Today we’re making walnut panko baked goat cheese balls! These honey drizzled crispy goat cheese bites are baked instead of fried and make a fabulous appetizer and salad topper!
I’m totally crushing on all things goat cheese right now.
It’s one of my favorite cheeses this time of year since I can roll it into logs topped with cranberries, walnuts, and pecans, stuff it into mushrooms drizzled with balsamic glaze, pipe it into tomatoes, and so. much. more.
This creamy, dreamy, cheese is crazy flavorful and ideal for the appetizer-palooza that’s about to ensue.
There are a few tasty ways you can serve these baked goat cheese balls.
First up, they make an amazing salad topper! I absolutely adore them on my Blueberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing as well as on my Strawberry Kale Salad with balsamic dressing. SO GOOD!
Next up, serve them as mini cheese balls as a party appetizer. Drizzle them with honey and serve with an assortment of crackers. Guests will get their own personal cheese ball to spread on crackers – no double dipping here!
You can also serve them on a cheese board with an assortment of sliced cheeses, charcuterie, fresh fruit, and veggies with crackers, flatbreads, and crusty bread.
Baked Goat Cheese Balls
Make a little… or a lot!
Serving a crowd? This baked goat cheese balls recipe can be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled as needed!
Only need a few balls for salads and snacking? Cut the recipe in half and you’re good to go!
Baked Goat Cheese Balls
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¾ cup Italian panko breadcrumbs (panko with Italian blend seasoning mixed in)
- 2 eggs
- 2 (8 oz) goat cheese logs
- honey for drizzling
- spray olive oil as needed
- parchment paper
- large baking sheet
- wire cooling rack (optional)
- Cut goat cheese logs into 8-12 portions each (16-24 total) and roll into balls.
- Finely chop and crush your walnuts until it resembles a coarse flour. You can do this with a rolling pin or wine bottle and a plastic bag or use a food processor to mince 'em up.
- Combine walnuts with panko in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Crack eggs into a medium bowl and whisk well.
- Working one at a time, dip the goat cheese balls into the whisked egg then into the panko bowl. Roll/sprinkle until coated on all sides.
- Place panko goat cheese balls spaced on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or plate and freeze for 30 minutes.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 465 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the goat cheese balls on top of the parchment and spray with olive oil. This will help them get crispy and golden.
- Place on the center rack and bake for 8 minutes. Depending on your oven's efficiency, check the balls at the 6-minute mark and keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
- Once fresh from the oven use a spatula to transfer to a plate or cutting board to cool. Leaving them on the hot baking sheet can make them melt. You can also try to lift the entire sheet of parchment and place on top of a cooling rack. They’ll slide around a bit when lifted, but with care the whole tray can be transferred crazy quick this way!
- Allow to cool slightly, then drizzle with honey before serving. Enjoy as part of a tasty appetizer spread or with your favorite salad!
Adapted from Domestic Superhero and my Almond Crusted Goat Cheese Balls.
If you get a chance to try these crispy baked goat cheese balls, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation!
more tasty goat cheese recipes
- Almond Crusted Goat Cheese Salad with Strawberries and Kiwi
- Honey, Apricot, and Almond Goat Cheese Spread <– READER FAVORITE!
- Maple Pecan Goat Cheese Log
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- currently listening to Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart
What goat cheese do you recommend using for this recipe?
Hi Erin! So many different varieties work great! I buy mine in the bar/roll form from the grocery store’s cheese section and often use plain goat cheese but also really good with honey goat cheese and even fig/berry goat cheese if you’re going for that flavor profile.
Can you just bake right on the parchment lined cookie sheet that you froze them on?
You could 100% use that lined pan. Because it will be very cold I don’t know if it will mess with the bake time? Keep an eye on them and adjust if needed.
Oh my gosh! Made these baked goat cheese balls today and was blown away. Thank you for posting such a simply, minimal ingredient recipe for us all. I will be making these often. Super simple, fast, and delicious!
Can these be made in an actifry/air fryer?
Hi Cal! I’m sure you could! I don’t own one to test out times/settings with but if you get a chance to experiment keep me posted? I hope to own one someday! xoxo
These were a great make ahead appetizer. I actually make about 16 smaller balls and baked for the same amount of time. Everyone loved them
OOPS! Forgot to ask you one other question:
Is there any other cheese you would recommend? Just found out one of my relatives does not like goat cheese. Wondering if these is any other cheese that would work in this recipe.
Alternatively, you can make mozzarella balls along with the goat cheese balls: Pesto Panko Mozzarella Balls Recipe — They utilize a different technique so different cook times and such but I adore them! They’re also really good as a topper for tomato soup in the colder months.
Thank you, Jenn. Making the Mozzarella Ball Recipe will be a life-saver for me. Now my one relative won’t feel excluded. I’m thinking (if I have time) maybe I’ll make both recipes. Thanks, again!
Happy to help! Enjoy time with family! xoxo
Jenn, is the oven temperature correct? 465 degrees is such an unusual temperature for baking anything. Just curious. Want to make sure I’m heating oven to correct temp before I make these this weekend.
465 Fahrenheit is correct. It’s high heat + low cook time to get them nice and crispy on the outside without completely melting the cheese inside. Hope they’re a hit!
I love these! I froze a batch, uncooked. They do not cook the same-come out squishy. Any ideas?
I’m so glad you love the recipe, Julie! For the uncooked frozen batch, how long did they remain frozen? I’ve only ever frozen mine for a few hours tops and I’m wondering if longer freezing alters the breading/coating? Were they melted squishy or just not crisp? Happy to help troubleshoot the freezer batch! xo
This title needs a comma somewhere … they could be vegetarian or not … =/
Can I freeze these Cheese appetizers. If so can I freeze it before frying or after frying. SOunds delicious. I really want to try them for an upcoming party.
Hi Sue! You can freeze them after they’re breaded but before they are cooked. In the instructions I freeze them for 30 minutes to help them set for cooking but you can make them the day before (or a few days before) and fry them up when you need them! xo
Thanks so much for the prep tips. I’ve made several batches of these little miracles! Freezing is key to the process and I have also made extra for storing in the freezer for quick servings. Recently served on top of arugula salad with simple lemon vinaigrette and fresh blackberries. Drizzled a bit of truffled honey onto the warm goat cheese. A real winner!
“It would be great in a salad!” Is the first thing I thought of. It’s good, but they melted in the oven. I only made 12 and made the rest into a dip because I ran out of breadcrumbs. (I mixed together goat cheese, cream cheese, and honey for the dip.)
Hi Rebecca! I haven’t had these bad boys melt on me but I’m happy to help troubleshoot! Did you freeze for the full 30 min? Was your goat cheese firm yet creamy to start or was it a bit runny? Kudos for the dip idea (holy cow that sounds lovely!) and I’m here for ya if you need me! xo
And thank you!
You’re super welcome! xo
Can these be frozen for two days before baking?
The bake times and possibly temp may need a little tweaking since the goat cheese balls will be fully frozen vs. just partially, but yes you should be able to! Let me know if you get a chance to experiment. xo
Will do! Baking tomorrow, made them yesterday 🙂
So excited for you to try them! It’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy goat cheese!
Is there an alternative to walnuts if I have a nut allergy?
Of course! What you’ll do is just rework the recipe to nix the nuts entirely. You’ll use 1 total cup of Italian-seasoned panko breadcrumbs and be good to go! xoxo
LOVED this recipe but i tried with pistachios instead of walnuts
Hi Jenn. This recipe sounds delicious, esp. after reading all the comments about it. Wondering how warm the cheese balls need to be at serving time, and whether a microwave would work to warm up the cheese balls ever so slightly if I prep them the night before and bring them to an event the next dl evening (where I only have access to a microwave). Hoping to make and bring them to a social next week. Thoughts?
Hi Marie! You can bake them before you leave the house and just serve them at room temperature. I would not microwave them, they will no longer have a crisp coating and may melt, which is too risky lol. Hope this helps! xo
Hi Jenn! We were wondering if we can make these in advance earlier in the day for a party. Can we freeze them for longer than 30 minutes?
Hey Kelly! You can totally freeze them longer! I’m unsure if it will add a few minutes to the bake time but you can kind of keep an eye on them and wing it and add any extra time needed. I haven’t had a chance to test a longer advance-prep freeze so I’d love to hear how it goes if you have a chance to update me. xoxo
Thanks Jenn! We’re making them this Saturday coming! I’ll let you know how it goes! 🙂
Thanks Kelly! Hope they’re a hit!
Maybe refrigerate until closer to serving time, then freeze?
My concern with chilling the panko topped goat cheese balls is that the breadcrumbs may get a little soggy over time in the fridge. Freezing for a bit longer would prevent that I believe. Let me know if you experiment!
Any idea what I could bread these with that would make them Keto? Almond flour? Thanks!
Hey Brianne! I have some no-bake keto ones actually using crushed almonds and roasted sunflower seeds: Almond Crusted Goat Cheese Salad
Best salad I ever had at a restaurant had a goat cheese crouton.
I’ve been searching for that same taste. I found it with you! The search is over! I think it’s the combination of the breading and the honey!
You have no idea how great this is to find!
Yay!!! So glad you’re loving the recipe!
Do you recommend the honey goat cheese with the Italian Seasoned Panko? Just making sure the flavors work before I make these for a party this weekend 🙂
Hey Jessica! So I *really* liked the combo but I know everyone has different tastes so if you’d like to play It safe you can try plain panko and season to taste (so it’s not bland) however you’d like! Hope this helps! xo
Can these be made the day/night before and frozen to be baked the next day?
Absolutely Karen! Keep an eye on them around the 8 minute mark of baking and then add any additional time needed to make sure they cook through. Also be sure to spritz or brush the balls with your favorite healthy oil before baking to help them get nice and golden! xoxo
Made it last weekend and they were super tasty! From now, it becomes one of my favourite snacks at weekend xD – Natalie
I have people who are allergic to walnut, any other but I could use that would work well? Thanks!
Oh yes it’s easily skipped!!! You can add extra breadcrumbs in it’s place and avoid nuts entirely. If nuts are desired, pecans (chopped up ultra fine) work fantastic!
These were soo delicious! I made them for a work party and they were gone very quickly! A couple quick notes;
-I cut the ball size in half, they were still pretty large, and it made a bunch!
-i would recommend as soon as you get them out of the oven to just lift them up with parchment paper and put them on another cool surface. I quickly used a spatula and took them off the pan, but some didnt make it- they melt very, very quickly!
I will definitely make in the future
So glad they were a hit Kyla! xoxo
PS: I need to add this tip/option to the post: If you cook them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet you can lift the entire sheet of parchment and transfer them to a cooling rack. They’ll slide around a bit when lifted, but with care the whole tray can be transferred crazy quick this way!
These are so fantastic, such a hit and everyone wanted the recipe!
Ahhhh yay! So so happy to hear it! Thanks Aimee!
I am going to make these for Thanksgiving! The perfect holiday appetizer!
Thanks Tayler! Hope they’re a hit!
Step #5 says: “Working one at a time, dip the frozen goat cheese balls into the whisked egg”. The instructions don’t say anything about freezing the goat cheese. At what point, and for how long, do we freeze the goat cheese? Thanks!
Hey Tracy! You’ll freeze them in step 6 after they’re ll dipped and prepped. So sorry for the typo – fixing it right away! xoxo
Your #4 is out of order. We haven’t cooked yet but we are removing from oven. : )
OMG I just snorted! How does that even happen? Fixing it now, thank you! 😉