Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Truffles


Looking for an extra, last-minute appetizer for New Year’s Eve that’s easy and delicious?

These goat cheese & black pepper truffles fit the bill—and then some.

The combination of tangy goat cheese and green herbs is fresh, filling—and at least a little decadent. (I mean, come on, it’s literally a bite-size ball of cheese.)

Freshly cracked black pepper adds just enough spice and bite.

This time, I used a combination of fresh thyme, sage, tarragon, scallion, and parsley. I love the onion-y flavor from the scallion and the licorice notes of the tarragon together.

Use any mix of fresh green herbs that you want. Just make sure you wind up with about 3 tablespoons of chopped herbs per 5 ounces of cheese.

You can whip these together in a flash yourself, or let a friend or little one have fun playing with their food.

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Truffles: An important note on salt

Don’t add any. Seriously.

The cheese will have more than enough. If you add salt and make these in advance, the salt can draw moisture out of the fresh herbs and make your truffles kind of gummy and sad. (Nobody needs sad truffles!)

If you think they’d really benefit from an extra pinch, put out a little bowl of nice sea salt when you serve them and let your guests sprinkle to their hearts’ content.

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Truffles: A note on goat cheese

For this recipe, I used one of my favorite brands: Capri All Natural Goat Cheese from Westfield Farm right here in Massachusetts.

Five ounces is about $4-$5 around these parts. If you can’t find it, use any good, fresh brand you like.

If you’re not keen on fresh herbs, you could also roll the cheese truffles in:

+Finely chopped black and green olives
+Toasted sesame seeds
+Chopped, toasted almonds

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Truffles

5 oz. fresh goat cheese
3 Tbls. fresh green herbs, minced
freshly cracked black pepper

Makes 15-17 truffles, 1 teaspoon each (double the recipe by measuring out the cheese in half-teaspoons instead)

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Truffles: Make the herb and pepper coating

Gather your herbs and mince them well.

Be sure to yank out any bits of woody stem and discard.

Measure out 3 Tbls. of minced herbs. Put them in a medium-sized bowl.

Add freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

Mix together quickly with a fork to combine the pepper with the herbs.

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Truffles: Prep the cheese

Unwrap the goat cheese and put it in a medium-sized bowl. Mash it up with a fork to break it up a little.

Don’t make yourself crazy with this. You just want to break up the cheese enough so it’s easy to scoop with a spoon.

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Truffles: Form the truffles

Scoop out the goat cheese with a teaspoon.

This doesn’t have to be precise. It’s mainly to help ensure your truffles all wind up about the same size.

Roll the cheese between your palms to form it into a ball. Drop the ball into the bowl with the pepper and herbs.

Roll the ball around gently until it’s well coated.

When it has a nice little jacket on, it should look about like this:

Transfer the goat cheese ball to a plate or serving platter.

Repeat with the rest of the cheese until you’ve used it all up.

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Truffles: Serve and enjoy!

Copyright 2008-2009 The Hungry Mouse/Jessica B. Konopa. All rights reserved.

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. We saw something similar on foodTv, it was marinated fresh mozzarella balls. Your little cheese truffles will also make a great holiday gift. It looks yummy, I bet I cant stop eating them if I try one.

  2. Hi Jessie!

    Great idea to combine in a truffle goat cheese & black pepper!
    The truffles must be happy ones so no extra salta tip to have in mind 🙂

    An Wonderful and Happy New Year 2009!

    Gera .:. sweetsfoods

  3. saw you on foodbuzz…that’s what I call a very good appetizer…love the idea of fresh herbs and goats cheese…not cheese at all the idea …love your pics too. happy new year

  4. Completely mouth watering! This is a GENIUS way to eat goat cheese, I cannot wait to make this for my husband & friends.

  5. Jessie – same around these lands I can get 4 Oz of local goat cheese for $4. Not bad.
    Now – my problem is the lack of fresh herbs during winter. Are you growing your own??

    Gabi @ Mamaliga.

  6. Thanks, all! 😀

    Gabi–I actually find my fresh herbs at my local Stop & Shop, which is a regular old East-coast grocery store. They don’t always have everything, though. If our house were sunnier, I’d totally have pots inside in the winter.


  7. This looks absolutely delicious! Simple & easy but will impress anyone! I love it. I work with Chavrie and it’s always nice to see great recipes for goat cheese that we can try and pass along! Thanks!