Good Morning America Recipes

Emeril's Southwest Cheesecake with Chicken

Emeril Lagasse's Super Bowl Recipes

GMA Recipes Appetizer
Servings:Over 8
Difficulty: Difficult
Cook Time: min

Emeril Lagasse shared the Super Bowl party dishes you voted for in "Good Morning America's" online ballot. Check out his recipe for Southwest Cheesecake with Chicken. This is best made a day in advance and chilled in the refrigerator for the flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature before serving. The salsa and pesto also can be made up to 24 hours in advance and keep covered in the refrigerator.


  • 1 cup tortilla chips (about half of a 13 1/2-ounce bag tortilla chips), finely crushed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup red bell peppers, chopped
  • 3/4 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup jalapenos, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons Emeril's Southwest Essence
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • 5 large eggs
  • 6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Manchego cheese (or Parmesan), grated
  • Salsa (recipe follows)
  • Cilantro Pesto (recipe follows)
  • Salsa
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped, (or one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained)
  • 1/2 cup red or yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cilantro Pesto
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts), lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Manchego cheese (or Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Cooking Directions

    Combine the chips and butter in a small bowl and mix to blend. Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, onions, jalapenos, 1 teaspoon of the Southwest Essence, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Season the chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Southwest Essence.

    Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the vegetables, chicken, grated cheeses, remaining 2 tablespoons Southwest Essence, and remaining tablespoon salt. Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan and bake until the center has set, about 1 hour.

    Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. When cool, transfer to the refrigerator to chill thoroughly before serving.


    Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until slightly chunky. Transfer to a non-reactive bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. [The salsa can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept refrigerated.]

    Cilantro Pesto

    Combine the cilantro, pumpkin seeds, and garlic in a food processor or blender and puree on high speed. Add the cheese, pepper, and salt and process to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the machine running, add the olive oil through the feed tube and blend until smooth.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: manchego cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream

    Course: Appetizer/Starter, Casserole, Party Platter

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