Last Updated on November 10, 2023 by Kayla Berman
These baked puff pastry tarts are the best goat cheese appetizer recipe! Made with refrigerated puff pastry, herbed goat cheese, charcuterie meats, apple slices, and honey … these warm baked pastries are sweet, savory, flaky, crispy, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. This elevated finger food is an impressive, yet easy-to-make dish that is perfect for entertaining during the holiday season and beyond!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There is so much to love about this handheld goat cheese baked appetizer recipe! Besides being the perfect pockets of creamy goat cheese, savory meats or sweet apples, and buttery pastry – these goat cheese tarts are:
- Goat Cheese Game Changers: Don’t like goat cheese!?! I’ll let you in on a secret … I’m not the HUGEST fan either. I like the cheese and find it to be super delicious in some recipes, like my Goat Cheese Tomato Bruschetta, but it is no where near the top of my list of favorite cheeses. Yes. That is an actual list LOL! But anyway, these tarts will be a total game changer for you. I think even goat cheese haters will be going back for seconds and thirds. They’re just that yummy.
- Melt-In-You-Mouth Delicious: Seriously. As soon as you bite into one of these pastries you’ll know what I mean. They’re cheesy, flakey, buttery, crispy, creamy, rich, tangy, flavorful, and really do melt in your mouth. Ugh, so good!!
- Customizable: There are endless ingredients you can swap in and out of this recipe to make your perfect goat cheese puff pastries. They can be as simple or complex as you want them to be. Read on for all my ideas!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This delicious recipe perfect for the holiday season is made with only a handful of simple ingredients! You can always add extra ingredients if you’d like – I’ve included a bunch of ideas below – but the goat cheese tart base is quite straightforward, requiring only minimal ingredients.
Nothing fancy schmancy! Here is the exact items you will need:
- Goat Cheese: The number one ingredient in this easy goat cheese appetizer is of course a log of goat cheese. The strong, bold, and tangy flavor strikes the perfect balance with the sweet apples, savory meats, and buttery pastry. I like to use a flavored goat cheese, like garlic and herb, for extra deliciousness! But it is not necessary.
- Puff Pastry: Next you will need 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, any brand will do. Most packages found in the freezer aisle come with two sheets which is perfect!
- Charcuterie Meats: For the savory variety of these pastries you will need to layer the charcuterie or deli meats of your choice. I like salami and prosciutto best!
- Apple: For the sweet variety apple is perfect!
- Honey: Honey is required for both the sweet and savory options. You’ll start off each pastry with a dollop, smear, or drizzle of the sweet golden liquid.
- Egg: An egg wash gives these flakey pastries their beautiful golden look and shine. Simply whisk up one egg and spread that on top!
- Black Pepper: I love to add some basic seasoning in the form of cracked black pepper to the savory goat cheese tarts here. No salt is needed as the meats have that covered!
- Fresh Thyme: Fresh thyme adds a burst of bright flavor and a beautiful look to this appetizer.
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How To Make This Recipe
This delicious appetizer is an impressive-looking stater to serve at your next get together or party, but I promise it is not too intimidating to make. Anyone can do it!
The upside down tarts are assembled by simply layering tangy goat cheese, pre-made refrigerated puff pastry, and sweet & savory elements. It is not super quick – taking a bit of time to delicately construct the beautiful pastries – but it is quite easy!
Here’s exactly how to make this warm goat cheese appetizer:
Step 1: Prep. Set the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Step 2: Cut pastry. Cut each thawed puff pastry sheet into 9 even rectangles. Cut the large sheet into 3 rectangles along the fold lines, then cut those into thirds.
Step 3: Assemble. Then assemble the tarts, making sure to evenly space them. Add a drizzle of honey (about 1 tsp) to the parchment paper or foil. For savory, layer one slice of meat and black pepper. For sweet, layer 3-4 apple slices. Spread about 1 tbsp of goat cheese on a puff pastry rectangle. Carefully place the rectangle on top of the layered elements. Repeat this for all tarts.
Step 4: Finishing touches. Gently press down on the edges of each tart with a fork to seal and crimp them. Poke holes on top of the pastry. Brush the top of each tart with a thin layer of egg wash.
Step 5: Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Step 6: Let cool. Remove the puff pastry tarts from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before flipping over. Once cooled slightly, gently flip over with a spatula.
Step 7: Serve and enjoy!
One of the many reasons why I think this goat cheese tart recipe is the perfect appetizer is because it is so customizable! You can truly add anything you’d like to these pastries and I can almost guarantee they’ll turn out perfect.
I mean how can any combination of creamy goat cheese and golden brown, flakey pastry be bad??
Well actually, speaking from experience, the one type of ingredient I would not recommended layering in these tarts is fruits or vegetables with a high water percentage. Like juicy strawberries! Or even tomatoes. Those tend to leak all over the place and create quite a burnt, sticky mess.
Now that what we’ve covered what not to add to this goat cheese appetizer, here is what I do recommend adding and experimenting with:
- Meats: You could use any meat you’d like in this simple recipe. My personal favorite is salami or prosciutto! But pepperoni, soppressata, and even ham are also good options. You could try some smoky bacon too. YUM.
- Fruit: I love adding fruit to these tarts for sweet variations. I think sliced apple and pear would be your best bet! I find berries to be too messy.
- Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs are a fabulous addition to this delicious goat cheese appetizer. Fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh basil … whichever is your favorite!
- Roasted Veg: These tasty tarts would be wonderful with some roasted vegetables. Perhaps butternut squash and mushrooms for a lovely autumn vibe. Caramelized onions are also always a great addition!
- Jams: Cheese and jam is one of my all time favorite combos! They just go together perfectly. Layering an apricot or fig jam here with the herbed goat cheese and pastry would be delightful. A sweet and savory masterpiece if you will!
- Sweeteners: The sweet and sticky base of these tarts is a little honey, but feel free to experiment with other ingredients that have a similar taste and feel. Like maple syrup or hot honey for a bit of spice! You could also try balsamic glaze.
- Make It Big: Instead of making small puff pastry goats cheese tarts here, you could make one giant one! Layer all the ingredients across a big sheet pan and place the uncut puff pastry sheet on top. Talk about a show stopping starter for dinner parties and holidays!
Don’t like goat cheese? No worries, you could swap in another spreadable cheese here. Like cream cheese. Or simply layer on cheese rather than spread it on top of the pastry rectangles. In this case, any cheese you like would work. I suggest brie, cheddar, or parmesan cheese.
Thaw the puff pastry sheets! Remember to take the puff pastry out of the freezer about 15-20 minutes before you are ready to start working and let sit at room temperature. The pastry should then be ready-to-go exactly when you need it.
Space the tarts out enough! This appetizer recipe does contain some ooey-gooey, drippy ingredients that are baked upside down on a tray. Thus, things can get kind of messy! Therefore, I recommend spacing out the tarts enough so everything doesn’t run together.
Don’t skip the egg wash! The egg wash helps achieve that must-have golden brown, shiny, flaky shell.
Let cool before flipping! This a vital step. Like very vital! These tarts will not be ready to flip as soon as they come out of the oven. If you try, you will fail. Your tarts will fall apart, I promise you. I highly recommend allowing the pastries to thoroughly cool and then flipping very carefully once you have.
This delicious appetizer recipe is great for entertaining and truly the perfect dish to serve at so many occasions! There is never a time you could go wrong with serving up these puff pastries. Here are some of my suggestions:
- Holiday Parties: Whether is it your literal Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, or just one of the many gatherings during the festive season, this appetizer will be a smashing success at any holiday party you serve it at!
- Dinner Parties: Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Tarts to start, Creamy Sun Dried Tomato “Marry Me” Chicken Pasta for dinner, and Apple Crisp Ice Cream for dessert? Sounds like a party that I want to be invited to.
- Wine Night: Nothing goes better than carbs, cheese, and wine! Everyone at your next girls night will be swooning over this recipe.
No matter the event though, whether it’s book club with the ladies or Thanksgiving, these tarts can be served alone as the single star of the show, with an additional appetizer spread, or even within a charcuterie board.
If you’re making a charcuterie board with the pastries you would assemble the board as you would any other. Start with a large serving tray or platter then add meat, cheese, and more to your heart’s delights. Your favorite crackers, a small bowl for mixed nuts and spreads, dried fruits, fresh fruits, etc! You could even try out my Charcuterie Skewers for a fun twist.
You can store leftover goat cheese tarts in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep best for up to 5 days!
To re-heat you can pop in the microwave for 30-60 seconds depending on the serving size. You can also place in the oven at 300 degrees F until warmed throughout.
Goat cheese has a very distinct taste! It’s tart, tangy, bold, and sharp. Which I think is why some people are not drawn to it. It has a pretty aggressive flavor! It can also have a bit of an earthy flavor.
If you think you don’t like the taste of goat cheese, I still think you should try out this recipe. I am personally not a huge fan of the cheese on its own or just with crackers, but mixed with all the elements here it is truly delicious!
More Appetizer Recipes
- Whipped Brie Cheese Spread
- Cheesy Bacon Corn Dip
- Charcuterie Skewers
- Baked Brie Bites
- Burrata & Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
- Cold Parmesan Artichoke Dip
- Whipped Ricotta Crostini
- Pesto Flatbread Pizza
Connect With Me!
If you make this appetizer recipe or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations.
Love this recipe? Leave a comment and a rating! I love to see and it helps me continue to develop delicious recipes for this blog.Print
The Best Goat Cheese Appetizer Recipe (Baked Tarts!)
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 18 Tarts 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Baked
- 4 oz goat cheese, garlic & herb
- 2 frozen puff pastry sheets
- 18 slices of charcuterie meat (salami, prosciutto, or soppressata)
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- 1 egg, for egg wash
- Black pepper
- Set the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut each thawed puff pastry sheet into 9 even rectangles. Cut the large sheet into 3 rectangles along the fold lines, then cut those into thirds.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Then assemble the tarts, making sure to evenly space them. Drizzle honey (about 1 tsp) on the parchment paper or foil. For savory, layer one slice of meat and black pepper. For sweet, layer 3-4 apple slices,
- Spread about 1 tbsp of goat cheese on a puff pastry rectangle. Carefully place the rectangle on top of the layered elements. Repeat this for all tarts.
- Gently press down on the edges of each tart with a fork to seal and crimp them. Poke holes on top of the pastry. Brush the top of each tart with a thin layer of egg wash.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove the puff pastry tarts from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before flipping over. Once cooled slightly, gently flip over with a spatula.
- Serve and enjoy!
Keywords: goat cheese appetizer, goat cheese appetizers, appetizer with goat cheese, goat cheese tart, puff pastry tart goats cheese