Warm and creamy, a great dipping option for hosting friends at home. Baked Goat Cheese Dip in Marinara Sauce is sure to be a winner; make a double batch!
Since I seem to fixate so easily on things – yes, even food! – I’m bringing you this goat cheese recipe. I’m completely in awe of the awesomeness, ease, and adaptability of goat cheese. At the time of this blog post, goat cheese is relatively new to me, to be honest. I’ve tried it before, but never really appreciated the simplicity of it until lately.
I’ve been making Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini every chance I get. Is it terrible that I can eat those babies for a snack or make an entire meal out of them? I’ve also been serving it with simple pesto sauces as an appetizer. It’s so delicious with my Roasted Red Pepper Walnut Pesto! So good!
Ah, and how can I forget? In all of it’s glory – my Pistachio Goat Cheese Appetizer is so simple, so rustic, yet deliciously and insanely additive! It’s almost as addictive as this Baked Goat Cheese Dip in Marinara Sauce. I really do think, that of all those recipes, this one is my favourite. But, to be completely open and honest, Dear Reader, I’ve just eaten it right out of the package spread really thick on a cracker!
The first time I made this dish, I really didn’t think I was going to be able to finish taking the pictures for this post before digging right in and devouring the entire thing! The only thing that saved me from doing so, was the fact that the dip was piping hot.
Usually, I’ll let baked foods cool for a bit before taking pictures, but this time, I was trying to capture the bubbles in the sauce and the steam. I wasn’t successful with the steam, but look at the charred, bubbly edge of that dish – yum! (I don’t even care that it took me a few hours of pan-soaking to get rid of it. It was so worth the effort!)
Now, this is certainly a recipe that you want to keep close at hand. It takes literally 30 minutes from start to finish and uses as little as three ingredients. Yes, three!! Your guests will think you spent quite a bit of time preparing this dip, when in fact, you were out getting your nails done or perusing the tool aisle at Home Depot – you decide which you want to do; no judging here!
I opted for some add-ins, obviously. Even though you can stick to a nice, firm goat cheese, and some really good marinara sauce for this recipe, you can add in a few things to make it your own. If you want to keep it simple, for the love of all that holy and right with the world, use the absolute best marinara sauce you can find and afford. When using three ingredients, it’s not the time to use cheaper, lesser quality ingredients.
Now, with that said, if there’s a cheaper marinara sauce or goat cheese that you already like and are used to, then go ahead and use that one. In the photos you see here, I used Costco’s Kirkland brand goat cheese. It’s very inexpensive, but also very, very delicious.
When it comes to marinara sauce, unless you’re Italian nonna makes her own jarred sauce, and shares it with you, then make sure you get a good one. I usually make my own, and I’ll get around to posting a recipe soon, but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly marinara sauce that will work really well, try the Prego Farmers’ Market Classic Marinara. It’s really good and I’ve used it before.
That’s really all you need. But, to make it fancier and tastier, I like to add in some fresh basil, some oregano, maybe some black pepper and dried red chili flakes. I also like to sprinkle the top with some freshly grated parmesan before bringing the dish to the table. And, of course, some fresh chopped parsley is always great too! From time to time, depending on how I feel, I also like to drizzle the top with a little olive oil as soon as it comes out of the oven. All of these things are completely up to you, but will add depth to your dip.
And, lastly, whatever you do, serve this Baked Goat Cheese Dip in Marinara Sauce with some really good crusty bread. Trust me, Dear Reader, this dip is not meant for crackers. Carb it up and go big. And if you really want to impress, lightly brush sliced baguette with olive oil and place under the broiler until golden brown, or in a grill pan for a few minutes on each side, so that you can get these lovely grill marks like you see in the photos.
Now, enjoy, eat and be merry and all that other jazz!
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Baked Goat Cheese Dip in Marinara Sauce
- 300 grams goat cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the goat cheese from the package and lay the log in the center of your baking dish. Using the tips of your fingers, press the cheese slightly so that it spreads about an inch thick. Do not allow the cheese to touch the edge of the pan. Keep at least an inch of free space all the way around.
- Spoon the marinara into the "trench" around the goat cheese. Be careful to place the sauce all the way around and as evenly as possible.
- Sprinkle the top with salt.
- This is also where you could add the dried oregano, dried red chili flakes, and ground black pepper if you decide to do so.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes - just until the sauce around the cheese begins to bubble.
- Once you remove the dip from the oven, top with a little fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan. Serve immediately.
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