This 6-ingredient Onion Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball is a make-ahead appetizer that’ll steal the show & the best cheese ball you’ll ever taste!
Seriously, this Onion Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball is the one appetizer on the buffet everyone will hover around! It’s sweet and nutty and irresistibly good AND it gets even better when made a day or two in advance! You can’t go wrong with cream cheese, white cheddar, craisins, green onions, and pecans – this is an easy, cheesy pleaser!
A Beautiful Make-Ahead Holiday Classic!
A holiday cheeseball is a thing of beauty! Perfectly rounded and towering over rows of crackers like the EPCOT ball over rows of tourists!
You’ll go nuts for this Onion Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball! The gorgeous colors of the sweet red craisins contrast the bright, crisp green onion and salty golden pecans – it’s downright festive! But the look nothing compared to the taste. I’m telling you, this cheeseball is addictive!
Other Recipes to Serve with a Cranberry Cheeseball
- If I’m hosting a holiday party, you know I’m going to have some grown-up drinks! This Homemade Irish Cream is so much better than store-bought, and it’s fantastic in coffee!
- Homemade Eggnog is a creamy, bourbon Christmas favorite!
- Slow Cooker Hot Buttered Rum simmers in your crock pot all day long and makes your house smell AMAZING!
Cheese: Softened cream cheese and shredded sharp white cheddar are the tasty foundation for this delicious cheeseball!
Add-ins: Craisins (dried cranberries), green onions, and a little chopped parsley bring tangy and sweet together – the flavors pop!
Garnish: It may not be a true garnish, but this cheeseball is rolled in toasted pecans until it is completely covered. Voila! Nuts and cheese – a classic appetizer combo!
How to Make Onion Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball
STEP ONE: Blend the softened cream cheese and white cheddar until evenly combined. Mix in the Craisins, green onions, and parsley. Form this mix into a ball shape (refrigerate for a bit to firm up, if needed).
STEP TWO: Spread toasted pecans onto a baking sheet and roll the cheese ball all around to cover the cheeseball in pecans completely.
STEP THREE: Wrap the cheeseball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Now, break out the crackers!
Tips for Success
- Let the cheeseball sit out about 20 minutes before serving.
- Be sure to put out a spreading knife with the cheeseball. Otherwise, people will try to “dip it” with their crackers, which doesn’t work.
- If making this cheeseball the day of your event, make it early in the day so it has at least 4 hours in the fridge.
Can You Freeze a Cheeseball?
Yes! Freeze this cheeseball (without nuts) by wrapping it in plastic wrap, placing it in a freezer-safe bag, and freezing it for up to a month! Thaw overnight and roll in pecans before serving.
How Far Ahead Can I Make a Cheeseball?
Amazingly, you can make a cheeseball about two weeks ahead of time and keep it refrigerated! Since this recipe has green onions, I would probably opt for just one week. Make the cheeseball, leave off the pecans, then wrap it in plastic wrap and wrap that in foil. Add the pecans 1-4 hours before serving.
Other Easy Holiday Appetizer Recipes
- Jalapeno Popper Bruschetta
- Citrus Herb Marinated Olives
- Cranberry Meatballs
- Spanakopita Tarts
- Smoked Salmon Crostini
- Cracker Canapes
*This post was originally posted on 12/18/2014.
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 cups sharp white cheddar shredded
- 1 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
- ½ cup green onions thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 ⅓ cups toasted pecan halves chopped (see note)
- Stir together the cream cheese and cheddar in a large mixing bowl until evenly combined.
- Add the Craisins, green onions, and parsley to the cheese and mix until incorporated.
- Spread the chopped toasted pecans in a pie plate or shallow bowl.
- Form the cheese mixture into a ball shape. Then roll the cheese ball around on the pecans to completely coat the outside of the ball.
- Completely cover the cheese ball with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours to overnight to allow the flavors to marry together.
- Unwrap and serve with your favorite crackers for dipping.
- Baked: Toss the pecan halves in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread them in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cook at 350 degrees F for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and cool in a bowl before chopping.
- Stovetop: Toss the pecan halves in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the nuts to a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook for 2-5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the skillet and cool in a bowl before chopping.