Fried Goat Cheese Salad with strawberries, avocado, basil and honey balsamic vinaigrette is decadent and crave-able while still being light and fresh.

A large platter filled with fried goat cheese balls, strawberries, avocado, pine nuts and basil.

I’m bringing you this recipe today for no reason other than it’s so many of my favorite ingredients all on one platter (which is exactly what my Easter salad ended up being, as well).

An online grocery ordering snafu brought me a gigantic package of goat cheese instead of the smaller one I thought I was getting. So after I used what I needed for goat cheese pasta salad, I decided to make some fried goat cheese for another meal.

Well, strawberries pair really well with goat cheese (when I’m not using them all in strawberry Moscow mules). And avocados pair with strawberries. And basil and honey and balsamic vinaigrette pair with all of that!

This fried goat cheese salad recipe is decadent while still somehow tasting light and fresh. It’s a plate of food I dream about and crave often!

What you’ll need for this fried goat cheese salad recipe:

  • goat cheese – more info on this below!
  • flour – this will be the first part of the 3-step breading process for the cheese. I use all-purpose flour, but I think any type of flour would work here.
  • egg – 1 large egg is the second step of the breading process.
  • panko breadcrumbs – the final step of the breading process. I also love panko for making almond crusted chicken.
  • vegetable oil – for frying the goat cheese fritters!
  • honey – this will be used in the balsamic vinaigrette and you’ll probably want additional honey to drizzle over the fried goat cheese balls. You can also make a batch of honey lemonade while you have the honey out!
  • balsamic vinegar – to make the vinaigrette to dress the salad.
  • olive oil – for making the vinaigrette.
  • strawberries – you will need one pound of fresh strawberries, hulled and halved.
  • avocados – 2 beautiful avocados, ripe but not overripe! Peel and quarter them into big, luscious chunks.
  • pine nuts – preferably toasted. This guide on how to toast pine nuts will tell you everything you need to know on that subject.
  • basil – nothing beats fresh basil leaves in this salad (and in basil cocktails and blistered tomatoes).
  • salt and pepper – for seasoning the fried goat cheese as well as the salad.
Fried goat cheese salad with strawberries, avocado, pine nuts and basil, on a speckled oval plate.

The best goat cheese for fried goat cheese balls:

You’re going to want fresh goat cheese that is sold in plastic-wrapped logs. You will need 6 ounces of goat cheese to make 12 fried goat cheese balls for this salad.

So, you’ll need to buy one of the longer logs of goat cheese available (which are usually 8 – 10 ounces).

The shorter logs are generally 4 ounces, so if those are all that is available, you’ll need 1-1/2 of those logs for this recipe. You could use the remaining 2 ounces to garnish Instant Pot squash soup.

The goat cheese brands most commonly found in my area of the Midwest are Montchevre, Vermont Creamery, and then private label store brands like Meijer. All are perfect for this fried goat cheese salad recipe!

I recommend starting with plain goat cheese to get your frying technique down. From there, you could experiment with flavored goat cheeses like garlic and herb or even fig and olive for goat cheese croquettes, if you want.

How to fry goat cheese:

To make fried goat cheese, first, cut the 6 ounces of goat cheese into 12 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.

From there, you will be breading the goat cheese balls with a classic 3-stage breading technique.

First, lightly dredge each cheese ball in flour. Shake off any excess flour before dipping the goat cheese ball into raw egg.

Let any excess egg drip off, and finally, drop the cheese ball into a bowl of panko bread crumbs (panko is also a rockstar ingredient in my stuffed salmon recipe). Roll it all around until it’s entirely coated with breadcrumbs.

Then, in a large high-sided skillet, heat two inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees F over medium heat. I like to use an instant read or candy thermometer to know the exact oil temperature I’m working with.

This is because if you try to fry when the oil isn’t hot enough, your fried goat cheese balls will end up very greasy. But if the oil is TOO hot, the goat cheese fritters will get too dark brown.

Working in two batches, transfer the breaded cheese balls to the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes or until the goat cheese croquettes are deep golden brown, using a slotted spoon to turn them frequently as they fry so they cook evenly.

Using the slotted spoon, transfer the fried cheese balls to a paper-towel lined plate so any excess oil will drip off. Make sure to season them with kosher salt while they are still hot.

Serve the fried goat cheese combined with the other salad ingredients in the recipe card below, or simply on it’s own, drizzled with honey.

Strawberries, avocado, nuts and herbs with fried goat cheese fritters on a rustic speckled platter.

You can make these goat cheese fritters a different shape, if you want.

I love fried goat cheese balls, but you can also make this same recipe and shape the goat cheese into little hockey-puck shaped patties instead.

Follow the same process for breading and frying for this fried goat cheese salad recipe.

How to store and reheat goat cheese croquettes:

Just like my shrimp wonton soup, fried goat cheese fritters are truly best eaten the moment after they are made. But, if you have any left over and would like to save them for another meal, you can.

First, transfer the fried goat cheese balls to the refrigerator and allow them to cool, UNCOVERED, completely.

If you cover the goat cheese fritters while they are still warm, the container will condensate and make the fried goat cheese balls wet and soggy.

Once they are completely cool, cover them with an airtight lid and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 days.

To reheat, place goat cheese fritters on a rimmed baking pan and heat in a 325 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until they are warmed through again.

Main dishes to pair with this salad:

Because this salad has so many big flavors going on in it already, I’ll often eat it on it’s own. But, if I want to pair a protein with it, I’ll choose something simple.

My buttermilk marinated chicken and lemon herb sockeye salmon recipe are two of my favorite simple proteins to serve with this fried goat cheese salad. Or, if I want to do a salad + sandwich type of meal, I’ll make a smoked salmon BLT.

More great summer salads:

All of these salads are great to prep in advance and take to the beach, or on a picnic!

A large platter filled with fried goat cheese balls, strawberries, avocado, pine nuts and basil.

Fried Goat Cheese Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes

Fried Goat Cheese Salad with strawberries, avocado, basil and honey balsamic vinaigrette is decadent and crave-able while still tasting light and fresh.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus additional for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Kosher salt, for seasoning fried goat cheese
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. In large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons honey and vinegar. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil until all olive oil is incorporated. Add strawberries; toss until well combined.
  2. Place flour, egg and breadcrumbs into three individual bowls. Divide goat cheese into 12 even pieces; roll each piece into a ball. One at a time, dredge the cheese balls in flour, dip in the egg wash, then coat with breadcrumbs.
  3. In large high-sided skillet, heat two inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees F over medium heat. Working in two batches, transfer cheese balls to oil and fry 2 minutes or until deep golden brown, turning frequently. Transfer cheese balls to paper-towel lined plate and immediatley sprinkle with kosher salt.
  4. Arrange avocado quarters and strawberries on serving platter; top with cheese balls. Garnish with pine nuts and basil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and drizzle with additional honey; serve immediately. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 622Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 454mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 10gSugar: 21gProtein: 17g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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