Baked Goat Cheese Dip
on Dec 09, 2021, Updated Nov 15, 2023
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For an easy and tasty starter, it doesn’t get better than this baked goat cheese appetizer. In a small baking dish, tuck rounds of baked goat cheese between chunky marinara sauce. It is super simple to assemble and bake, and it will impress your guests. Serve it with garlic bread.
For another baked cheese appetizer try this baked feta with tomatoes and olives.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Baked cheese appetizers are easy to prep and enjoy warm with your guests. While it’s always fine to do a cheese board, there is something special about a warm appetizer. It sets the mood for a dinner party or holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve.
You can serve it with toasted garlic bread as the recipe is written or something else. Crackers or chips are great. You can even include veggies like carrots, celery or sliced cucumbers because they all go with goat cheese and tomatoes.
Leftovers can be repurposed into a meal. I know it’s hard to believe that you might not finish the entire thing, but you can warm it and combine the tomato and cheese mixture with pasta.
Why Baked Goat Cheese Is So Fantastic
If you’ve only used goat cheese in salads or for finishing other dishes, then it’s likely you just took it out of the package, crumbled it, if it didn’t already come that way, and that was it.
Things are different when you heat goat cheese. Above everything else, don’t expect it to melt. Since it’s a fresh cheese like feta and ricotta, it has a higher moisture content than firm cheeses such as cheddar, which are meant for melting.
Once the goat cheese is warm, it becomes kind of delicate. Even though it may look the same as it did before it went into the oven other than being golden in spots, it becomes very soft and smooth. It manages to be rich and tangy without turning into an overwhelmingly heavy appetizer.
This is what you need:
- Goat cheese is available crumbled, with a rind or in a log. For this appetizer, buy a 4-ounce log. Then you can effortlessly slice it into rounds.
- Tomatoes: This recipe uses one of my pantry favorites, canned diced tomatoes.
- Garlic: Two minced garlic cloves go into the tomatoes. I save a whole garlic clove to rub on the toasted bread.
- Onions: Before cooking the tomatoes, I sauté onions to add flavor and act as a base.
- Dried spices: The tomatoes are seasoned with a mix of oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Balsamic vinegar: A tablespoon of vinegar adds a subtle tart and savory note to the tomatoes as they simmer.
- Baguette: Toasting a sliced baguette in the oven and then rubbing it with garlic is my preferred way to serve the dip. You can also use crackers. Just make sure they are sturdy.
- Parsley: Before I serve the dip, I sprinkle it with chopped parsley. For other fresh herbs, try basil or fresh thyme leaves.
- Olive oil: For the best flavor, use extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle the bread and to make the sauce.
How To Make Baked Goat Cheese Dip
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
1. Prep the baguette. Drizzle the sliced bread with olive oil and arrange on a sheet pan.
2. Toast the baguette on both sides until lightly golden. Then rub the slices with a garlic clove.
3. Make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in the skillet. Add the onions, sautéing until they are soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic, dried spices, salt and pepper.
4. Pour the diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar into the onions, garlic and spices. Simmer until the sauce is thickened.
5. Arrange the cheese and tomato mixture in the baking dish, alternating the sauce and goat cheese rounds.
6. Bake the dip until the cheese is golden and bubbling at the edges. Then switch the broiler on high, and brown the cheese for a minute or two. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with toasted garlic bread.
Serving The Dip
A spoon is the best way to serve the dip. What you will find when you start scooping around is that the cheese will fall apart in the tomatoes. It is so wonderful to have that mix of everything together.
Make Ahead Tips
You can make the tomatoes a 2 days in advance. Just let it cool to room temperature before you store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Then it is simple to assemble and bake the dip while your guests are already at your house.
Storage & Leftovers
You can save leftover dip in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. Of course let it cool to room temperature before that.
You can rewarm it in the oven and serve it as dip again. But also repurpose the tomatoes and cheese as pasta sauce.
Feta pasta was all the rage on TikTok a while ago. And you can think of this as the goat cheese version. All you have to do is stir the rewarmed tomatoes and goat cheese into hot pasta in a large bowl.
- Use high-quality ingredients. The flavor of the goat cheese and the olive oil make a difference on the flavor of the dish. Do not use store bought tomato sauce.
- Watch the cheese under the broiler. Keep an eye on the goat cheese because it will brown quickly under the flame.
- Serve it warm or hot: This is such a great appetizer without much work. Take advantage of making the tomato sauce ahead of time. Then you can bake it when your guests are over, so everyone can dive right into it when it’s out of the oven.
No. Since it is a fresh cheese and has more moisture, it does not melt. When you warm it, goat cheese will mostly keep its shape and turn soft and smooth on the inside.
Nestled snugly in a dish with chunky tomato sauce, the sliced goat cheese bakes for 20-25 minutes. This gives the cheese time to become golden.
The only way to really brown the cheese is to give it 1-2 minutes under the broiler. Just watch it carefully, so the cheese does not burn because a broiler on high is hot!
I hope you love this goat cheese appetizer as much as I do. Please leave a rating and comment below. Thanks!
Baked Goat Cheese Dip
- 1 baguette, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for drizzling bread
- 1/2 small white onion, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, 2 minced and 1 whole
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 4 ounce goat cheese log, sliced
- Chopped parsley for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Drizzle the baguette slices with olive oil and arrange on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven, about 7-8 minutes per side. Once the bread is toasted, rub it with a whole garlic clove.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions until they start to turn soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and continue sautéing until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Pour in the balsamic vinegar and diced tomatoes. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Arrange the goat cheese and tomatoes in a baking dish. Spoon the tomatoes in between the cheese with some tomatoes on top. The cheese should still be showing through the tomatoes.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbling at the edges.
- Turn the broiler on high and broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese has browned slight at the edges. (The dish should be on the top rack about 4-5 inches from the broiler.)
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving with toasted garlic bread.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.