Baked Tomato Goat Cheese Dip
Baked Tomato Goat Cheese Dip is a holiday-friendly hot appetizer that requires less than 10 ingredients and is so easy to make! We’ll start with RAGÚ Simply® Traditional Sauce flavored with garlic and basil, top it with goat cheese and a few herbs and serve with golden crostini when it’s hot out of the oven!
This recipe is sponsored by RAGÚ. We’re using their RAGÚ Simply Traditional Sauce to make today’s easy, baked tomato goat cheese dip.
Comin’ in hot.
This has to be one of the easiest, most delicious cheesy-dip recipes out there. Baked tomato goat cheese dip is the kind of recipe that looks and tastes like you made it entirely from scratch, but it’s so easy to do thanks to a jar of RAGÚ Simply Traditional Sauce! With just a sprinkle of fresh basil on top, each bite is filled with warm, jammy tomato sauce and creamy goat cheese. Garlic-rubbed crostini happens to be the perfect vehicle to deliver it straight to your mouth.
I like to take this dish to the next level with a few pan-blistered cherry tomatoes, but this is entirely optional and it’s mostly because we eat with our eyes first. The dip is perfect with or without them!
Ingredients for homemade baked tomato goat cheese dip:
- RAGÚ Simply Sauce: I love using the RAGÚ Simply line of sauces! They’re made with quality ingredients, like vine-ripened tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and Italian spices. There’s no added sugar, no artificial colors and no high-fructose corn syrup. They come in four delicious sauce varieties, provide versatility and work great as meal starters that give anything you make a “from-scratch” flavor!
- Garlic Cloves: We’ll use the garlic for flavoring the tomato sauce as well as rubbing a cut clove on the crostini when it’s hot from the oven. This will give the crostini the most delicious garlicky flavor!
- Fresh Herbs: We’ll add fresh basil and thyme to the tomato sauce with kosher salt and black pepper used to season the goat cheese medallion that will bake in the center.
- Red-Pepper Flakes: To add a little heat to the dip!
- Goat Cheese: I bought a large log of goat cheese for this dip. It’s essential to bring the goat cheese to room temperature so that it molds easily into a disk shape. Roll the log into a ball, then place the ball of goat cheese between two pieces of plastic wrap. Then, flatten the ball into a thick disk that is about an inch smaller than the baking dish you’ll be using.
- Baguette: I like to slice the baguette on an angle to make it look a bit fancier! Brush the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Then, we’ll bake until it’s golden and crispy.
- Olive Oil: We’ll use the olive oil over the goat cheese and for brushing on the baguette.
How to make the easiest baked tomato goat cheese dip recipe:
- Prep everything first. You’ll want to start by preheating the oven to 375ºF right away. Then, spray a small, round baking dish with cooking spray. Set it aside for now, we’ll come back to it in a couple of minutes. Grate two cloves of garlic in a bowl with RAGÚ Simply Traditional sauce, add half of the chopped basil and season with red pepper flakes. Pour the prepared tomato mixture into the baking dish.
- Make a large goat-cheese medallion. To make things easier, I suggest using goat cheese that has been softened to room temperature for at least an hour. Smush the goat-cheese log together to form a ball, then place the goat cheese between two layers of plastic wrap. Next, flatten the goat cheese gently so that it’s about an inch smaller in diameter than the baking dish you’re using. If you’re baking the appetizer right away, peel away the plastic wrap and place the goat cheese in the center of the dish on top of the tomato mixture. If you’re preparing this for later, leave the goat cheese in the plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake.
- Bake the dip. Once the goat cheese is placed on top of the tomato mixture, drizzle a little olive oil over the cheese. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake the dip in the lower third of the oven until golden and bubbly on top.
- Crostini. While the dip is baking, slice the baguette into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Drizzle or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. When the tomato goat cheese appetizer is halfway done, place the crostini in the oven and bake for 12 minutes, flipping them over around the halfway mark. Remove from the oven when golden and crispy. Cut a clove of garlic down the center and rub the bread with the cut side to flavor the crostini. Serve immediately with the dip.
FAQ’s about this baked tomato goat cheese appetizer:
- How did you make those blistered tomatoes on top? Heat a clean, dry skillet over medium-high heat until it’s screaming hot. Then, add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and let them sit for 45-60 seconds undisturbed. Gently start rolling the pan so the tomatoes blister evenly. Then, drop the heat to medium and drizzle in some olive oil before seasoning with kosher salt and black pepper. When the dip is done, arrange them as you like.
- Do I have to serve this baked cheese dip with blistered cherry tomatoes on top? Absolutely not! That’s just something extra, to make it look a bit fancier! You absolutely don’t have to add them on top if you don’t want to—the RAGÚ sauce has all the delicious flavor you need.
- Can you serve this dip with crackers instead of crostini? Yes, you can! Crackers, pita chips or even pretzel chips would work well with this dip. Anything with a good crunch works well!
- Can I use a different RAGÚ red sauce for this recipe? Yes, other flavors and types of RAGÚ red sauce can be used for this recipe as well. Click here to see all the sauces in the RAGÚ Simply lineup.
A big thank you to our friends over at RAGÚ for sponsoring this post. We love working with companies that make good, wholesome foods!
- 2 cups RAGÚ Simply® Traditional Sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, divided
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ⅛-¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1(10-10.5 ounce log) goat cheese, softened at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 large baguette, sliced on the bias
- Olive oil, as needed
- Blistered tomatoes, for serving (optional)
- PREP: Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and one in the lower third. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a small round baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Add RAGÚ sauce to a small bowl, grate in 2 cloves of garlic, add half the basil and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine, then pour sauce into the prepared baking dish.
- GOAT CHEESE: Smush the goat cheese log into a ball. Place the ball between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using your hands, flatten the cheese into a thick, round disc that is about an inch smaller in diameter than your baking dish. Remove goat cheese from plastic wrap and place in the center of your sauce. Drizzle two teaspoons of olive oil over the cheese. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, a pinch of kosher salt and fresh pepper. Bake in the lower third of the oven, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is warmed through.
- CROSTINI: While the dip is baking, place the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake crostini in the upper third of the oven during the last 10-12 minutes. Flip crostini over around the halfway mark. When the bread is golden and crispy, remove it from the oven, cut the last garlic clove in half and rub the cut-side on the bread to flavor it.
- SERVE: Serve the dip topped with the remaining basil with crostini on the side.
- Blistered Tomatoes: Heat a skillet on medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add 1-pint cherry tomatoes to the dry skillet and let sit for 1 minute undisturbed. Lower the heat to low, toss the tomatoes, drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the tomatoes are about to burst. Remove from heat, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and serve on dip with fresh basil.