By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
This grape and goat cheese crostini is one of the tastiest goat cheese appetizers out there. It's made with Concord grape juice for extra nutrition.
Looking for a sweet holiday appetizer with no added sugar? This delicious crostini recipe is an easy appetizer that's heart healthy and perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, and all the other upcoming holidays.
Whether you're a reluctant entertainer or an enthused one, this recipe is easy to make!
Why I Love Cooking with Grape Juice
November is one of my favorite months. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and so is are the winter holidays and my birthday. It's also a good time to think about heart health–yes, you can make heart-healthy recipes even amidst the holiday season!
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.
My goat cheese crostini recipe features 100% 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.
How to Make Goat Cheese Crostini
Wondering how to make grape juice crostini? I’ll tell you, and it’s pretty simple! While I toasted the baguette slices, I heated a mixture of garlic, seedless table grapes, and grape juice on the stovetop. 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, I topped the baguette slices with tangy goat cheese, the grape mixture, black pepper, and fresh rosemary. The fresh herbs add such a nice touch.
Note that four ounces of goat cheese is about the size of a log of goat cheese. These crostinis were so tasty that they didn’t last long in my house!
I enjoy this herbed goat cheese appetizer right out of the oven when the bread slices are super warm, but you could also eat it at room temperature. The baked goat cheese is so delicious. If you don't have any on hand, cream cheese would also work.
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.
The best part? The appetizer takes just 15 minutes to make! You don't even need a baking sheet to make this recipe!
This Goat Cheese Appetizer is Healthy!
While the juice supports heart health, so does the finished product! The recipe meets expert guidelines for a heart-healthy recipe. To qualify as a heart-healthy appetizer, a recipe needs to 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.
More Ways to Enjoy Grapes
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 crostinis, you might enjoy other grape recipes such as a smoothie with grape juice.
This blog post was updated in November 2020. The content was originally part of a partnership with Welch's.
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?
Goat Cheese and Concord Grape Juice Crostini
- 1 15-ounce whole-wheat baguette, sliced and toasted
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups seedless red or green grapes, sliced lengthwise
- 1 cup Welch’s 100% Grape Juice
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons 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!
Sat. Fat (grams)1
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