These party-approved goat cheese puff pastry bites are filled with a savory filling of spinach, mushrooms, and goat's cheese. They can be prepped in advance and are a great savory vegetarian option for entertaining!
One of my favorite savory combinations is goat cheese and mushrooms, especially when paired with buttery puff pastry. I love my goat cheese mushroom frittata recipe so much that I had to take that flavor combination and turn it into goat cheese puff pastry bites!
These puff pastry bites feature a creamy goat cheese filling dappled with savory mushroom bits, fresh spinach, and garlic. It's a simple appetizer but it feels quite decadent!
Frozen puff pastry is a great option for holiday appetizers because it is ready-made and easy to work with. I use it for peach puff pastry tarts, in baked brie with fig jam, and even as a crust on broccoli cheddar pot pie.
Why this recipe works
- The filling: Puff pastry bites are filled with a savory, creamy, and flavorful mushroom and goat cheese filling. I use plain goat cheese, but you can easily customize these bites using flavored goat cheese.
- Frozen puff pastry is easy to use and creates flaky, golden layers without much effort. It just needs to be thawed for 20 to 30 minutes before using.
- Fuss-free: Requires just 15 minutes of active time and uses only 10 ingredients.
- Perfect for holiday parties: The puff pastries are best hot out of the oven, but they can be made up to a day in advance and reheated in the oven just before serving. The filling can be made up to 48 hours in advance. This is a great vegetarian appetizer option for parties.
- Goat cheese: The flavor of goat cheese stands on its own and provides a lot of depth in the filling. This recipe uses plain goat cheese but feel free to get creative with other flavors (herb, honey, etc.). If you aren't a fan of goat cheese, try an equal amount of shredded mozzarella or feta.
- Puff pastry: I use Pepperidge Farm’s frozen puff pastry sheets. They are found in the freezer aisle.
- Baby Bella mushrooms: You can also use white mushrooms, but I like the rich flavor of baby Bella mushrooms best with goat cheese.
- Spinach: This recipe works with fresh or frozen spinach. I find fresh spinach easiest because frozen spinach tends to have a lot of liquid. See below for tips on how to use frozen spinach instead.
- Shallots: Sweet, mild, and with a hint of garlic, shallots are diced up finely and sauteed with mushrooms and garlic for a simple but flavorful combination.
Note: Puff pastry takes about 20 to 30 minutes to thaw. Remove puff pastry from the freezer when you start cooking the mushrooms.
Start by heating butter in a medium pan over medium heat until melted. Olive oil or any other neutral oil also works.
Once hot, add the diced mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms have released their juices, about 4-6 minutes. Add the shallots and continue cooking until the shallot is tender about 3-4 minutes.
Add garlic and torn fresh spinach, stirring to combine. Top with a lid and cook until the spinach is completely wilted.
Transfer the mushroom mixture to a heat-safe mixing bowl. Stir in the goat cheese and mix until combined. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill while preparing the puff pastry.
Roll the dough with a rolling pin just 3-4 times. This makes it more pliable and easier to work with.
Use kitchen scissors or a chef's knife to slice into 2 x 3-inch rectangles (see photos below for reference).
Place each rectangle into the muffin tin, pressing the center into the bottom of the tin to form a pouch. Fill each pastry with about 2 teaspoons of filling (a scant tablespoon).
Fold pastry corners into the center, pinching to close. If they aren't staying closed, use a drop of water to seal the edges together.
Bake for 15-18 minutes at 400F, or until golden brown. Turn out of the muffin pan and cool on a cooling rack.
The puff pastry filling does still work with frozen spinach instead of fresh. Choose chopped frozen spinach and cook it in the microwave or on the stove according to package instructions. Frozen spinach contains a lot of liquid, so it is necessary to wrap the spinach in a dish towel or cheesecloth and squeeze it to remove the liquid before adding it to the filling.
Stir in the thawed frozen spinach at the same time as the goat cheese.
If you don't have a mini muffin tin, you can use a large muffin tin for more rustic pastries. The mini muffin tin creates little pastry cups, but a regular muffin tin will create more of a dumpling-type goat cheese puff pastry.
You can also double the size of the puff pastry slices and double the amount of filling per tin for larger pastries.
Storage and prep tips
- To make in advance: You can make the goat cheese filling 24 to 48 hours in advance. Prep the puff pastry in advance by slicing it into 2 x 3-inch pieces, then refreeze it. This way when you are ready to make the recipe you will only need to thaw the puff pastry, add the filling, and bake it.
- Reheating: The puff pastry bites are best immediately out of the oven but can be reheated if needed. Wrap the pastries in foil and reheat in the oven at 350F for 15-20 minutes, or until the inside is hot. Wrapping in foil prevents the puff pastry from drying out.
- Storage: I recommend storing leftover pastry bites in the fridge in a closed container because they contain dairy. Best within 3-4 days.
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Goat Cheese Puff Pastry Bites with Mushrooms
- 17 ounces (2 sheets) thawed puff pastry sheets see note 2
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms small diced
- 1 large shallot diced finely (about ½ cup)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 5 cups roughly chopped spinach see note 1
- 1 teaspoon dry parsley optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces plain goat cheese
- water as needed
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove puff pastry from the freezer to thaw according to package instructions.
- Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium heat until melted.
- Once hot, add the diced mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms are softened, about 4-6 minutes. Add the shallot and continue cooking until the shallot is tender, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add garlic, chopped spinach, parsley, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine. Top with a lid and cook until the spinach is completely wilted, just a few minutes.
- Transfer mushroom filling to a heat safe mixing bowl with the goat cheese. Use a spatula or fork to combine.
- Once the pastry is mostly thawed (it should be pliable but not completely room temperature), gently roll with a rolling pin just 3-4 times. This makes the pastry easier to pat into the muffin tins.
- Use scissors or a knife to slice the puff pastry into 24 pieces of 2x3 inch rectangles.
- Pat each pastry square into a mini muffin tin so that the pastry covers most of the tin. Fill with about 2 teaspoons (a scant tablespoon) of filling. Fold pastry corners into the center, pinching to close. If the edges don't stay closed, use a drop of water to seal them in place.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes at 400 degrees F, or until golden brown.
- When the pastries are golden brown and flaky, remove from the oven. Turn out of the muffin pan and enjoy hot.
- Spinach: Roughly tear the spinach using a knife or your hands. 1 and ½ cups frozen spinach can be used in place of fresh as needed. Squeeze excess liquid from the spinach with a cheese cloth or towel. Add at the same step as the goat cheese.
- Puff pastry sheets can be found in the freezer aisle. I use these Pepperidge Farms frozen pastry dough sheets, which fill exactly 24 mini muffin tins.
- A regular muffin tin can be used but will yield dumpling-like puff pastries instead of mini muffins.
- Storage and reheating: Let cool before refrigerating in a closed container. To reheat in the oven, wrap in foil and heat at 350F for 15-20 minutes.