Savory Goat Cheese Truffles

Savory Goat Cheese Truffles were the answer to a delightful dilemma I had recently. My husband and I were invited to join five other couples on a sunset cruise and each couple was asked if they could bring an appetizer to share. We needed to make finger food that would be easy to serve and eat on our friend’s boat. Bite size savory goat cheese balls mixed with dried fruit and then rolled in nuts or seeds and skewered with a pretzel stick seemed like the perfect appetizer to take on board the boat. The goat cheese truffles are a one or two bite appetizer and served with the pretzel sticks for toothpicks, there is no trash left that might blow into the water.

Savory Goat Cheese Truffles

Savory Goat Cheese Truffles

  • 4 oz. goat cheese, room temperature 
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c. finely minced dried fruit (I used apricots, cranberries and golden raisins)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper or to your preferred level of spiciness

Add the two cheeses to a medium size bowl and using a rubber spatula, mix until well combined. Add the dried fruit, lemon juice and cayenne and mix until light and creamy. Refrigerate the cheese mixture until firm. Take about a teaspoon of the cheese and use your hands to form the mixture into a small ball. The recipe makes about 4 dozen balls, depending on size.

Toasted pecan and rosemary coating (this makes enough to coat about 4 dozen balls)

  • 1 cup pecans
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary

Place the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat and shake to make a single layer. Cook, tossing often, until they have a nutty aroma. This will only take a couple of minutes. Remove from the skillet and when cooled, chop finely. Season with the salt and rosemary.

Za’atar coating: Za’atar is a spice condiment that is made from toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac and salt. I bought mine at a farmer’s market and then added additional toasted sesame seeds.

Goat Cheese Truffles Can Be Prepare A Day Ahead

After forming all the cheese balls, roll them in the coating mixture and place on a platter. I rolled half in the pecan mixture and the other half in the za’atar toasted sesame mixture. Cover the truffles and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving for the flavors to meld. The savory goat cheese truffles can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Take them out of the refrigerator 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Savory Goat Cheese Truffles

If you wish, skewer the goat cheese truffles with a pretzel stick. If you use the pretzel sticks, insert them just before serving so that the pretzels don’t become soggy. You can also serve them with decorative toothpicks.

Savory Goat Cheese Truffle With Pretzel Stick


The savory goat cheese truffles are such an easy appetizer to put together, they take no time at all. What I liked most about this simple appetizer is that it is very versatile. The proportion of goat cheese to cream cheese can be changed to suit your taste. If you have guests that don’t like goat cheese, make them with all cream cheese or perhaps replace it with blue cheese. For a sweeter tasting cheese truffle, add a bit more dried fruit. Instead of using minced dried fruits, you could use sun-dried tomatoes or olives for a totally savory cheese truffle. Instead of using za’atar, you could roll half the balls in chopped pistachios or toasted black and white sesame seeds…the possibilities for these easy appetizers are endless.

I served the goat cheese truffles on a small platter and put the pretzel sticks in a small glass container next to them and let each guest decide how they were going to eat them. Some of our friends used the pretzel sticks to pick up and eat the savory truffles while others used their fingers and simply popped them into their mouths like grapes. They were the perfect one bite appetizer that everyone could easily grab at some point during our sunset cruise. Whether you want an easy appetizer to take to a party or want a little something to serve to guests with a glass of wine, I do hope you try the savory goat cheese truffles.

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153 thoughts on “Savory Goat Cheese Truffles

    1. Thank you Jane, for your compliment. I know you must be looking forward to spring weather, the snow months are almost behind you. 🙂

  1. These sound like a perfect appetizer, I really like the coating combinations you chose. Love how you thought about things flying into the water and chose pretzel sticks in place of plastic. Every little bit counts towards keeping our waters clean.

    1. I appreciate your visit and nice compliment Fida. Yes, pretzels worked well in place of wood or plastic skewers. You could eat the whole thing so there was no trash that could blow overboard.

    1. Thank you Pam, I’m always happy to share my recipes. The goat cheese truffles were easy and everyone seemed to like the idea of pretzel sticks as skewers.

  2. Brilliant idea Karen. I love the pretzel stick idea. No doubt, the truffle rolled in Za’atar would be my first choice. Thanks for passing this one on.

    1. Hi Ron, My husband was like you and his favorite was the truffle that was rolled in Za’atar. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Angie, I have to agree with you about bite sized appetizers especially at a cocktail party when you usually are holding a drink in your other hand. I appreciate your lovely compliment, thank you!

  3. I, too, love the pretzel stick! Now that is a “lollipop” I could love. And think of all the options! You have set my creative juices flowing… Thanks, Karen!

    1. Hi David, I’m always happy to set someones creative juices flowing, the possibilities are endless with these cheese truffles. 😀 I know I will be making them again with other combinations.

    1. Thank you for the compliment and pin Gerlinde. I hope that if you had a chance to make the cheese truffles, that you enjoyed them.

  4. Terrific dish! Perfect finger food, and I love the idea of the pretzel stick “toothpick.” Very inventive — thanks.

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment on the cheese truffles as well as using the pretzel stick in place of a toothpick. It was a good appetizer to take on the cruise and I’ll probably serve them the same way at home as everyone liked the idea. 🙂

  5. I pinned this recipe. I have extended family that has such diverse tastes and I think a few savory and some sweet would appeal to everyone. Good job!

    1. I appreciate the pin Madonna and I’m happy to know that you think your family would enjoy the appetizer. What is nice is that you can adapt them to fit different tastes.

    1. Thank you Conor, Sometimes you need to get a little creative and the pretzel sticks worked great in place of toothpicks that might have blown into the water. Who can resist a pretzel stick, especially when it is connected to a tasty cheese morsel. 😀

    1. Hi Darryl, When we got back to the dock there were 4 left. The captain and my husband cleaned the plate…of course, just so there wouldn’t be any trash. 😀

  6. Delightful to find something so original and unusual on a post, Karen. Take a bow !! Love goat cheese with both sweet and more tart fruit and za’atar would be my favourite coating . . . black sesame seeds sound great also. Altho’ I can see the benefit of the pretzel sticks I would guess most people would simply use their fingers, and that more than once 🙂 !!!

    1. Hi Eha, Your choice of the za’atar coating was my husband’s favorite. I would say that it was about 50/50 on whether the pretzel stick was used. Some used their fingers, some used the sticks, and I saw a couple nibbling on the sticks by themselves. I’m glad you like the appetizer…thank you for your lovely compliment.

    1. I’m glad you like the goat cheese truffles with the pretzel sticks Lisa, thank you. An edible “toothpick” meant that there was no trash that might blow overboard.

  7. A sunset cruise! How wonderful. I hope you had a lovely night. These goat’s cheese truffles are gorgeous and would go really well with a glass of white wine. I’m pleased to hear there was no waste that could fall into the ocean. I see terrible images of marine life tangled in plastic. Horrifying! Thank you also for your kind words on my blogging. I’m now working full time as an RN but doing my very best to keep up with what I love most xx

    1. Hi Charlie, We did have a wonderful cruise as the weather was perfect…sunny but not too hot and we got back to the dock just as the sun was setting and starting to cool off. You worked so hard to be an RN and I’m sure it is rewarding, congratulations. It is also nice to hear from you so that we can keep up with you, your family and your adventures. 😀

  8. It’s so obvious that you enjoy cooking, Karen! The options all sound delicious but I would have gone for a sundried tomato savoury. 🙂 🙂 Darn! I had friends here for lunch yesterday. Not my turn again for ages, thankfully 🙂

    1. You are right Jo, I do enjoy cooking and creating new dishes. I’m glad you like all the options I mentioned for adapting the goat cheese truffles…the variations are endless.

  9. ooh how nice to go on a cruise for the day. and what a fabulous idea to use pretzel sticks as skewers. so very “green” – love it! cheers sherry

    1. Hi Sherry, We live near the Indian River Lagoon and the ocean and are fortunate to have several friends with boats. While we entertain at our home, they like to entertain on the water and we always love when we get an invitation from them. The pretzel sticks worked great, I’m glad you like the idea, thank you!

  10. What a wonderful and delicious idea! I used to know someone who made something similar for every dinner party he gave and kept experimenting with different kinds of cheeses and mixtures: always beautiful to look at at and very tasty. 👍

    1. Thank you Fatima, I’m glad you like the goat cheese truffles. Yes, this is an appetizer that can be changed over and over, each time a little different from the last. 🙂

  11. That sunset cruise sounds amazing, Karen! And you totally nailed it with this appetizer. I love goat cheese, and this was such a fun idea to create different goat cheese truffles. The flavor combination options are endless, and they’re sure to be quite the talk of the party. (Of course, that is if I don’t eat the entire batch first…haha!)

    1. Hi David, The goat cheese truffles are pretty great so you may have to hide them from yourself until you put them out for a party. Yes, the varieties are endless…I already have several more versions that I want to make.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Tanya, I’m glad you like the goat cheese truffles with the pretzel sticks. I did turn out to be a good appetizer to take on our friends boat.

    1. Thank you Ladyfi, they were very popular with our friends…I think they thought the goat cheese truffles were delicious too. 🙂

  12. These are so fun. I love all of the delicious variations you made, and the pretzel stick to pick them up is brilliant! For me the perfect hors d’oeuvre is one that’s one bite and not messy. And tasty of course. These hit the nail on the head.

    1. Thank you Valentina for your nice compliment. I’m with you about one bite appetizers and these are especially nice when you are standing and holding a cocktail glass.

  13. What a great appetizer, Karen. I also love an excuse to dust them with Za’atar, which is a favorite taste. The addition would be very nice. I’m in with the pretzel stick, too. I love to serve appetizers that aren’t on everyone’s “go to” list. Thank you!

    1. Hi Debra, Another fan of the za’atar, it seems that a lot of my readers like it…it was my husband’s favorite too. The flavors went very well with the dried fruits and the goat cheese. Thank you for your nice compliment about it being is a little different for the usual. 🙂

  14. Excellent recipe. Because we do the boat thing all summer long and I try to bring on great snacks other than Doritos!! Can’t wait and I love the addition of a pretzel stick!


    1. Thank you Jane, I’m happy that you like the goat cheese appetizers. The pretzel stick meant no toothpicks that would end up all over the boat or in the water, I’m glad you like the idea. 🙂

  15. Perfect for entertaining! I have so many friends claiming they don’t like goat cheese, well, because of “goat”!!!! I cannot understand it, I find it amazing and I buy one sort or another every week or so. I would absolutely love to try these cheese truffels and I could bet that none of the goat cheese deniers would complain about them either. I have the suspicion that most of them have not even tried goat cheese at all, it is just the idea of the goat.

    1. I have to agree with you Adina, I think a lot of people won’t even give goat cheese a try because they “think” they won’t like it. Of course, these little appetizers can be made with all cream cheese for the less adventurous. 😀 I’m glad you like the recipe and want to give it a try, thank you!

  16. Hi Karen – these are great!!! I love goat cheese. It has the best flavor. I was up at Hildene with my cousin Jennifer a few summers ago in Manchester, VT. (Abraham Lincoln’s summer home.) They make their own goat cheese with goats on the property. Truly amazing and I’d love to try the goat cheese in your recipe. I grew up sailing the Narragansett Bay in RI – my dad owned a boat manufacturing company in Bristol. So I know all about no trash on the boat and great apps like yours out on the water. These goat cheese truffles are gourmet and perfect, thank you.

    1. Hi Allie, My husband and I have been to Hildene as well, it was such an interesting place to visit. I appreciate your kind words about the goat cheese truffles, thank you so much.

  17. Karen, these goat cheese truffles are brilliant! So flavorful! I love the sweet and savory/spicy combination! And the pretzel stick is a great idea!

    1. Thank you Kelly for stopping by for a visit. I appreciate your kind words about the goat cheese truffles and using pretzel sticks in place of toothpicks. 🙂

    1. Hi Judy, I like appetizers that are simple to make but tasty and these were perfect for the occasion. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment Liz. They were a great appetizer to take on the boat but you are right, I would serve them at any occasion.

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment Kathryn, especially coming from someone who is learning to cook so many great dishes at your school. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your nice wish and compliment Bobbi, I hope you had a nice week as well. I like to prepare as many things as possible ahead of time when entertaining and these little goat cheese truffles were great. The nice thing about making them ahead of time is that I think the flavors develop and get more flavorful.

  18. These sound delicious – you can bring them to my party anytime 🙂 . I (try to) declutter my cookbook shelf every 6 months, and the one book I can never part with even though I’ve never made anything from it is a “Cheese” cookbook. Seeing your truffels reminded me that one of the recipes I’ve bookmarked in it is also a cheese truffel recipe. I have to dig that out and finally do it – thanks for the virtual kick in the butt with this post!

    1. Hi Kiki, I wouldn’t get rid of a cheese cookbook either especially considering all the wonderful varieties of cheese that I have experienced during our travels to Germany. I’m happy that I’ve inspired you to try making cheese truffles…they would be great to serve with a glass of wine at one of your parties.

  19. These are dangerous! Cream cheese and goat cheese – YUM! And of course, being a pecan lover, that’s the perfect trim. Interesting to add the rosemary. I will be giving these a try. Thanks Karen!

    1. Thank you MJ, for your nice compliment. I don’t know how dangerous they are unless you decided to eat the whole platter full but they are mighty good. 😀 The rosemary is such a small amount, it is more for color but good. This is another area where you could adapt the recipe using thyme or parsley in place of the rosemary. While basil and cilantro are delicious, I think their green color would turn dark before they were eaten. I hope you will enjoy the cheese truffles.

    1. Hi Deb, I’ll definitely be making this easy appetizer again because the cheese truffles did seem to be a hit with our fiends. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Nancy, If you are a fan of goat cheese, I do believe you will enjoy these savory cheese truffles. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Thank you for your compliment Lorraine. You are right, these one bite goat cheese appetizers are great to serve at a cocktail party.

    1. Thank you Juliana, I did have a nice week…busy but very nice. That is when it is nice to have an easy appetizer to put together quickly. Thank you for your nice compliment. Enjoy the rest of your day.

  20. This is a brilliant appetizer Karen. I love goat cheese and combined with nuts and fruit they must be delicious. Great way to eat while underway!

    1. Thank you Tricia, I’m happy that you like these little savory goat cheese truffles. They did work well for the cruise and everyone seemed to enjoy them.

    1. I appreciate your kind words Hannah and I’m happy to know that you can adapt the recipe to make it vegan. I was thinking of you today when I posted my recipe for romesco sauce as it is a vegan recipe and one I think you will like if you haven’t tried it as yet.

    1. Thank you Scarlett, for your nice compliment. It seems that many of my readers like the idea of the za’atar coating for the goat cheese balls. While my husband liked the pecan coating, he loved the ones rolled in the za’atar seasoning.

    1. Hi Laura, We are lucky to have friends with boats that they like to entertain on. It was perfect weather and we certainly did have lots of good appetizers to go along with our cocktails. I’m glad you like the goat cheese truffles with the pretzel sticks…thank you.

  21. I made a goat cheese log with cranberries and nuts over the holidays that was hugely popular. So I KNOW this would be great. Smart idea with the pretzel stick!

    1. Hi Inger, The sweet and tart flavors of cranberries goes great with goat cheese so I can see why your cheese log was a hit. The pretzel sticks worked great on these one bite savory cheese truffles, I’m glad you like the idea.

    1. Hi Alida, The savory goat cheese truffles were very good with the Prosecco that I was drinking. I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

    1. What a pleasant surprise David, a voice from the past. I didn’t know you were blogging again. So very nice to hear from you my friend, I hope all have been well. Yes indeed the goat cheese truffles are yummy. Thank you!

  22. Love your party truffles, I’m sure they were a big hit on the boat. Goat cheese is a great choice to add other flavors to. I especially love your choice of dried fruit paired with spicy cayenne, sounds delicious!

  23. These are ingenious! I will ABSOLUTELY make these on those occasions like you experienced…finger foods that are one bite, can be prepared in advance and are delish are at the top of my ‘must try’ list. Pinning!

  24. Trying to play ‘catch up’ after being on vacation for two weeks! These look so delicious, even though I’m not a big fan of goat cheese I can think of several other varieties to make these. Love the kick of cayenne with cheese.

  25. Hi Susan, yes you could definitely change out the goat cheese or just add more cream cheese and less goat cheese to suite your taste.

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