These crispy fried goat cheese balls are a real savory treat full of flavor and texture. They’re the perfect party appetizer, addition to a charcuterie board, or topping for a simple salad recipe.
They’re similar to mozzarella sticks, with a golden crust on the outside and soft, creamy goat cheese melted on the inside. Sprinkle them with flaky sea salt, dip them in marinara sauce, or add a drizzle of honey on top.
For a little heat, dip them in this jalapeno ranch or the hot honey from this cottage cheese toast recipe.
Why You'll Love This Fried Goat Cheese Recipe
- Dynamic texture: Covered in panko bread crumbs and sprinkled with flaky sea salt, with a soft and creamy center.
- Easy appetizers: It's an easy recipe that uses minimal ingredients and dishes, but is sure to be a crowd favorite.
- Have them any way you'd like: Serve them with warm marinara or hot honey as a snack or appetizer. You can even put them on top of a salad.
Ingredients You Need
Here are the simple ingredients for this fried goat cheese. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find at the grocery store. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Goat cheese: You'll want to use a 10 oz goat cheese log for this recipe. We used plain goat cheese but you can use herb goat cheese for a little more flavor. The goat cheese should be chilled because warm goat cheese becomes soft and is harder to work with.
- Goat cheese brands: we used the organic store brand from our local store—like Kroger brand or Whole Foods 365 brand. We also like Vermont Creamery.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour or gluten-free if needed. We tested this with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free flour, but we also like King Arthur’s Measure for Measure flour.
- Egg: The egg wash will help bind the breadcrumbs to the cheese
- Panko breadcrumbs: Regular breadcrumbs will also work. This gives a nice crunchy texture to the outside. Grab gluten-free panko bread crumbs if needed. If you’d like to add a little extra flavor and spice, go for an Italian-seasoned version.
- Salt and pepper: A simple mixture of salt and pepper adds a little seasoning to the goat cheese melt.
- Avocado oil: Avocado oil is a great healthy substitute for vegetable oil when frying. It has a high smoke point so you can fry on high heat without smoking the kitchen. It's also low in flavor, so it won't overpower the mildness of the crispy goat cheese bites. Olive oil is a great go-to for shallow frying needs, but know that it has a lower smoke point. It also might add a little flavor to the dish.
- Toppings: Add a drizzle of honey, chili flakes, or marinara sauce for serving.
How to Make Fried Goat Cheese
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. These fried goat cheese balls are really easy and these step-by-step instructions will make sure they turn out every time.
Video: Watch How to Make It
Step 1: Prepare the Goat Cheese
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the log of goat cheese on a cutting board and cut it into ½-inch slices with a kitchen knife.
Lay each circular slice flat and cut them in half. Roll each half into small goat cheese medallions.
Transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet and store them in the freezer for a few minutes while you prep the dredging station.
Step 2: Dredge the Goat Cheese Balls
Line up three separate bowls or shallow dishes in an assembly line. Mix the flour, salt, and black pepper in the first shallow dish. Whisk the egg in the second dish and pour the breadcrumbs into a third separate bowl.
Use one hand to roll each goat cheese ball in flour, coating all around. Then dip it in the beaten egg mixture, covering it entirely. Using the same hand, coat the goat cheese ball in panko breadcrumbs, again coating it entirely.
Place it back on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining goat cheese balls.
When you’re ready to fry, move the breaded cheese balls to one side of the baking sheet and line the other half with a paper towel.
Step 3: Fry Them
Heat 1 ½ inches of olive oil or avocado oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 360-375°F. Drop small batches of 3-5 goat cheese balls into the hot oil at a time.
Cook for about 30 seconds on each side, flipping them when they're nice and golden brown. Use a spider strainer or slotted spoon to remove the breaded balls and transfer them to the prepared paper towel.
Check the oil temperature again and adjust the heat to reach 360-390°F. Continue dropping small batches of goat cheese into the hot oil and repeat until you fry each goat cheese ball.
What Does Goat Cheese Taste Best With?
Goat cheese has a unique tangy flavor and a creamy texture, so it pairs well with both sweet and savory flavors including basil, fennel, garlic, lemon, olive oil, mint, strawberries, cherries, figs, and honey. It's especially great with nuts like almonds and walnuts. We love to use the Flavor Bible to find the best ingredient combinations.
Here are some recipe variations featuring ingredients that taste best with goat cheese:
- Crush almonds or walnuts and mix it in with the panko bread crumbs.
- Mix the goat cheese with fresh herbs like basil or chives. You could also purchase a pre-flavored goat cheese with herbs in it.
- Add aeromatics to the goat cheese like chopped shallots or garlic (garlic powder works too)
- Serve it with a unique sauce like a balsamic cherry reduction or fig spread, like the one in this baked brie with fig jam.
Goat cheese is a popular ingredient in party appetizers like our sweet potato bites, this honey-whipped goat cheese, and bacon-wrapped dates. It's also delicious as a salad topping in our grilled peach salad and shaved brussels sprout salad.
Slice the goat cheese into rounds or wedges and add them to a heated pan with olive oil. Cook the goat cheese slices for 1-2 minutes on each side or until slightly melted. Sprinkle fresh herbs on top and serve immediately.
The easiest way to soften goat cheese is to leave it out at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. The quickest way is to microwave it for a few seconds until it is slightly softened. Just don't microwave it for too long, causing it to melt and lose its shape. If you have more time, you can warm it in the oven at 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes until it is slightly softened. Finally, you can mix it with a liquid, such as milk or cream. Combine equal parts of goat cheese and milk or cream in a bowl, and stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Expert Recipe Tips
- Have a dry hand and a wet hand whenever you’re dredging. This helps prevent the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs from clumping together or sticking to your hands.
- Use cold goat cheese. Warm and soft goat cheese becomes sticky and will be difficult to roll into balls.
- Use an instant-read thermometer. Similar to making gluten-free fried chicken, it’s crucial to get the proper oil temperature to ensure even cooking. Keeping an eye on the temperature also helps prevent the oil from smoking.
- Prep everything before you start frying so you can work quickly.v
Freezing and Storing Tips
If you do decide to freeze the goat cheese balls, it is best to freeze them before frying.
Storage: Store leftover fried goat cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer if possible to keep their crispy texture.
Freeze: Store the plain goat cheese balls in a single layer in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month to prep them in advance. When you are ready to use them, thaw the cheese balls in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, fry them as you normally would, and serve immediately to ensure the best texture and flavor.
Note: While it is possible to freeze fried goat cheese balls, the texture and flavor of the cheese might be compromised after thawing and reheating.
When frozen and thawed, the cheese balls may become mushy and lose their crispiness. The cheese might also separate and become oily, which can affect the overall taste and texture of the dish.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Easy and Delicious Appetizers
- Boursin cheese recipe
- Air fryer zucchini chips
- Healthy spinach artichoke dip
- Honey walnut vegan cheese spread
Fried Goat Cheese
- 1 10-ounce log cold fresh goat cheese (Note 1)
- ⅓ cup flour gluten-free if needed (Note 2)
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs gluten-free if needed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- avocado oil or olive oil for frying
- Honey, chili flakes, or marinara sauce for serving
- Small Saucepan (Note 3)
- Large baking sheet
- Lay the goat cheese ono a clean cutting board and cut it into ½-inch slices. Lay each circular piece flat on the cutting board and cut them in half to create a half moon shape.
- Roll each half into a smooth round ball and store them in the freezer for a few minutes while you prep the dredging station.
- Mix the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or dish. Whisk the egg in a separate dish and the breadcrumbs in a third and final bowl or dish.
- Using one hand, roll a goat cheese ball in flour, pressing gently to coat all sides in the flour so it sticks. Transfer to the egg and roll it to cover in egg. Using the same hand, transfer the goat cheese ball to the bowl of breadcrumbs. Roll it around to make sure the entire outside is coated so you can’t see any egg coming through.
- Place it back on the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining goat cheese balls. You can cover and store the goat cheese balls in the freezer for up to 1 month to prep them in advance.
- When you’re ready to fry, move the goat cheese balls to one side of the baking sheet and line the other half with a paper towel.
- To fry the goat cheese, heat 1 ½ inches of olive oil or avocado oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 360-375°F using an instant read thermometer or candy thermometer.
- When the oil reaches temperature, drop 3-5 goat cheese balls into the hot oil at a time. Cook for approximately 30 seconds on each side, turning with a fork or spider strainer when it reaches a deep golden color. Use a spider strainer to remove the goat cheese and transfer theme to the prepared paper towel.
- Check the oil temperature again and adjust the heat to reach 360-390°F. Drop 3-5 more balls oof goat cheese into the hot oil and repeat until you fry each goat cheese ball.
- Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and red pepper flakes if desired. Serve with hot honey sauce or warm marinara.