If you ask me, the very best appetizers are simple to make but are also oh-so-fancy to serve. You know – the kind of little bites that couldn’t be easier to throw together but cause everyone to ooh & ahh over them when you show up at the party. Isn’t it just the best??
So, that’s exactly what we’re doing today. Tart Cherry & Walnut Goat Cheese Truffles, aka bite-sized herbed goat cheese balls lightly sweetened with honey & bejeweled in finely chopped nuts & dried Montmorency tart cherries. Made with just 5 ingredients in 30 minutes or less. Totally easy, but totally special.
& I mean…aren’t they just about the prettiest little bite-sized goodies you’ve ever seen?!
These tart cherry & walnut goat cheese balls are…
- DELICIOUS. Tangy goat cheese. Sweet & floral honey. Sour-sweet tart cherries. A little meaty crunch from walnuts. The perfect balance of flavors.
- SO EASY TO MAKE. This goat cheese balls recipe calls for just 5 ingredients & you can whip up a batch in no more than 30 minutes. So simple!
- SUPER VERSATILE. You can serve them on their own, schmear them on crostini with a little drizzle of honey, or even toss a handful of them into a simple salad.
- & FUN TO SERVE. Bejeweled with the ruby-red gems also known as Montmorency tart cherries, these bites couldn’t be prettier.
Goat cheese truffles = your newest easy entertaining obsession! ♡ Read on to learn more about these Tart Cherry & Walnut Goat Cheese Balls, or jump straight to the recipe & get cookin’!
Walnut & tart cherry goat cheese truffles ingredients:
The beautiful thing about these pretty little goat cheese truffles is you only need 5 ingredients to make them – & most of ’em are probably already in your pantry!
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
- Dried Montmorency tart cherries – These ruby red gems are not only gorgeous, but they also have the best sour-sweet flavor that makes for the perfect pairing with goat cheese & honey. & for an added bonus? Montmorency tart cherries are American-grown, so keeping them stocked in your pantry supports American farmers & their families. Plus, they’re always picked & dried at the peak of their growing season, meaning they’re not only delicious but also packed with good-for-you nutrients. A total superfruit!
- Goat cheese – Feel free to use a goat cheese log, or grab a nice goat cheese from your favorite cheese shop. Since the ingredients for this goat cheese balls recipe are so simple, it’s important to use the best goat cheese you can find!
- Honey – Plain & simple! I like using locally farmed honey. Orange blossom honey would also be really tasty.
- Fresh herbs – These goat cheese truffles are tasty with any fresh herbs you love or happen to have on hand. I love using fresh thyme, since goat cheese, honey, nuts & cherries all make for a pretty classic pairing with it. Other herbs like basil, chives, tarragon, or even parsley would also be great. You could even use a combination of your favorite herbs – have fun with it!
- Walnuts – Similar to the fresh herbs, any nuts (or combination of nuts) would work really well. I like using walnuts, but pecans, almonds, or even macadamia nuts would be great too.
How to make goat cheese balls:
Building off the simplicity of its ingredients, this goat cheese balls recipe couldn’t be simpler to make. It takes about 30 minutes to prep an entire tray of truffles for a crowd – the easiest goat cheese appetizer!
Note: Full Recipe Directions provided in the Recipe Card, below.
First, mix the goat cheese: Prep the goat cheese truffles mixture by combining softened goat cheese with honey, fresh herbs, & some salt & ground black pepper to season. This is super easy & quick with use of a hand mixer (or another electric mixer), but you can also get the job done by using a wooden spoon or spatula & some good ol’ elbow grease.
Next, portion out the goat cheese balls & chill: Divide the goat cheese mixture into 1-tablespoon portions. You can use a tablespoon measure – I like using a cookie scoop to keep things quick & easy! The mixture will be very soft. Pop ’em in the freezer to give them a chance to set up a bit.
Roll the goat cheese balls: After their quick chill in the freezer, the herbed goat cheese balls will be much easier to handle. Use your hands to roll them out into nicely shaped balls.
Lastly, the fun part! Coat the goat cheese truffles with nuts, fresh herbs & dried Montmorency tart cherries! Finely chop the nuts & dried Montmorency tart cherries, & pop ’em on a plate with your fresh herbs of choice. Use your hands to mix everything up, then roll each goat cheese ball through the mixture to coat. You may need to press down a little bit to ensure the coating adheres to the herbed goat cheese balls. Continue until each ball is coated.
& the result? You’ll have the most gorgeous platter of goat cheese truffles!
A couple of goat cheese truffles FAQs:
Can you meal prep herbed goat cheese balls, or make them ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can prep this goat cheese balls recipe up to 2 days in advance, storing the goat cheese truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
If you’d like to prep the goat cheese truffles even further in advance, I suggest partial prep. Make the herbed goat cheese balls up to 1 week in advance, but wait to coat them in the Montmorency tart cherry & nut coating until you’re ready to serve to ensure that the nuts keep their nice & crunchy texture.
Can you freeze goat cheese balls?
In the unlikely event that you have leftover goat cheese truffles on hand, you can pop ’em into an airtight container & store them in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw frozen goat cheese balls overnight in the refrigerator.
I’m telling you, though, leftover goat cheese truffles is a hiiighly unlikely scenario *wink!*. If you’re hoping for extras, go ahead & make a double batch from the get-go.
How to serve goat cheese truffles:
Serving these beauts couldn’t be easier – bejeweled goat cheese truffles are pretty gorgeous all on their own!
If you’re serving your goat cheese balls as an appetizer or snack at a socially distanced hang this summer, arrange them on your favorite pretty platter or plate & serve with crackers, crostini, or grilled bread. Having some honey or honeycomb on the side is a nice touch, too; people can drizzle their goat cheese truffle bites with honey for a little extra sweetness as they serve themselves. Simple, fuss-free, & delicious!
Another fun way to serve up these goat cheese balls is to add them to a beautiful salad. Toss a bunch of spinach or mixed greens in balsamic vinaigrette, then finish with red onions or summery grilled veggies, croutons, & goat cheese truffles. The truffles add a gorgeous special touch! (&, if you ask me, salad is always better with tangy goat cheese & sour-sweet dried Montmorency tart cherries!)
I can’t wait for you to try this goat cheese balls recipe! These goat cheese truffles are so easy to make, feel so fancy to serve, & are so delicious to enjoy. A perfect trifecta, if you ask me!
If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!Print
Bite-sized herbed goat cheese balls, lightly sweetened with honey & bejeweled with finely chopped nuts & dried Montmorency tart cherries. These bejeweled goat cheese truffles are the ultimate simple-to-make & oh-so-fancy shareable!
- 10 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or fresh herbs of choice), divided
- heaping ½ cup walnuts (or nut of choice), finely chopped
- heaping ½ cup dried Montmorency tart cherries, finely chopped
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- Prep: Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mix the goat cheese: To a medium mixing bowl, add the goat cheese, honey, 2 tablespoons of the fresh thyme leaves, ½ teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste. Using a hand mixer (or a wooden spoon & some good ol’ elbow grease), mix until smooth & evenly combined.
- Make the goat cheese balls: Scoop the goat cheese mixture into tablespoon-sized portions. Set on the prepared baking sheet. The goat cheese will be very soft at this point, which is totally fine! You should yield 16-20 goat cheese balls.
- Chill: Set the goat cheese balls in the freezer to chill for 15-20 minutes, until firm enough to easily handle.
- Form & coat the goat cheese truffles: Place the chopped walnuts, tart cherries, & the remaining 2 tablespoons fresh thyme on a small plate & mix to combine. Once the goat cheese has set up & is easy to handle, use your hands to roll each portion into a small ball. Roll the goat cheese balls through the tart cherry mixture, pressing gently to coat the goat cheese truffles.
- Serve immediately as an elegant little party appetizer or to jazz up your favorite simple green salad. Enjoy!
- Storage: Store leftover goat cheese truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw frozen goat cheese balls overnight in the refrigerator.
- Make-ahead: These goat cheese truffles are incredibly make-ahead friendly. 2 options:
- Full prep: Follow the complete Recipe Directions (Steps 1-5, above) up to 2 days in advance, storing the goat cheese truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
- Partial prep: If you’d like to prep even further than 2 days in advance, only partially prep them. Follow Steps 1-3 of Recipe Directions, above, to make the herbed goat cheese balls up to 1 week in advance. Coat the prepped goat cheese balls in the Montmorency tart cherry & nut coating just before you’re ready to serve to ensure that the nuts keep their nice & crunchy texture.
Keywords: goat cheese balls, goat cheese truffles, appetizer, snack, easy entertaining recipes, gluten-free, girl’s night recipe, date night recipe, no-cook recipe