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Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Balls are a favored crowd-pleasing appetizer to share at your holiday gathering with your family and friends. This holiday Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball is made from deliciously sharp white cheddar cheese, Georgia pecans, cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, and chives, and served with a various assortment of crackers. 

This Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball is the perfect party appetizer to set out for your family and guests while you prepare the main course for your holiday meal. It’s not only amazingly delicious tasting, but it’s also self-serve and doesn’t require any further work from the host or hostess.

 

 

Cranberry Pecan Cheese ball What I love the most about this Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball is just being able to set out a platter with this flavorful Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball surrounded by various crackers. All you have to do is add a cheese knife next to the Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball, and then you’re done. You won’t even need to worry about the portion sizes because your guests can take as little or as much as they’d like.

Below I have listed some of our family’s favorite crackers to serve with cheese balls. However, you don’t have to get all fancy pants. You can serve the Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball with simple butter crackers such as Ritz or Townhouse crackers if you prefer them.

 

Suggested crackers

  • Sesame wheat crackers
  • Seeded multigrain crackers
  • Cracked wheat crackers
  • Rosemary crackers
  • Poppy and pepper water crackers
  • Sevan grain crackers

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Pecan Cheese ball How easy is it to make a Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball? It’s so easy you’ll be wondering why you haven’t made one before. It’s chopping a few ingredients, combining them with the cheese, forming a ball, and rolling the ball in dried cranberries and toasted chopped pecans.

 

Suggested Equipment

  • Sharp kitchen knife to chop the pecans, dried cranberries, and jalapeno peppers.
  • Cutting board to chop the ingredients.
  • Measuring cups and spoons to measure the ingredients. 
  • Box Grater to finely grate the white cheddar cheese
  • Mixing bowl to combine the ingredients.
  • Mixer or standing mixer (optional but recommended) to mix the ingredients.

 

 

Grocery List

  • Dried cranberries
  • Pecans
  • Sharp white cheddar cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Chives or scallions
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • White pepper

Below you will find my printable recipe card with the exact measurements of the ingredients needed and easy to follow instructions to prepare the Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball, plus the nutritional information.

 

 

Cranberry Pecan Cheese ball

 

 

 

How to make a Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

  1. Soften the cream cheese on the counter for about 30 minutes. While waiting, gather the rest of the ingredients and any suggested equipment needed.
  2. Lightly toast the pecans by putting the nuts in a dry skillet in an even layer and place the skillet over medium heat. Cook, shaking the skillet from time to time, stirring with a wooden spoon, and frequently turning the pieces around until the nuts are a light brown. As soon as they are golden brown, transfer them to a plate to cool off.
  3. Chop the dried cranberries, cooled toasted pecans, slice the chives or scallions, and mince the jalapeno peppers (remove seeds). Divide the cranberries and pecans by 2. Reserve until needed.
  4. Freshly grate the sharp white cheddar cheese. Place the sharp white cheddar cheese and softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl and add 1/2 cup of toasted chopped pecans, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, minced jalapeno peppers, and garlic powder, onion powder, and white pepper. Combine the ingredients until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30-45 minutes to firm the mixture.
  5. With freshly cleaned hands, shape the Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball mixture into a ball shape.
  6. Place the other 1/2 cup of toasted chopped pecans and 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries in a medium bowl. Roll cheese ball through pecans and cranberries to cover the outside completely.
  7. Serve the cheese ball with assorted crackers, using a butter knife for spreading. 

 

 

 

Pro tips

  1. Be sure not to skip over the toasting of the pecans. The pecans release more flavors after being toasted.
  2. Chop the toasted pecans and dried cranberries finely. That way, the pecans and cranberries will coat the cheeseball more evenly and be more comfortable to spread on crackers.
  3. Always use freshly grated cheese and skip the idea of using pre-shredded cheeses. The freshly shredded sharp white cheddar cheese has a better flavor and consistency. 
  4. Don’t skip over the chilling step, or you might not be able to properly shape the cheese ball mixture into a ball if it’s too soft.
  5. Let the cheese ball rest at room temperature before serving for a softer consistency.
  6. Use a cheese knife or butter knife for spreading instead of crumbling your crackers from just diving in with a cracker.

 

 

 

Frequently asked Questions

  1. Can I Mix the cheeseball mixture by hand? If you do not have an electric mixer or stand mixer, you could mix this by hand in a pinch. Let the cream cheese soften a little longer and use a mixing spoon or wooden spoon and put a little elbow grease into it,
  2. How long will the cheese ball be able to sit out? Because of the dairy products in this cheeseball recipe, I would only let it sit out for approximately 2 hours.
  3. How long does a cheeseball last in the refrigerator? This cheeseball will keep well refrigerated in an airtight container for  5-7 days max.

 

 

 

 

Cranberry Pecan Cheese ball

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

hmccallum
This holiday Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball is made from deliciously sharp white cheddar cheese, Georgia pecans, cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, and chives, and served with a various assortment of crackers.
5 from 27 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Chill 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 283 kcal

Equipment

  • Sharp kitchen knife to chop the pecans, dried cranberries, and jalapeno peppers.
  • Cutting board to chop the ingredients.
  • Measuring cups and spoons to measure the ingredients. 
  • Box Grater to finely grate the white cheddar cheese
  • Mixing bowl to combine the ingredients.
  • Mixer or standing mixer (optional but recommended) to mix the ingredients.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup toasted pecans chopped and divided x2
  • 1 cup dried cranberries chopped
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar finely grated
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 Jalapeno peppers seeds removed and minced
  • ¼ cup chives finely sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper may sub with black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Soften the cream cheese on the counter for about 30 minutes. While waiting, gather the rest of the ingredients and any suggested equipment needed.
  • Lightly toast the pecans by putting the nuts in a dry skillet in an even layer and place the skillet over medium heat. Cook, shaking the skillet from time to time, stirring with a wooden spoon, and frequently turning the pieces around until the nuts are a light brown. As soon as they are golden brown, transfer them to a plate to cool off.
  • Chop the dried cranberries, cooled toasted pecans, slice the chives or scallions, and mince the jalapeno peppers (remove seeds). Divide the cranberries and pecans by 2. Reserve until needed.
  • Freshly grate the sharp white cheddar cheese. Place the sharp white cheddar cheese and softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl and add 1/2 cup of toasted chopped pecans, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, minced jalapeno peppers, and garlic powder, onion powder, and white pepper. Combine the ingredients until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30-45 minutes to firm the mixture.
  • With freshly cleaned hands, shape the Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball mixture into a ball shape.
  • Place the other 1/2 cup of toasted chopped pecans and 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries in a medium bowl. Roll cheese ball through pecans and cranberries to cover the outside completely.
  • Serve the cheese ball with assorted crackers, using a butter knife for spreading. 

Notes

 
 
Pro tips
  1. Be sure not to skip over the toasting of the pecans. The pecans release more flavors after being toasted.
  2. Chop the toasted pecans and dried cranberries finely. That way, the pecans, and cranberries will coat the cheeseball more evenly and be more comfortable to spread on crackers.
  3. Always use freshly grated cheese and skip the idea of using pre-shredded cheeses. The freshly shredded sharp white cheddar cheese has a better flavor and consistency. 
  4. Don’t skip over the chilling step, or you might not be able to properly shape the cheese ball mixture into a ball if it’s too soft.
  5. Let the cheese ball rest at room temperature before serving for a softer consistency.
  6. Use a cheese knife or butter knife for spreading instead of crumbling your crackers from just diving in with a cracker.
Frequently asked Questions
  1. Can I Mix the cheeseball mixture by hand? If you do not have an electric mixer or stand mixer, you could mix this by hand in a pinch. Let the cream cheese soften a little longer and use a mixing spoon or wooden spoon and put a little elbow grease into it,
  2. How long will the cheese ball be able to sit out? Because of the dairy products in this cheeseball recipe, I would only let it sit out for approximately 2 hours.
  3. How long does a cheeseball last in the refrigerator? This cheeseball will keep well refrigerated in an airtight container for  5-7 days max.

Nutrition

Calories: 283kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 8gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 214mgPotassium: 110mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 612IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 195mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cheese Ball, Cranberry, Pecan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

 

 

If you liked this Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball recipe, you might like these recipes.

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  • Southwestern Egg Rolls aren’t your ordinary plain Jane eggrolls, folks. These are deliciously flavorful Crispy Southwestern Egg Rolls, made with chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeño peppers, Colby Jack cheese, red sweet bell peppers, and spinach. Served with a bold Chipotle Ranch dipping sauce that you are going to absolutely love.
  • Pepperoni Roll-ups are super simple to make and even better to serve up to your family and friends. You can make them as easy as 1-2-3 for the kids after school as a snack that the entire family will be sure to love time after time. Made with crescent rolls, deli pepperoni, sliced provolone cheese, your favorite pasta sauce, and then baked to perfection in a 400 Degree oven.

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28 Comments

  • Reply
    Candice
    November 30, 2020 at 10:53 am

    This was the perfect, festive thing to make for Thanksgiving this year… we devoured it! So good, easy, and the balance of flavors, particularly the cranberries with the jalapeno, pecans, and chives, was fantastic!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      December 24, 2020 at 6:35 am

      Thank you, Candice. They are so easy and delish! Happy Holidays!

  • Reply
    Jo
    November 30, 2020 at 1:24 am

    Of all the appetizers on the holiday table, a cheese ball is my absolute favorite. I look forward to trying different versions of cheese balls every year. These cranberry and pecan-crusted cheese balls were absolutely delicious!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      November 30, 2020 at 6:12 am

      Good morning and thank you so much, Jo! Cheese Balls are so awesome. I haven’t met one I don’t like yet!

  • Reply
    Melanie Cagle
    November 29, 2020 at 11:45 pm

    I had some friends over tonight, so decided to try this cheeseball. It was so delicious and paired well with those cheeky few glasses of wine! I’ll be making this again for sure!!

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      November 30, 2020 at 6:13 am

      Good Morning! Thanks so much, Melanie, for dropping by to let me know!!! Happy Holidays!

  • Reply
    Debbie
    November 29, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    We had a cheese board for Thanksgiving and this Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball was the star of the show. My whole family loves this !! The combination of cheeses was the perfect balance and the addition of the jalapeno was perfect. This is going to be coming back for our Christmas finger food day.

    • Reply
      hmccallum
      November 30, 2020 at 6:13 am

      That’s so awesome to hear, Debbie! Happy Holidays and thank you!!!

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