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These goat cheese caramelized onion tartlets are the perfect hassle-free party food that you can easily nosh on while enjoying a refreshing cocktail or glass of wine. Their elegant presentation will impress your guests, and the best part is that all the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time, allowing you to focus on socializing and enjoying the festivities. This recipe can be effortlessly scaled up to accommodate larger gatherings, so double or even triple it.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
Caramelized onion and goat cheese tartlets are a delicious and easy-to-make appetizer. The ingredient list for this recipe is short and simple.
In the printable recipe below, you can find a complete list of ingredients and measurements.
- Caramelized Onions: You will need more onions for this recipe than you think since they reduce as the caramelize. You can use white, yellow, sweet, red onion, or even a combination. Our caramelized onion recipe is simple but does require some time.
- Goat Cheese: This tangy and creamy cheese helps balance the flavor of the caramelized onions. It doesn’t melt like other cheeses due to its lower moisture content but does get soft and creamy. We used goat cheese crumbles but you can use a log and crumble it yourself.
- Puff Pastry Shells: We used Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells for our tartlets but you can also use frozen puff pastry cut into small squares or even phyllo shells.
How to Make Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Tartlets
Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
This post may contain paid affiliate sales links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclaimer policy for details.
Pro-tip: Keep the puff pastry shells in the freezer until the oven has preheated. This will make sure they puff up and cook through.
1. Bake the Puff Pastry Shells: Preheat your oven according to the instructions on the puff pastry shells package. In order for the puff pastry shells to properly rise, make sure the oven has had enough time to heat up and that the puff pastry is very cold (the shells should not be thawed prior to baking). Place the puff pastry shells on a cookie or baking sheet with the “top” facing up about two inches apart. Bake until they are golden brown and puffed then remove them from the oven and let cool. While the shells are baking, you can start caramelizing the onions.
2. Caramelize the Onions: Roughly chop the onions so that slices are between ⅛ and ¼ inches thick. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat, add onions, and sweat them until they become translucent. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook onions, stirring every 5-10 minutes to prevent them from sticking. Deglaze the pan with a tablespoon or two of water or chicken stock when fond starts to form on the pan. As onions continue to caramelize, continue stirring every 5-10 minutes and deglazing the saucepan as fond forms and the onions are no longer loose in the pan. When the onions achieve a deep golden brown (or dark brown) remove them from heat and set aside.
3. Prepare the Goat Cheese Filling: In a bowl, combine the crumbled goat cheese and fresh thyme leaves.
4. Assemble the Tarts: Once the puff pastry shells have cooled completely, use a fork to carefully remove the tops and the soft pastry underneath. Fill each shell with a spoonful of the caramelized onions, followed by a generous amount of the goat cheese and thyme mixture.
5. Bake the Tartlets: In a small bowl, beat the egg to create an egg wash. Brush the egg wash over the edges of the puff pastry to give them a golden color. Place the filled tartlets in a preheated 375°F oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Allow the tartlets to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: The caramelized onions can be made up to 3 days in advance then stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. The puff pastry shells can be baked up to a day in advance then stored in an an air-tight container at room temperature. Assemble and bake the tarts just before serving.
How to Store: Leftover tarts can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.
How to Reheat: Tartlets can be reheated in an oven or toaster oven. We don’t recommend reheating in the microwave. To reheat in the oven place the tartlets on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350°F , or until the filling is heated through and the crust is slightly crispy. Be careful not to over bake.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- Patiently caramelize the onions. Caramelizing onions takes time and low heat. Be patient to allow the natural sugars in the onions to develop fully. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
- Choose a quality goat cheese. Its creamy and tangy profile will complement the sweetness of the caramelized onions. Consider local or artisanal options for a unique flavor.
- Experiment with herbs. Thyme is the classic herb for these caramelized onion goat cheese tarts but feel free to experiment with other herbs like rosemary, chives, or tarragon for added depth and freshness.
Frequently Asked Questions
There could be a couple of reasons why the puff pastry didn’t rise or puff. The pastry has to be cold, very cold. Puff pastry relies on the contrast between cold butter and hot water to create steam that pushes the layers of dough apart and makes the pastry rise. If the dough is too warm, the butter will melt which means the pastry will not rise when baked.
The second common reason is the oven wasn’t hot enough. Puff pastry needs to be baked in a very hot oven in order for the steam to create enough pressure to make the pastry rise. If the oven is not hot enough, the pastry will not rise properly. Preheat the oven for at least 15 minutes before baking the puff pastry.
No! If the puff pastry is not cold enough it will not rise or puff. Keep them in the freezer until you are ready to bake them.
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Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Tartlets
This recipe may contain paid affiliate sales links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclaimer policy for details.
- 2 packages Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups onions, roughly chopped
- 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 egg, for egg wash
Prepare Puff Pastry Shells
- Preheat your oven according to the instructions on the puff pastry shell package.
- Bake the puff pastry shells as directed until they are golden brown and puffed. Once done, remove them from the oven and let them cool.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add thinly sliced onions to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 25-30 minutes.
- Once onions are a deep golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare Goat Cheese Filling
- In a bowl, combine crumbled goat cheese and fresh thyme leaves. Mix well.
- Once the puff pastry shells have cooled, use a fork to carefully remove the tops.
- Fill each shell with a spoonful of the caramelized onions, followed by a generous amount of the goat cheese and thyme mixture.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Place the filled tartlets on a baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg to create an egg wash. Brush the egg wash over the edges of the puff pastry to give them a golden color.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
- Allow the tartlets to cool for a few minutes before serving.