Watermelon and Goat Cheese Bites

photo of watermelon and goat cheese appetizerIf you decide to make this, do yourself a favor and try two things while you are at it. Number one, snack on a lot of watermelon as you go, sprinkled with sea salt. That’s my husband’s favorite. Number two, save at least one basil leaf and eat it straight with a bite of watermelon. The result is something like cinnamon…not watermelon and not basil. It is very interesting alchemy.

This is a great little party bite. You can make it ahead of time and drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar on top at the last second. It is easy, fresh, and flavorful. Watermelons are abundant right now and my basil plants are fecund and robust. The amounts you buy are dependent on how many little bites you want to make. Each slice of bacon can be cut in fourths. You will have enough watermelon to make hundreds if you want to, so plan your cheese and bacon purchases accordingly.

photos of creating watermelon slicesRecipe for Watermelon and Goat Cheese Bites:


One seedless watermelon (with plenty left over)
One log of goat cheese
Bacon, cooked and each slice cut into 4 pieces
Fresh basil leaves
Balsamic Vinegar
photos of preparing bacon and goat cheese


1. Cut a watermelon into big disks, about one inch thick. Using a small round cookie cutter (bearing in mind that this makes a mouthful even with small diameter circles), cut out little cylinders of watermelon, avoiding the seedy spots. Seedless watermelons are not exactly seedless. Cut each little cylinder into 3 or 4 disks. Set the watermelon disks onto paper towels briefly to drain excess juice.

2. Cut the log of goat cheese into disks of approximately the same thickness as the watermelon disks. Use the cookie cutter to trim the cheese to the same size as the watermelon, taking care not to let the goat cheese crumble too much. Place a disk of goat cheese onto each disk of watermelon. Top each with a piece of bacon and a basil leaf. At the last moment, drizzle each bite with a little balsamic vinegar.

photos of watermelon and goat cheese appetizersNotes:

This is one of those applications where it really pays to have a high quality balsamic vinegar. And, you are only using a drop per serving. If you haven’t indulged yourself in a great bottle of vinegar, consider it. This is Aceto Balsamico de Modena by Fattoria Estense which I purchased at Sur la Table. If you live in Dallas, you can have all of the great vinegars formerly available at the Flavors from Afar store in Snider Plaza, such as Oliviers and Ariston, delivered right to your door by Artizone.

This recipe was inspired by a sandwich I ran across in the Southern Farmers Market Cookbook, by Holly Herrick. I think my mom picked it up for me last year at the English Pharmacy in Wichita Falls, proving again that some of the best stuff ever can be found at pharmacies and car washes.

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34 comments to Watermelon and Goat Cheese Bites

  • Michelle

    Hi – has anyone made these watermelon/goat cheese appetizers? Just wondering if there are any tweaks to the recipe?? I would like to make them this weekend for a party I’m having.

  • Wow! Wow! This is exactly what I was looking for. Want to make a festive and unique bacon and goat cheese appetizer for Thanksgiving. The colors offered up with your recipe bring us straight into the holidays too. Thank you…my mouth is now watering with delight!

  • These are absolutely gorgeous…now you know how hard it will be for me now that winter is here to get over them, right. Please do add them to the goaterie links…I don’t want to lose this for next summer! Thanks for sharing.

  • Kelly

    I’m so glad you liked them. They are so easy-going and fresh. I think I’ll be making these a summer staple for years to come. I’m also glad to hear that the vegetarian variation is well received. Several folks have tried it and seem to find it perfectly satisfying without the bacon. Thanks, Ginny.

  • i had been looking for an excuse to make these all summer long. i finally made them yesterday for a dinner party and my friends LOVED THEM. i even left off the bacon on half for the vegetarians. what a great recipe – thanks for sharing! :)

  • Lizzy

    Looks great! Can you suggest a wine pairing for this

  • Kelly

    John…I love it! Great modification. I’m glad you won!!

  • John

    I made this last weekend for a food competition amongst some friends and took the grand prize! The only change I made to the recipe was to replace the bacon with a very thin slice of crispy SPAM. It was delicious!!

  • Ros

    wow che bontà!! complimenti :-)

  • Kelly

    Margie…Yay!! Glad to hear it!

  • Margie

    I found pre-sliced goat cheese in my local grocery store, but it was a bit thicker than I wanted, so I took your advice and cut the in half with dental floss. Worked beautifully! I have made them twice and they were a huge hit.

  • These would be so fun at July 4th parties! Interesting flavor combo :)

  • Kelly

    Jan, that means the world coming from you. I’m so glad you liked them. I think we need to do lunch soon!

  • Jan

    Kelly – Once again! You are the culinary “go to” girl. Made these today for Fathers’ Day Lunch —maybe best apps ever!
    HUGE HIT! Will for SURE be doing these again!
    Thanks – Jan

  • Wow! This looks truly stunning!

  • Kelly

    Probably quite good! Definitely a different flavor and texture, but probably very nice. Please let us know if you try it. I love hearing about good variations.

  • Sac

    How would procuitto taste instead of bacon?

  • Kelly

    Thanks, Lisa. I like this one too.

  • This photo takes my breath away! The sweet and savory combination is fabulous!

  • Oh man these look delicious! They remind me of an appetizer I had at a restaurant called Park Avenue Summer in New York City minus the bacon.

  • This is a great idea…I’ll try it soon without bacon, I think it’s going to be perfect anyway… ^_^

  • Carol

    Good idea, Kelly. Remember how we used to split layers of cakes before icing them by simply using sewing thread. Thread would probably cut goat cheese too. Just wrap it around and tighten.

  • These are simply stunning, and I bet they taste amazing. Goat cheese and watermelon are a delightfully unpredictable combination I look forward to trying!

  • Kelly

    I’m sorry to hear that. I did cut my goat cheese when it was quite cold and that may have helped. I think a very thin and sharp knife is a must and I could have mentioned that. I have also seen people try monofilament or fishing line to cut fragile but soft items. I wonder it that would help with very crumbly goat cheese. My daughter likes goat cheese on top of tomato wedges. I have often resorted to smooshing goat cheese into the shape that I need it to be like silly putty. That is not ideal for something as appearance oriented as these are, but if you are trimming the goat cheese with the little cookie cutter like I did, you might be able to form them into patties with your hands and then cut them with the cutter. I’m sorry they fell apart on you, but I’m glad to hear they were still tasty.

  • Margie

    I made these yesterday, but could not keep the goat cheese from crumbling, so although they tasted delicious, but didn’t look as great. Would it work to freeze the cheese before slicing????

  • Kelly

    Thanks Marla and Jess. It is a fun little treat. I just love what the basil does to the watermelon.

  • This is such a fun appetizer idea, love the sweet/savory twist.

  • Adorable. I’ll deifnitely be trying this!

  • Kelly

    Ash…I think you could easily make them a few hours ahead. I wouldn’t leave the watermelon disks on the paper towels though, for fear it would wick out all the moisture from the melon. Save the balsamic til the last minute, but other than that I would feel totally comfortable assembling them ahead of time.

  • Ashley

    This sounds delicious and I am making it today! Can it be made ahead or not??? Can’t decide how organized I should get!!

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