Dried cranberries, orange zest, and nuts make this one festive holiday cheese ball that can be paired with sweet or savory leaning accompaniments.
I love a good cheese ball. Mostly because it’s one of my favorite ways to eat cream cheese. If I was as beloved as Oprah and people cared about my favorite things, cream cheese would definitely be on this fictional list.
I’ve made dozens of cheese balls, admittedly mostly involving bacon. In the spirit of the season, I decided to tap into some holiday flavors – cranberry and orange. The tart, citrusy flavors make this Cranberry Nut Goat Cheese Ball feel light, despite all the cheese involved.
The goat cheese adds a lovely tang that plays up the fruity attributes. And roasted walnuts and pecans add a brilliant texture and a lovely presentation to the finished product.
This recipe makes a cheese ball that’s ideal for the small holiday get-together. It uses one 8-ounce package of cream cheese and one 4-ounce package of goat cheese. I’d plan on doubling that for a larger gathering, but this is perfect for four people. My husband and I demolished 2/3 of this Cranberry Nut Goat Cheese Ball in one sitting, #noshame.
Since the flavors aren’t decidedly savory or sweet, you can get creative with your cheese ball accompaniments. Obviously, they pair well with your average neutral cracker (like Club), but I was pleasantly surprised with how good they were with Garlic Butter Ritz. I’m betting a Rosemary-flavored cracker (like a Triscuit) would also be bomb. And I’d also give this a go on a graham cracker. Why not, right?
If you like this, you may also enjoy:
Cranberry Nut Goat Cheese Ball
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese
- 1 4 ounce package goat cheese
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 tsp orange juice fresh squeezed
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup roasted walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup roasted pecan pieces
- Let the cream cheese and goat cheese come to room temperature.
- Add the cream cheese and goat cheese to a bowl and cream with a hand mixer.
- Chop up the dried cranberries into smaller pieces.
- Add the chopped dried cranberries, pinch of salt, orange zest, and orange juice to the bowl. Mix to combine with the hand mixer.
- Add the walnut and pecan pieces to a food processor and pulse until you get small pebble-sized pieces.
- Add half of the nuts to the bowl and combine with a hand mixer.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The cheese ball will be easier to form when chilled.
- Put the chilled cheese ball mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a ball.
- Spread the remaining crushed nuts onto a cutting board.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the cheese ball. Roll the cheese ball over the nuts until completely coated.
- Put the cheese ball onto a plate and serve with crackers. Enjoy!