These crab + goat cheese palmiers are the perfect canapé to kick off any gathering! You can even make them ahead of time and freeze for those surprise guest situations.
I texted my girlfriends the other night and asked them, “If you could eat anything for Christmas dinner, what would it be?” They replied with some interesting answers — including hot wings and boxed mac & cheese. I love them! But, one of them, who isn’t into meat, thought a modern take on the Italian Christmas Eve tradition of Feast of the Seven Fishes sounded tempting. I totally concur!
I am not planning to make seven different seafood dishes to feed three people, but I can certainly get on board with incorporating seven different seafood elements into a smaller scale meal. Kicking off our menu will be Crab + Goat Cheese Palmiers. These go perfectly with Cranberry-Lime Natale Sparklers!
Ingredients for Crab + Goat Cheese Palmiers
For these palmiers, we’re starting with store-bought frozen puff pastry. Easy, right? Add to that lump crab and crumbled goat cheese. The remaining ingredients are what I consider pantry staples — things you likely already have in the spice rack or fridge.
I recommend lump crab for this recipe. It’s not as pricey as super or jumbo lump but it can set you back some. Less costly alternatives are backfin and claw. If you really want to pack a crab punch, go with claw. Whatever you do…no imitation crab!
I found that 6 ounces of meat was a good amount for this recipe. Of course, most premium prepackaged crab meat comes in 8 or 16 ounce containers. (I made a decadent crab omelet for myself with those remaining 2 ounces!) Also, check your local grocery and seafood retailers for sales and to find out if they sell it in bulk so you purchase only what you need.
A soft-style, pre-crumbled goat cheese is a convenient choice here. Most come in 4 ounce containers, so just open and dump in half. A small log of fresh goat cheese totally works, too — just crumble it in with your fingers. If you’re not a fan of fresh goat cheese, feta would be a nice tangy alternative. Of course, you can substitute any cheese you like!
Some puff pastry recipes call for rolling out the sheets to a certain dimension or thickness. I didn’t find it necessary. Just be sure to lightly flour your work surface, or work on a piece of parchment, so it doesn’t stick or tear.
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Tips for Making Crab + Goat Cheese Palmiers
Assemble in Advance
Save time by assembling these a day ahead. Before cutting into individual pieces, wrap the assembled and rolled pastry (with cling wrap or with a combo of of parchment and foil) and refrigerate it until you’re ready to slice and bake.
Freeze for Later
You have two freezing options: 1) freeze the rolls whole or 2) slice and freeze. If freezing whole, defrost it in the fridge overnight before slicing and baking. If freezing slices, place them on a parchment lined sheet pan and then in the freezer. Once they are frozen, pop them into a freezer-safe container and back into the freezer. When you need a hot appetizer, remove only the amount you want and bake from frozen for 25-30 at 425 degrees (flipping over halfway through).
I hope you enjoy these Crab + Goat Cheese Palmiers as part of your festivities (or your own Feast of the Seven Fishes)! Check back next week when I share my recipe for seafood stew.
Crab + Goat Cheese Palmiers
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed according to package directions
- 6 oz lump crab meat or backfin or claw
- 2 oz soft goat cheese crumbled
- 1 tbsp scallion sliced thin
- ½ tsp dry mustard powder
- ¼ tsp sweet paprika
- ¼ tsp red chili flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ lemon zest of half, juice of ¼
- Gently combine the filling ingredients in a bowl until the spices and lemon zest are well distributed.
- Lightly dust your work surface with a little flour and lay out one sheet of puff pastry. Spread half the crab mixture evenly over the pastry.
- Roll the long sides of the pastry in toward the center until they meet. Repeat this with the other sheet of pastry and remaining crab mixture.
- Wrap each roll in parchment, wax paper or cling wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour, or in the freezer for 30 minutes, until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 425°.
- Carefully unwrap each roll and with a sharp knife, create 1/4" slices. Place the slices at least 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. (They won't all fit on one baking sheet, so bake them in batches or use multiple pans.)
- Bake for 10 minutes. Carefully flip them over with a spatula or fork and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately.