Savory Pear Galette with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

This savory pear galette with goat cheese and walnuts is a simple free-form tart that makes an ideal Thanksgiving appetizer.

A pear galette with walnuts and goat cheese on an orange checkered napkin.

Appetizers are arguably the most under appreciated part of Thanksgiving. But before you carve the turkey, it's important to have a few things to nibble while you sip on bubbly cocktails.

This savory pear galette with goat cheese, walnuts and leeks is the ideal appetizer to make for Thanksgiving because it's loaded up with lots of fall flavors and is great served warm or at room temperature.

Plus, if you're already making pie dough for Thanksgiving, consider making a double batch so you can make this galette as well!

With its crisp, flaky crust and the enticing combination of creamy leeks, tender pears, tangy goat cheese and crunchy walnuts, this galette walks the line between sweet and savory, just like all the best foods do.

Not to mention, it will definitely be the most attractive dish on the appetizer table.

For another savory galette recipe that's perfect for Thanksgiving, try this brown butter pumpkin galette with caramelized onions and goat cheese.

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Why This Recipe Works

  • Can be prepared in advance and baked off right before serving.
  • The perfect balance of sweet, salty, tangy and savory flavors.
  • Fall vibes wrapped in flaky pie dough - an iconic Thanksgiving appetizer!
A pear galette with a slice cut out and set on a small blue plate.

What is a galette?

A galette is the French name for a rustic, open-faced, free-form tart that's made without a tart pan or pie plate.

Galettes are made directly on a baking sheet and is made with a single layer of dough that gets rolled out, topped with a filling, then the dough gets folded around the edges and baked.

They can be sweet or savory and are often filled with fruits, vegetables, cheeses, or a variety of ingredients. The dough used for galettes can vary, but it's commonly a simple pastry dough.

Galettes often easier to make because they don't require a special pan or any crimping of the dough.

Ingredient Notes

Pears - You'll need one large pear or two smaller pears for this galette. Bartlett pears, Bosc pears or Anjou pears all work great. 

Leeks - I love the milld oniony flavor that leeks give to this galette, but you can substitute onions or shallots in their place.

Pie Dough - This recipe works with any unsweetened pie or pastry dough. You can use a homemade pie dough, a store bought pie dough or even frozen puff pastry. Because this is savory pie, just be sure your pie dough does't contain any sugar or sweeteners.

Goat Cheese - If you don't love goat cheese, try this with blue cheese, brie, aged cheddar, or or feta instead.

Rosemary - Substitute thyme instead if you're not a fan of rosemary.

Walnuts - You can swap the walnuts out for pecans, pistachios or pine nuts.

*Find the full ingredient list in the recipe card below!

A gold fork taking a bite out of a pear galette on a blue plate.

Helpful Equipment

Rolling Pin - For rolling out the pie dough.

Parchment Paper - To line the baking sheet. It makes for easier clean-up and helps with transferring the galette to another surface.

Sauté Pan - To prepare the filling.

Sheet Pan - For baking the galette.

Pastry Brush - For brushing the crust with egg wash (optional).

Step by step instructions

  1. Melt butter in a skillet and sauté leeks until softened (about 6 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, then add Dijon mustard, cream, and 1 teaspoon rosemary.
  2. Cook until the cream reduces by half (5-8 minutes). Let cool.

TIP: Taste the filling and add more salt and pepper as needed.

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness on a floured surface. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan, leaving the edges hanging over.
  3. Spread the cooled leek mixture on the dough, leaving a 2-inch border.
  4. Crumble goat cheese and arrange pears on top, then sprinkle with rosemary, salt, pepper, and the walnuts.
  5. Fold the outer border of dough over the filling to form a 1 to 2 inch crust.
An unbaked pear galette on parchment paper, sprinkled with chopped walnuts.
A baked pear and goat cheese galette on parchment paper.

TIP: This step is optional, but brushing the exposed pie crust with beaten egg (egg wash) will give it a shiny, golden brown crust. However, you can skip it and your galette will still be delicious!

  1. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Tips for Success

  • Don't slice the pears until you're ready to top the galette to prevent them from turning brown.
  • Make sure your pie dough is cold at all times. This makes it easier to handle and ensures it bakes up tender and flaky.
  • The leek mixture must be completely cooled before adding it to the pie dough. If the mixture is still warm, it will warm the dough and will not bake up as well.
  • Pop the galette into the freezer for a few minutes before baking to help the crust stay flaky.
A pear galette up close.

Make it in advance

To prepare in advance, assemble the tart completely (except for the egg wash), then wrap with plastic wrap and freeze unbaked.

When ready to bake, remove from the freezer, brush with egg wash and bake. A frozen tart will require more baking time, anywhere from 10-20 minutes, so just keep an eye on it and take it out when it's nice and brown.

This will have a much better texture as opposed to baking, refrigerating and reheating.

Serving Suggestions

I think this savory pear galette makes a phenomenal Thanksgiving appetizer, but it's also just a really nice recipe to enjoy anytime in the fall or winter when pears and leeks are in season.

When I'm not serving it as an appetizer, I love to have it for a simple lunch or light dinner paired with a nice salad.

Try it with this shaved Brussels sprout and kale salad with apples and aged cheddar or this pear and celery root salad with walnuts and manchego.

And don't forget about dessert! Use that extra pie dough to make an old fashioned apple pie or custard pie!

Or try this creamy cranberry pie with gingersnap crust if you want to really impress!

How to store and reheat leftovers

Store any leftover galette in an airtight container or place it on a plate and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Leftovers can be reheated in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or in an air fryer.

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A pear galette with walnuts on a checkered orange napkin.
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Savory Pear Galette with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

This savory pear galette with goat cheese and walnuts is a simple free-form tart that makes an ideal Thanksgiving appetizer. 
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 268kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter salted or unsalted is fine
  • 2 medium leeks cleaned and thinly sliced, white and light green parts only (about 3 cups)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary divided
  • 1 disc pie dough store bought or homemade, unsweetened
  • 6 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1 large pear thinly sliced (you may need 2 pears if small)
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash optional

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, then add Dijon mustard, cream and 1 teaspoon rosemary.
  3. Cook until the cream has reduced by half and the mixture is thick, about 5-8 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Let cool completely.
  4. When ready to assemble the galette, preheat the oven to 375° F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  5. Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is about ¼ inch thick and 14-16 inches around.
  6. Gently roll the dough up on to the rolling pin and transfer it to the center of the sheet pan. It should hang off the sides slightly.
  7. Spread the cooled leek mixture evenly around the dough, leaving a 2 inch border on the outside.
  8. Crumble goat cheese on top, then arrange the pears in a circular pattern. Sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of rosemary, salt, pepper and chopped walnuts.
  9. Carefully gather the outer border of dough and fold it up and over the filling to form a 1-2 inch crust.
  10. Brush the outer crust with egg wash if desired (this will produce a shinier, more golden crust).
  11. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
  12. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Don't slice the pears until you're ready to top the galette to prevent them from turning brown. 
  • Make sure your pie dough is cold at all times. This makes it easier to handle and ensures it bakes up tender and flaky. 
  • The leek mixture must be completely cooled before adding it to the pie dough. If the mixture is still warm, it will warm the dough and will not bake up as well. 
  • Pop the galette into the freezer for a few minutes before baking to help the crust stay flaky. 

Nutrition

Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 206mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 861IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg
5 from 6 votes (1 rating without comment)

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a spectacular galette! Made it for a non-traditional braised lamb shank Thanksgiving dinner. Served wedges with an arugula/Dijon shallot vinaigrette salad as a first course….Perfect! So much so that I had it for dinner the next night as my main! (Full disclosure, I made the flaky pie dough recipe from “Dessert Person”..all else from this recipe)
    Thanks for such a great idea and recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    This looks amazing. I would love to bring it to a pot luck luncheon. However, I would have to make it the day before. Is it possible to do so? Would I have to refrigerate it overnight? and if so, how would I warm it up?

    1. Thanks Barbara! My best advice is to assemble the tart completely, then wrap and freeze (raw). Brush with egg wash and bake right before serving for best results - it will have a much better texture this way as opposed to baking, refrigerating and reheating. A frozen tart will require more baking time, so just keep an eye on it and take it out when it's nice and brown. Hope this helps!

  3. 5 stars
    When I read this receipe , I knew it would be a crowd pleaser! Everyone loved it so much! This will be a new staple for our family!

  4. 5 stars
    You're killing me, adding more to my holiday recipe list. I don't have to host this year since Toby's working. I won't be shoving herb butter under turkey skin like you taught me. Instead I'm heading to a friend's house with a couple things (cranberry meyer lemon pie), but I'll also make a few things for home. This will be one.
    btw- already getting requests for the lemon pistachio cookies, which were the top cookie last year.