Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Bites with Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce made with goat cheese, pecans, and rosemary for an easy healthy holiday appetizer!
There’s something reeeeeeally magical about apps. Especially ones that involve bread and/or potatoey things [and cheese].
I have a special relationship with goat cheese. Creamy and tangy and and glorious UGH I get all shaken up just thinking about its fabulousness.
I know it’s a polarizing food right up there with mayonnaise and olives and blue cheese and oysters but in my humble opinion, this here cheese is heaven sent.
If you’re in camp I-loathe-goat-cheese, brie would be so lovely here. It wouldn’t be as tangy, so I’d maybe add a nice little balsamic glaze on top. Mmmm. Balsamic anything and everything!
I’ve been on a huge cranberry sauce kick as of late and that’s what inspired this adorable Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Bites recipe. I’ve made batches with water and orange juice, batches with maple syrup and bourbon, batches with cinnamon and vanilla.
All of the above is the answer to epic cranberry sauce, my friends.
The best part about these Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Bites is that you could make them in your sleep. For the naturally sweetened Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce, you simply combine six ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 12 minutes.
Can you even handle the simplicity I’m bringing to the table today?! I know.
I’m warning you now that you’ll want to make sweet love to the cranberry sauce, so much so that you’ll eat it with a spoon and stir it into yogurt and oatmeal and all the things and perhaps need to make another batch because IT’S THAT LEGIT.
(As I write this post I’m eating vanilla Greek yogurt with granola and this cranberry sauce and I’m seriously dying.)
So legit that you can and totally should serve it by itself on the Thanksgiving table in addition to these amazing Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Bites. Like, both. Double batch. So nice we’ll eat it twice.
Oh! If you don’t dig bourbon or are simply avoiding alcohol, don’t fret. This cranberry sauce is still sensational sans bourbon.
Or maybe you’ll have leftover cranberry sauce post Turkey Day feasting and you can use that instead. And this recipe will go from easy to easiest. I won’t be tremendously offended.
I used Dr. Praeger’s Broccoli Littles (which kind of taste like broccoli-ish tater tots in the best way) as the base for these bites instead of crostini and I LOVED how it complemented all the other flavors and textures going on in this recipe. They’re also gluten-free!
Both the Littles and crostini’s one will make a lovely foundation; but who doesn’t want to that eye-catching star and dinosaur shape beneath their blanket of goat cheese and cranberry sauce?! I know I sure do.
The combination of sweet cranberry sauce, tangy goat cheese, fresh rosemary, and crunchy pecans is so, so marvelous here. I COULD.NOT.STOP eating them.
The second time I ate them, I reheated them in the oven for a few minutes and the warm goat cheese took it to another level. Highly recommend.
For more epic Thanksgiving recipes, check out my Vegan Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, and Spinach & Mushroom Herb Stuffing. They’re all mega delish. I made each of them for Friendsgiving and everyone was obsessed. You will be too. Swear!Print
These Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Bites are made with Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce paired with creamy goat cheese, toasty pecans, and fresh rosemary for an easy and delicious holiday appetizer. Gluten-free with a vegan option.
For the Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce (easily doubles!):
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 large orange, zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or honey
- 2 tbsp bourbon (can omit)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the bites:
- 1 batch Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce (you’ll have leftovers)
- 1 box Dr. Praeger’s Broccoli Littles (or 1 baguette sliced into 1/2 inch slices)
- 2 oz goat cheese, at room temperature (sub hummus for vegan option)
- chopped pecans, for garnish
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
- sea salt
- Make cranberry sauce by first rinsing and sorting through cranberries, removing any mushy ones. Place all ingredients except vanilla extract in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 12 minutes or until thickened. Stir in vanilla. Place in a bowl and set aside. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450F and bake Broccoli Littles according to package directions. If using a baguette instead, bake slices at 400F for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- When ready to assemble, gently place a smear of of goat cheese on each broccoli bite. (If you try to spread the cheese, the bites will break.) Then top each bite with a dollop of cranberry sauce, chopped rosemary, a sprinkle of pecans, and sea salt. These are delicious at room temperature and even better heated in the oven until the cheese is warmed!
Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce can be served on its own with Thanksgiving dinner or stirred into oatmeal, yogurt, etc.
This post is made in partnership with Dr. Praeger’s. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Hummusapien possible!