These creamy Greek yogurt cheesecake bars get a pop of flavor from a swirl of cherry chia seed jam, fresh blueberries, and a lemon cookie crust – all for under 200 calories!
Man, that title is a mouthful. Pun fully intended. But seriously, I was initially just going to call them Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake Bars as that was the intention, but there were a few issues with that:
So there you have it. We’re sticking with Healthier Cherry Swirl Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Lemon Crust.
Now, let’s break down each of those components.
As much as I love cheesecake, the calories and sugar associated is just ridiculous – especially when you can make something that’s just as creamy and satisfying with far less calories, saturated fat, and sugar.
Ways we’re lightening things up:
Phew, that’s a lot of changes! But trust me when I say these are still super creamy and a total crowd-pleaser (even more so once you tell your guests that they’re also lighter 😉 ).
As it’s lower in sugar, and already in my fridge, I used this cherry chia seed jam recipe.
However, if you don’t have time to whip up your own, you can use a pre-made jam. Just make sure to choose one preferably without any added sugars.
Not a fan of cherry? Raspberry or strawberry would both work – and provide a stronger red color.
Note: if you do use my recipe for the jam, make sure to follow that recipe’s instructions for blending the jam otherwise it’ll be too chunky to swirl.
I’m a sucker for all things lemon, so when I saw that Trader Joe’s has Meyer Lemon Cookie Thins every Spring, they quickly became a staple in our household.
However, I have tried using other lemon cookies, such as Lemon Nilla Wafers. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find a cookie that has the same lemon punch as the Trader Joe’s Meyer Lemon one’s.
While you can try out other brands of lemon cookies (I’ve thought that lemon oreos might be worth a try, just get rid of the cream filling – I’m sure someone in your household would be happy to take care of it for you 😉 ), a classic graham cracker crust would also work well!
Just use ¾ cup of graham cracker crumbs instead.
For the Crust:
For the Cheesecake Filling:
Step 1: Preheat Oven, Prepare Pan, Measure Ingredients
Preheat oven to 350oF and line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.
Measure out ingredients, making sure to give your cream cheese time to soften. Melt butter in microwave.
Step 2: Make Crust
Place lemon cookies in a food processor and pulse until small crumbs form.
Pour crumbs into a small mixing bowl and toss with melted butter. Spoon mixture into prepared baking pan and press into an even layer.
Step 3: Pre-Bake Crust
Place crust in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Step 4: Make Filling
While crust is baking, start filling by placing cream cheese in a mixer and beating on medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until whipped and creamy.
Add yogurt, vanilla extract, egg whites, and sugar. Mix again on medium until well combined.
Next, add flour and mix until just combined. Finally, add in lemon juice and give a final stir to combine.
Step 5: Add Cherry Swirl and Blueberries
Pour filling onto pre-baked crust, using a rubber spatula to spread out the mixture evenly.
Drop ½ teaspoon-sized dollops of jam onto filling, with some space between dollops. Using the tip of a sharp knife, swirl the jam into the filling, being careful not to scrape the crust.
Sprinkle blueberries on top, lightly pressing them into the batter.
Step 6: Bake Cheesecake Bars
Place cheesecake in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Cover with foil and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes, or until set.
You’ll know when the bars are ready as most of the cheesecake will be firm but the middle will still be a little jiggly.
Remove from oven.
Step 7: Chill in Fridge then Serve
Allow bars to cool slightly before covering and placing in the fridge. Chill bars for at least 3 hours before serving.
When ready to cut, remove bars from fridge and slice into 12 squares. Enjoy immediately!
These bars are adapted from a recipe I initially made as part of a Recipe Redux Challenge back in 2016.
One of the things I loved about Recipe Redux was that it got me to think about recipes that I never would have challenged myself to come up with on my own – at least not that early on in my blogging career.
That original challenge was to use fruits and vegetables, but in creative shapes and designs.
Being far from creative when it comes to cutting or drawing, I was beyond nervous. But through that challenge I not only learned how easy it is to make strawberry roses, but also how delicious Greek yogurt cheesecake bars are.
While I’m sad to see Recipe Redux saying goodbye, I’ll always be grateful for the support and confidence that they gave me as a new blogger.
Did you make these cherry swirl cheesecake bars? Let me know how they turned out by tagging @TheHealthyToast_RD on Instagram! And don’t forget to share this recipe on Pinterest!
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