12 Days of Easy Appetizers: Pistachio-Crusted Goat Cheese

Easy Appetizers for a Party: Pistachio-Crusted Goat Cheese

When I was growing up, nut-crusted cheese balls made an appearance at a variety of parties and open houses. A look at just about any good cheese plate is ample evidence that nuts and cheese do beautifully together, and a cheese ball is a sort of mini-celebration of their happy partnership. Some cheese ball recipes require more labor than I’m interested in this time of year: grating, mixing, shaping, and rolling. I’ve found it’s much easier to start with a semi-soft cheese in a pleasing shape (like goat cheese), add nuts, and garnish. You can get goat cheese logs in a variety of sizes as well, from 4 oz. to 16 oz. typically, so you can easily find the right size for the number of guests you’ll be serving.

This recipe is inspired by the Sweet-‘n’- Salty Cheese Spread I took to my first Austin food blogger potluck. For that spring potluck I used sunflower seeds and fresh raspberries. Now that it’s winter, pistachios and dried cranberries are more appropriate. They’re also very festive. I also really like the bit of sweet the honey brings to this dish. It helps balance the other flavors without being overpowering. And to put the perfect bow on this recipe, it comes together quickly and you can make it ahead. What could be better a better easy appetizer for a holiday party?

Recipe: Pistachio-Crusted Goat Cheese


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Makes: 32 ½ oz. portions
  • Prep Time: 15 min


  • 1 16 oz. log goat cheese
  • ½ – ¾ c. coarsely chopped roasted pistachio nuts
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • ¼ c. dried cranberries
  • Assorted crackers


  1. Remove the goat cheese from its wrapper and let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes so it’s easier to work with.
  2. Place the nuts in a pie pan or other shallow dish. Roll the goat cheese in the nuts, pressing gently to adhere the nuts to the cheese, until all sides of the log are evenly coated with nuts.
  3. Place the goat cheese on the serving dish and drizzle with the honey.
  4. Scatter the dried cranberries around the cheese and serve with the crackers.

Recipe for Success

  • You can easily substitute your favorite nut or dried fruit in this recipe. A pecan-crusted log with dried cherries would be lovely as would a walnut-crusted log with chopped apricots. Dried fruits and nuts are common ingredients in holiday cooking so use whatever leftovers you might have in your pantry.
  • You can crust the goat cheese log up to 8 hours in advance. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until about 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve it. Unwrap the log, drizzle with the honey, and garnish with the cranberries before serving.

1 Comment

  1. I’m a fan of cheese logs