An easy homemade recipe, this warm goat cheese salad replicates all the flavors of the classic French bistro dish without the need to catch a flight to France. Warm cracker-crusted goat cheese patties combine with savory veggies and a sweet vinaigrette dressing. The end result is a blend of flavors and textures that will leave your mouth watering.
When warm goat cheese salads made the jump from France to America around 1983, they were thought to be a fleeting trend. However, I’m happy to report that they’re not only still around but are still immensely popular today. A staple in French bistros, goat cheese salad recipes are one of my favorite indulgences.
So, I thought it was about time I recreated one at home. Turns out, it’s pretty easy to do! Full of flavor and texture, one bite of this easy salad with goat cheese, and you’ll feel like you’re dining in a café in France. Naturally vegetarian, it’s great to serve on its own or as a side with your favorite main course. Either way, it’s guaranteed to have you and your guests coming back for more!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Naturally vegetarian and gluten-free
- Full of fiber, nutrients, and healthy fats to keep you full
- Can be served as a side dish, appetizer, or main course
- It’s fancy enough for special occasions but easy enough for weeknight dinners
- The ingredients can be prepped in advance for a quick meal
Ingredients & Notes
Goat cheese salad
- Goat cheese - The star ingredient, goat cheese logs can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores. I stuck with a plain version for this recipe, but you could also switch things up with an herbed variety.
- Tapioca starch - This helps form the base of the breading, allowing the egg wash and crackers to stick to the cheese. Regular all-purpose flour or a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour alternative can be used instead if preferred.
- Egg - Used as a “glue” helping the cracker crumbs stick to the cheese.
- Crackers - I used these almond flour crackers for a crisp, crunchy coating, but any crackers you prefer can be substituted.
- Oil - Olive oil is my preferred oil to pan-fry. The smoke point is high enough to get a nice golden brown crisp without the need to drown the cheese balls. You can also use avocado oil or coconut oil.
- Vegetables - Romaine lettuce forms the base of this goat cheese salad. Then, I included artichokes, roasted red peppers, and red onion for color, texture, flavor, and nutrients.
- Avocado - The creaminess of the avocado slices pairs perfectly with the crispness of the rest of the ingredients. Plus, they add a boost of healthy fats for a well-rounded recipe.
- Olive oil - Forms the base of the dressing. If preferred, feel free to swap it out for avocado oil instead.
- Red wine vinegar - Adds a hint of sweetness and a satisfying tang. Do not substitute white vinegar or apple cider vinegar as they won’t result in the flavor we’re looking to achieve with this goat salad recipe.
- Honey - Used to sweeten the dressing without the need for refined sugar. Agave would work well, too.
- Seasonings - Italian seasonings, sea salt, and garlic pepper combine to add a savory flavor better than any dressing you’ll find in the store.
What is Goat Cheese?
One of my favorite ingredients, goat cheese, also known as chèvre, is a type of cheese made from goat’s milk. It has less casein (a type of milk protein) than cow’s milk which results in a softer, creamier texture. In addition, it has more fat than cheese made from cow’s milk which yields a tangier taste. If you’re interested, you can read more about goat cheese, how it’s made, and the different varieties here.
This warm goat cheese salad recipe looks gourmet, but don’t worry! It’s easy to make. You’ll need a sharp knife, a plate, three shallow bowls, a large skillet, a jar for the dressing, and a large serving bowl.
Step 1: Form cheese balls. Slice the goat cheese log into four equal pieces, and roll them into patties. Place them on a plate, and freeze for 20 minutes or until they’re firm.
Step 2: Coat the goat cheese. Roll each cheese ball in a shallow bowl of tapioca flour, coating them completely. Then, dip them in egg wash followed by the crushed crackers.
Step 3: Pan fry. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the cheese patties until they’re golden brown and crispy on both sides. Set them aside to cool.
Step 4: Prepare the dressing. Add all the ingredients to a jar, and mix or shake to combine. Set aside.
Step 5: Assemble the salad with goat cheese. Add the vegetables, except the avocado, to a large salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing on top, and toss to combine. Then add the avocado chunks, and gently toss again.
Serve the salad with the goat cheese patties on top, and enjoy!
What to serve with this salad with goat cheese
You can add almost any protein to this salad to bulk it up a bit. I recommend my cast iron salmon or turkey meatballs. You also can’t go wrong with shrimp or chicken. If serving this to a crowd, my sweet potato fries with dipping sauces would be a great side addition too.
- Make sure the goat cheese is frozen cold before adding the cracker crust. If the goat cheese is soft, it will melt too quickly once it hits the skillet.
- Use small artichokes or quartered artichokes. I have tried this salad with artichoke halves, and they are too big.
- Toss in the avocado chunks at the end. Because avocados can be soft, gently tossing the chunks into the salad at the end ensures they maintain their shape without getting mushy.
- Serve the goat cheese while warm. When you break into the goat cheese patties the cheese should be light and soft.
How to Store
If you are planning on having leftovers, don’t toss the salad with the dressing. Instead, store the salad and ingredients, except the avocado, in an airtight container in the fridge. Cook the goat cheese patties as directed, and store them in a separate container in the fridge, too.
When ready to enjoy, toss and prepare the goat cheese salad as directed. Then, heat the goat cheese patties in the microwave for 10 seconds before serving on top of the salad, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Goat cheese pairs well with crunchy lettuce and Mediterranean ingredients like roasted red peppers and artichokes.
Yes! Warm goat cheese is light and soft with the perfect tangy flavor.
Goat cheese has less lactose than regular cow cheese. In addition, it contains more medium-chain fats which are healthier than the high amounts of saturated fat found in cow cheese. These factors along with the presence of probiotics typically make it easier to digest, especially for those that may have a dairy sensitivity.
For more tasty salad recipes, check out my:
Goat Cheese Salad
- 3 Shallow Bowls
- 1 Large Skillet
- 1 Jar
- 1 Large Salad Bowl
For the salad
- 4 oz goat cheese
- ¼ cup tapioca starch - or flour
- 1 egg - whisked
- 1 cup crackers - crushed, I used these almond flour crackers
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups romaine lettuce
- 14 oz can quartered artichokes - drained
- ½ cup roasted red peppers - cut into strips
- ¼ red onion - diced
- 1 avocado - sliced into chunks
For the dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey - or agave
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Slice the goat cheese log into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a patty with the palms of your hands. Place them on a plate and freeze for 20 minutes until firm (This is super important! The goat cheese needs to be frozen before pan frying or it will melt too quickly).
- Once the goat cheese is firm, roll each one in a shallow bowl with tapioca flour to coat. Then dip the patty into a bowl with the whisked egg, followed by a bowl with the crushed crackers. The egg wash should allow the crackers to adhere to the goat cheese.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, place the goat cheese patties in the skillet. Let them cook for 1 - 2 minutes until golden brown, then flip over and cook for another minute until crispy. Be careful not to overcook as the cheese will melt if it gets too warm. Set the goat cheese patties to the side.
- Make the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients to a jar. Place the lid on top and shake well or mix well with a spoon until the seasonings are well combined. Set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, add the lettuce, artichoke quarters, roasted red peppers, and red onion. Drizzle the dressing over top and toss to coat. Add the avocado chunks to the bowl and gently toss again to distribute.
- Serve the salad on a plate or bowl and place the goat cheese patties on top and enjoy!