

    Yield: Serves 12

No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Bars Ingredients

    4 cups halved pitted sour or sweet cherries, fresh or frozen (thawed, drained; see tip)

    3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided

    1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons water, divided

    2 tablespoons cornstarch

    Half a 14-ounce box graham crackers, preferably whole-wheat

    1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see tip)

    1/3 cup canola oil

    2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened

    2 cups nonfat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt

    6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Bars Recipe Instructions

    Combine cherries, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

    Combine cornstarch with 4 teaspoons water, then stir into the cherry mixture; return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid thickens and looks syrupy, about 1 minute.

    Remove from heat.

    Process graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Add walnuts and pulse until finely chopped.

    Transfer to a bowl; stir in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Drizzle with oil and stir to combine. Press into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

    Beat cream cheese, yogurt, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread over the crust. Spoon the cherry mixture over the top.

    Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.

No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Bars Recipe Tips:

    To pit fresh cherries, use a tool made for the job: a hand-held cherry pitter (it also works for olives!). Or pry out the pit with the tip of a knife or vegetable peeler.

    To toast chopped, small or sliced nuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Bars Recipe Nutrition:

    Per serving: 348 calories; 17 g fat (4 g sat, 7 g mono); 20 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrate; 22 g added sugars; 9 g protein; 2 g fiber; 273 mg sodium; 228 mg potassium

    Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (17% daily value)

    3 Carbohydrate Servings

    Exchanges: 1 1/2 carbohydrate (other), 1 starch, 1/2 fruit, 3 fat

No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Bars, Cheesecake, Dessert


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