Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

Enjoy the tasty combination of creamy cheese, sweet cranberries, and crunchy pecans with this Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball recipe. It’s a simple yet crowd-pleasing appetizer that pairs well with crackers or veggies—the perfect blend of savory and sweet for any occasion.

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A board with a cranberry pecan cheese ball and a stack of crackers.

Appetizers like this cheeseball are always the life of the party. Other favorite holiday appetizers include a platter of these hummus deviled eggs or a bowl of spiced walnuts.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This pecan cranberry cheese ball is an easy appetizer to make for Christmas parties, celebrations, or other holiday events.
  • It is easy to dip into or spread onto crackers, making it convenient to serve and share.
  • This no-bake recipe means more oven space during the busy holiday season.
A cranberry pecan cheese ball with crackers on a wooden board.

Ingredients

Find the complete ingredient list, with measurements, in the recipe card below.

  • Cream Cheese – Smooth, creamy, and rich, this is the base ingredient for the recipe.
  • Soft Goat Cheese – Also known as chevre, this adds a tangy and earthy taste to complement the creaminess. Use the soft goat cheese, not the crumbles.
  • Dried Cranberries – We prefer to use naturally sweetened cranberries.
  • Pecans – Highly recommend toasting the pecans first. Check out how to quickly toast nuts on a stovetop.
  • Green Onions – Also referred to as scallions, these add a pop of onion flavor and color.
  • Garlic Powder – Adds that distinct pungent taste.
  • Salt – A pinch of fine sea salt brings out the best in your ingredients.
Ingredients on a counter.

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl – A large bowl with a rubber bottom is perfect for mixing.
  • Spatula – We love using these small spatulas for stirring and mixing.
  • Plastic Wrap – Use plastic wrap to wrap the cheese mixture before refrigerating it, helping to shape it into a ball.
  • Serving Board – This can double as a surface to roll the cheese ball in the chopped toppings and for serving on.
Our Pick
Wood Handled Mini Spatulas
  • Cute colors.
  • Useful and easy to clean.
See it on Amazon

Instructions

Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the FULL recipe details.

Step 1

First, combine the softened cream cheese with the goat cheese, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Ingredients being mixed in a bowl.

Step 2

Next, add the cranberries, pecans, and sliced green onions to the cream cheese mixture.

Stir it all well once again.

Ingredients being stirred in a bowl.

Step 3

Then, add the cream cheese and pecan mixture to the center of a large piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a ball while wrapping it tightly in the plastic wrap.

Step 4

Refrigerate for at least an hour up to overnight. You can make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until right before serving.

A cheese ball wrapped in plastic wrap.

Step 5

Next, just before serving, place the topping ingredients – more chopped pecans, cranberries, and green onions – on a flat surface like a cutting board.

Ingredients on a wooden board.

Roll the cheese ball around in the pecan mixture, pressing it into the chilled surface.

Leave one spot bare on the bottom of the ball to be the anchor spot for your cheese ball.

A cheese ball with chopped pecans, cranberries, and green onions pressed into it.

Step 6

Finally, press the bare spot onto the board or plate you will use for serving.

Add the crackers and a small cheese knife.

Expert tip! Toast the pecans first. Toasting them not only adds a deeper flavor but also makes the pecans crunchier, creating a delicious contrast in texture to the soft and creamy cheese.

Crackers and a cranberry pecan cheese ball on a wooden board.

Substitutions

  • If goat cheese isn’t your thing, try shredded white sharp cheddar cheese instead.
  • Other chopped nuts, like dry roasted almonds, also work well.
  • Substitute other fresh herbs, such as chopped parsley or chives, instead of green onions.

Recipe Variations

  • Roll the cheese ball in crumbled crispy bacon for a savory and smoky twist—the bacon’s saltiness pairs well with the sweetness of cranberries.
  • Add a citrusy twist by incorporating orange zest or orange juice into the mixture.
  • Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls and press a pretzel stick into the centers for finger food or passed appetizers.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve on a platter or wooden cutting board with various crackers, pretzels, baked pita chips, sliced baguette or crostini, and sticks of cut vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, and bell peppers.
  • Use it as a savory spread for a toasted bagel.
  • Incorporate cured meats like salami or prosciutto on a charcuterie board along with the cheese ball for a combination of flavors.
  • Enjoy a sweet and savory contrast by using fruit such as slices of pear or apple for dipping or adding some blueberry chia jam along with the cheese to the cracker.

FAQS

Can you make a cheese ball ahead of time?

Yes, this recipe can often be prepared ahead of time. Making it in advance actually allows the flavors to develop. Store it tightly wrapped in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

How do I prevent a cheese ball from becoming too soft?

Ensure that the cheese ball is thoroughly chilled before serving. If it becomes too soft, briefly return it to the refrigerator to firm up.

Storage Tips

To Store: Store the cheese ball, wrapped tightly in the plastic wrap for up to 3 days in the fridge.

To Freeze: We don’t recommend freezing this recipe as the texture is compromised greatly when thawed.

A wooden board with a cranberry pecan cheese ball and a stack of crackers.

More Recipes With Cream Cheese

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Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese

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Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta

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Goat Cheese Frittata

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Spinach Cranberry Salad Recipe

If you tried this Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball recipe, please rate it and let us know how it turned out by leaving a comment below. We’re always interested in feedback!

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A cranberry pecan cheese ball on a serving board with crackers.

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

Sharon Rhodes
Enjoy the tasty combination of creamy cheese, sweet cranberries, and crunchy pecans with this Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball recipe. It's a simple yet crowd-pleasing appetizer that pairs well with crackers or veggies—the perfect blend of savory and sweet for any occasion.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chill 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 244 kcal

Ingredients
  

For The Cheese Ball

For The Outer Layer

  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced green onions or chives

Instructions
 

  • First, combine the softened cream cheese with the goat cheese, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Next, add the cranberries, pecans, and sliced green onions to the bowl and stir again.
  • Then, add the cream cheese mixture to the center of a large piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a ball while wrapping it tightly in the plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour up to overnight. You can make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until right before serving.
  • Next, just before serving, roll the ball in the outer layer ingredients, leaving one spot bare on the bottom of the ball.
  • Press the bare spot onto the board or plate you will use for serving, and add the crackers and a small cheese knife.

Video

Notes

Storage Tips

To Store: Store the cheese ball, wrapped tightly in the plastic wrap for up to 3 days in the fridge.
To Freeze: We don’t recommend freezing this recipe as the texture is significantly compromised when thawed.

Nutrition

Calories: 244kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 6gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 179mgPotassium: 107mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 580IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball
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