Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball is a large ball of cream cheese mixed with white cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, pecans, and chives for an addicting spread! This will be one of the first appetizers to be devoured, I bet! I also have Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball Bites or a Dill Pickle Cheese Ball you might love.

Whole Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball on a Dark Cutting Board Surrounded by Crackers.

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

If you are looking for the perfect appetizer for your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu, this is the one you need! It’s a large cheeseball with cranberries and pecans, a couple of holiday favorites. It’s easy to put together and serve with your favorite crackers or pretzels. I also have a classic cheese ball recipe you may want to try.

Rolling Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball in the Outside Ingredients After it Has Been Chilled.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Cream Cheese: Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before mixing it with the other ingredients. Goat cheese would also be a delicious substitute for cream cheese.

Cheese: I preferred the cheese ball with white cheddar cheese. However, you could use a different kind of cheese like sharp cheddar or even blue cheese.

Cranberries: Look for dried cranberries (also known as craisins). You will use half to add to the ball of cheese with the other half for rolling the cheese ball.

Pecans: Chop up some pecans or put them in a food processor to get them to a fine chop. You could also place them in a zipped bag and lightly crush them with a rolling pin or a wine bottle. If you don’t want to add nuts, you could leave them out. Or, use different kinds of nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, or cashews.

Chives: The chives give the cheese ball a little bit of an onion flavor. You could also use green onions if that is what you have on hand.

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball with Some Removed and Some on a Cracker in Front.

How to Serve Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

Once you have the cheese ball assembled, chilled, and rolled into the nut mixture, it’s time to get it served. To serve the cheeseball, set it on a plate with a cheese spreader or knife along with a variety of dipping options. I prefer Ritz crackers, Wheat Thins, and pretzel crisps, but vegetables, pita chips, and toasted baguettes would also be good choices.

Can I Make this into Smaller Portions?

Sure! In fact, you could easily form this cheese ball into individual-sized portions. Then, simply serve each miniature cheese ball with toothpicks or pretzel sticks for easy sharing. And, of course, don’t forget all the dipping options.

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball Spread on a Cracker Next to a Wooden Knife.

How to Store

Store the leftover cheese ball in the refrigerator, covered or loosely rewrapped in plastic wrap. It will last up to a week. However, the nuts may not be as crunchy the longer the cheese ball is stored.

Whole Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball on a Dark Cutting Board Surrounded by Crackers.
5 from 8 votes

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

Prep Time 10 mins
Chilling Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball is a large ball of cream cheese mixed with white cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, pecans, and chives for an addicting spread!

Ingredients

  • 2 blocks (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (113 g) white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup (130 g) dried cranberries, roughly chopped, divided
  • 1 cup (109 g) pecans, roughly chopped, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped, divided
  • crackers, for serving

Instructions

  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, white cheddar cheese, ½ cup of dried cranberries, ½ cup of pecans, and 1 tablespoon of chives.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl, bringing the mixture to the center. This will make about 3 cups.
  • Set out a 10×10-inch piece of plastic wrap.
  • Using greased hands, form the cream cheese mixture into a ball and place onto the sheet of plastic wrap. Bring the edges of the plastic wrap together to seal the cheeseball. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until firm.
  • On a plate, combine the remaining cranberries, pecans, and chives.
  • Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator. After taking off the plastic wrap, roll the cheese ball into the remaining cranberries, pecans, and chives, pressing slightly.
  • Let the cheese ball sit out at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with crackers.

Notes

This recipe is 16 servings, or enough to feed 8 adults. You can easily halve this recipe if you want to make less. 

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Reader Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this last night for New Years eve and it was absolutely perfect! I served it with Triscuit crackers – worked best because the crackers are very firm and able to hold all the goodness. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hello,
    I just made the first part of this cheese ball and it is in the fridge to harden before I roll it in the remaining ingredients. I want to say it is better to use the stand mixer to mix the initial ingredients as the cheese is too difficult to mix with a hand mixer. With the stand mixer, it went smoothly and evenly, only taking a couple of minutes. A big bowl is a must also.
    I hope the suggestion is helpful.
    Merry Christmas!

  3. Hi, I want to make this for Christmas Eve at my son and daughter-in-laws but, they live an hour away from us. Any suggestions on how to pack this up for the drive?

  4. My go to recipe has 1 T each of mayo and pickle relish and a few dashes of hot sauce. I am definitely going to add the cranberries and chives to my recipe.

  5. My BIL is allergic to onions. Do you have a suggestion for something to use besides chives? Personally, I love the chives, but I make stuff for them without any onions, cucumbers or celery. Thanks.

  6. No spices like garlic powder or onion powder? I am very surprised as cream cheese usually needs one or both of these in a cheeseball to make it pop. I have never used white cheddar. Is it a strong tasting cheese which ups the flavor of the cream cheese? I am going to try this!!!

  7. 5 stars
    my daughter makes this every Thanksgiving and Christmas and we always look forward to it! great recipe-thanks for sharing!

  8. I haven’t made this. I’m confused as to what cheese to use. Boursin? The kind in a container? Please show what cheese people used. Thank you

    1. Hi Darcie – you scrolled past the recipe when looking for a place to leave a comment. It’s got all the instructions and ingredients. I hope that helps.

  9. 5 stars
    I made these in the mini cheese ball version for one of our Thanksgiving appetizers. They were delish!!! Thanks for sharing.

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