Pesto Torta (Layered Spread) Recipe -
Pesto Torta (Layered Spread) Recipe
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Pesto Torta (Layered Spread)

Recipe by  

"A super cream cheese and pesto spread. Very simple, but a great flavor combination. It looks very pretty for Christmas parties. Serve with crackers or bread."

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Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    3 hrs 15 mins

    3 hrs 20 mins


  1. Slice each block of cream cheese lengthwise. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap. Place one strip of cream cheese between two layers of plastic wrap. Flatten the cheese with a rolling pin until it is the same size as the loaf pan's bottom. Place the cream cheese into the loaf pan. Spread pesto (about 1/4 inch thick) over the cream cheese. Repeat this process until all of the pesto and cream cheese has been used. The final layer should be cream cheese. Fold the plastic wrap over the final layer, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  2. When you are ready to serve, gently remove the torta from the loaf pan. Unwrap the plastic wrap. Place drained, roasted red peppers over the top of the torta.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Mar 02, 2004

This is a delicious recipe. I have had a slightly more complex version that is also layered with pignoli nuts and sun-dried tomatoes, along with the pesto layers. It is then topped with thinly sliced provolone. It produces a red white and green layer effect like the Italian flag! When you turn the torte out of whatever receptacle you've molded it in (I've had it in a small round cake shape) stick herbs such as fresh minced chives, and basil to the sides (it will stick to the cream cheese). This has been served at our company functions several is very elegant if done right. And it is seriously good!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Mar 06, 2008

Good flavor but very oily so when I took it out of the form it just fell into a big lump. I may try it again but I will have to think of a different way


29 Ratings

Feb 03, 2008

To make it even simpler, I used one block of cream cheese, cutting a zig zag pattern through the middle, reversed the two pieces to create a Christmas tree. Topped with pesto, and smaller pieces of the red peppers in rows looking like lights. Then a friend broke a Triscuit cracker in half to make the trunk. Looked great and tasted even better.

Dec 29, 2005

Prepared this and numerous other recipes from this site for a 50th wedding anniversary party. Everyone asked who catered the party!!! Very easy to make and can be prepared a cday or two ahead of time, whioch is awsome, I added 2 pieces of provolone cheese to the top then added the peppers, chopped fine, pretty presentation! Thanks for sharing. I have a suggestion: when reviewing or even sending in a recipe please state how far in advance it can be made, or if it can be frozen, when you are having a large party this information is SO HELPFUL!!!!!

Sep 12, 2007

Excellent Italian spread! Amazing flavor! I made this for a friend's Italian-themed birthday party and made these minor adjustments: I put the drained peppers in a small food chopper and chopped them finely. Then after flattening each slice of cream cheese, I layered first the cream cheese, then pesto, then cream cheese, then peppers, until all were used up, ending with peppers on top. (You will also want to drain the pesto on a paper towel first because otherwise the oil comes out after sitting for a while)

Oct 09, 2008

I made this as a app. for an Itilian dinner at my home. I doubled the cream cheese and added extra layers of the chopped drained red peppers. You must drain your pesto or you will end up with an oily mess!!! I used a bread loaf pan as my mold, it came out perfect. I served 20 people and had plenty, plus several request for the recipe. Thanks for a great, easy idea!

Mar 05, 2008

Five stars for an easy, impressive appetizer. I halved the recipe for a group of 6 - I did have other appetizers also, and it was plenty. I cut my cream cheese in half and shaped each square into a flat round shape. Chopped & dried my red peppers on a paper towel. On the finished product, I pressed chopped green onions around the sides. Lovely. Next time I may try seasoning the cream cheese with some garlic? Served with water crackers.

Apr 04, 2004

This was a wonderful appetizer. After slicing the cream cheese, I just smashed the slices to the correct size w/my hands and that worked better than the plastic wrap. Next time I would also slize the peppers rather than laying them whole on the cream cheese. But this was a hit.


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  • Calories
  • 364 kcal
  • 18%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 5.7 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • 72 mg
  • 24%
  • Fat
  • 34 g
  • 52%
  • Fiber
  • 1.2 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 10.4 g
  • 21%
  • Sodium
  • 557 mg
  • 22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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