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Baked Goat Cheese & Tomatoes combines rich goat cheese, cream cheese, herbs and seasonings. It’s baked with more cheese and fresh tomatoes on top – then served hot and melted from the oven and spread over crispy toasted crostini.
Why you’ll love this Baked Goat Cheese & Tomatoes
- The flavors are incredible! Enough said.
- It uses fresh summer ingredients. Make this simple dish with fresh garden tomatoes and herbs.
- This dip is simple, yet impressive. It’s fancy enough to serve at a party, but easy enough to make any day of the week.
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- Goat cheese – This soft cheese adds a tart, rich flavor to this warm spreadable dip. When baked, it softens easily and the flavors become more intense.
- Cream cheese – The sweetness of the cream cheese offsets the tartness of the goat cheese and smooths out the flavors.
- Fresh garlic, lemon zest, herbs and seasonings – A collection of fresh flavors enhance the creamy cheeses. We added fresh thyme and mint but you can swap in other favorite herbs you might have on hand.
- Romano cheese – Top the goat cheese mixture with a generous amount of finely grated Romano cheese. You can substitute Parmesan cheese if you prefer.
- Small tomatoes – We roasted stem-on small tomatoes on top of the cheese mixture for a rustic, decorative look to the finished dish. (Our tomato variety was called “Candy Tomato Bon Bons” – small, very sweet and juicy tomatoes.) Cherry or grape tomatoes will also work, even if they are off the stem.
- Herbed oil – We made an herbed oil to drizzle over the finished dip by blanching and chilling some fresh herbs then mixing with olive oil and salt.
- Toasted baguette – We served our dip with a sliced and toasted baguette. You could serve this dish with crackers and pita wedges if you prefer.
Special supplies needed
- One quart casserole dish
- Stand or hand mixer to cream the two cheeses together
- Ribbed grill pan to grill the sliced baguette
Chef’s Tip – For a light and smooth dip consistency, beat the cream cheese for the entire three minutes to achieve a fluffy consistency before continuing with the recipe.
How do I make Baked Goat Cheese & Tomatoes?
- Grill the baguette slices. Slice a baguette on the bias, then brush each side with olive oil. Grill on a ribbed grill pan like this.
- Make the herbed oil. Plunge fresh herbs into boiling water for 30 seconds so they maintain their color, then drain and place in ice water to cool quickly. Drain again and pat dry with paper towels. Place the herbs in a small food processor along with olive oil and salt. Pulse briefly to combine. (Herbed mixture should be a consistency similar to a chimichurri.)
- Sauté garlic in a little olive oil. Set aside.
- Mix the dip. Whip the cream cheese to a smooth and fluffy consistency, then add milk and beat again. Mix in the goat cheese and whip again. Then mix in the remaining dip ingredients of lemon zest, fresh mint, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. Spread evenly into a one-quart casserole dish.
- Sprinkle the top of the cheese mixture with grated Romano cheese. Then, top with the little tomatoes before baking.
- Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 25 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. Drizzle some of the herbed oil over the top, then serve immediately with toasted baguette slices. (You can smash the tomatoes on each baguette portion and drizzle with more oil if you’d like.)
Chef’s Tip – Bake extra tomatoes on a small foil lined pan to serve with the finished dip. The sweet taste of the tomato wonderfully offsets the savory tartness of the dip.
Frequently asked Questions
- Can I make ahead – You can mix the goat cheese and cream cheese mixture ahead of time and refrigerate in the casserole dish until ready to bake. Add the Romano cheese and tomatoes right before you are ready to bake the goat cheese dip.
- How do I store leftovers? Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and store refrigerated for up to three days.
- How do I reheat the Baked Goat Cheese & Tomatoes? Reheat any leftovers in a warm oven until heated through. (It’s ok to leave the herbed oil and already baked tomatoes on top.)
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1 whole baguette loaf
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil, packed
¼ cup fresh parsley, packed
¼ cup fresh thyme, packed
¼ cup fresh mint, packed
½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
16 ounces goat cheese, softened to room temperature
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced fine
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
½ pound small tomatoes such as grape or cherry (we used a variety of smaller stem-0n tomatoes called “candy tomato bon bons”)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Toast the crostini by slicing a baguette on the bias into 24 slices and brushing both sides with olive oil. To gauge cutting into 24, slice off both ends then cut on the bias in half then each half in half. Now just cut each piece into six slices.
Toast oiled slices on a ribbed pan over medium heat. I found it best to place a dinner plate over the baguettes so they stayed flat and didn’t curl while toasting. Just use gloves or tongs to lift the plate before turning each piece to toast on the other side.
Make the herbed oil by plunging the fresh herbs into a sauce pan of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and plunge into ice water to cool quickly. This process will keep the herbs vibrant green.
Pat dry on paper towels and place in a small food processor with the olive oil and salt and pulse to break up the herbs. The consistency should not be pureed but more like a chimichurri consistency.
While the cream cheese and goat cheese softens, place the garlic and oil into a small saute pan and cook over medium heat for one minute then remove from heat and scrape into a small bowl to cool.
Place the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on high for three minutes with the milk, stopping once or twice to scrape the bowl.
Add the softened goat cheese and beat again for two minutes.
Add the cooled garlic and oil, the fresh mint, fresh thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper and whisk for one minute, scraping bowl half way through.
Scrape into the one-quart casserole dish and sprinkle on the grated Romano cheese and place the baby tomatoes over the top in some sort of neat row, leaving most of the surface open to brown. Roast the remaining tomatoes in a small pan at the same time to serve later.
Bake for 25 minutes then serve hot with the herbed oil drizzled over the dish as well as over individual portions.
To serve, spread some of the dip on one of the toasted baguette slices, drizzle on more of the herbed oil then squeeze a cooked baby tomato over the crostini. Or allow guests to do the same.
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