appetizers/ Christmas/ DIY Foods/ Holiday Menu/ Top 10 Must Have Recipes/ Uncategorized

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 The thing 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
Print Recipe
5 from 15 votes

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

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.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Chill1 hr
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheese Ball, Cranberry, Pecan
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 283kcal
Author: hmccallum

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: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 612IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 1mg

 

 

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Chef Dennis
    November 25, 2020 at 1:55 am

    Your Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball was soooo delicious and mouthwatering! I am thinking of making it again for our Holiday gathering!

  • Reply
    Colleen
    November 24, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    As soon as I made this cranberry pecan cheese ball the other day, I knew it was going on my holiday menu. I can’t wait to wow my family with this festive and tasty addition. We loved it!

  • Reply
    Lori
    November 24, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    This could literally be a meal for me. The cranberry pecan cheese ball is a MUST MAKE for the holiday season. It’s such a crowd favorite and so easy to make!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    November 23, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    I absolutely loved the taste combination of sweet cranberries and pecans with salty cheese. It was so delicious!

  • Reply
    Patricia
    November 23, 2020 at 9:24 am

    It’s totally okay to make this Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball and gobble it up even before the holidays, right?? It was such a great appetizer that’s easy to make, too! And festive!

  • Reply
    Jen
    November 23, 2020 at 9:08 am

    My son and I pretty much set up shop around this Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball and take turns dipping, haha! It’s so good, none of us want to walk away.

  • Reply
    Annie
    November 23, 2020 at 8:30 am

    This Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball was amazing and so perfect for the holidays! I really hope we get to spend Christmas with our families (the restrictions in my country currently don’t allow it) so I can make this again and share it with my loved ones. I know we would all enjoy this so much!

  • Reply
    Kate
    November 23, 2020 at 8:12 am

    This Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball came out BEAUTIFUL – what a pretty appetizer, and it was great to have all the prep done in advance, so there’s no last-minute panic when your guests arrive. So many lovely flavours.

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