Fried goat cheese with a savory za’atar and breadcrumb crust is a crunchy, creamy, tangy appetizer perfect for pleasing a crowd. But don’t stop there! Use these golden morsels to top your favorite salad or to replace croutons in a cozy bowl of tomato soup.  

close up of a stack of fried goat cheese slices on a plate.
Photo Credits: Andrea Gralow

Fried goat cheese pulls out all the stops. Just like fried feta, it’s crispy, creamy, and tangy, so it has all the best flavors and textures covered. You could stop there and be completely satisfied, but why not treat yourself to a little something extra? This fried goat cheese recipe takes it up a notch with an earthy, citrusy, savory za’atar coating. 

Za’atar (pronounced zaah-tar), is one of the seasonings I use most. It combines herbs like wild thyme and oregano with sesame seeds and sumac. It adds an earthy, tangy, nutty flavor and crunchy texture that’s a delicious twist on the standard fried goat cheese we all know and love.

My guess is your friends and family have never seen this kind of za’atar recipe before! And trust me, it’s a total crowd-pleaser. Serve it with some store-bought or homemade pita chips. Or top a simple tomato salad or bowl of soup for an indulgent-feeling weeknight meal.

Where to Buy Za’atar 

If you’re from the Mediterranean or a Middle Eastern country then za’atar is probably a household spice blend. (Many families make it by hand at home. As a matter of fact, my mother in law used to give me jars of it!) A good za’atar is truly a culinary experience, which is why knowing exactly what za’atar is and how to use it is helpful. 

Although not impossible to find the savory spice blend has become more readily available in specialty grocery stores or spice shops. Unfortunately, though, the quality of za’atar can vary.

When shopping for za’atar look for the color to be mostly green, and read the label carefully. Wild thyme (or hyssop) and sumac are good signs of a quality za’atar. Citric acid and other fillers like wheat flour or grains are a sign of a lower quality blend. 

I’m pretty particular about za’atar because it holds so many family memories for me, which is why we carry my favorite za’atar in the shop—it tastes the most like what I remember from my childhood in Egypt. 

ingredients for fried goat cheese slices including goat cheese, egg, flour, bread crumbs, olive oil and za'atar.

Ingredients for Fried Goat Cheese with Za’atar 

This fried goat cheese recipe packs on the flavor with just a handful of ingredients. Za’atar might not be a pantry staple to you—yet. I hope this fried goat cheese recipe changes that! 

  • Goat cheese: Buy a firm goat cheese that comes in a long log. It’s easier to slice into a disc shape. 
  • Egg: The egg coats the goat cheese, acting as a glue so the flour and bread crumbs stick. 
  • All purpose flour: All purpose flour’s moderate protein content makes it ideal for frying. 
  • Breadcrumbs: Use unseasoned bread crumbs so the za’atar can do all the talking. 
  • Za’atar: This Mediterranean spice blend really knows no substitute! Find it at select grocery stores, Middle Eastern markets, or our shop
  • Extra virgin olive oil: I use a mild, smooth oil for frying the goat cheese. Our Arbequina from California is perfect. 

How to Make Fried Goat Cheese 

Fried cheese is great for when you want a fancy-feeling appetizer with just a little time and effort. Simply slice, batter, fry, and season! 

  • Chill the cheese: Freeze a 10-ounce log of goat cheese for 15 minutes. 
  • Prepare your dredging station: Crack one egg into a shallow bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of water. In another bowl, add ¼ cup all purpose flour. In a third bowl, add ¼ cup breadcrumbs. On a large plate, spread ¼ cup of za’atar. ingredients for dredging including goat cheese slices, egg in a bowl with a fork, a plate of flour and a plate of bread crumbs.
  • Slice the cheese: Remove the cheese from your freezer. Take it out of its package and set it on a cutting board. Slice into ½-inch discs. 
  • Dredge the cheese: Coat one goat disc at a time in the egg mixture, then the flour, and finally the breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess crumbs. Replenish the flour and breadcrumbs if you start running low.  10 goat cheese slices coated in breadcrumbs on plate.
  • Fry: Heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Once the oil is shimmering, add the goat cheese discs. Make sure not to crowd the pan so they can crisp. Cook on one side until golden brown, then flip and fry until the second side is golden (about 30 seconds per side). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. (I know people have heard mixed messages about frying in olive oil, but it’s a perfectly fine thing to do. I even wrote an article all about cooking with olive oil if you want to read up on it.)  7 goat cheese slices frying in olive oil in a skillet.
  • Coat with the za’atar: While the cheese is still hot, transfer to the plate of za’atar. Roll each disc in the za’atar to coat. Give them a little shake to remove any excess. five fried goat cheese slices being coated in za'atar on a plate.
  • Serve: Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately.a fried goat cheese slice cut in half on a bed of salad with a fork.

Tips for Frying Goat Cheese

Frying goat cheese is easy with this simple recipe. Before you get to it, here are my tips to set you up for success. 

  • Pick a firm goat cheese: Give the cheese a squeeze when you’re at the store. Pick the log that’s firm, as it’ll better hold its shape. 
  • Make sure the oil is hot but not smoking. As hard as it may be, be patient when the oil is heating. The cheese will absorb the oil and won’t get as crispy if it’s too cool. You can test the temperature of the oil with a pinch of flour. If it sizzles when dropped into the hot oil, it’s a good sign that your oil is ready. 
  • Give the cheese space. Overcrowding the pan causes the temperature of the oil to drop. If you have a small pan, fry the cheese in batches. 
  • Roll the cheese in za’atar while it’s still hot. The crust will better adhere to the cheese, and the heat will release the flavorful oils from the spices. 
a stack of 3 fried goat cheese slices.

What to Serve with Fried Goat Cheese

Serve with pita chips for a quick appetizer. Hit all the senses with creamy fried goat cheese crusted in savory za’atar and something sweet on the side, like Greek honey or ripe figs torn in half. Add them to your favorite mezze platter.  

I love these for making a vegetarian meal heartier and more satisfying. I’ve already mentioned that you can top a simple salad with fried goat cheese to make it feel extra special, or use it in tomato soup, but it would also taste great with Roasted Cauliflower Soup, or my Healthy Potato Soup

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5 from 4 votes

Fried Goat Cheese

Suzy Karadsheh
close up of a stack of fried goat cheese slices on a plate.
This easy tangy goat cheese appetizer is coated in breadcrumbs and lightly fried in olive oil until crispy, creamy, and warm. Then, it’s given a Mediterranean upgrade: a fragrant za’atar crust.
Prep – 20 minutes
Cook – 1 minute
Serves – 12 pieces
Appetizer, Side, Snack


  • 10 ounce log goat cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs, plus more if needed
  • ¼ cup za’atar
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  • Freeze the cheese briefly: Freeze the cheese for 15 minutes. This will make it easier to slice and help it keep its shape when fried.
  • Prepare a dredging station: Crack the egg into a shallow bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of water and whisk until combined. Set two more shallow bowls next to the whisked egg. In one bowl, add the flour. Add the breadcrumbs to the third bowl. Set a plate with the za’atar to the side.
  • Slice the cheese: Remove the cheese from the freezer and take it out of the package. Slice into ½-inch discs.
  • Dredge the cheese: Dip one goat cheese disc at a time into the egg mixture, then coat with the flour, and finally the breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess crumbs. Set aside on a large cutting board or sheet tray as you dredge all the discs. Replenish the flour and breadcrumbs if you start running low.
  • Fry: Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the goat cheese discs, making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook on one side until golden brown. Flip and watch for the other side to also form a golden brown exterior, about 30 seconds per side. Remove from the heat and drain on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  • Coat with the za’atar: While the cheese is still hot, transfer to the plate of za’atar. Roll each disc in the za’atar to coat. Give them a little shake to remove any excess.
  • Serve: Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately.



  • If you have a smaller skillet, fry the goat cheese in batches so as not to overcrowd. This will help it get nice and crispy!
  • When dredging, it’s cleaner to have a “wet hand” and a “dry hand.” Use one hand to coat in egg, set in the flour, then switch hands for the flour and breadcrumbs.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams and spices.


Calories: 99.6kcalCarbohydrates: 6.8gProtein: 5.9gFat: 5.8gSaturated Fat: 3.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 1.3gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 24.5mgSodium: 111.4mgPotassium: 58.5mgFiber: 2gSugar: 0.5gVitamin A: 451.1IUVitamin C: 2.5mgCalcium: 132.8mgIron: 6.8mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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  1. monikanyc says:

    5 stars
    Simply amazing. I used almond flour to make it keto for a friend and they were still delicious and super flavorful. I always love new uses for za'atar.

  2. Scott says:

    Great idea! Can these be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Scott. We've found that this is best served immediately after cooking.