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An overhead shot of tomato goat cheese salad on a white oval platter atop a white marbled surface. A bowl of honey balsamic and a cream cloth sit beside the platter.

15-Minute Tomato Goat Cheese Salad with Crispy Garlic Breadcrumbs

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Side Dish recipes, Appetizer recipes
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


It’s pretty safe to say that we all love a classic Caprese salad, but it’s fun to change things up once in a while with a summer salad that doesn’t feel quite so…expected. This Tomato Goat Cheese Salad is an extra-delicious way to switch things!

I first fell for this combination of summer tomatoes and goat cheese back in my restaurant days. One late-August evening, we served a gorgeous stacked salad with sliced heirloom tomato, panko-crusted & pan-fried goat cheese medallions, & a drizzle of thyme-infused honey – the combination of flavors & textures truly blew my mind!

This recipe is a riff on that restaurant dish, but lazy girl-style! Since I don’t have the patience for breading & frying anything on a hot summer night, I’ve deconstructed the components so they’re much easier to prepare – simply slice up juicy summer tomatoes, top them off with fresh goat cheese, & finish it all off with a drizzle of honey baslamic vinegar & crispy garlicky breadcrumbs.

It’s crispy, creamy, juicy, tangy, sweet, & tart all at once, plus it’s a straight-up stunner. I hope you love it as much as we do! ♡


  • 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced (see Recipe Notes)
  • kosher salt
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • balsamic honey (below)
  • crispy garlic breadcrumbs (below)
  • for serving, as desired: extra virgin olive oil, fresh thyme,  ground black pepper, etc.

for the honey balsamic:

  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (about 810 sprigs)

for the crispy garlic breadcrumbs:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season


  1. Season the tomatoes: Arrange the heirloom tomatoes in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate or small baking sheet. Season well with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Cover with paper towel, patting down so the paper towel comes into contact with the tomatoes, then set aside while you prepare the honey balsamic & crispy garlic breadcrumbs.An overhead shot of sliced tomatoes seasoned with salt on a cookie sheet atop a white and grey marbled surface.
  2. Prepare the honey balsamic: In a small bowl, combine the white balsamic vinegar, honey, & fresh thyme leaves. Whisk to combine well. Set aside.An overhead shot of a small white bowl of balsamic honey sitting on a white marbled surface alongside a whisk.
  3. Prepare the crispy garlic breadrumbs: Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the garlic. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds – 1 minute. As soon as the garlic becomes fragrant, stir in the panko breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring often, until toasted & golden, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat & transfer to a small bowl for serving.An overhead shot of toasted garlic breadcrumbs with a wooden spoon in a black skillet, sitting atop a white and grey marbled surface.
  4. Assemble the tomato goat cheese salad: Pat any excess moisture off of the tomatoes, then arrange them on a large plate or serving platter. Sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese over top. Drizzle the honey balsamic all over the tomatoes & goat cheese, followed by a generous sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs. Finish the salad with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, fresh thyme leaves, & ground black pepper as desired. Serve immediately alongside any of your favorite summer main dishes. Enjoy!An overhead shot of tomato goat cheese salad on a white oval platter atop a white marbled surface. A bowl of honey balsamic and a cream cloth sit beside the platter.


  • Ingredient Notes: 
    • Heirloom tomatoes: I like to use a combination of larger heirloom tomatoes & bite-sized cherry heirloom tomatoes for a particularly pretty presentation. Slice the larger tomatoes into planks or wedges & halve or quarter the bite-sized tomatoes as desired.
    • White balsamic vinegar is a variety of balsamic vinegar that’s a little less caramelly & syrupy than traditional balsamic vinegar – its flavor is a little milder & its color is significantly lighter. I use it here to avoid giving the tomato goat cheese salad a murky appearance, but you can certainly use whatever balsamic vinegar you already have on hand. 
  • Serving: As written, this recipe yields a large tomato goat cheese salad, suitable for feeding a crowd of 4-6 as an appetizer/side dish or 2-3 as a light lunch or dinner. You can easily halve or double the recipe to feed a smaller or larger crowd, as needed.