Joy Monnerjahn , a home cook from New Orleans, has a cheesecake recipe that is guaranteed to turn heads at your next backyard barbecue party. It’s vibrant, it’s delicious – and it’s savory! That’s right, this Savory Cajun Cheesecake is the perfect appetizer to make when you’re craving Cajun cuisine.

Cheesecake – a dense, sweet and creamy dessert, right? Well… it’s complicated. Take a trip down to New Orleans, Louisiana and you might notice a different kind of cheesecake on restaurant menus: one that combines fresh, savory ingredients that define southern flavor. Today, we’re exploring Savory Cajun Cheesecake, also known as Creole or Shrimp & Crab Cheesecake, with the help of Joy Monnerjahn.


Aurora bites peppers in cutting table

Take all your favorite southern flavors, mix them into a savory appetizer, and what do you get? Joy Monnerjahn’s Savory Cajun Cheesecake! Don’t let the term cheesecake throw you off. Rest assured: this is a delicious hors d’oeuvre, far from a dessert dish!

And, boy, is there a lot of flavor in this Savory Cajun Cheesecake.

This recipe has it all: shrimp and crab, artichoke hearts, parmesan cheese, Cajun spice, cream cheese, and Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers.

These Mini Sweet Peppers are a part of the Pure Flavor® lineup of healthy snacking veggies, grown for kids and adults to enjoy two-bite snacks wherever they are and whatever they’re doing. Naturally, these sweet peppers are some of kids’ favorite veggies, but they’re also great for using in all your favorite pepper recipes!

Aurora Bites are grown from the award-winning Tribelli seed, which was awarded the 2019 Superior Taste Award by the International Taste Institute in Brussels. Recognized for its versatility, this pepper variety is a great choice for all your favorite Southern recipes, from Texas barbecue to Cajun cuisine and everything in between.

Joy uses Aurora Bites in her Savory Cajun Cheesecake recipe because their size makes them easy to work with while also packing a huge punch of flavor to complement the seafood and cream cheese. You can even stuff these peppers with the savory cream cheese filling from her recipe!


Mini peppers with cream

To make Joy’s Savory Cajun Cheesecake recipe, start by heating butter, onions and diced Aurora Bites in a skillet. Sauté the ingredients for a few minutes on medium to high heat until they are soft and aromatic.

Add two cups of boiled shrimp that’s been cut into bite-sized pieces and one cup of jumbo lump crab meat to the skillet. Coat everything with Cajun or Creole seasoning and lemon juice.

There’s a different between Creole and Cajun seasoning. Cajun seasoning is the spicier option thanks to its mix of different dried peppers. Creole seasoning, meanwhile, has more dried herbs like basil, thyme and parsley. Joy’s recipe calls for Cajun seasoning – the recipe is Savory Cajun Cheesecake after all – but feel free to experiment with different flavors!

Once the lemon juice and seasoning has completely coated the seafood mixture, remove the skillet from heat.

Next, combine the pepper and seafood mixture with two 8 oz blocks of softened cream cheese. Add heavy cream, artichoke hearts and parmesan cheese and mix it all together.

Cajun Cheesecake in table

When the cheesy seafood and pepper mix is ready, it’s time to make the crust.

The crust for this so-called “cake” is incredibly simple. All you need to do is mix together melted butter with breadcrumbs and cracker crumbs! Then, coat a 12-inch pie pan with cooking spray and press the mixture down evenly across the pan. Place it in an oven preheated to 350° F and bake for ten to fifteen minutes.

Once the crust is golden brown, pour the savory mixture of seafood, peppers, and cream cheese over the crust. Top your delicious Cajun creation with more diced Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers for a vibrant pop of color that makes this appetizer stand out at every backyard barbecue party.

To learn how to make this Savory Cajun Cheesecake recipe, click here.

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