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Need a festive make-ahead appetizer for your holiday party? Try this Whipped Goat Cheese 7-Layer Dip, topped with pistachios, dates, raisins, bacon, sunflower seeds, and honey. Yum!
Photography Credit:Nick Evans
“You need to remove that from the house!” That is what my wife told me a day after I made this 7-Layer Whipped Goat Cheese Dip. We were both grabbing a pita chip and sneaking a little dip out of the fridge every time we walked through the kitchen. It was just that good!
This dip is the perfect addition to any holiday party table. It has a nice mix of savory and sweet flavors, and crunchy and creamy textures. It also transports and stores really well. All told, it might just be my new favorite dip!
HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT THAN TRADITIONAL 7-LAYER DIP?
I love a good layer dip as much as the next food dude. The classic Tex-Mex version is typically made with refried beans, sour cream, tomatoes, cheese, olives, and maybe some chiles.
This layer dip is quite different. Instead of refried beans or cream cheese, the base of this dip is a reasonably thin layer of whipped goat cheese, which is then piled with seven complementary ingredients, including honey, golden raisins, pistachios, and chopped dates.
It’s a bit more elegant, which makes it great for the holidays when a special appetizer can be worth the extra expense!
WHY DO YOU I NEED TO WHIP THE GOAT CHEESE?
You need to whip the goat cheese to lighten it up and make it easy to spread. It’s quite easy to do: Just add a bit of whole milk yogurt, whole milk, and lemon juice to a bowl with the goat cheese and whip together with a hand mixer until the cheese is light and fluffy.
You can also use a fork and mix by hand. Either way works fine!
If the goat cheese is still too dry after mixing, add milk by the tablespoon to thin it out. Keep in mind that you want a consistency that’s easy to dip a chip in!
SUGGESTIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS FOR THIS DIP
This is where the fun starts!
Once you spread the whipped goat cheese into your serving dish, you get to add all the toppings. I recommended seven, but there are so many that could work depending on if you’re going for more of a sweet or savory dip.
For a sweeter dip, like I’ve done here, I opted for golden raisins and chopped dates, but you could also try chopped dried figs or dried cherries. (Almost any dried fruit would do just fine!) I used pistachios, but walnuts or pecans would also work. You could also use agave syrup in place of the honey.
If you’d like a more savory dip, consider some savory ingredients that go well with goat cheese, like sun-dried tomatoes, chopped olives, minced red onions, or capers.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS DIP
There is a lot going on with this dip, so I recommend using a pretty bland serving vehicle, like pita chips. They are sturdy enough to dig into the dip under all the toppings, but don’t have much of a flavor on their own.
You could also use crunchy vegetables like strips of carrots or celery.
MAKE-AHEAD TIPS FOR THIS DIP
This dip was just as good on day three as on day one, so feel free to make it a few days in advance of any parties—that is, if you have enough self-control not to eat it.
If you plan to add herbs to the dip, hold off adding them until right before serving. Herbs like chives will brown slightly in the fridge if the dip is made too far in advance.
MORE PARTY APPETIZER RECIPES
- Cranberry-Glazed Turkey Meatballs
- Goat Cheese Bacon Pops
- Golden Cheddar Cheese Crisps
- Caramelized Onion Tart with Gorgonzola and Brie
- Honey Hazelnut Baked Brie
Whipped Goat Cheese 7-Layer Dip Recipe
Helpful tip! Slice the figs, then chop the figs and pistachios together. This helps prevent the pistachios from flying all over the place when you chop them.
For the whipped goat cheese:
- 10 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 lemon, juice only
- Pinch of salt
For the toppings:
- 4 strips cooked, crispy bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
- 2 tablespoons chopped dates or dried figs
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- Pita chips, for serving
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- 2 1/2 quart baking dish or 8x8 baking dish
1 Whip the goat cheese: In a medium bowl, add goat cheese, yogurt, milk, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to whip the goat cheese mixture until it has a smooth, light consistency. (If you don’t have a hand mixer or stand mixer, you can use a fork to mash the ingredients together, but they won't have the same whipped consistency.)
The finished dip should be easily spreadable with a knife. If it is too thick or seems dry, add more milk by the tablespoon.
2 Assemble the dip: Spread the whipped goat cheese in a thin, even layer along the bottom of a 2 1/2-quart baking dish or an 8x8 baking dish. It shouldn’t be more than 1/2-inch thick in any part of the dip. Drizzle the honey over the dip; then sprinkle the bacon, golden raisins, pistachios, dates, sunflower seeds, and minced chives evenly over the top.
Keep covered in the fridge until ready to eat, then serve with pita chips.
This dip can be easily made 2-3 days in advance and keeps well in the fridge. If you make it in advance, wait to add the honey and chives until right before serving.
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Whipped Goat Cheese 7-Layer Dip - Recipes
Whipped goat cheese is quickly becoming my favorite quick and easy appetizer recipe. All you need are a few simple ingredients to make this lemon-herb goat cheese spread perfect for pairing with crackers or veggies.
This post is sponsored by Gourmet Garden. The ideas and opinions are my own. I love sharing products that fit into my family’s busy healthy eating lifestyle. Thank you for supporting brands that make it possible to keep Half Her Size running.
You don’t need anything especially fancy for this recipe – use whatever brand of plain goat cheese you usually like!
I typically grab a single 8-ounce log from Vermont Creamery, Cypress Grove, or a generic grocery store brand like Wegmans or Whole Foods.
Go for a log of soft goat cheese (also called chevre) – stay away from anything with a rind, aged goat cheeses, and any solid or sliced cheeses.
Basil Whipped Goat Cheese
By this point in time, we all know I love a sauce, dip, drizzle, etc. I live for them. They amp up any meal, can be prepped ahead and work for just about any recipe application. This Basil Whipped Goat Cheese is no exception to that rule. You can use this as a dip along with some crudités or crackers! Or use it to slather on some toasted bread to make a sandwich with a tangy goat cheese flare. Or thin it out with some pasta water and fold it into some freshly cooked pasta. Dollop it on top of a warm grain bowl. Blend in a few tablespoons of basil vinaigrette and use it to drizzle on top of some veggies. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS. Get on the goat cheese train!
And we’ve all seen my love of goat cheese documented over the years Sun Dried Tomato Goat Cheese Quiche, Charred Corn and Goat Cheese Toast and Goat Cheese and Shrimp Pasta to name a few. It adds that subtle tangy and creaminess to any recipe and OMG I AM FULLY OBSESSED.
In case you haven’t seen or heard of Montchevre Goat Cheese before – let me be the first to welcome you to your new obsession.
Montchevre is made in Wisconsin using traditional French cheese making techniques and they are known for the highest quality ingredients!! Aka the goat cheese is smooth and creamy and comes in an assortment of different flavors but we’re going with the OG for this Basil Whipped Goat Cheese. You can find it at major grocery stores and it’s worth picking up because I am partnering with them on some delicious recipes coming down the pipeline this summer!
So next time you make a little appetizer situation, try it with a little goat!! This Basil Whipped Goat Cheese is about to be your go-to summer appetizer!
GOAT CHEESE DIP
Fall has arrived and I love it! I am a pretty big fan of warm weather but an even bigger fan of the crisp fall air. My garden is still producing tomatoes, even though we are in fall. Today&rsquos Goat Cheese Dip is a great way to use up those garden tomatoes.
The Goat Cheese Dip pairs roasted cherry tomatoes with whipped goat cheese and then warms them up until the dip is bubbling. It is the perfect fall appetizer for a crowd or a dip to serve at the holidays. Your guests will love it!
HOW DO I MAKE GOAT CHEESE DIP?
This dip is so easy to make!
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl put cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt and black pepper and stir well.
- On a baking sheet with parchment paper place the cherry tomatoes face down. Place tomatoes in oven to roast for 20-25 minutes.
- While the tomatoes are roasting place the goat cheese, minced garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt into a mixer and mix on medium for 3-4 minutes until whipped.
- Use a small baking dish and spread the whipped goat cheese on the bottom.
- Remove tomatoes from oven when done roasting and let sit for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 375 degrees.
- Put roasted tomatoes on top of the goat cheese and add another quick drizzle of olive oil.
- Place baking dish in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is warm.
- Remove and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with crusty bread, crackers or as a spread on sandwiches.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN THIS GOAT CHEESE DIP?
TOMATOES: I used cherry tomatoes in this recipe from my garden but you can use any small tomato to roast. You can even chop up bigger tomatoes and roast those in place of cherry tomatoes.
GOAT CHEESE : The goat cheese is the star of this recipe. It is whipped in a mixer with garlic and olive oil and then baked until it is warm with the roasted tomatoes.
GARLIC: The garlic in this recipe adds great flavor so I don&rsquot suggest skipping it.
CRACKERS OR BREAD FOR SERVING: I like to serve this appetizer with crusty bread or crackers. It also is nice with pita bread, pretzels or bagel chips.
WHAT MODIFICATIONS CAN I MAKE TO THIS DIP?
CHEESE: I love goat cheese but this dip would also work nicely with feta cheese. I suggest finding crumbled feta cheese because I think it would be easier to whip then big chunks.
VEGETABLES: I love the roasted tomatoes with the goat cheese but you could also add other vegetables you have on hand to the roasting pan and pair that with the goat cheese. I think zucchini and eggplant work nicely.
SPICES: This goat cheese dip recipe uses garlic which offers nice flavor but not too much. You could easily add other spices including thyme, oregano, rosemary or paprika.
Israeli-Style Extra-Smooth Hummus
It's a bit more time-consuming than grabbing a tub of Sabra at the supermarket, but there's no better way to get hummus with fantastic flavor and texture than by making your own. Cooking dried chickpeas with aromatics takes care of the superior flavor puréeing them while they're still hot in a high-powered blender or food processor allows you to achieve an incredibly smooth consistency. We finish the hummus by whisking in homemade tahini sauce. For a variation on the theme, try Daniel's hummus masabacha, which lends a chunky texture with whole chickpeas.
Fully Loaded Vegan Queso Dip
One of the absolute best cheese dips I've ever had doesn't contain a single shred of cheese—in fact, it's totally vegan. It starts with our vegan nacho cheese sauce, which is remarkably creamy thanks to potatoes, cashews, almond milk, and vegetable shortening. We top the sauce with homemade vegan chorizo, beans, Ro-Tel (if you can get it), and fresh vegetables.
Creamy Shrimp Dip With Shallots, Dill, and Lemon
Home cooks tend to be a little scared of working with seafood, so shrimp dip might sound more intimidating than it is. But with our baking soda trick and foolproof poaching technique (or our sous vide one), it's easy to cook the shrimp perfectly. After that, all you have to do is chop the shrimp up and mix them with mayo, sour cream, and a variety of herbs and aromatics.
Maryland Crab Imperial With Buttery Golden Bread Crumbs
If you love crab cakes but aren't exactly a purist about them (and if you don't love the care that goes into forming and flipping them), crab imperial may just be your jam. It's like a warm, creamy crab dip, seasoned heavily with Old Bay, lemon, and mustard and topped with buttery bread crumbs. Pop it in the oven until the bread crumbs are golden, set out some baguette toasts on the side, and be sure to grab a healthy spoonful for yourself before it all disappears.
Easy Pork Rillettes (Slow-Cooked Pork Spread)
Perhaps it's technically more of a spread than a dip, but as long as you've got crackers or toast on hand, what's the difference, really? Disregard the fancy name—rillettes, a sort of whipped confit made by slow-roasting meat in its own fat and then blending it, are as cheap and simple as they are delicious. To roast the pork, we like to pack it tightly into a casserole or Dutch oven, which means less added fat is needed. A stand mixer makes short work of whipping it all up at the end. Check out Daniel's salmon rillettes recipe, too!
Clams Casino Dip
Clams casino is a dish often reserved for special occasions, and we can think of no more special occasion that enjoying an isolated Super Bowl with a bowl of dip packed with all the flavors of the classic recipe.
Hummus Fries With Spicy Tahini Dip
This spicy, garlicky tahini dip is accompanied by crisp and flavorful fries inspired by panisses, chickpea-flour fritters from the South of France. The fries use that same chickpea flour base but are given more hummus-like flavor with the addition of tahini, garlic, lemon, and cumin.
Bagna Càuda (Northern Italian Anchovy-Garlic Dip)
Bagna càuda, a classic dish of the Piedmont region in northwestern Italy, is a rich, salty dip made by mixing warm olive oil with plenty of garlic and anchovies, and cooked together until elements of the combination begin to dissolve and come together. Paired with an arrangement of vegetables, it's equal parts easy and delicious.
Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip
This vegan take on a classic spinach and artichoke dip doesn't give up any flavor. A combination of cauliflower and cashews creates a thick, rich, creamy base for earthy spinach, garlic, and a bit of cheesy nutritional yeast. Serve the dip with toasted bread or lots of tortilla chips.
Honey Whipped Goat Cheese with Apple Slices
First and foremost, we are thankful. We are thankful for the air we breathe, the people we are surrounded by, and the roof over our heads. Then, we are thankful for cheese. Clean, tangy, and creamy cheese. So today, we are celebrating just that with a great appetizer for all your spring and summer gatherings. Dear Honey Whipped Goat Cheese Dip with Apple Slices, the light in me recognizes the light in you.
Montechevre® Flavored Goat Cheese Logs do most of the work for us, since they come already infused with honey. Again, we are thankful. A toss of this, a pour of that, and a few logs of Montechevre® Honey Goat Cheese Logs into a bowl. We whip, whiiiipp, WHIIIIP, until this light and smooth dip appears. Did I mention that their goat cheese is non-GMO? The gratitude keeps flowing.
Best to slather this dip all over a shallow bowl, drizzle with some honey, and sprinkle with fresh herbs—thyme for example—from the garden. We also level up when we buy all the colors of apples we can find to create this gradient. Presentation is key. Especially when you’re going to a party and you’re out to impress.
With endless barbecues, picnics, events, graduations, weddings, showers and holidays that seem to encompass our summer, wouldn’t it be nice to keep this recipe in your back pocket? You know, that recipe that you bring because people keep requesting it? This is the one. Have confidence in that.
But aren’t we so thankful for these things? As tired as we get, aren’t we thankful for the time with loved ones, laughing over a potluck spread, glass in hand. It’s best to put all our extra efforts into those moments as opposed to the moments laboring in the kitchen. We come for simple, healthy, relaxed, and vibrant summers. Goat cheese in hand.
Whipped Goat Cheese
I’ve been making whipped goat cheese for a while and using it for my go-to appetizer on ALL THE WEEKENDS!! In fact last weekend it made an appearance on my bruschetta bar spread and was the first thing to disappear!
It’s easy to whip up ahead of time and then serve it up with some crostini or crackers and call it a day. I use fresh thyme, red pepper flakes, garlic and lemon to add extra flavor – but you could add some number of seasonings to give it whatever vibe you want! Add extra cracked black pepper for more kick, maybe some oregano and basil if you want it more Mediterranean, skies the limit!
It stores well in the fridge for about 4-5 days so you can easily prep the Whipped Goat Cheese ahead of time and use it as needed. Add it to sandwiches, toss some of it into a pasta with a little water to smooth it out, or dip some veggies in it for extra crunch! You’re gonna love it.
Marinated Grilled Vegetables with Whipped Goat Cheese
Marinated grilled vegetables with whipped goat cheese – eggplants, peppers, zucchini, asparagus, and onions, marinated and grilled till soft on the inside and charred on the outside, then doused in garlicky marinade, and served with whipped goat cheese on the side.
With BBQ season in full force, this tried-and-true recipe of marinated grilled vegetables will come in handy, and may very well become your favorite way to eat eggplants and peppers. It’s a cornucopia of summer vegetables, double-marinated and grilled to perfection till they are soft and sweet on the inside, and charred on the outside. They are a fantastic side for barbecued meat, and served with the mild garlicky whipped goat cheese dip, they are a light summer meal on their own.
I love how the farmers markets are overflowing with produce right now, and I tend to always get more veggies than I can consume in a day or two, then scramble to cook everything while it’s still fresh. I just can’t decide whether to get the lovely green peppers, or the sweet red ones, the eggplants, the zucchini or summer squash…and more often than not, I get everything that looks great without any particular plan. This recipe is the perfect way to cook this beautiful summer bounty all at once.
My favorite veggies to grill for this recipe are the eggplants and peppers but feel free to use any veggies you like. Here I mixed three different varieties of peppers – green peppers, sweet mini peppers, and slightly hot Anaheim peppers for some spice. If you still have asparagus where you live, add them to the mix, and don’t forget zucchini and sweet red onions too.
The veggies are first marinated, then grilled, and then doused with the remaining marinade for extra flavor. It’s a simple marinade of olive oil, balsamic and apple cider vinegar, oregano and garlic. You can replace the oregano with other herbs of choice like Italian spice mix, thyme, marjoram, savory, etc – fresh or dry. No hard rules here.
The whipped goat cheese serves as a dip, and goes so well with all the veggies. If you are serving them on their own, make some toasted bread, spread the goat cheese on top, and serve with the grilled veggies on the side.
And here’s another great idea – grill more eggplants, and peppers, then place the leftovers in a wide container and pour a mix of equal parts olive oil, regular apple cider vinegar, and lots of garlic, and salt. They will absorb all these wonderful flavors, and the next day you will have the most flavorful marinated eggplant and pepper salad! It’s delicious on its own, or can be added to fresh green salads. It will also keep well in the fridge for a long time.
For other great summer recipe ideas, check out this simple and super yummy Eggplant dip, this old favorite Roasted red pepper jam, or the Baked eggplant in tomato garlic sauce – all of them are tried and true gems, and can be eaten cold so they are the perfect summer eats!
Whipped Feta and Goat Cheese with Hot Honey
Like a dreamy, ultra creamy trip to the sunny Greek Isles, this crowd-pleasing whipped cheeses with hot honey number is the fastest recipe to prepare and packed with bold, bright flavors. Want it a little thicker? Simply leave the yogurt out – just make sure your cheeses are at room temperature before blending.
½ cup runny honey (such as clover)
1 tsp crushed chili flakes (or however much you see fit)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar (you can sub white wine or white distilled)
4 ounces crumbled feta (or block feta at room temp)
4 ounces goat cheese (at room temp)
4 ounces plain Greek yogurt (if you want it really thick, use less or see NOTE)
Crackers or pita bread/chips for serving
Pour the honey into a small saucepan set over medium heat and add the chili flakes, vinegar, and a pinch of salt (to taste). Allow the mixture to come to a simmer – bubbles are good. Once that happens, turn off the heat and allow the honey to cool, infusing its sweet flavor with that of the chilies. For this recipe, wait until it’s close to room temp to use or it will mess with the consistency of the cheeses.
Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the feta, goat cheese and yogurt. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding a (very small) splash of water if needed, to get things moving. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed, and when everything is totally smooth, transfer to your serving plate or bowl. Pour the hot honey into the center and serve with whatever dipping devices you like (pita, crackers, etc.).
NOTES: If you like a thicker dip, one that’s a bit less creamy and a bit sturdier – simply omit the yogurt. Tahini makes a nice addition as well, and sometimes I’ll add 1 or 2 TBSP of that instead of the yogurt. Play around with it!