Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball

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Cream cheese and sharp cheddar round out this delicious Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball! This classic holiday appetizer is always a hit and soooo easy to make!

Looking for more easy, cheesy appetizer recipes? Look no further than my popular posts for Cheddar Bacon Jalapeno Cheeseball, Cranberry Pistachio Cheeseball, and Cheddar Jalapeno Pretzel Bites.

cheeseball wedge on white plate

Today we are talking about one of the best foods ever known to mankind. CHEESE. When the holidays roll around there are two specific savory foods I look forward to more than any others and they have nothing to do with meat. In fact they are both appetizers. My mother makes about a zillion different “finger-foods” for Thanksgiving and she always, without fail, makes spinach dip and THIS cheeseball.

Holidays are so busy and hectic, especially in the kitchen, the last thing you need is a complicated app. This one requires just 4 ingredients (plus crackers). That’s it! The prep takes about 7 minutes and then you just let it chill until you’re ready to serve it. I’m obsessed with the flavor combination that you get with the sharp cheddar and the tart cranberries, and I’m sure you will love it too!

cracker with white cheese and cranberry pieces resting on edge of plate

Why This Recipe Works

From easy to tasty, all these reasons and more make this cheeseball the best! 

Cheese — Like bacon, this one goes without saying, but let’s just say the combination of cream cheese and cheddar cheese is really what makes this cheeseball 1) tasty 2) the perfect texture, you know, so you can spread it but also have it not taste like cream cheese only. 

Cranberries — The tartness of the dried cranberries is super necessary in this cheeseball to help balance out the sharpness of the cheese and it also adds a great texture too. 

Pecans — Crunchy is where it’s at. Adding pecans to this cheeseball was probably the most genius move my mom has ever made regarding a holiday appetizer. 

Simple ingredients — It doesn’t get much easier than store bought everything: from a block of cream cheese to a bag of pecans, all you have to do is mix, refrigerate, and add the pecans. Toss some crackers around it and dig in! 

cheeseball on a plate with round crackers

Here’s How You Make It 

First, mix together the cream cheese and cheddar cheese in a large bowl until they are good and combined. Then, add the chopped cranberries and mix again. 

Lay a large piece of plastic wrap down on your counter or table. Add the cheeseball and wrap the plastic wrap around the cheese, forming it into a ball shape. Place this in the fridge for at least 1 hour so it gets firm. 

Take the cheeseball out of the fridge and add small handfuls of nuts at a time with your hand or a spoon, or roll the cheeseball in the nuts if you prefer. The bottom doesn’t need to be covered. 

Put it back in the fridge or enjoy it immediately. 

What Is a Cheeseball?

Are you ready for this? A cheeseball is a round ball of cheese, usually with some other ingredients added in or around the cheese to make it flavorful. It’s usually made as an appetizer and served with crackers. 

Or, I guess, you might use the term “cheeseball” to make fun of a friend. 

overhead view of appetizer crackers and cheese on white plate

What Do You Eat With a Cheeseball? 

I serve this cranberry cheeseball with crackers, but there are many other vehicles with which you could scoop the cheeseball. For example: 

  • Fruit slices like apples or pears would go wonderfully with this cheeseball. 
  • Bake baguette slices until they are toasty. Drizzle with olive oil and a hint of salt before adding a big scoop of cheeseball to the top. 
  • Pretzels work great with this too. I prefer pretzel sticks but any kind will do. 
  • Tortilla chips are so delish with this cheeseball. Look for the long and skinny ones if you can find them, they’re easier to dip. 
  • Out of crackers and no baguette in sight? In a pinch you could slice up a bagel lengthwise and make your own chips. Put the ovals in the oven at 250 for about 10 minutes or until they reach desired crispiness. 

Can You Freeze a Cheeseball? 

You can make a cheeseball and put it in plastic wrap and freeze it up to one month. Thaw in the fridge and add the nuts right before serving. 

Expert Tips 

  • Let the cream cheese come to room temperature for easier mixing with the white sharp cheddar cheese. 
  • Purchase pre-chopped pecans if you don’t want to deal with the chopping yourself. Just dump and roll around the cheeseball.
  • You can make this cheeseball ahead of time up to 3 days. Add the pecans right before you’re going to serve so they don’t get soggy.

soft white cheese with cranberries spread on round cracker with cheeseball on plate

Tasty Appetizer and Side Dish Recipes 

Did you make this Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball recipe? EXCELLENT! Please rate the recipe below!

cheeseball wedge on white plate

Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball

Cream cheese and sharp cheddar round out this delicious Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball! This classic holiday appetizer is always a hit and soooo easy to make!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans finely chopped
  • crackers for serving

Instructions

  • In a large bowl mix together cream cheese and cheddar cheese until well combined.
  • Mix in chopped cranberries.
  • Lay a large piece of plastic wrap out on a flat surface. Scoop the cheese mixture out of the bowl and place it in the middle of the plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic around the cheese mound, then use your hands to shape it into a ball.
  • Peel back the plastic wrap, and using small handfuls at a time, press the chopped pecans onto the outer surface of the cheeseball (you don't need to cover the bottom).
  • Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours before serving with your favorite crackers. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Let the cream cheese come to room temperature for easier mixing with the white sharp cheddar cheese. 
  • Purchase pre-chopped pecans if you don't want to deal with the chopping yourself. Just dump and roll around the cheeseball.
  • You can make this cheeseball ahead of time up to 3 days. Add the pecans right before you're going to serve so they don't get soggy.

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 443IU | Calcium: 157mg | Iron: 1mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Tag @cremedelacrumb1 on Instagram and hashtag it #cremedelacrumb!

 

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Comments

YUM! These look so good, I have to try it 🙂

The cheesecake is great, really enjoyed making it. It was a hit with my family.

    This cheesecake is so good. It was a hit with my family. Fun to make.

      Hi Lynn- happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed this cheeseball! 🙂

Can you make and freeze ahead?

    Hi Beverly! If you are going to freeze this, I recommend adding the pecans when you’re ready to serve! Make sure to wrap it in plastic wrap, tightly, then in a freezer safe bag!

5 stars
Only suggestion is to tweak your recipe to soften cream cheese. some newbs may not realize this is necessary and it will create a frustrating experience

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