Savory Goat Cheese Panna Cotta

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A savory goat cheese panna cotta is an incredibly easy and impressive appetizer for summer entertaining.There is a lot to be said for simplicity – especially right now.

Right now it seems my life is moving at a breakneck pace. It’s all good, but it’s hectic.

My brain is stuffed full and anything that requires complex thought or concentration will, I fear, short out all the circuits. This is not where you want to be when developing and experimenting with recipes for upcoming events. But on second thought, maybe it is. Because  if this panna cotta is any indication of what happens when my brain is overloaded then I may just have to work at a breakneck pace more often.

As I said – simplicity has a lot going for it.

6 ingredients.

20 minutes or less to make with a couple of hours to chill.

The result? A cool, creamy and tangy first course or salad  that can be served with infinite variations  (and yes, I am going to tell you all about them!). This one will definitely be on my menus this spring and summer… and definitely should be on yours!!

Goat Cheese Panna Cotta – For an appetizer serving, I made these in 2 oz. ramekins. If you don’t have 2 oz. ramekins you could make these in a mini muffin tin or even in 4 oz. ramekins. If using the 4 oz. ramekins, fill about 1/2 inch full which will make approximately 2 servings. This is the basic recipe but experiment with garlic, herbs and spices. To infuse the panna cottas with garlic and/or herbs, place 2 peeled cloves of garlic or 3 sprigs of a fresh herb (thyme, rosemary or oregano would all work well)  in a small sauce pan with the milk and warm over low heat. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes and then strain out. Proceed with recipe.

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin (or agar agar for vegetarian version)
  • 2/3 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • ground white pepper
  • kosher salt
  • red, orange and yellow tomatoes – 1 each
  • 1 small bunch of chives, sliced 1/8th inch wide
  • Good quality olive oil (for drizzling)


  1. Brush the ramekins with a good extra virgin olive oil.
  2. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk over medium high heat. Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk.
  3. Let gelatin stand until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Rewarm the milk over low heat for about 1 – 2 minutes, stirring to dissolve the gelatin.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the goat cheese. Stirring until the goat cheese is fully incorporated and no lumps remain.
  6. Evenly divide the mixture between the ramekins. Place the ramekins in the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  7. To serve, run the tip of a small knife around the edge of the ramekin and invert onto a plate. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil, chives and tomatoes.



    • says

      Hi Sylvie! Thank you so much for coming by the Table!!I really enjoyed this – the 2 oz. size means its not overwhelming and they are so simple to make!!

    • says

      Thanks Averie!! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not an oncoming train, thank goodness!! So glad you liked the pics – I think I am getting the hang of this photography stuff!!

  1. says

    I agree that simplicity has a lot going for it…but this is anything but simple…elegant and gorgeous is more my frame of mind viewing this. Love it and want some!

    • says

      Thank you!! I think that is one of the things I like about it – it looks like it takes a long time but couldn’t be simpler!

  2. says

    I have never even thought of doing a savory panna cotta – but this looks delicious! Can’t wait to pick the first fresh tomato out of my garden this summer so I can use it in such a beautiful dish… because I’m betting my husband and I will be having this one a lot! Thanks for the inspiration, and it was SO nice to meet you this weekend!

    • says

      Hi Emily,

      It was great to meet you too!! I am with you – can’t wait for truly fresh tomatoes!! If you make this in the 2 oz. size you can definitely splurge more often!

  3. says

    Wow, this looks spectacular! I can’t wait to try the recipe for my next dinner party, and it will be amazing when tomatoes come into season. Such needed inspiration… lovely meeting you at Camp Blogaway! Hope we can stay in touch.

    • says

      It was wonderful to meet you too Jen – hope you enjoy this little starter! I agree, Camp Blogaway provided some much needed inspiration!!

  4. says

    What a gorgeous little prelude to summer! The colors are beckoning, and with the sizzle that is going on outside right now, I think summer is ready to burst forth!

    I wish goat cheese and I could get along. It’s been a difficult relationship for us thus far. I seem to like it more than it likes me.

    • says

      Hi Lori!!

      Thanks you!! So sorry you and goat cheese don’t get along!! You could try this with a creme fraiche instead of the goat cheese. Wouldn’t be quite as tangy but it would be good!!

  5. says

    This looks beautiful and I was so excited — until I read the ingredients. Gelatin isn’t vegetarian since it’s made from collagen. It’s one of those sneaky ingredients that ruins recipes for me. =(

    • says

      Hi Kelly,

      Wow, the possibilities are truly endless!! You can sub creme fraiche for the goat cheese and/or infuse the mixture with thyme, rosemary, garlic or even tarragon. I served it with the diced tomatoes but you could easily add baby greens dressed with your favorite vinaigrette.

  6. says

    Checking in – any less hectic now than you were a week ago?! :)

    I’m a goat cheese LOVER. If I were making this, it’d be strictly for myself. Dangerous!!!


  7. Glenda says

    911! Just got all the ingredients out and am ready but your method DOES NOT SPEAK TO HOW TO USE THE YOGURT! Have people coming for dinner, please respond ASAP!

    • says

      Hi Chuck!!

      This is a great example as to why I need an editor!! Sorry about that! You add the yogurt in with the goat cheese!!! Hope this clears up the confusion!!

  8. William says

    Hmmm… I tried making this recipe and I thought I followed the instructions to the T but the panna cotta came out with a pretty weird texture. Almost powdery or gritty if you will… Any idea where I may have screwed up?

    • says

      Hi William!!
      I am so sorry that it didn’t turn out – the only thing I can think of is that you may have heated the milk too much. It just needs to be warm to dissolve the gelatin and then the goat cheese , no need to bring it to a simmer!

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