I’m so excited these Fried Goat Cheese Bites with Arrabbiata Dip. They are slightly crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Dip them in the arrabbiata sauce and you will think you have died and gone to heaven! They are a fun shareable appetizer for girls night out, game day get togethers or a holiday season celebration.
Fried Goat Cheese
When I used to live in the Chicago area, there was this little tapas restaurant that my husband and I used to frequent. Tapas is a Spanish style of serving food where small plates, such as appetizers or snacks, are served instead of a large dinner entrée. We love tapas because it gives you a chance to try a bunch of different plates, without getting too full! One of our favorite dishes was their fried goat cheese. They were bite size and drizzled with honey. It was the perfect balance of sweet and savory and the combination of textures made them absolutely perfect. Once I had these tasty morsels, I knew I had to try and make them at home. I have been making Fried Goat Cheese Bites for years, but have now come up with the perfect sauce to go along with it!
You may have had an arrabbiata sauce on pasta or perhaps a sandwich. Arrabbiata in Italian literally means “Angry”. It’s a spicy take on a traditional marinara sauce using crushed chili or red pepper flakes to make it fiery! This is not a sauce that I make often because the kids aren’t too keen on super spicy things, but I love to make it when I can. This dip is a super thick version of a traditional arrabbiata sauce that goes perfect on top of these Fried Goat Cheese Bites.
How to Make Fried Goat Cheese Bites
When I decided to start making fried goat cheese years ago, it took a few tries to get them right. Here are a few tricks I have learned along the way to make sure they come out just perfect:
- Shape each ball of cheese into approximately all of the same size. This makes sure they cook evenly when frying them.
- Make sure you do both of the dips into the egg and breadcrumb mixture to make sure they have a proper coating. If not, they are likely to crack open and ooze cheese when frying.
- Once they are dipped and ready to go, put them in the freezer for 5-10 minutes while you heat your oil. This also helps to make sure they don’t crack open during frying.
- Use a large enough pan or pot to fry your goat cheese and don’t over crowd the pan. A deep sided cast iron pan like THIS works great.
- Lastly, make sure you let these drain on a paper towel after frying. This will help absorb some of the oil to make sure they are not soggy.
Fried Goat Cheese Bites with Arrabbiata Dip
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- pinch kosher salt
Fried Goat Cheese Fritters
- 16 oz goat cheese, use log or round, not crumbles
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 3-4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté, stirring frequently for approximately 2-3 minutes, until garlic just starts to brown.
- Add in canned tomatoes and bring down heat to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring and mashing the tomatoes occasionally, until the tomatoes are cooked down and soft and the mixture is reduced by half. Mixture should be soft, thick and almost pasty in texture. Season with salt and let cool completely.
Fried Goat Cheese Fritters
- Using about a teaspoon of goat cheese at a time, roll into bite size balls that are all approximately the same size, approximately 60 balls. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine eggs and water and scramble together. In another small bowl, add Italian breadcrumbs.
- Dip each goat cheese ball into the egg mixture and then the bread crumb mixture. This process should be repeated again, so that each ball has been dipped in egg and coated in bread crumbs twice. Place all of the dipped and coated goat cheese on a sheet pan once completed.
- Place sheet pan with goat cheese bites in the freezer for 5-10 minutes while you heat your oil.
- In deep sided sauté pan or pot, add vegetable oil so you have approximately 1-2 inches of oil in your pan or pot. Heat oil over medium high heat to 350°.
- Once oil has heated, remove goat cheese from the freezer and line a separate sheet pan with paper towels.
- Working in batches, add goat cheese bites to the hot oil and fry for approximately 30-60 seconds until just lightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to move them around during this time to make sure they brown evenly.
- Remove immediately from hot oil with slotted spoon and place on sheet pan lined with paper towels to cool and drain. Repeat with remaining bites until all have been cooked. Serve with arrabbiata dip.
Looking for bite size recipes? Here are some more favorites:
- Manchego Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Blue Cheese
- Roasted Grapes and Olives