This easy baked appetizer is made with only three ingredients (not including the crostini for dipping!).
This easy baked goat cheese and marinara appetizer requires only a few ingredients and can be served quickly for last minute guests. Creamy goat cheese is shaped into a circle and then added to a baking dish with tomato sauce. It’s baked until it’s soft and paired with crisp slices of baked baguette for spreading or scooping.
Goat cheese – Also known as chèvre, it is a creamy, mild cheese made from goat’s milk. This cheese has a tart, tangy flavor and actually has many different varieties. The most common goat cheese in America is fresh chèvre which can mostly be found in log form. First I flatten the log into a circle before I add it to the sauce though it can be kept in the log shape as well.
Marinara – Marinara is a simple tomato sauce made with peeled tomatoes, sautéed onions and basil. While you can make your own using my recipe here, I often use store bought sauce as an easy shortcut in this appetizer.
Basil – I slice the fresh basil leaves into a cut called a chiffonade to garnish the baked goat cheese. Stack the basil leaves on top of one another (bigger leaves are easier), then roll them up and thinly slice them into equally sized strips for a visually appealing garnish.
Baguette – The baguette is cut into ½” slices to make crisp crostini perfect for dipping in the warm cheese and sauce. Make the crostini a few days in advance and store in a resealable plastic bag.
How to Make Baked Goat Cheese Dip
Make crostini. Heat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Dip one side of the baguette slices into the oil and place on a baking sheet with the oil-dipped side facing up. Repeat with the remaining slices.
Bake crostini. Next, bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Add marinara. Heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Then add the marinara sauce to the bottom of an 8” x 5½” baking dish.
Add cheese. Flatten the goat cheese log into a circle then add to the baking dish on top of the sauce.
Bake the cheese. Bake until the goat cheese is melty and the sauce is bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Garnish and serve. Season the baked cheese with salt and pepper, then garnish with basil and serve with the crostini for dipping.
Tips and Tricks for This Recipe
Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the basil garnish to add a bit of spice to this recipe. You can also stir ½ teaspoon of Calabrian chili paste into the marinara sauce to kick it up a notch.
For a creamier recipe, substitute the marinara sauce for your favorite vodka sauce.
For a gluten free alternative, swap the crostini or bread for carrots, celery or gluten free crackers.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out these: