Air Fryer Goat Cheese Balls
Air Fryer Goat Cheese Balls are an easy yet elegant appetizer perfect for cocktail & dinner parties, holidays, and whenever you’re craving something DELICIOUS. Decadent goat cheese rolled into bite-sized balls, coated in crisp panko breadcrumbs, and “fried” in the air fryer is the best of THE BEST when it comes to hot & cheesy appetizers.
Three words: tangy, creamy, and crispy. That is the best way to describe these bite-size balls of goat cheesy goodness. After you hand roll rich goat cheese into balls and bread them in panko, the goat cheese balls crisp up in the air fryer in 10 minutes flat.
As simple as these goat cheese balls may seem, they are a perfect appetizer for those special occasions when you feel fancy. A platter of air fryer goat cheese balls served with an assortment of delicious dipping sauces is guaranteed to wow your guests!
If you’ve made it this long without a Ninja Foodi or an air fryer, these goat cheese balls will finally sell you on the investment. Goat cheese balls are typically deep-fried, but air frying accomplishes that same irresistible crunch on the outside while hot and creamy goat cheese oozes in the middle. YUM!
❤ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Texture and flavor. You’ll make a platter of homemade goat cheese balls worthy of fine dining restaurants.
- Entertaining. These cheese bites are perfect for sophisticated special occasions and are easy to make 100% from scratch.
- Serving options. You can decide whether to serve these with sweet or savory dipping sauces.
- Flexibility. You can easily customize your goat cheese balls and make this recipe your own.
🐐Ingredients You’ll Need
- Goat cheese – Soft (or “surface-ripened”) goat cheese is usually packaged in a log shape. The smooth, borderline crumbly consistency makes it perfect for cheese balls because it softens and becomes creamy as it’s baked or fried but never fully melts. You can use plain goat cheese or get creative with the flavors available (Aldi has some good ones!)
- All-purpose flour – Flour is the first layer of the breading. It gives the egg batter a dry surface to stick to.
- Seasonings – Just salt and pepper to season the flour, but feel free to add additional dry spices and seasonings to taste.
- Egg – The second layer of the breading. The egg gives the breadcrumbs something to stick to and helps the breading become crisp and golden brown.
- Plain panko breadcrumbs – Panko crumbs are bigger and crunchier than regular breadcrumbs. You can use regular breadcrumbs, but the texture of the outer crust will be different.
- Cooking oil spray – The key to the crisp! Avocado oil spray is my favorite. For alternatives, read up on the best oil for air frying.
📖 How To Make Goat Cheese Balls In The Air Fryer
1️⃣ Roll and freeze goat cheese. After removing the goat cheese log from the packaging, cut it into twelve slices. Then, roll each portion into a ball, placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet as you worth through the rest. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes.
2️⃣ Assemble dredging station. While the goat cheese balls firm up in the freezer, set up your dredging station using three bowls. Add the flour, salt & pepper, and whisk to combine in the first bowl. In the second bowl, beat the egg. Finally, in the third bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs.
3️⃣ Bread goat cheese balls. After 30 minutes, remove the cheese balls from the freezer. Breading one ball at a time, dip it in the seasoned flour. Then, dip it into the egg wash, shaking off the excess. Finally, dredge the ball through the breadcrumbs, coating it in a thin, even layer. Set the breaded goat cheese balls aside on a clean plate as you work through the remaining
4️⃣ Bake goat cheese balls in air fryer. After preheating your air fryer to 400F, place the breaded cheese balls in the basket, and spray with cooking oil. Set the timer for 10 minutes and cook until the breading is crisp and golden brown. Cooking times vary, so I recommend sneaking a peak around the 7-8 minute mark to determine how much longer they need.
5️⃣ Plate and serve. Once crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle, use tongs to remove the balls and transfer them to a serving platter. Serve hot, drizzled with honey or your favorite dipping sauce. See below for ideas. Enjoy!
🗨 Recipe Tips
- Wetting your hands will make it easier to mold the cheese into balls. It also helps if the cheese is cold. If you prefer not to use your hands, you can use a 1-ounce melon baller as a mold.
- Chilling the cheese balls is critical to staying in shape as they warm up in the air fryer, so be sure to freeze the balls for at least 30 minutes.
- There must be space between each cheese ball to crisp evenly on all sides. Please work in batches if you can’t fit all twelve at once without overcrowding the basket.
- The time it takes to cook goat cheese balls in the air fryer will vary, so keep an eye on them. Cheese balls are finished when the exterior is golden brown and crispy.
- Serve hot! These are best served fresh from the air fryer while the breading is extra crispy and the goat cheese is warm and creamy.
Seasoned breadcrumbs – Switch up the flavor profile using seasoned Panko breadcrumbs or seasoning plain breadcrumbs yourself. Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, and herbes de Provence are just a few ideas.
Keto fried goat cheese balls – To make these a nearly zero-carb snack, use crushed pork rinds instead of Panko breadcrumbs.
Gluten-free goat cheese balls – Swap the all-purpose flour with a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour and use gluten-free panko.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Goat cheese balls are a fantastic addition to cheese plates with an assortment of sauces and dips. See below for ideas.
- Fruit spreads – Use fruity jams, jellies, and marmalades as a dip for your goat cheese balls. Apricot, orange, raspberry, pear, strawberry, and apple flavors pair perfectly.
- Hot honey – Drizzle hot honey over the platter of cheese balls to add a sweet element and a subtle kick.
- Marinara – If you like dipping mozzarella sticks in marinara, you’ll love it with fried goat cheese balls!
To make your goat cheese balls a meal, you can serve them over a fresh salad or add them to a bowl of hot soup. Can you imagine topping a creamy bowl of tomato soup with these things? 😋
🧊 Storing & Freezing
Storing: Keep leftovers in an airtight storage container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Then, to reheat, pop them back in the air fryer at 400F for a couple of minutes.
Freezing: I don’t advise storing breaded goat cheese balls in the freezer once cooked. See FAQ for make-ahead tips.
To bake these in the oven instead of the air fryer, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spray with cooking spray, and bake at 450 or until golden brown and crispy.
So I don’t recommend freezing once they are breaded and cooked. However, the goat cheese itself freezes very well, and thawing won’t affect the texture. So you can freeze balls of goat cheese in a freezer-safe bag for up to 2 months. Then, set them on the counter for ten or so minutes to soften just a bit before breading and air frying.
I’d rather you prep them immediately before cooking, but you have the option to assemble the breaded cheese balls and store them in the freezer no longer than 24 hours before you plan to cook them.
♨ More Air Fryer Appetizer Recipes
- Frozen Potato Skins
- Air Fryer Corn Fritters
- Frozen Cauliflower Wings
- Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
- Frozen Potstickers
Air Fryer Goat Cheese Balls
- air fryer Ninja Foodi, NuWave, Power XL, etc.
- baking sheet and parchment paper
- 3 mixing bowls
- 8 ounces goat cheese
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
- cooking oil spray
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the log of goat cheese from the packaging, and cut it into 12 evenly sized pieces.
- Roll each piece of goat cheese into a ball, and place the balls on the parchment-lined baking sheet as you work through the batch. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, set up a dredging station using three bowls. In the first bowl, add the flour, salt & pepper, and whisk to combine. In the second bowl, crack the egg and whisk until beaten. In the third bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 3-5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove the goat cheese balls from the freezer. Working with one ball at a time, dip the ball in the seasoned flour, coating completely. Then, dip the ball into the egg wash, shaking off the excess. Finally, dredge the ball through the panko, and coat it in a thin, even layer. Set the breaded goat cheese balls aside on a clean plate as you work through the rest.
- Place the breaded goat cheese balls in the preheated air fryer basket, and spray with a light coating of cooking oil spray.
- Set the timer for 10 minutes and cook until the breading is crisp and golden brown. Check for doneness around the 7-8 minute mark and adjust the air frying time as needed.
- Once crispy, remove the goat cheese balls with tongs and transfer them to a serving platter. Serve hot with honey or your favorite dipping sauces. Enjoy!