Warm creamy goat cheese, herby sweet bacon, and cinnamon figs - need I say more?! This baked goat cheese dip is what appetizer dreams are made of and it comes together in just 30 minutes!
I have this problem when I write recipes, I can quite literally taste the food I am writing about. It is not helping that it is goat cheese we are talking about! One of the most delicious cheeses of all time. This baked goat cheese dip is so creamy! It is drool worthy when it comes out of the oven piping hot and toasty.
Let’s chat about what’s on top of this baked goat cheese dip… candied rosemary bacon and roasted figs! The bacon is tossed in spices, brown sugar, and fresh rosemary. I don’t know about you, but I love cooking bacon. It makes my whole house smell so savory and well, bacony! The fresh rosemary on this bacon takes it to the next level. As if I could love bacon anymore, this recipe really did make me fall in love all over again.
The roasted figs are sweet, spice, and everything nice! Roasting them releases their juice, making them gooey and delicious. I love the addition of cinnamon on the figs. It adds that little bit of spice that pairs perfectly with the earthy goat cheese dip.
Cheesy appetizers are good for any occasion! This baked goat cheese dip is the perfect holiday appetizer. Whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines day, or date night, this is the best appetizer recipe! It can even be made ahead of time so that when you are ready to serve it, all you have to do is heat it up and top it with the bacon and figs. It will be ready when your guests arrive without any stress!
What type of milk is goat cheese made of?
Goat cheese is as predictable as you thought, it is made of goat’s milk! It is popular around the world in many forms, from soft to hard.
Is goat cheese the same as chevre?
It sure is! Chevre means “goat” and “goat cheese” in French. Throughout this recipe, I use the American term goat cheese instead of the French term chevre.
Before we get to the full recipe detailed below, here are a few notes about the ingredients you will need to make this baked goat cheese dip.
For the goat cheese dip, you will need:
- Goat cheese: For this recipe, you will need a 10 ounce goat cheese log. The goat cheese log is spreadable and very creamy. It melts up perfectly when baked.
- Greek yogurt: A lot of other goat cheese dips call for cream cheese, but I find that greek yogurt makes for a more light, whipped texture. You will need ⅓ cup of greek yogurt, any fat content is fine.
- Olive oil: A good quality olive oil is needed for this goat cheese. I love the flavor that the olive oil adds to the dip. It also makes the texture more smooth and everything blends together nicely. I recommend an extra virgin olive oil in a dark bottle for the best results.
- Salt: Little pinch of salt goes a long way! The goat cheese dip will need about ¼ teaspoon of sea salt.
For the rosemary candied bacon, you will need:
- Bacon: You will need 6 ounces of thick sliced bacon, which is about 5-6 slices. It can be smoked or not smoked, but try not to get flavored bacon. Since we will be adding herbs, sugar, and spices, the additional seasoning in flavored bacon will be overpowering.
- Rosemary: Fresh rosemary is needed for the bacon. It should be very finely chopped. The rosemary makes the bacon so herbaceous and really gives it that extra oomph. You will need 1 tablespoon for this recipe.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar and bacon are a match made in heaven. The brown sugar is what candies the bacon and gives it that caramel-ly sweetness. Either dark brown sugar or light brown sugar can be used for this recipe.
- Paprika: You will need ¼ teaspoon of paprika for the candied bacon. The paprika adds a little bit of smokiness.
For the roasted figs, you will need:
- Figs: Of course you will need figs! For this recipe, you will need 4 ounces of fresh black mission figs, which is about 10 figs. Mission figs are intensely jammy and the most flavorful of all figs.
- Cinnamon: A small amount of cinnamon adds a punch of spice to the figs. You will need 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
- Honey: Just a little drizzle of honey after the figs finish roasting! Adds some light sweetness.
Variations & Substitutions
Instead of rosemary in the bacon, try your favorite herb! Sage, thyme, or basil are all great options to substitute instead of the rosemary for a fresh & herby bacon.
If figs aren’t in season or you’re having a hard time finding fresh figs, they can be substituted with dried figs! If you are using dried figs, toss the figs in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the cinnamon, and roast for 5-10 minutes in the oven at 350F.
Since we are on the topic of substitutions, let’s talk about a substitution you should not make. Do not substitute the goat cheese for any other cheese! I know it is tempting, all cheese is so delicious, but this recipe was meticulously developed for the consistency and flavor profile of goat cheese.
Tips & Tricks
Wait to bake the goat cheese until you are ready to eat it! This baked goat cheese dip is best served very hot. It can even be made ahead of time, and then you can pop it in the oven where you are ready to eat.
Cook the bacon on a wire baking rack. This makes the bacon extra crispy and really allows the brown sugar to caramelize. The rack lifts the bacon up allowing the excess fat to drip off and making the perfectly crispy bacon.
Mix the goat cheese dip using a blender or food processor. The mixture can be blended using a fork but a blender or food processor will make your life so much easier and the mixture so much smoother!
Prep your pans & the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease a small shallow baking dish. Grab a wire baking rack.
Prepare the bacon. In a large bowl, combine the bacon, brown sugar, rosemary, and paprika. Use a pair of tongs to gently toss the bacon. Ensure that all slices are coated. On your lined sheet pan, place the wire baking rack. Lay the slices of bacon on the wire rack, spread apart evenly.
Prepare the figs. Slice the fresh figs into your desired size. I like mine quartered. Place the cut figs into the greased baking dish. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top.
Time to cook 'em! Place the prepared bacon and figs into the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Flip the bacon and stir the figs around halfway through. Make sure to keep an eye on the bacon. Depending on the thickness of your bacon, it may cook quicker. The bacon should be candied and crispy but not burnt. My thick cut bacon which was about ½ inch took 30 minutes.
Prepare the goat cheese dip. In a blender or food processor, combine the goat cheese, greek yogurt, olive oil, and salt. Transfer the goat cheese dip to a small ceramic baking dish.
Bake the dip. Since the goat cheese dip is best served piping hot, I like to cook the dip in the oven with the bacon and figs, during their last 15 minutes of cooking. The goat cheese will need to be baked in the oven for about 15 minutes until nice and golden.
Remove all components from the oven and serve. After all 3 components have finished cooking, remove from the oven. Roughly chop the bacon. Transfer the roasted figs atop of the baked goat cheese. Generously sprinkle with the chopped bacon. Drizzle with the honey and a little more olive oil, bon appetit!
Serve the goat cheese dip with the roasted figs and candied bacon over the top.
This creamy goat cheese dip can be served with a variety of different options! Some of my favorites are toasted bread, fresh vegetables, crackers, or pretzels. To make it extra special you can make homemade french boule bread, buttery brioche bread, or everything challah bread!
Storage & Reheating
Store leftover goat cheese dip in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, cook in the oven for about 10 minutes at 375F, until bubbly and warm.
Can I substitute goat cheese for feta cheese?
Although both cheeses are very delicious, the goat cheese should not be substituted in this recipe. Goat cheese is entirely made from goat's milk which gives it the earthly creamy flavor. Feta cheese is primarily made from sheep’s milk, with some goat’s milk included. The flavor of feta is more tangy and salty. I would not recommend substituting the goat cheese for feta cheese in this recipe, as the flavors will not be similar.
Can I make this goat cheese dip ahead of time?
Yes! It is great to be made ahead of time. Simply roast the figs, candy the bacon, mix the goat cheese dip and set in the fridge until ready to serve. When ready to serve, transfer the dip into a shallow baking dish and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and warm. Serve with the bacon and figs on top.
What does goat cheese taste like?
If you have never had goat cheese before, it tastes very earthy and has a decadent creamy texture. It has a distinct sharp flavor.
What does goat cheese pair well with?
Goat cheese pairs well with so many things, and this creamy goat cheese dip is no exception! It is great to be paired with a starch like warm crusty bread or crispy crackers. It also pairs very nicely with fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, radishes, or even tomatoes. Believe it or not, goat cheese also goes amazingly with fresh fruit like apples, strawberries, or grapes. The combinations are endless!
Where can I buy goat cheese?
Goat cheese can be purchased at most grocery stores. It can be found in the speciality cheese section next to the deli department. It can be found in popular grocery stores like Kroger, but can also be found at Whole Foods or even Trader Joes!
Baked Goat Cheese Dip with Rosemary Candied Bacon and Roasted Figs
- Blender or Food Processor
Baked Goat Cheese Dip
- 10 ounces goat cheese spreadable, log form
- ⅓ cup plain greek yogurt any fat content is fine
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Rosemary Candied Bacon
- 6 ounces thick-cut bacon abut 6 slices
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 4 ounces fresh black mission figs about 10 figs
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons honey for finishing
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Lightly grease a small shallow baking dish.
- Begin by preparing the bacon. In a large bowl, combine the bacon, brown sugar, rosemary, and paprika. Use a pair of tongs to gently toss the bacon and ensure all slices are coated. On your lined sheet pan, insert a wire baking rack. Lay all of the slices of bacon flat on the wire baking rack. Set aside.
- Now prepare the roasted figs. Slice the figs in quarters and place in the greased shallow baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon on the fig slices. Set aside.
- Place the bacon and figs in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes. Flip the bacon and stir the figs halfway through. Make sure to keep an eye on the bacon as the cook time may vary depending on the thickness of the bacon. You want the bacon to be crispy but not burnt.
- While the figs and bacon begin cooking, prepare the goat cheese dip. In a blender or food processor, combine the goat cheese, greek yogurt, olive oil, and salt.
- Use a spoon or rubber spatula to transfer the dip into a small ceramic baking dish. Set the baking dish in the oven next to the figs, to bake for the last 15 minutes that the figs and bacon are finishing.
- Once the figs, bacon, and goat cheese dip are all finished cooking, roughly chop the bacon. Transfer the roasted figs on top of the goat cheese, along with the rosemary candied bacon. Drizzle with the honey and some extra olive oil, enjoy!