Blue Cheese Apricot Tartlets are a fast “prepare-ahead” holiday party recipe that comes together in a moment’s notice!  It’s just one way to enjoy savory cheesecakes this time of year.

blue cheese apricot tartlets


I’m sharing two ways to enjoy savory cheesecakes during the holidays, be it Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or New Year’s Eve!

I love to serve this first recipe as a passed hors d’oeuvre on trays during cocktails.  Sweet and savory, these little phyllo bites are filled with caramelized onions, dried apricots, honey and blue cheese! Blue Cheese Apricot Tartlets make the perfect “one-biter” snack for cocktail hour and holiday soirees.



savory party cheesecake appetizer

As dramatic as it is delicious, my Savory Party Cheesecake Appetizer serves an army of guests.  It’s sophisticated, addictive, and would be a gorgeous addition to your holiday appetizer choices throughout the entertaining season.

It’s got a creamy goat and cream cheese base that’s laced with prosciutto, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic and swirled with a sage gremolata.

An “everything bagel” crust is the finishing touch on this simply sensational holiday buffet hors d’oeuvre.  You’ll want to serve it with gourmet crackers and breadsticks for a sophisticated party snack.



savory cheesecakes

Cheesecake is usually a sweet dessert consisting of one or more layers.  The thickest, or main layer consists of a mixture of soft, fresh cream cheese or ricotta, eggs, and sugar.  If there’s a bottom layer, it can be made from any number of baked goods, including cookies, sponge cake or graham cracker crumbs.  A dessert cheesecake can be either an unbaked or baked version, with, or without a crust.

Cheesecakes are usually sweetened and may be flavored in many different ways, including extracts, spices,  citrus, chocolate or pumpkin.  Additional flavors and visual appeal can be added by topping the finished cheesecake with fruit, whipped cream, nuts, sauces or other toppings.

A modern cheesecake isn’t usually classified as a cake, despite the name. People who classify it as a torte point to the addition of eggs, which are the sole source of leavening, as a key factor. For others, the overall structure, with the separate crust, the soft filling, and the absence of flour, is compelling evidence that it is a custard pie  Other sources identify it as a flan or tart. 

As far as I’m concern, call it anything you want!  Just don’t miss out on learning how to make a fabulous one, be it a sweet dessert or savory party cheesecake appetizer!!



Cheesecakes of many varieties and styles have been made throughout history, all over the world.  It seems that almost all countries have their own way of making cheesecake, including Bulgaria, India and Russia!

Here’s a few of the more common styles available for retail purchase here in the United States:


french style cheesecake

  • French style cheesecakes are very light, feature gelatin as a binding ingredient, and are typically only 1 to 2 inches high.  This variety gets its light texture and flavor from Neufchâtel cheese, instead of the American favorite, brick creamed cheese.


italian style cheesecake with almonds

  • Italian style cheesecake uses ricotta or mascarpone cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and sometimes barley flakes. This type of cheesecake is typically drier than American styles. Small bits of candied fruit are often added for flavoring, much like in an Italian cannoli filling.


new york style cheesecake

  • New York style cheesecake uses a cream cheese base, also incorporating heavy cream or sour cream. The typical New York cheesecake is rich and has a dense, smooth, and creamy consistency.  Sour cream makes the cheesecake more resilient to freezing and is the method by which most frozen cheesecakes are made. However, a lavish variant uses sour cream as a topping, applied when the cheesecake is cooked. It is mixed with vanilla extract and sugar and replaced in the oven, essentially making the cheesecake twice-baked.


chicago style cheesecake

  • Chicago style cheesecake is a baked cream-cheese version which is firm on the outside with a soft and creamy texture on the inside. These cheesecakes are often made in a greased cake pan and are relatively fluffy in texture. The crust used with this style of cheesecake is most commonly made from shortbread which is crushed and mixed with sugar and butter. You’ll find some Chicago-style cheesecakes in your grocer’s frozen dessert department.


SAVORY CHEESECAKES – A whole ‘nother kind of cheesecake!

Savory cheesecakes open up a plethora of ways to enjoy the creamy texture of a baked cheesecake outside of the dessert realm.

While the basics of making savory cheesecakes remains basically the same as a sweet version, I think savory cheesecakes are much more exciting.

The variations are endless, and when you start combining flavor profiles, just wait until you taste your creations!

Here’s some great ideas for variations on the theme of savory cheesecakes:

  • CRUSTS – You can make crumbs from almost anything! Try buttery brioche, bagels, crackers or garlic bread
  • CHEESES – Substituting any cheese for some feta for a Greek version, or how about a smoked cheese?  You get the idea!
  • ADD-INS – Almost any vegetable, spice, herb or condiment can be used to flavor savory cheesecakes.  Try adding an olive tapenade and roasted red peppers for an Italian delight!



Sweet and savory, these little phyllo bites are filled with caramelized onions, dried apricots, honey and blue cheese! 

savory cheesecakes

Using premade phyllo tartlet shells makes this a simple and fast hors d’oeuvre to toss together.  You can make the filling up to two days ahead of time, so this recipe is really a holiday hostess helper!



I know that the thought of making caramelized onions might give a few of you the willies!  That’s because you’ve been told that it takes forever to cook them down to that lovely “jammy” consistency, right?


caramelized onions in copper pan

While it is true that the cooking process can take some time, it’s mostly “hands-off” time.  And that means, once you’ve got your onions cooking away in their butter bath, you can get moving with the rest of your party prep list.

I tell you how to make your caramelized onions right in the recipe, but you can also click this link to get the full recipe:   CARAMELIZED ONIONS



Don’t these candied pecans look dazzling, glistening on top of each and every little savory cheesecake tartlet?

savory cheesecakes

They take just a few minutes to make by melting down white sugar into a lovely, dark caramel.  Toss in the nuts to coat, and let them dry to a shiny, hard coat of crunchy caramel.  

Don’t be tempted to skip the pecan garnish, they truly take this recipe “over-the-top”!

You’ll find the recipe card for Blue Cheese Apricot Tartlets at the bottom of this post.


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blue cheese apricot tartlets

Blue Cheese Apricot Tartlets

Yield: 30 pcs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 42 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes

Sweet and savory, these little phyllo bites are filled with caramelized onions, dried apricots, honey and blue cheese! They make the perfect "one-biter" snack for cocktail hour and holiday soirees.


  • 30 phyllo tartlet shells
  • 30 small whole pecans
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup blue cheese (I like gorgonzola myself!)
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup caramelized onions, chopped (SEE NOTE)
  • 2 Tbsp. pecans, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • Fresh mint for garnish if desired


  1. Make caramelized onions, cool and hold in refrigerator until needed. (SEE NOTE)
  2. CARAMELIZED PECAN GARNISH - Place sugar in small non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Once sugar begins to melt, stir occasionally to help mixture liquify. When sugar is completely melted and nicely browned, drop in pecans, a few at a time, coat well and remove with a fork to a metal baking pan to cool and harden. Repeat until all 30 pecans are caramelized. Hold at room temperature until needed for garnishing tartlets.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F. Remove tartlet shells from freezer and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the cheeses, cream, salt, apricots, onions, honey and chopped pecans.
  5. Fill each tartlet shell with a heaping teaspoon of filling. Bake for 10-12 minutes, remove from oven and top with a caramelized whole pecan and mint, if desired. Serve immediately.


HOW TO CARAMELIZE ONIONS: Thinly slice 1 large sweet onion. Saute in 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally until deep golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information
Yield 30 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 228Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 7mgSodium 62mgCarbohydrates 38gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 7g

Nutritional information should be considered an estimate only; please consult a registered dietician, nutritionist, or your physician for specific health-related questions. Please note that the recipe above is published using a recipe card plugin, with preexisting software which can auto-calculate metric measurements, as well as change the number of servings.

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