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Goat cheese (a.k.a. chèvre) may once have been an obscure option available only on gourmet cheese boards and in specialty grocery stores, but in a world where it seems like every second person is wary of dairy, this tangy, semisoft variety-lower in fat and often easier to digest than cow's milk cheese-is becoming a readily available favorite.
Soft enough for spreads, crumbly enough for salads, and melty enough for pasta-with a tangy flavor that works perfectly in desserts-it's one of the most versatile cheeses out there. Grab yourself a log of the stuff and start experimenting.
1. Grilled Peach Salad With Warm Goat CheeseShare on Pinterest
Peaches and goat cheese are a popular combo, but with grilled fruit and breaded, pan-cooked cheese, this salad takes the duo to new levels. Toasted almonds add extra crunch-and serious yum factor.
2. Fig, Mint, and Goat Cheese SaladShare on Pinterest
Naturally sweet and packed with fiber and antioxidants, fresh figs are awesome, but they may not be a staple on your grocery list-until you try this salad. The combination of the fruit with goat cheese and a light olive oil dressing is simple but delicious, and best of all, the recipe requires no cooking whatsoever.
3. Pea Shoot Salad With Shrimp, Goat Cheese, and Citrus VinaigretteShare on Pinterest
The addition of shrimp provides enough protein for this salad to be a filling starter or even a light meal on its own. It's pretty, nutritious, and takes all of five minutes to put together.
4. Watermelon Salad With Goat Cheese, Watercress, and MintShare on Pinterest
You've probably heard of salads that pair watermelon with feta, but this recipe shows how the goat variety can work just as well. Its tangy and naturally savory flavor pairs well with the sweet, refreshing fruit. Sprigs of mint and a sprinkle of almonds make the whole thing even fancier with minimal effort.
5. Artichoke, Bean, and Goat Cheese SaladShare on Pinterest
Bookmark this one for springtime. With goat cheese topping a plate of seasonal ingredients such as fresh asparagus and green beans, plus arugula and mint, this salad is way better than chewing on a pile of kale.
6. Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese SaladShare on Pinterest
A side salad can be so much more than a plate of mixed greens. This one, made with heart-healthy, inflammation-fighting red beets; crunchy, brain-boosting walnuts; and creamy goat cheese for protein, looks good, tastes good, and is super nutritious.
7. Creamy Goat Cheese Greek Zoodle SaladShare on Pinterest
Stirring goat cheese into the lemony, olive oil-based dressing makes the zucchini noodles super creamy without mayonnaise or other bottled condiments. Fresh parsley and juicy cherry tomatoes brighten up the dish, making it a perfect summer salad.
8. Zucchini Goat Cheese Stacks With Mint, Pine Nuts, and Crispy ProsciuttoShare on Pinterest
This appetizer looks impressive but is actually really easy to put together, since it's just a simple matter of layering ingredients. Don't worry if you can't find the specific goat cheese the recipe calls for; any herbed variety will work.
9. Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato CrostiniShare on Pinterest
You can't beat the combo of cheese and bread, and this appetizer serves it up right with creamy goat cheese slathered onto a thin slice of super-crunchy Italian bread. Sun-dried tomatoes pair nicely with the tangy flavor of the cheese, while the balsamic glaze is a sweet contrast. Think of it as bruschetta, only better.
10. Honey, Apricot, and Almond Goat Cheese SpreadShare on Pinterest
Don't have time to make a full-on appetizer? Doctor up a plain log of goat cheese by rolling it in a mix of crushed almonds, dried fruit, and herbs. With a drizzle of honey over top, it's a great (and incredibly easy) sweet-and-spicy spread for crackers.
11. Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Sweet Potato BitesShare on Pinterest
The sweet potato toast trend lives on in this colorful appetizer. Herbed goat cheese, tart cranberries, and pecans top baked rounds of the orange tuber. We think they'd make a great addition to the holiday dinner table.
12. Spinach and Goat Cheese-Stuffed PortobellosShare on Pinterest
This gluten-free version of stuffed mushrooms does away with the breadcrumbs and adds spinach to the goat cheese for some extra nutrition. Plus, unlike regular mushrooms, which can only fit a measly dollop of filling, the wide caps of the portobellos ensure you get more of the cheesy goodness in each bite.
13. Sweet Pea Goat Cheese DipShare on Pinterest
Nix the packaged dips for this 10-minute homemade version. Pulse fresh mint, lemon juice, and lemon zest into the goat cheese and pea mixture to create something way better than anything you'd find in the grocery store.
14. Honey Balsamic Bacon Goat Cheese and Pistachio BitesShare on Pinterest
You know those phyllo pastry shells in the freezer section you think are adorable but always skip over because you have no idea what you'd ever do with them? Do this. There's goat cheese, bacon, and garlic involved. It's bound to be good.
15. Caramelized Balsamic Goat Cheese PastaShare on Pinterest
Does a pasta that looks this irresistible even need any words? We could wax on about the swirls of spaghetti studded with sweet roasted beets, buttery mushrooms, and melty goat cheese, but we'd only be wasting your time. Just make it, devour it, and thank the blogger later.
16. Spinach Frittata With Tomatoes and Goat CheeseShare on Pinterest
You can never have too many frittata recipes up your sleeve. This one sets itself apart by using sliced potatoes for a gluten-free crust. Pour an egg, veggie, and goat cheese mixture on top, and you've got a delicious, cheesy cross between an omelet and a Spanish torta.
17. Goat Cheese Chicken-Stuffed Sweet PotatoShare on Pinterest
A healthier twist on the loaded baked potato, this recipe uses sweet potato instead of white, lean chicken breast for protein, and lots of veggies for fiber. To top it all off, crumbled goat cheese makes for a lighter and much more elegant finish than gloppy melted cheddar.
18. Spring Pea and Goat Cheese RisottoShare on Pinterest
Gotta love a quick risotto that takes only 30 minutes to come together. But there are a lot of other things to appreciate about this recipe too: white wine, bacon, goat cheese… and the fact there's zero heavy cream involved.
19. Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion PizzaShare on Pinterest
This low-maintenance personal pizza calls for a tortilla or a flatbread, so you don't have to roll out your own dough. The crispy, thin “crust” is the perfect vehicle for the delicate but flavorful goat cheese and caramelized onion topping, and the whole thing is ready in less than 30 minutes.
20. Cucumber Avocado Sandwich With Herb Goat CheeseShare on Pinterest
An easy goat cheese and herb spread is all you need to give this humble cucumber and avocado sandwich a tasty twist. Ready in 10 minutes, suitable for vegetarians, and requiring no cooking, this sandwich is as convenient as it is yummy.
21. One-Pan Roasted Sausage and VegetablesShare on Pinterest
Sheet-pan recipes are great for making sure you get a proper meal on busy days. This one calls for a simple mix of your favorite sausage and a rainbow of veggies, then gets kicked up a notch by Italian spices and a topping of marinara sauce and, of course, goat cheese.
22. Shrimp and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Shells With Roasted Red Pepper SauceShare on Pinterest
Rather than the usual spinach and ricotta mix, these shells are stuffed with a unique blend of goat cheese and shrimp (and yes, spinach is involved too). Even the light tomato sauce is just slightly different, seasoned with Cajun spices for a slight detour from the classic Italian flavors.
23. Peach Tarts With Goat Cheese and HoneyShare on Pinterest
An easy alternative to pie, this recipe saves you the rolling and the crimping of dough and calls for frozen puff pastry instead. The sprinkling of black pepper is a surprising kick, but you'll be surprised by how well it works against the sweet peaches, creamy goat cheese, and drizzle o' honey.
24. 4-Ingredient Blueberry Goat Cheese Phyllo TurnoversShare on Pinterest
Phyllo dough makes an appearance again, but this time for dessert. It's easier to work with than you'd think and provides a much more delicate alternative to thick pie crust-perfect for the light blueberry and goat cheese filling.
25. Raspberry, Honey, and Goat Cheese BruschettaShare on Pinterest
With raspberries and honey but also goat cheese and olive oil, these unusual toasts could be served up as appetizers but are equally appropriate as a healthy dessert. Fruity but not too sweet, they'd even work as a sweet breakfast or a fun snack or a… you get the idea.
26.Pumpkin and Chèvre Swirl Black Bean BrowniesShare on Pinterest
With black beans, pumpkin, and goat cheese in the ingredient list, this may not read like your typical brownie recipe, but don't let that discourage you. There's still plenty of chocolaty goodness, and that touch of goat cheese swirl is a fantastic contrast to the bittersweet flavors.
27. Honey-Roasted Fig and Goat Cheese Frozen PopsShare on Pinterest
The blend of thick Greek yogurt and rich goat cheese makes the base of these frozen pops as creamy as regular ice cream. Meanwhile, most of the sweetness comes from the natural sugars in the roasted figs (plus just a few glugs of honey).
28. Sweet Goat Cheese-Stuffed Strawberries With MintShare on Pinterest
These adorable fruity bites are proof you don't need to be a veteran in the kitchen to produce something that looks pretty and tastes good. Requiring just four ingredients (make sure they're good quality!) and five minutes, this recipe is foolproof.
29. Chocolate Cherry Goat Cheese TrufflesShare on Pinterest
If those brownies didn't convince you chocolate and goat cheese can be a perfect match, these truffles might do it. With just five ingredients including cherry jam for a fruity depth of flavor, the fudgy bites are dangerously good.