Artfully arranged cheese boards with will never go out of style and that’s a fact. But here’s a little tip for those of us smitten with goat cheese: It proves to be a real winner off of the cheese board, too. Tangy, velvety, and most importantly, super spreadable, it’s a quick way to add texture and flavor when cooking in at home.
“I believe that goat cheese is one of the most versatile cheeses as it goes easily from breakfast to dessert,” says Tasia Malakasis, Belle Chevre's CEO. “It’s super mild, wonderfully creamy and also happens to be one of the healthiest cheeses,” she notes, raving about its low-lactose, low-fat, high-protein and easy-to-digest qualities.
Easy never tasted so awesome.
Goat cheese brands such as Belle Chevre, Cypress Grove, and Surfing Goat Dairy have taken note on the cheese’s rising popularity from a culinary perspective, adding everything from herbs and spices, and even honey and brown sugar (hello, dessert) to the equation. Cypress Grove most recently dabbled into the category with fresh goat cheese cups, which are “perfect for tossing, dipping, spreading, and snacking,” says Christy Khattab, the brand’s deputy managing director.
Case in point, goat cheese is a versatile ingredient that deserves a permanent space in the refrigerator. From pasta filling to a dreamy mayo alternative, check out these fun and delicious ways to use goat cheese that don’t involve breaking out a cheese platter.
Stuff Meats, Vegetables, and More
“I am nuts for stuffing things with chevre (goat's milk cheeses) and the best part about doing it with goat cheese is that there is no shredding or cutting or prepping,” says Malakasis. Simply scoop it out, stir in herbs or spices (and even fruit), and instantly amp up meal time. Get creative and stuff meats like chicken and pork loin, hushpuppies, arancini, mushrooms, and even French toast, or “whatever you can find to stuff.”
Surfing Goat Dairy’s Garden Fantasia goat cheese is chock full of oregano, basil, parsley, and chives, making it delicious when stuffed into chicken. Plus, anyone can doctor up a plain goat cheese to get the same herbaceous effect if their version isn’t readily available at home. “The seasoning in the cheese will help to season the chicken, and we recommend garnishing it with lemon juice, garlic and cherry tomatoes,” says Maren Stratte, the dairy’s marketing associate.
Dial Up Veggie Trays, Crostini and Guacamole for Parties
For a crowd-pleasing party dip, mix up plain goat cheese with salt, garlic, onion, and herbs and toss some seasonal vegetables on a tray. It’s basically a healthier alternative to ranch dressing and proves to be less messy — as in no ranch stains on the carpet thanks to its thicker texture. For an Instagram-worthy bite, Khattab suggests spreading Little Red Corvette, a goat cheese bursting with flavor from bell pepper, black garlic and chermoula spice, on crostini and topping with peak season heirloom tomatoes and pine nuts.
“One of our cheeses, Ole!, is made with artichokes, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice, and people like to mix this into guacamole,” says Stratte. Mix 6-ounces of goat cheese with three mid-sized avocados and diced tomato. “It’s an easy way to make tangy, creamy guacamole,” she adds. And don’t be scared to play with different herbs and spices, it’s a fun way to amp up regular or even store-bought guac.
Watch: 7 Ways to Use Leftover Pickle Juice
Dress Up Basic Sandwiches and Bagels
Add excitement to lunchtime with goat cheese as a palatable alternative to mayonnaise and an easy way to add more protein into the mix. If we’re talking tomato sandwich, goat cheese actually balances out acid from tomatoes and makes for a noteworthy bite. And don’t be afraid to mix and match sweet with savory. “We use the fig cream cheese at the cheese shop on a ham sandwich with sliced apples,” says Malakasis.
Bagels are a fantastic choice, as textually speaking, goat cheese is very similar to cream cheese, making it an obvious decision for Bella Chevre to launch the first line of chevre cream cheeses. “My favorite of favorites is spreading our goat's milk cream cheeses (the freshest of all goat cheeses) on a bagel and top with smoked salmon,” adds Malakasis. Or finely dice fresh vegetables and mix in with regular goat cheese for a tasty take on garden vegetable cream cheese.
Cream Cheese Is Like Sour Cream, But Better
“Fresh goat cheese, plain and simple, is a great substitute for sour cream dolloped on a baked potato topped with bacon and green onion,” says Khattab. Or add garlic and chives to give a little personality to baked potato night. The best part? Goat cheese is so flavorful that butter and sour cream will not be missed. Come fall, Malakasis notes to stir goat cheese into soup and chili right before serving.
Mix Up Pasta Night
Pasta filling can often be overkill. Plain goat cheese is a great alternative to a not-too-aggressive pasta filling that will satisfy the entire family. Stratte suggests using a goat cheese like O Solé Mio, with sun-dried tomatoes to shake things up. “Little Red Corvette, bursting with flavor from bell pepper, black garlic, and chermoula spice, is another recommendation to pair with your favorite pasta, tomatoes, and garlic for an umami kick,” says Khattab.
If there’s no time to make something like homemade ravioli, Khattab notes adding plain goat cheese to your favorite favorite cooked pasta noodles, tossed with olive oil, chopped pistachios, black pepper, and lemon zest, for “dinner in a pinch.” The combinations of pasta fillings and sauces are endless.
Savory Steak Sauces
Men's Challenge, created by Surfing Goat Dairy’s owner, Thomas Kafsack, was created as the ultimate companion to prime rib. Goat cheese is mixed with horseradish and cayenne pepper for the ultimate kick. Or try a goat cheese version of the popular Béarnaise steak sauce by adding fresh herbs and watch as it melts into a perfectly cooked steak.
A Fun Way to Curb Sweet Tooth Cravings
To curb sweet tooth cravings, add honey and brown sugar to plain goat cheese or keep a tub of Cypress Grove’s Sweet Dreams handy in the refrigerator. Khattab notes to slather it on graham crackers for a new version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or to use it as a crepe filling alongside seasonal fruit. She’s also a bigtime fan of dipping strawberries in sweetened goat cheese (or their new Belle Chevre Honey Cream Cheese) for “a delicious and elegant dessert” with Champagne. And the bright tang goat cheese adds to a frosting, like in this Spiced Apple Carrot Cake recipe, simply can't be beat.
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