Marinated Goat Cheese Recipe

Photograph: Emily and Matt Clifton

Why It Works

  • The olive oil infuses the cheese with whatever flavors you throw at it, so feel free to be creative.
  • Submerging the cheese entirely in good olive oil helps preserve it in the fridge for up to one week.
  • These make great tasty gifts for a party host

For an almost effortless way to a more interesting cheese platter, marinate fresh goat cheese in olive oil with herbs and spices. Here we add fennel seed, lemon zest, bay leaves, and more for a well-rounded infusion of flavor. Use it as a topping for crackers, a spread for sandwiches, or crumbled into salads.

Recipe Facts



Active: 10 mins
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Makes: 2 half-pint jars

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  • 1 large log fresh goat cheese (10 ounces; 270g)
  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil (475ml), or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pink peppercorns (optional)
  • 4 (2-inch) strips lemon zest (peeled with a vegetable peeler with as little white pith as possible)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, cut in half lengthwise


  1. Cut goat cheese log into 8 equal pieces; roll into balls, if desired.

  2. Pour olive oil into clean wide-necked jars until halfway full. Distribute chili flakes, fennel seed, and peppercorns equally into both jars.

  3. Add the goat cheese pieces one at a time, adding a little olive oil between each one so they are fully immersed. Add lemon zest, bay leaves, thyme and garlic to jars. Pour in enough olive oil to fully cover cheese. Seal jars and refrigerate for at least a few hours (we found it tasted best after 2 days). The marinated goat cheese can be kept refrigerated for up to 1 week, but not any longer than that (infused olive oil can run the risk of botulism if kept for longer than 1 week, even if refrigerated).

Special equipment

2 half-pint mason jars

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