Inside: These easy, quick, and cute goat cheese cups are a treat for the taste buds, bursting with three different savory and sweet flavors all in one creamy bite! ➡
It’s go week of the holiday season! Time to buckle up and accomplish all the things. And you’ve probably got a get-together on top of that which you’ll need to bring a dish for. How about an easy appetizer recipe that’s cute, festive, and full of flavor?
I needed a Christmas appetizer last week for a party with girlfriends and I didn’t have much time to cook. I brought these goat cheese bites where the hardest thing was narrowing down the topping possibilities!
I settled on a mix of three different flavors for these goat cheese appetizer cups:
- Sweet fig jam and with salty bacon crumbles
- Cranberry and orange
- Smoked raspberry chipotle with chopped pecans
I love how quick it was to make a whole platter in a variety of options. This may not even qualify as a “recipe” but there is a few minutes of baking involved so that counts as homemade cooking in my book.
Goat cheese tartlet ingredients.
They can take as few as three ingredients (if you count the toppings as one):
- Pillsbury Mini Refrigerated Pie Crusts (or Athens Mini Phyllo Shells)
- Goat Cheese
- Toppings of choice – you can have one topping or as many as your creative heart desires!
The easiest way to make Goat Cheese Cups is to use mini phyllo cups and just pop them onto a baking sheet, fill, and bake. Phyllo dough (aka filo dough) is light, buttery, and flaky and a wonderful compliment to the creamy, tangy goat cheese. The brand I’ve seen most commonly is Athens and you can find it in the freezer section of the grocery store, usually by the pie crusts.
But there seems to be a shortage of these around me this year, so for this particular party, I used Pillsbury mini pie crusts instead. They were as delicious as the phyllo cup appetizers and made the bites a bit heavier and more filling. And that’s not a bad thing when the appetizer noshes count as dinner at a party.
Can’t find either? Use defrosted puff pastry sheets and cut them into 2×2 squares with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife.
Making the base goat cheese tartlet.
- First, prepare the pastry cup. Bring the pie dough to room temperature. These mini pie dough circles are made to fit regular size muffin tins but to make bite sized appetizers you should use mini muffin tins. I was in a hurry, so I didn’t even take the time to cut the pie dough smaller. I simply tore off each perforated piece and folded it into the holes. Then I pressed it to somewhat look like a star for Christmas.
(If you’d like a thinner layer of crust, I would recommend cutting it a bit smaller. In hindsight and if I’d had more time I would have done that.)
And if you’re lucky enough to find the already cup-shaped mini phyllo shells, lay those out on a baking sheet and you’re ready for filling!
- Next, fill the pastry with soft goat cheese, leaving a little room for the topping (my favorite source is the double roll at Costco). Press down gently – if you’re using delicate phyllo cups, press very carefully.
Now those cute little cups are ready for dressing!
Fig jam, bacon, and goat cheese cups.
For this flavor combination, I spooned fig jam over the goat cheese (it’s usually in the deli section of the store). Then sprinkled bacon crumbles and a little bit of fresh thyme on top.
Cranberry goat cheese cups.
This was a sweeter option. And cranberry always says holiday. I topped the goat cheese with some canned whole berry cranberry sauce. After they baked I zested some orange peel over the top to add a little brightness.
Roasted raspberry chipotle and goat cheese cups.
And the last option was a dollop of Fischer & Wieser Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce. It’s so full of smoky flavor and it’s yummy poured over cream cheese so I knew it would pair well with this creamy filling. I added a few chopped pecans for crunch.
Baking time for the goat cheese tartlets.
The baking instructions are slightly different for the pie crust and the phyllo dough so read the package directions.
Using pie crust: After filling, bake the tarts at 425 degrees (400 degrees for a nonstick pan) for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Using phyllo shells: These pastries are prebaked but to warm the whole the shells with the filling and add crispiness, bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy.
This simple appetizer can be adapted to be more meal-like with savory ingredients. Or it’s a great appetizer to use as a bite sized dessert.
- Beets, goat cheese, and a drizzle of honey
- Goat cheese with balsamic glaze, chopped sundried tomatoes, and a sprinkle of feta cheese and basil
- Thinly sliced steak, caramelized onions, and a crumble of blue cheese
- Any kind of jam, jellies, or preserves
- Any fresh fruit (cooked or rolled in sugar if you’d like it sweeter)
- Chocolate syrup or caramel syrup, a banana slice, and chopped walnuts
- Dark chocolate bits with raspberry sauce and slivered almonds
If you have any leftovers, save them in the refrigerator in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap for up to three days.
Print the recipe below and file this delicious appetizer to bring to your next gathering wherever you keep your recipes for easy appetizers. Or:
The platter is almost guaranteed to be empty because they’re not only scrumptious, they’re the perfect finger food. Once your party guests start popping these cute little bites in their mouths, it’ll be hard to stop at one.
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Creamy Goat Cheese Tartlet Appetizers
These easy, quick, and cute goat cheese cups are a treat for the taste buds, bursting with three different savory and sweet flavors all in one creamy bite!
- 2 boxes Pillsbury Mini Refrigerated Pie Crusts or 2 boxes Athens Mini Phyllo Shells
- 1 large roll soft goat cheese
- Fig jam, bacon crumbles Optional – fresh thyme
- Canned cranberry sauce, orange zest
- Fischer & Wieser Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, chopped pecans
Mini Pie Crust Cups:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. (or 400 for a nonstick mini muffin pan)
Bring mini pie crusts to room temperature. Tear at perforations and either cut to mini muffin cup size for thinner crust or fold the whole piece into the cup for a thick crust. Shape the edges of the crust as desired.
Mini Phyllo Shells:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place phyllo cups onto a baking sheet.
Fill the cups with goat cheese, leaving room for toppings. Gently press it down.
Top a third of the goat cheese cups with fig jam and bacon crumbles. Sprinkle with fresh thyme (optional)
Top a third of the goat cheese cups with cranberry sauce. Zest an orange peel over after baking.
Top the last third with raspberry chipotle sauce and chopped pecans.
Pie Crust Cups: Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Phyllo Cups: Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy.