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Goat Cheese Balls with Walnuts & Tart Cherries

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  • Author: Jess Larson | Plays Well With Butter
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 18-20 truffles 1x
  • Category: Appetizers, Snacks
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


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


  1. Prep: Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Chill: Set the goat cheese balls in the freezer to chill for 15-20 minutes, until firm enough to easily handle.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.