An easy recipe for 130-calorie lightened-up chocolate chip cheesecake bars, sacrificing none of the creamy texture and flavor!
I’m currently suffering from a sugar hangover.
Let me rewind. Last night we went out for a friend’s 30th birthday party.
My friend Kristen brought a buttercream-frosted cake to surprise the birthday boy, and I brought a peanut-butter-packed cookbook recipe that knocked some socks off. I ate a salad for dinner so I could enjoy a lot of dessert. It’s all about balance, folks.
I also brought these skinny chocolate chip cheesecake bars to the party. They look pretty diet-busting, right!? They certainly taste that way too.
These bars defy all sorts of baking science rules. They’re so rich-tasting, yet made with lightened-up, protein-packed ingredients. The cheesecake layer is ultra thick and undeniably creamy. I don’t even how it’s possible?! No one even knew they were lighter than regular cheesecake!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am not one to sacrifice taste for lighter desserts, thus this creamy cheesecake bar was born. 🙂
So how can you make these ultra rad skinny cheesecake bars? (Yeah, rad.)
The recipe is quite similar to my Skinny Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars. You’ll need a few easy ingredients: light cream cheese, Greek yogurt, egg whites, and a touch of flour. The flour is used for thickening the cheesecake mixture since you are not using full-fat ingredients. You cannot leave out the flour; the cheesecake will not set up properly.
The protein-packed Greek yogurt makes these cheesecake bars unbelievably creamy. I used nonfat plain Chobani Greek yogurt, but you can use low fat and/or a flavored kind like vanilla or even raspberry, honey, strawberry, etc. Using 2% Greek yogurt will give you an even creamier cheesecake bar.
Add some sweetness. 1/4 cup of sugar sweetens the bars. That’s only 1/4 cup of sugar sweetening 16 servings. Not too bad, right? I tried my hand at using honey or maple syrup, but the bars did not set up properly. 1 teaspoon of added sugar per serving is heaven sent for cheesecake! (1 tsp does not include the sugar in the cream cheese, chocolate chips, yogurt or crust).
For the chocolate? I like to use mini chocolate chips because you get more chocolate in every bite. Always a good thing. I recommend mini in these lightened up strawberry chocolate chip muffins, too!
The crust is made from graham crackers and a touch of melted butter. I’ve tested the crust with melted coconut oil and it works wonderfully. So you have the option of either.
The bars only take 25 minutes in the oven. But then you have to wait for them to fully chill before digging in. Ugh, that’s probably the only thing I don’t like about cheesecake. Tests your patience! Especially when all you want is some dang dessert!
So how do these cheesecake bars measure up? Only 128 calories each!
- 5 sheets low fat Graham crackers = 350
- 2 Tbsp butter = 200
- 8 ounces light cream cheese = 560
- 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt = 105
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar = 194
- 2 Tbsp flour = 56
- 2 egg whites = 34
- lemon juice = 0
- vanilla extract = o
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips = 560
Do yourself a favor and stop reading. Set out your cream cheese to soften right now. Because you have got to try these simple lightened-up cheesecake bars! It’s been exactly 20 hours since I had one and life just isn’t the same…Print
Skinny Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 16 bars
- Category: Bars
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
An easy and delicious recipe for 128 calorie lightened-up chocolate chip cheesecake bars, sacrificing none of the creamy texture and flavor!
- 5–6 full-sheet graham crackers (or 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs)
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted or salted butter, melted (or even melted coconut oil)
- 8 ounces reduced fat brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature (do not use fat free)
- 3/4 cup (185g) Greek yogurt*
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (85g) mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the bars out of the pan before cutting. Set aside.
- Make the crust: Using a food processor or blender, pulverize the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Pour into a medium bowl and mix with melted butter. Press into the lined pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Allow to cool as you prepare the filling.
- Make the filling: Beat the softened cream cheese for 1 minute using a hand or stand mixer. Beat in the yogurt, egg whites, sugar, and flour until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3 full minutes. Add the lemon juice and vanilla, beat for 1 additional minute until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Remove the crust from the oven and spread filling on top. Bake for 25 minutes, covering the cheesecake bars at the 20 minute mark with aluminum foil to prevent browning. Allow to cool for 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill completely in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Store bars in a covered container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator; bars can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Stand Mixer or Handheld Mixer | 8-Inch Square Pan | Food Processor | Parchment Paper
- Double Batch: Recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch pan, baking time will vary – about 45-55 minutes.
- Yogurt: I use Chobani 0% fat, plain. You can use low fat Greek yogurt instead. You can also use regular yogurt, plain or flavored, low fat or fat free.
Keywords: skinny chocolate chip cheesecake bars, skinny cheesecake bars
Reader Comments & Reviews
Can I just use 1 whole egg rather than two egg whites?
Made this last night and they are incredible. I used coconut oil with the crust, added a touch more lemon, used a pretty pie plate and didn’t line my pan with foil. They turned out divine. We have three bars left. Whoops. Thanks for sharing !
I wanted to combine your raspberry swirl bars with these so instead of all greek yogurt I used 85g plain and 100g raspberry flavoured…SO GOOD! Seriously, these are disapearing SO fast, everyone loves them!! Thank you for yet another amazing recipe 🙂
Recipe looks great! Do you think substituting coconut sugar for the refined sugar would work?
That should work!
I decided to bake in a premade 9 inch graham cust. Of course calories higher but it is baking now and looks lovely. Probably will bake 35 minutes. Thank you for the recipe.
Hi Sally – I’m making the chocolate chip cheesecake bars for a healthy bake off in work tomorrow. I notice you say not to use fat free soft yogurt? Why is that??
Thanks so much! Cannot wait to try these!
You can use nonfat yogurt, but do not use fat free cream cheese. Its texture is completely different– and its taste will not be ideal in these bars.
Just made these and LOVED them! I must confess I ate a little more than one serving 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe!
Made these last night to rave reviews. I did leave out the lemon juice, but did everything else as directed. I think if/when I make these again I’ll 1.5 or 2x the crust – I like crust 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!
Hi. Is the lemon juice absolutely necessary? I don’t have fresh nor concentrate, I do have lemon zest though – will that work or can I leave it out and have the same taste? Also, can I replace the butter in the crust with vegetable oil? These look great, thanks!
You can leave it out, but the tangy cheesecake flavor won’t be there. If anything, you can use lemon zest. Do not use oil in the crust.
OMG!! So good and easy I will be making these again
Sally, this is a wonderful recipe! My whole family loved it and my son even requested it as a future treat instead of ice cream. You hit it out of the park on this on one! Many thanks.
A friend and I made this today!! YUMM! Thank you so much for the recipe. We had to use a substitute for the graham crackers (they don’t exist over here in Europe, sad), but it was still delicious! 🙂
I want to use the whole egg for these, would I need to use 2 whole eggs or just 1 whole egg? Would it still make a cheesecake?
1 whole egg is just fine.
I changed the yogurt to strawberry greek yogurt and didn’t put the chocolate chips in and it was amazing!It tasted exactly like a strawberry cheesecake! Oh and I made these in muffin pans and they were so cute and bite size. I think they would be perfect for parties!
Sally, I’ve made these before, and they were delicious! I’m making them again for a demonstration speech, and I was wondering if regular size chocolate chips would be ok? Or is there an easier way to chop them up than cutting them? Thanks!
Regular size will be just fine Eilish. No need to chop them up unless you really want to.
These were amazing and my husband who doesn’t like greek yogurt had no clue these had it in them. They were eaten so quickly at the party I made them for.
Once again, another delicious and easy recipe Sally. I used Honey Maid chocolate graham cracker crumbs for the base and it tasted even more chocolate-y! Can’t eat just one though…they are THAT good! Creamy & rich and no one, I repeat NO ONE would ever know they are lower in calories!
Would it be okay to leave out the chocolate chips in this recipe? Would it change the way the cheesecake sets up? Im looking for a light cheesecake recipe but without chocolate.
Thank you for your blog! Its amazing!
You may leave them out – that’s fine!
Hi Sally! These look delicious as always! I was wondering if it would make too much of a difference if I used lemon juice from concentrate? Thank you so much!
That should be fine – reduce to 1 teaspoon since concentrate is much stronger.
Hey, loved this recipe! Just made it for my fiancé and I, and we both loved it! I did everything according to the recipe but did not make the crust. I just made them crustless, and they were delicious! Thanks!
I’m so utterly excited and pleasantly surprised and my taste buds are all cheering for joy after a single taste of this cheesecake! As a child, I adored cheesecake, but somehow cheesecake and I had drifted apart as I grew up. But on my last B-day, I got a blueberry-compote cheesecake and it just spiked a sense of nostalgia in my soul. The cheesecake-loving part of me has awaken from its long period of hibernation! And so I turned to you to tame the beast. It worked! The first cheesecake I’ve made, and it was so easy. Turns out all of my have-I-baked-it-long-enough-yet and oh-no-I-think-there-are-still-lumps-in-the-batter worries were all for nothing. The cold creaminess of the cheesecake bars were utterly divine, and I thank you so much! (It’ll be a miracle if you read through the whole of my word-y, cheesecake-evoked eloquent comment. :D)
Just made these today. The bars are so incredibly rich and delicious, they don’t taste low fat at all. I made the mistake of giving my neighbor some and she told me that I HAVE to make them again for her. I can’t wait to try your other recipes, and to make these again with other ingredients in the place of chocolate- maybe peanut butter or strawberry preserves? Yum. Keep up the good work!
A few peanut butter swirls would be so good in these cheesecake bars, Shannon! So happy you tried them and that they are loved. Definitely one of my favorites!
Amazing. I just made these and I’m so impressed with them. 10/10 delicious!
These bars are so delicious. My friend was very surprised when I told her they were a skinny cheesecake!
I can’t wait for your cookbook to come out!
I have made these no less than three times in the past month. I think I should move towards doubling the recipe! My youngest (a cheesecake fanatic) gobbles it right up! Great recipe!
Sally, I made these this weekend for a Football Tailgate and everyone loved them!! It was funny watching the guys eat the Skinny Cheesecake bars and not blink an eye. Just shows healtier food can taste great! Thank you for your blog…I love it!
Made a lemon poppyseed version of this and it was delicious! The crust and the filling were amazing, both perfect textures. Had to add a little more sugar since I was omitting the chocolate chips and adding more lemon, but other than that, I made these as written and they are SO good! Thanks Sally!
I just made these and your skinny raspberry cheesecake bars for my Bunco group this week and everyone loved them. I love how you incorporate Greek yogurt into many of your lighter recipes! My son, who could live on cheesecake, devoured the few leftovers!
Sorry to see your apartment disaster…this weather has been crazy rough on a whole lot of people. Good luck with your clean up!
I just made these today and they were so good! My roommates were surprised to hear they were a lightened up version of cheesecake. They taste just as good as regular cheesecake! I made your skinny raspberry swirl cheesecake bars and used plain Greek yogurt, but for this recipe I used non-fat vanilla yogurt. I thought this made a huge difference in taste. The second bath was less tarty and tasted more like real cheesecake. Both were great but I think I’ll stick with using the vanilla yogurt! Thanks again for another great recipe. Looking forward to more healthy recipes this month!