These mini cheese tartlets are an elegant yet simple baked snack that are perfect bite-sized party appetizers and great for entertaining. They are made with puff pastry and a combination of cheeses, wine, and heavy cream, creating buttery, crispy, cheesy bites that are so easy to make.
While these savory cheese tarts look and taste fancy, they are actually a great way to use up leftover cheese hunks you have in the back of your fridge! You can use all different kinds and combinations of cheese in these cheese tart puff pastries.
They are also perfect for entertaining because they freeze and reheat really well, so you can prepare and bake them in advance, not adding to the stress of hosting.
For more puff pastry appetizers, try:
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Texture - These mini cheese tarts have a light a fluffy cheese filling inside of a super crisp pastry shell. The crispy, creamy combination is perfect for a one-bite appetizer.
Surprisingly light - Despite the filling being made with cheese and cream, it is not heavy at all. It is actually very light and airy because the filling puffs up and doesn't settle or get dense.
Customizable - These tarts are begging to be made your own. Use any combination of cheese you like or have on hand. Add a layer of something extra like caramelized onions or bacon. Swap out the thyme for your favorite herbs. The variations are endless!
- Puff pastry. Two sheets of thawed puff pastry will get rolled out thin, and cut into rounds. Homemade rough puff pastry can also be used.
- Cheese. A mixture of aged cheddar cheese and gruyere cheese make the perfect flavor combination.
- Egg. One egg helps to make the mixture ultra light and fluffy, and helps it puff up during bake time.
- White wine. A dry white wine really brings together the flavor profile. I don't suggest skipping this ingredient, though it can be omitted if necessary.
- Thyme. Fresh thyme (not dried) should be used in this recipe for an added layer of flavor.
See recipe card for full ingredients list and quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
- Serve with fig jam to top the tarts. The combination of savory cheese with sweet jam is delicious!
- Add caramelized onions or sautéed leeks to the filling.
- Use any type of cheese such as goat cheese, blue cheese, brie, gouda, etc.
- Leave out the white wine if desired, however, the wine does add a great hint of flavor.
- Make larger tarts using a regular sized muffin tin, cutting pastry circles to fit.
- If you don't have a food processor, shred the cheese and chop the shreds with the thyme until very fine. Then mix together with the liquid and egg.
How to Make This Recipe
One: Add the cheeses, heavy cream, egg, wine, and thyme to a food processor.
Two: Pulse until broken down and creamy, still leaving some small shreds of cheese for texture.
Three: Roll out both sheets of puff pastry to ⅛" into a rectangle.
Four: Use a 3" biscuit cutter to cut 12 rounds out of each sheet.
Five: Add the rounds to a mini muffin tin, pressing down into the bottom and sides.
Six: Fill each pastry evenly with the cheese mixture, then tap the bottom on the counter a few times.
Hot tip! Dip the bottom of a shot glass in flour and press the pastry into the muffin cups for easy assembly.
Seven: Bake until golden and puffy. Cool for five minutes.
Eight: Remove the cheese tartlets from the pan and transfer to a platter. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
- Press the pastry into the bottom and sides of the tin very well to create enough space for the filling.
- Use a tablespoon measure to add equal amounts of the filling to each tart.
- Use an offset spatula to easily remove the tartlets from the pan.
- Serve on a platter or board alongside sliced pears or fig jam for a hint of sweetness.
Cheese tarts should be served warm or at room temperature. While they can still be enjoyed cold, the pastry loses its crisp texture, so it is best to reheat.
The tartlets are done when the filling has puffed up in the oven and the edges of the pastry are golden brown. The filling will fall while the tartlets cool.
That's ok! Some of them go rogue during the rising process. They will fall a bit when they cool. Use an offset spatula, fork, or knife to gently lift off any bits stuck to the pan before removing.
Store the cheese tartlets covered in the fridge for up to one week. Reheat on a sheet pan in a 375℉ oven for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
The baked mini cheese tarts can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to two months and reheated in the oven from frozen.
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- ¾ cup aged sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- ½ cup gruyere cheese shredded
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 sheets puff pastry thawed, or rough puff pastry
- Preheat the oven to 400℉.
- Add the cheeses, salt, egg, heavy whipping cream, wine, and thyme to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined and smooth, yet slightly textured (like cooked grits).¾ cup aged sharp cheddar cheese, ½ cup gruyere cheese, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, 1 large egg, ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, ¼ cup dry white wine, ½ tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Roll out one sheet of puff pastry to about ⅛” thick. Use a 3 inch cookie cutter to cut out 12 rounds. Press each round of pastry into the opening of a mini muffin tin, pressing the dough firmly into the bottom and sides. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry, totaling 24.2 sheets puff pastry
- Note: flour the bottom of a shot glass and press down the pastry into each cup.
- Fill each pastry with the cheese mixture using a spoon, then tap the pan on the counter a few times to settle the filling in.
- Bake the tartlets for 15-20 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the center mixture has puffed up. Some may puff over the sides, that’s ok!
- Cool for 5 minutes, then use an offset spatula or butter knife to remove the tartlets to a platter. Enjoy hot, warm, or at room temperature.