These creamy and rich goat cheese balls are unbelievably delicious. Marinated in olive oil and lemon, then coated with a crispy panko crust, these are amazing flavorful appetizers.
Crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, these goat cheese balls will be your new favorite!
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Crunchy Baked Breaded Goat Cheese Balls
There is nothing better in world than biting into a ball of flavorful goat cheese with a melty middle and a crunchy crust that’s bursting with flavor. These baked goat cheese balls will be your favorite appitizers.
I love to serve them when I have friends coming over, or on weekends when we want to treat ourselves. It’s a great dish to serve in any weather, and biting into these goat cheese balls is so satisfying.
How to Make Goat Cheese Balls
- It is super easy to whip up breaded goat cheese balls – and uses ingredients you probably already have on hand:
Goat cheese – Chevre, the most common kind of goat cheese, is rich, creamy and melts beautifully. Although it’s made all around the world in many different ways, the most common in the U.S. is soft and comes in a log.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Extra Virgin Olive Oil is generally considered to be the highest quality olive oil option. It has a distinct and sometimes spicy finish, but is amazing for marinating and a perfect compliment to goat cheese.
- Cloves of Garlic – Garlic, part of the allium family, is a critical ingredient to many dishes. In this recipe it’s used both for marinating and to bake afterward. Yum.
- Lemon – Lemon adds both brightness and a little bit of acid to this recipe.
- Panko Breadcrumbs – The crispy crunchy coating on these balls is made of delicious panko.
- Italian Seasoning – Italian seasoning is usually a mix of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram. Each brand has its own blend, so I like to try a lot of different types to find my preference.
- Celtic Sea Salt – I prefer Cletic Sea Salt to table salt because the flavor profile is richer and it has more minerals in it. It’s harvested from the sea, and I love the way that adds that special something to this recipe.
- Fresh Cracked Pepper – I prefer fresh cracked pepper in this recipe to ground black pepper, although it’s a fine substitution if you’re in a pinch. When pepper is first cracked it has the most flavor and bite.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:
- Slice goat cheese into 6 equal slices and gently roll into balls gathering any crumbles into the balls.
- Add to a small dish and cover with olive oil, garlic cloves and lemon slices. Cover. Allow the cheese to marinate for at least an hour, preferably overnight in the refrigerator. The longer you marinate it, the better and more flavorful it will become.
- Peheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a shallow dish, use a fork to combine the breadcrubs, italian seasnoning mix, salt, and pepper.
- Remove the goat cheese balls one at a time from the olive oil marinade and gently roll in the breadcrumb mixture, taking your time to ensure the crumbs adhere and coat the cheese evenly.
- Place each ball on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil.
- Bake for 15 minutes – stopping partway through to flip if desired – if you decide to flip them do so gently using a spatula. The middle should just start to be melty so be careful. They’re ready when the crumb crust toasts to a nice golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow them to rest and cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Baked Goat Cheese Balls & FAQs
Use parchment paper. Parchment paper lining a nonstick baking sheet makes your goat cheese balls easy to flip, using a spatula or fork. Even though we’re breading our goat cheese balls, they will stick to a baking sheet – even ones that say they are nonstick – and fall apart when flipping if not using parchment, unless you’re extremely coordinated. I’m not, so I use parchment.
Let them brown on each side. It’s not mandatory, but for the best flavor, browning on both sides gives the best crisp crunch and caramelized cheese and toasted bread crumb flavor.
Flip partway. Flipping the cheese balls partway helps your cheese balls brown on all sides so you can get that perfect flavor. When flipping these balls mid-way through the baking cycle, try using two spatulas to get the best leverage and get them flipped delicately without squishing them.
Use flavored goat cheese. Want even more flavor? Use an herbed, flavored, or fruit-added goat cheese.
Push back together. If they start to come apart in either flipping or moving them after just gently push them back together, they’ll stick together just like new.
Marinate ahead of time. If you can work it with your schedule, try to let these marinate overnight before breadding and baking. The flavor just gets better when you let it marinate longer.
Make crispy garlic, too. Bake the garlic cloves with these balls on the same baking sheet, they’re delicious snacks too!
Goat cheese balls can be flipped partway through cooking to let both sides crisp well. It can be tricky to flip goat cheese balls in the oven, so use two spatulas. Slide onto one spatula using the other so it can flip in one fluid motion. If it comes apart at all, simply push back together.
If you don’t want to do this extra step, they’ll still be delicious, just somewhat less uniform.
These delicious and cravewothy goat cheese balls can also be keto compliant! I take a bag of pork rinds and either put them into a ziploc and crunch them up, or put them in a food processor on “pulse” to turn into crumbs. They add the crunch and the crust without the carbs!
These cheese balls are easy to make in an air fryer. Line the basket with parchment paper and air fry each side about 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Be careful when flipping them, they’ll be hot!
If you have any leftovers, you can store them in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
What to Serve With Baked Goat Cheese Balls
We personally love adding these goat cheese balls to salads – they are amazing over our Aspen Village Salad, a simple and fresh Crunchy Lemon Parmesan Salad, or a super simple Easy Burrata Farro Salad Recipe.
For a salad dressing that is a great accompaniment, I recommend our light and easy (mustard seed free) Easy Champagne Vinaigrette.
You can see more of our recent salad recipes here:
Baked Goat Cheese Balls Recipe
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Baked Goat Cheese Balls
Delicious crispy crunchy and creamy baked goat cheese balls that melt in your mouth and are perfect over salads, in wraps, or as a snack!
- 8 oz goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4-8 cloves garlic
- ½ lemon, sliced
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon Italian Herbs seasoning
- 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice goat cheese into 6 discs. Gently press into ball shape, including any cheese that may crumble off as it is sliced.
- Add to a small dish or plate and cover with olive oil, garlic cloves, and lemon slices. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate at least 1 hour, up to overnight, in the refrigerator.
- In a plate or shallow bowl, mix panko, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
- Remove cheese from olive oil marinade and roll in panko, making sure to coat cheese well in breadcrumbs and seasoning.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake 15 minutes, flipping once if desired (carefully slide onto spatula to flip), until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let set at least 5 minutes before moving from baking pan.
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La Tourangelle, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cold-Pressed High Antioxidant Picual Olives From Spain, 25.4 fl oz
Partanna Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 101-Ounce Tin
Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware, Baking Sheet, 2-Piece Set
GreenLife Bakeware Healthy Ceramic Nonstick, 13" x 9" Rectangular Cake Baking Pan, PFAS-Free, Turquoise
Reynolds Kitchens Cookie Baking Sheets, Pre-Cut Parchment Paper, 25 Sheets (Pack of 4), 100 Total Sheets
Serving Size2 goat cheese balls
Amount Per Serving Calories 369Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 35mgSodium 1313mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 17g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.
Maybe I’m being a bit dim but can you explain this more clearly please, I’m very confused at what your asking ( Add to a small dish or plate and cover with olive oil, garlic cloves, and lemon slices.
What do you mean by cover with garlic, do you leave garlic whole, sliced or grated.
Thought I’d ask before making,
Many thanks Sue.
Hey Sue – we’re just marinating the goat cheese in olive oil with garlic and lemon slices to get some of the flavor from them to sink in – you can mince, slice, or grate the garlic for more flavor – or just toss the cloves in to let some of the oils soak in – its up to you!