Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball

Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball

A Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball is the perfect holiday appetizer for parties, game-day, or potlucks. It’s creamy, and savory with just a hint of sweetness and a touch of heat. Serve it with crackers, pretzel chips, or pita chips.

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Top view of a blue bowl on a wooden background with a round cranberry pecan cheeseball surrounded by crackers.

Spicy Seafood Dip, Toasted Ravioli, Fried Deviled Eggs, and Glazed Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings are family favorites that we serve every holiday season.

I love a good cheeseball. A cheeseball is always an impressive crowd-pleaser. This one is ready in about 20 minutes, plus time for chilling. It’s customizable to your family’s tastes and can be made ahead of your party or event. My other favorite cheeseball recipe is a sweet and spicy Pineapple And Habanero Cheeseball.

Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball

Cheese and cranberries go hand in hand like peanut butter and chocolate. Then add herbs and spices – like garlic and chives, and crunchy, toasted nuts and you’ve got a dish that your friends and family will crave. 

Every time I make this cheese ball, I am asked for the recipe repeatedly. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine.

Closeup side view of a blue bowl on a wooden background with a round cranberry pecan cheeseball surrounded by crackers.

Ingredients Needed

  • Cream cheese – I use full fat. I’ve tried using low-fat cream cheese, but I didn’t care about its taste.
  • White cheddar cheese – I used extra sharp cheddar. Grate your own for the best taste and texture. Pre-grated cheese has a powder on it to prevent the cheese from caking, making your cheese ball grainy instead of creamy.
  • Kosher salt and white pepper – you could use black pepper, but you’ll see it in the cheese. If that isn’t a problem for you, black pepper will work just fine.
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper – optional, but adds just a bit of zing.
  • Honey
  • Minced fresh chives
  • Dried, sweetened cranberries 
  • Chopped pecans – toast them for the most flavor

Steps To Make This Recipe

  1. Toast the nuts by spreading them onto a baking sheet and baking them in the oven until golden.
  2. Whip the cream cheese and cheddar cheese together.
  3. Beat in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, chives, and honey.
  4. Use plastic wrap to help form the mixture into a ball.
  5. Chill for at least two hours.
  6. When ready to serve, combine the cranberries, pecans, and chives in a shallow dish.
  7. Roll the cheese ball into the mixture, pressing the nuts and cranberries into the cheese ball.
  8. Place the ball onto a serving platter and serve with crackers, pita chips, vegetables, or pretzels.
Side view of a blue bowl on a wooden background with a round cranberry pecan cheeseball surrounded by crackers.

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Side view of a blue bowl on a wooden background with a round cranberry pecan cheeseball surrounded by crackers.

Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball


Description

A Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball is the perfect holiday appetizer to serve for parties, game-day, or potlucks. It’s creamy, and savory with just a hint of sweetness and a touch of heat. Serve it with crackers, pretzel chips, or pita chips.


Ingredients

Scale

8 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon honey

¼ cup finely minced chive, plus more as a garnish

½ cup dried, sweetened cranberries, chopped

½ cup chopped pecans, toasted


Instructions

Toast the pecans.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Spread the chopped pecans out on a baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 5 minutes or until golden and aromatic.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Assemble the cheeseball.

In the bowl of an electric mixer on high speed, beat together the cream cheese and cheddar cheese together.

Sprinkle in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, chives, and honey.

Mix until smooth and creamy.

Spoon the mixture into the center of a square of plastic wrap and use the plastic wrap to form the mixture into a ball.

Wrap the ball completely in the plastic and chill for at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.

To serve:

In a flat dish or bowl, combine the cranberries and pecans together.

Unwrap the cheese ball and roll it into the cranberry-pecan mixture, pressing the fruit and nuts into the cheese.

Sprinkle the top with a few minced chives and garnish with a sprig of fresh herb.

Serve with pita chips, buttery crackers, or pretzel crisps.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Chilling time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Starter – Appetizer
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cranberry pecan cheeseball, Thanksgiving appetizers, Christmas appetizers, cheese appetizers, cranberry recipes, game day

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