Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball

Made with goat cheese, chives, cinnamon and brown sugar, this sweet and tangy Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball is one addicting appetizer! Grab your favorite chips or crackers for dipping and go to town!

A close-up shot of a cranberry pecan cheeseball on a wooden surface with a white background

Creamy Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball

This holiday-worthy cheeseball has made all of my cheesy appetizer dreams come true. The flavors are incredible! You have the tangy goat cheese, the sweet and tart cranberries, the nutty pecans, the warm cinnamon and more. It all culminates into a seriously comforting snack or starter. It’s hard to not eat the whole thing on your own!

I love to serve this cheeseball as a Thanksgiving appetizer or a game-day munchie, but it’s guaranteed to hit the spot any time. I’m a huge fan of goat cheese, and this is probably my very favorite recipe that uses it. It goes so well with the flavors of the other ingredients!

What is a Cheeseball?

Well, it’s pretty much a ball of cheese. But it’s also so much more than that. Cheeseballs are made with cream cheese as well as another kind of semi-soft cheese and various flavorings. Once the ball is formed, it’s coated in crunchy chopped nuts and other things and served as a dip for crackers or chips.

In addition to having the pecans, craisins and chives on the outside of the cheeseball, this recipe mixes them inside it as well! That way, you can enjoy all of the flavors and textures in every single bite.

A cranberry pecan cheeseball on a wooden cutting board with a cup of cranberry juice in the background

Ingredients You’ll Need

You really don’t need much to make this cheeseball – just the handful of ingredients below.

  • Cream Cheese: You’ll need a full block of softened cream cheese.
  • Goat Cheese: If you prefer another cheese, you could try mascarpone.
  • Dried Cranberries: Some will be mixed into the cheeseball and the rest will be used to coat it.
  • Pecans: Chopped into small pieces. Feel free to toast them if desired.
  • Chives: Finely chopped.
  • Brown Sugar: For sweetness.
  • Cinnamon: I love the warmth that a teaspoon of ground cinnamon provides.
  • Honey: Optional, for drizzling over the cheeseball.
A cranberry pecan cheeseball surrounded by crackers with a small dish of honey beside the appetizer

How to Make a Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball

As fancy as this appetizer may seem, it’s incredibly simple! We’re talking 15 minutes tops.

  1. Combine Ingredients: Add the cream cheese, goat cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/4 cup each of the dried cranberries, pecans and chives to a large mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  2. Shape: Press the mixture into a ball shape in the bowl, then scoop out the cheese and transfer it onto a large piece of parchment or wax paper. Wrap the cheese in the paper to finish forming a smooth ball, then place it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.
  3. Coat: When you’re ready to serve your cheeseball, place the remaining cranberries, pecan pieces and chopped chives onto a plate. Unwrap the cheeseball and place it in the center of the plate on top of the dry ingredients. Gently roll the cheeseball around on the plate to fully cover it in the cranberries, chives and pecans. Use your hands to fill in any empty spaces.
  4. Enjoy! Serve the cheeseball with a drizzle of honey, if desired, and the crackers of your choice. Garnish it with extra chives if you’d like.
A cheeseball with a chunk removed beside a spreader carved with the words "get your fat pants on"

Tips for Success

Take a look at these simple tips in order to make a perfect cheeseball. You’ve got this in the bag!

  • Chop the Chives & Pecans Finely: Make sure you’re chopping up your chives and pecans into nice and small pieces. This way, you’ll have an easier time coating your cheeseball completely.
  • Chill the Ball After Forming it: You can technically jump right into rolling your cheeseball in the pecans, chives and dried cranberries, but I recommend chilling it for at least 10 minutes first. This will help it hold its shape.
  • Soften Before Serving: If you’ve made this cheeseball in advance and kept it chilled in the fridge for a while, you’ll want to let it soften a bit before you serve it. This will make it easier to eat.
  • Avoid Leaving it Out: I wouldn’t let your cheeseball sit at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. Because it contains dairy, it should be kept in the fridge.
  • Don’t Dip, Spread: Dipping your crackers directly into the cheeseball isn’t always easy. The crackers often break before you even pass the exterior. I find it much easier to spread it onto the crackers with a spreader or a butter knife.

Serving Suggestions

Not sure what to serve with this one-of-a-kind appetizer? Chips and crackers are just the tip of the iceberg!

  • Dip Raw Veggies into it
  • Serve it with Apple Slices
  • Spread it Onto Bagels
  • Pair it with Pita Bread
  • Dip Pretzels into it
A homemade cheeseball on top of a wooden cutting board beside chips and a jar of honey

How to Store Leftovers

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. This cheeseball will last for up to 1 week. Let it sit for about 15 minutes at room temperature before serving so it can soften up.

Can I Freeze This?

This cheeseball is freezer-friendly, but only if the coating has not been added. If you’d like to make it in advance and freeze it, just hold off on rolling it in the nuts, chives and craisins. They will fall off of the cheeseball during the freezing and thawing process.

Wrap your uncoated cheeseball in two layers of plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer-safe container and store it for up to 1 month. Thaw it out in the refrigerator before coating it in the toppings and let it soften at room temperature for a bit before digging in.

Print
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A cheeseball with a chunk removed beside a spreader carved with the words "get your fat pants on"
Recipe

Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Made with goat cheese, chives, cinnamon and brown sugar, this sweet and tangy Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball is one addicting appetizer. Grab your favorite chips or crackers for dipping and go to town!


Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese block, softened
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, divided
  • 1 cup pecan pieces, chopped, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives, divided
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Honey, for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the cream cheese, goat cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/4 cup each of the dried cranberries, pecans and chives to a large mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  2. Press the mixture into a ball shape in the bowl, then scoop out the cheese and transfer it onto a large piece of parchment or wax paper. Wrap the cheese in the paper to finish forming a smooth ball, then place it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.
  3. When you’re ready to serve your cheeseball, place the remaining cranberries, pecan pieces and chopped chives onto a plate. Unwrap the cheeseball and place it in the center of the plate on top of the dry ingredients. Gently roll the cheeseball around on the plate to fully cover it in the cranberries, chives and pecans. Use your hands to fill in any empty spaces.
  4. Serve the cheeseball with a drizzle of honey, if desired, and the crackers of your choice. Garnish it with extra chives if you’d like.

Keywords: cheeseball, how to make a cheeseball, thanksgiving appetizers

More Cheesy Appetizer Ideas

If you’re a cheese-aholic like me, you’re going to go crazy for these yummy appetizers! Don’t forget to check them out next.

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Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12