Zucchini Stacks with Goat Cheese are the BEST zucchini appetizer with creamy, tangy goat cheese, tender zucchini, and crunchy pine nuts. These stacks as easy to make as they are delicious and elegant, and they’re perfect for a spring or summer gathering!
I’m not one to shy away from green veggies.
In fact, I’ve been known to serve fried eggs on sautéed greens as a breakfast salad, turn a bed of greens into pizza, and replace bread with leaves.
But during the spring and summer months, my need for the color green in my diet seems to intensify even more.
From peas, to asparagus, leafy greens like spinach and watercress, leeks, and fava beans! Warmer months bring a plethora of gorgeous green vegetables and fresh flavors to cleanse our fall and winter palates.
Zucchini Stacks with Goat Cheese – The BEST Zucchini Appetizer Recipe!
This dish features not only the color green, making it perfect for spring and summer, but it also features a very balanced flavor profile.
The natural sweetness of zucchini is brought out by a short cooking stint.
Creamy with a lovely subtle tartness, the density of goat cheese is a wonderful addition. I used an herb and olive oil-marinated goat cheese because the infused flavor of herbs in the cheese adds so much to this dish. However, if you can’t find marinated goat cheese you can always make it yourself.
Additionally, sweet earthy green peas, salty beef bacon, toasted pine nuts, and fresh mint round out the dish. It’s both an explosion of flavor, yet very balanced at the same time.
This dish is a beautiful appetizer or first course for any meal. If you’re cooking for a big group, this recipe is easy to double if you’re feeding a crowd. But to be honest, I think it also makes a lovely light summer supper for two.
And bonus, these beautiful Zucchini Stacks come together in just 20 minutes. I’d say that’s the best zucchini appetizer!
Variations on This Recipe
- Italian. Use eggplant instead of zucchini, and fresh basil instead of mint. Add a drizzle of balsamic glaze if you want!
- Spanish. Use roasted red bell pepper instead of zucchini. Look for a spicy marinated goat cheese. Use Marcona almonds instead of pine nuts, and fresh oregano instead of mint.
- Middle Eastern. Omit the beef bacon, and add a sprinkle of za’atar.
Tips for Making This Zucchini Appetizer
- Look for zucchini about 2 inches in diameter for this recipe. You’ll need 18 zucchini rounds, so you may have a few extra slices of zucchini that you can use for something else.
- Fresh or frozen peas will work here. For frozen, thaw the peas under warm running water and drain well. For fresh, blanch the peas for 90 seconds, plunge into ice water, and drain well.
- You can make the zucchini a day ahead and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Wait to assemble these stacks until right before serving them.
More Easy and Elegant Appetizer Recipes To Try
- Warm Caramelized Onion Chickpea Spread
- Chilled Old Bay Crab Salad Low Carb Stuffed Mushrooms
- Marinated Mozzarella Balls
- Summer Sausage Cucumber Bites with Cream Cheese Mousse
- Red Wine Caramelized Onion Flatbread
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Zucchini Stacks with Goat Cheese (BEST Zucchini Appetizer)
- 2 medium-large zucchinis sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 3 slices beef bacon chopped small
- 12 rounds herb-marinated goat cheese in olive oil
- 4 tablespoons sweet green peas
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts toasted until light golden in a dry skillet
- 2 stalks fresh mint leaves stems discarded
- Toss the zucchini with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, and cook it until tender, but not mushy on the grill or under the broiler (about 8 minutes under the broiler, flipping once halfway through). Cool to room temperature.
- Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the beef bacon and cook until crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
- To assemble the stacks, place a zucchini round on a plate; top with a goat cheese round, another zucchini round, another goat cheese round, and then a zucchini round on top (so you get 3 layers of zucchini and 2 layers of goat cheese).
- Sprinkle the bacon, peas, pine nuts, and mint on top of the stack and around the plate. Serve at room temperature.
- Net Carbs: 3g per serving (1 stack)
- Zucchini Tip: Look for zucchini about 2 inches in diameter. You’ll need 18 zucchini rounds for this recipe, so you may have a few extra slices of zucchini that you can use for something else.
- What Kind of Peas to Use: You can use frozen or fresh peas here. For frozen, thaw the peas under warm running water and drain well. For fresh, blanch the peas for 90 seconds, plunge into ice water, and drain well.
- Make-Ahead: You can make the zucchini a day ahead and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Wait to assemble these stacks until right before serving them.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on April 13, 2017. I updated it with more information on August 23, 2021.
Erin @ Texanerin Baking says
I need to try that cheese! Sounds delicious. And this recipe is such a great use of it!
Gina @Running to the Kitchen says
Beautiful presentation! I have to try this!
Laura | Tutti Dolci says
I love these stacks for spring or Easter – such a gorgeous presentation! :)
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
How beautifully elegant and packed with so many incredible flavors – love it!
What a stunning first course! I can’t get that cheese where I live, unfortunately, but I could always marinate my own goat cheese… Beautiful photos.
My mouth is literally watering. What an incredible flavor combination. And Laura Chenel Goat Cheese = SWOON!
Amanda|The Ktcheneer says
Such a stunning appetizer! I adore goat cheese and I know the combo of the cheese plus mint and peas just sounds heavenly!
So prettily presented. A delicious appetiser.