Fried Goat Cheese Balls – Soft goat cheese is rolled in panko breadcrumbs, fried until golden brown, and served with a drizzle of honey to make the best little appetizer for any occasion
Today’s recipe is inspired by an appetizer that I had years ago at a local restaurant. They’re known for their fried goat cheese and man, is it delicious. It’s crunchy on the outside but uber creamy on the inside. And a drizzle of honey just sets it all off.
I am finally sharing my take on this recipe, mostly to show you how incredibly easy it is to make at home. You can even make the cheese balls ahead, freeze them, and fry right before serving.
Before we get too far into the recipe, let’s look at these Fried Goat Cheese Balls some more.
Making these fried goat cheese balls
The process for making these fried goat cheese balls is much simpler than you’d expect. Here are the main steps:
- Roll the goat cheese into balls
- Coat the balls in breading and freeze them
- Fry the balls
That’s really all there is!
Frying the goat cheese
The most intimidating part of this process is frying the goat cheese. Many people are scared of hot oil but there’s nothing to fear! I always use a candy thermometer to help manage the temperature of the oil. Ever since I started using this, it’s giving me more confidence with the fryer. If I know the temperature is right, I don’t worry about frying too long or not long enough.
Here are a couple more tips for easy frying:
- Make sure you use a head-bottom pan, like a Dutch oven. These pans retain heat better.
- Add enough oil so that it’s 2-inches deep. This ensures the goat cheese doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan, but rather floats as it fries.
- Heat the oil up slowly. I keep my burner on medium until the desired temp is reached. If you heat too fast, the oil could get too hot and it takes a while for that temp to drop.
Additional Tips & Tricks
- Make sure you dredge the cheese in batter and crumbs TWICE. This creates a thick crust to protect the cheese while it fries in the hot oil.
- Do not fry the cheese balls without freezing them first. The frozen cheese will ensure it doesn’t melt before the exterior crust gets nice and crispy.
- Make sure you use soft goat cheese for that recipe. It should be the consistency of cream cheese so that it’s easy to roll into balls.
Fried Goat Cheese Balls
- 1 8-ounce log soft goat cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup club soda
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup honey for serving
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- canola oil for frying
- Cut the log of goat cheese into 16 even slices, Form each slice into a ball. Place the balls on a large plate. Cover and chill in refrigerator until firm, about 15 minutes.
- When the balls have chilled, form the batter. In a medium bowl, whisk club soda and egg together. In another medium bowl, whisk cornstarch, flour, and salt together. Slowly whisk into the egg mixture until no lumps remain. Add panko breadcrumbs to the empty medium bowl.
- Dip one ball of goat cheese into wet batter and then into panko breadcrumbs. Coat them completely with breadcrumbs. Dip again in batter and then again in breadcrumbs. Place on plate. Repeat with remaining cheese balls. Cover and place in freezer to firm for 30 minutes.
- While the balls freeze, begin heating the oil. Place 2 inches of canola oil into a Dutch oven. Add a candy thermometer to the side of the Dutch oven, making sure it doesn't touch the bottom. Heat oil to 375 degrees.
- Once hot, remove goat cheese balls from freezer. Fry 5-6 at a time, making sure to monitor the temperature so it doesn't dip too low. Raise heat, if necessary to maintain temp. Fry for 90 seconds or until the coating turned golden brown, but before any goat cheese starts to ooze out.
- Remove from oil and let drain on metal rack topped with paper towels. Serve hot with drizzles of honey on top and on the side for dipping.