Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip

Creamy, rich goat cheese is the perfect contrast to the bright, acidic tomatoes in this outrageously delicious baked dip. Served on crisp homemade Crostini, this Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip is the perfect festive holiday appetizer.

Baked Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip with Crostini - A festive holiday appetizer!

If you’re hosting the holidays, or if you’re just attending the party, this Baked Goat Cheese Marinara Dip is a must have. It couldn’t be easier, with just a few ingredients to bring it together. The marriage of goat cheese and tomato is perfection, as the rich, creamy texture of the goat cheese offsets the heavy acidic bite of the tomatoes.

Baked Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip with Crostini - A festive holiday appetizer!

This dip is best served with homemade crostini, but crisp crackers work just as nicely. I like to make my crostini because it’s super simple. All you need is a nice french baguette cut into half inch slices then drizzled with olive oil. You can even slide the baking sheet of bread into the oven with the dip to bake them both at the same time.

The dip consists of goat cheese, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese, and a little dried basil. The cheeses are combined together and placed in the middle of a small (8″ or so) baking dish, leaving a “moat” around it for the marinara to fill in. I often prefer to make my own marinara (recipe HERE) but for time’s sake I used Mazetta Italian Plum Tomato Marinara, which has a slightly sweet, deep, rich tomato flavor, and a nice balance of sea salt. (they didn’t sponsor this post, I just really happened to like it!).

Baked Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip with Crostini - A festive holiday appetizer! Baked Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip with Crostini - A festive holiday appetizer! Baked Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip with Crostini - A festive holiday appetizer!

Once the marinara moat is filled it, sprinkle the dish with a pinch of kosher salt and pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes. The sauce will be nice and bubbly and the cheese golden on top. If it’s not golden, you could always run it under the broiler for a few minutes.

Baked Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip with Crostini - A festive holiday appetizer!

Serve it with the crostini on the side for dipping in that lusciousness.

Baked Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip with Crostini - A festive holiday appetizer!

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A close up of goat cheese dip

Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 6 -8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces goat cheese softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1-1 ½ cups jarred marinara or make your own
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • fresh basil for garnish
  • Crostini or crisp crackers for dipping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a small (approx. 8”) baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Combine goat cheese, cream cheese, Parmesan and dried basil in a medium-sized bowl. Spread into the baking dish, leaving a 1” border around the edges. Fill the border around the goat cheese mixture with the marinara sauce. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is golden brown.
  • Garnish with fresh basil, cut into ribbons (chiffonade).
  • Serve immediately with Crostini or crisp crackers for dipping.

To make the Crostini:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Slice a baguette into 1/2" slices. Arrange on a large baking sheet and drizzle/brush with olive oil on both sides. Bake for about 6-7 minutes, turn bread over and bake for 3-4 more minutes or until bread is golden on both sides. This can be done at the same time as the dip.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite dip.

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For more festive appetizers, try these:

Spicy Cranberry Meatballs

Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs

 Cranberry Rosemary Cream Cheese Spread

Dried Fruit, Rosemary and Cheese Spread

Skinny Taco Dip

Skinny Taco Dip made with Greek Yogurt

Caramelized Onion Goat Cheese Dip

Bacon Goat Cheese and Onion Dip

 For all dips go HERE, for all appetizers go HERE and for the recipe index, go HERE.

Baked Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip with Crostini - A festive holiday appetizer! Baked Goat Cheese & Marinara Dip with Crostini - A festive holiday appetizer!

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. I made this for the holidays and it was a big hit! I didn’t have cream cheese so just used the goat cheese and put that in the middle. Thanks for posting