Delicious cranberry herb goat cheese log that’s perfect for the holidays! With pomegranate, parsley, pecans, cranberry sauce, honey and cracked black pepper.
Still looking for the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving? This is definitely 100% what you’re looking for. You can tackle a lot of the prep work ahead of time. It’s festive and seasonal. The cranberry sauce is already there begging to be used. Face it, this cranberry herb goat cheese log is just made to happen. Its okay, you won’t be one bit upset about it.
Its a pretty simple recipe to make so you can whip it up for a party, or if you’re like me, just for a quiet night at home where you and your lover feel like gorging on cheese. You have to have a special kind of relationship to eat an entire log of goat cheese together in one sitting. Its a bonding experience. I’m lucky I found someone who isn’t grossed out by me calling something like this dinner. #blessed
If you’re a normal type that doesn’t eat cheese for dinner, this will work as the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, a Christmas party, or any winter gathering really. It always wows too since its practically glistening with cranberry sauce and has such a nice color contrast between the pomegranate and herbs. The toasty nuts add richness and depth of flavor while the final drizzle of honey and fresh cracked pepper take it from simple to divine. Whatever the highlight is for you, this isn’t one you’re going to want to miss.
I pretty much always use my honey cranberry sauce recipe here but recently cheated and used a jarred sauce from Trader Joe’s (What? Don’t judge, I got lazy). While I’m all about the homemade, it was still just as satisfying and the lack of extra prep was worth it that night.
The deeper I get into this whole parenthood experience, the more I appreciate shortcuts and simplicity in all things. I still love to make fun recipes with extra steps like eggplant rollups or a galette but most days, its whatever I can whip up in under half hour. Having extra time to spend with my family is worth sacrificing fanciness pretty much every time at this stage in life.
I just bought my daughter a toy kitchen for her first birthday which is coming up in less than two weeks (I know, I know, cue the water works!). It *might* be the teensiest bit ridiculous for a one year old that can’t even be bothered with wearing pants half the time. BUT, hear me out on this! I’m hoping against hope that this will help subliminally train her to love cooking so that by the time she can reach the kitchen counter, I’ll have a prep cook. Its a long game, but I’m committed.
Anyways, we were talking about goat cheese, party appetizers, and all things cranberry and festive before diverging into nonsense so let’s get back to that. Are you a cheese log person? Something about cheese balls just makes me feel a little too frumpy to really make them that often, but a goat cheese log? Logs, I can get behind each and every time.
This one may seem more complicated than it is so let’s deconstruct it. First you need parsley, toasted nuts and pomegranate arils. Yes, you can by the pre-seeded poms but its really not that hard to pull them out. I get pomegranates with a bit of give to them but no super soft spots and they’re normally perfectly ripe. I pull the seeds out either running water over it or using the wooden spoon method.
And in the fall, I pretty much always have a jar with toasted nuts on the counter ready to toss into salads or dishes like this. They stay good for a week or so after toasting which takes the hassle out of it. I usually just toast them in my toaster oven for about 5 minutes and then crumble.
Then you toss it all together into a beautiful confetti. Don’t throw it, however tempted you are though. Let’s be adults and keep this mess free.
Then you smear a bit of cranberry sauce on a serving plate, plop the goat cheese log on top and pat the goodie mix all over the top and sides of it. The extra spills onto the plate to be scooped up with crackers later on.
See, that was prettty easy right? Told ya so.
Also, its come to my attention that a lot of people don’t like goat cheese. I used to be one of them actually. It just has such a distinct goaty taste to it. Now, I love that tangy flavor, but I sympathize with those that don’t and want to let you know that all of the goodies on this log make it less pungent than it can be on it’s own. If you feel super strongly about goat cheese, you may disagree, but it really has so many other flavors going on here between the cranberry sauce, pomegranate, parsley, and pecans that I think this might be your ideal gateway into embracing the goat.
I’m making this for Thanksgiving next week and plan to do all of the prep the night before so all I have to do the day of is slather the cranberry sauce on the already dazzling goat cheese log, drizzle some honey, and sprinkle fresh cracked black pepper on top with my handy dandy electric pepper grinder (yes, its amazing and I recommend getting one). We’re hosing about 12 people over here and by doing prep ahead of time, I plan to relax and kick back the day of. That’s the plan at least.
If you don’t have your menu settled yet, think about making this butternut squash with fried sage or these browned butter balsamic Brussels sprouts. Or if you’re looking for a breakfast snack to feed the masses before the main event, these pumpkin scones with maple glaze are a must!
What are your Thanksgiving plans?
Cranberry Herb Goat Cheese Log
- 8 oz. goat cheese log
- 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley, divided
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped*
- 2/3 cup cranberry sauce, divided
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Mix 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley with the cranberries and pecans in a small bowl.
- Smear half of the cranberry sauce on a serving plate.
- Place goat cheese log on serving plate on top of cranberry sauce.
- Pat pomegranate/pecan/parsley mixture onto cheese letting any extra fall around the log onto the plate.
- Spoon remaining cranberry sauce over the top of the log.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley, drizzle with honey, and dust with fresh cracked pepper.
- Serve immediately with crackers, toasted bread, and/or veggies.