- July 12, 2022
- by Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
- 0 Comments
Goat Cheese Crostini with Pan-Roasted Grapes
This grape and goat cheese crostini is filled with antioxidants and no added sugar. Plus, it whips up in just 15 minutes––no time at all!
Looking for a sweet appetizer with no added sugar? This delicious goat cheese crostini recipe is a perfect easy appetizer that’s heart healthy. Whether you’re a reluctant entertainer or an enthused one, this recipe is easy to make!
I have a strong family history of heart health issues: Both my grandfathers passed away due to heart attacks, and two of my three paternal uncles have had heart attacks.
So as a registered dietitian nutritionist, I work to not only maintain the health of my own ticker but also to help those around me do the same.
I like to make delicious food that’s also healthy—and I use minimal or no added sugar to do just that. I challenged myself to create a homemade crostini recipe that’s heart healthy and naturally sweetened. Enter this creamy goat cheese appetizer.
You only need a few ingredients to make this goat cheese crostini recipe:
Whole-wheat baguette: You’ll use this for the base of the crostini. If you’re a gluten-free eater, you can sub in a gluten-free baguette.
Grapes and grape juice: This goat cheese crostini recipe features 100 percent grape juice, made with dark purple Concord grapes. Concord grapes are special grapes, only in season for a short time each fall.
So the best way to get their many health benefits is from the grapes’ juice.
In fact, 20-plus years of research shows that drinking the juice can help your heart in many ways—including supporting blood vessel health to help promote healthy circulation and keep your blood flowing freely.
Plus, each cup of the juice offers zero added sugar and 1 cup (two servings) of fruit, helping you meet your daily fruit quota. Adults need between 1 ½ and 2 cups of fruit daily.
Soft goat cheese: The baked goat cheese is so delicious. If you don’t have any goat cheese on hand, cream cheese would also work.
Spices: I added garlic, black pepper, and fresh rosemary for extra depth. The sweet and savory combination will excite your taste buds! If you want to get extra fancy, finish things off with a drizzle of olive oil.
While the juice supports heart health, so does the finished goat cheese crostini! The recipe meets expert guidelines for a heart-healthy recipe. To qualify as a heart-healthy appetizer, a recipe must have:
- Less than or equal to 250 calories per serving (this has 100 calories)
- Less than or equal to 2 grams saturated fat per serving (this has 1 gram)
- Less than 0.5 grams trans fats per serving (this has 0 grams)
- Less than or equal to 240 milligrams sodium per serving (this has 170 milligrams)
- Less than or equal to 2 teaspoons added sugar per serving (this has 0 teaspoons)
I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe, which is a perfect snack for the holiday season or any day. Hopefully you will make it for someone special—even if that person is yourself! I recommend using regular goat cheese, not whipped goat cheese.
Wondering how to make goat cheese crostini? I’ll tell you, and it’s pretty simple!
First, toast the baguette slices. While you do this, you’ll heat a mixture of garlic, seedless table grapes, and grape juice on the stovetop.
You’ll add garlic and grape slices to a medium non-stick pan. Cover with grape juice; bring mixture to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Once mixture begins to thicken, stir until most (but not all) of liquid is absorbed.
Pan-roasting turns regular grapes into deliciously sweet grapes. When the mixture warmed, it reduced—so you get a wonderfully sweet taste with absolutely no added sugar
Then, you’ll top the baguette slices with tangy goat cheese, the grape mixture, black pepper, and fresh rosemary. The fresh herbs add such a nice touch.
The best part? The appetizer takes just 15 minutes to make!
The major differences between bruschetta and crostini is the size and type of bread used.
Bruschetta is made by toasting whole slices of bread, and the type of bread used is typically a rustic Italian or sourdough type bread.
On the other hand, crostini are made from baguette styles of bread, which results in smaller slices.
Crostini is a type of grilled or toasted bread made from long artisan loaf bread, like baguettes.
It has a crispy, crunchy texture that is so delicious on its own, but you can make crostini even better by brushing it with olive oil and adding toppings after toasting.
In my goat cheese crostini, the crostini are topped with sliced grapes, goat cheese, and seasonings.
The only true requirement is a piece of sliced––and usually toasted––bread. Typically, baguette is used. Typically, crostini is brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Your crostini shouldn’t be too hard––this will make it difficult to eat! Ideally, the texture of your crostini should be crispy on the outside and the inside should be tender.
You can get the right texture by toasting the bread at the right temperature. If the temperature is too low, the crostini can become hard. Toasting it quickly at a high temperature is key.
Crostini is usually topped with tangy cheeses or fresh fruit or vegetable toppings. In a goat cheese crostini, the crostini is topped with baked goat cheese and pan-roasted grapes.
So many ingredients! It tastes wonderful on pizza and also pairs extremely well with fruit––such as pan-roasted grapes or prune jam. It tastes delicious paired with endives and mandarin oranges.
When heated, soft goat cheese will melt a little but not completely. The reason it works so well in a goat cheese crostini is that it retains its form pretty well and doesn’t melt off the baguette slice.
More grape recipes
While drinking the grape juice is a great way to get these benefits, there are plenty of fun ways to cook with it, too. In addition to these goat cheese crostinis, you might enjoy:
- Greek Yogurt Parfait Crunch with Sweet Grapes
- Healthy Avocado Smoothie with Grape Juice
- Healthy Grape Honey Brussels Sprouts Recipe
- Salad Dressing with Grape Juice
This blog post was updated in July 2022. The content was originally part of a partnership with Welch’s.
Goat Cheese Crostini with Pan-Roasted Grapes
- 1 15-ounce whole-wheat baguette, sliced and toasted
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1½ cups seedless red or green grapes, sliced lengthwise
- 1 cup 100% grape juice
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary
- Add garlic and grape slices to a medium non-stick pan. Cover with grape juice; bring mixture to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
- Once mixture begins to thicken, stir until most (but not all) of liquid is absorbed.
- Top baguette slices with goat cheese, warm grape mixture, black pepper, and rosemary. Enjoy!
I‘d love to hear from you! What are your favorite heart-healthy appetizers, dishes, and desserts? Do you plan to serve this appetizer at your future dinner parties? What other party appetizers do you enjoy?
How else do you eat cheese? Do you enjoy cheese with honey? Or perhaps an apple goat cheese crostini, or goat-cheese-stuffed dates?
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