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This festive Christmas Cheeseball is so delicious served as an appetizer at a Holiday gathering or party. A creamy cheeseball with cream cheese, seasonings, cheddar cheese, and green onions gets covered in pecans and cranberries for a festive look. Decorate with fresh sprigs of rosemary and serve with a variety of crackers. 

For a classic cheeseball be sure and try my recipe for The Best Cheeseball.

A cheeseball covered in dried cranberries and pecans with rosemary sprigs on it.

Christmas Cheeseball Recipe

Cheeseballs are always a great option when you need an appetizer either for a family gathering or Holiday party. This Christmas cheeseball is so festive thanks to the bright red color of dried cranberries and the green onions along with fresh rosemary sprigs. 

Worcestershire sauce, fresh lemon juice, and garlic powder along with freshly grated cheddar cheese flavor this cheese ball perfectly. Make sure to use a good quality cream cheese as the base of this recipe. 

My tip for cheeseballs is to buy a few different crackers so you can serve it with lots of different options for guests. 

Cheeseball with crackers around it on a white plate.

Ingredients Needed

  • Cream Cheese – Cream cheese is the star of the show in this Holiday recipe! We chose full-fat cream cheese for it’s thick texture and rich flavor. Be sure to allow your cream cheese to come to room temperature 60 minutes before making this recipe. 
  • Cheddar Cheese – Medium cheddar cheese is the best to use because it has lots of flavor but not the sharp & strong flavor of a sharp cheddar cheese. For best results make sure that you buy a block of cheese and use a cheese grater to shred it yourself. 
  • Worcestershire Sauce – The best flavor enhancer for most dishes, especially cheese balls. Adds tanginess also!
  • Fresh Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice elevates the flavor of cream cheese. It’s a match made in heaven with these two!
  • Garlic Powder
  • Kosher Salt – This is the preferred salt because it elevates flavors without making them taste ‘salty’. 
  • Green Onions – Used inside the cheeseball and on the outside. Provides that green color to match our Christmas/holiday themed appetizer. 
  • Dried Cranberries & Chopped Pecans – These are what coats the outside if the cheeseball. It also provides that classic Holiday flavor and color with the red cranberries. 
  • Rosemary Sprigs – These are an optional garnish if wanted. It brings freshness and beautiful Holiday color. It also reminds me of a tree which is always a good thing around the holidays. 

Labeled ingredients for this recipe

How To Make a Cheeseball for a Christmas Appetizer

Learn how to make this simple cheeseball with the steps below. Be sure and also read to the bottom of this post where there is a detailed recipe card, a printable button option, and a pin it button so you can easily save this recipe for later.

  • Cheese : Add cream cheese and the grated cheddar cheese to a mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to beat together just until combined well.
  • Seasonings : Add in the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Beat until combined. 
  • Green Onions : Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the sliced green onions. Once combined, scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and form a ball. 
  • Fridge : Wrap the ball in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Cheeseball : Once chilled, unwrap the cheeseball and roll it in the dried cranberries, pecans, and finely chopped green onions. Add sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnish if wanted. 

How to make this cheeseball recipe with step by step process photos.

How to make this cheeseball recipe with step by step process photos.

How to make this cheeseball recipe with step by step process photos.

How to make this cheeseball recipe with step by step process photos.

How to make this cheeseball recipe with step by step process photos.

How To Store a Cheeseball

You can keep this cheeseball in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks, wrapped tightly in both plastic wrap first and then aluminum foil. Leftovers will last for 2 weeks in the fridge and you can also make it ahead of time and leave it in the fridge for company, or a quick appetizer for a gathering. 

If storing the cheeseball in the fridge (for future use) do not add the topping on until before serving it and double wrap the cheeseball in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to protect it well. 

Plate of crackers topped with cheeseball filling.

Can I Make Substitutions?

Yes! Because this recipe is very simple and classic, there are a few ways you can change it up if needed. 

  • Dried Cherries : Instead of dried cranberries you can also use dried cherries that have been chopped up. It will give the cheeseball more of a tart flavor but it’s still delicious and festive because of the red color. 
  • Chives : Fresh chives are a great alternative to green onions if wanted. 
  • Cheese : Cheddar cheese is the preferred cheese for this recipe however there are a few options here. Mild cheddar cheese, medium cheddar cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, or extra sharp cheddar cheese. Use any of them that you want. Sharp cheddar will definitely increase the flavor of this cheeseball, but it can be strong, so I recommend sticking with medium cheddar which is a great middle balance between them all. 

Horizontal photo of a decorated cheeseball for the Holidays.

Horizontal photo of a decorated cheeseball for the Holidays.

Serving Suggestions for a Cheese Ball

Cheeseballs are best served with various crackers but there are lots of other serving options. I like to buy several different kinds of crackers (or a box with 3 different kinds) so there are a few different options for people. Here are some ideas and some favorites that I recommend you try. 

  • Ritz Crackers – These buttery, mild tasting crackers are the perfect canvas for the flavorful cheese ball. They even have other options now Garlic Parmesan Ritz, Honey Wheat Ritz, Everything Ritz. or Roasted vegetable Ritz. They would all be delicious served with this cheeseball. 
  • Club Crackers – These are probably one of our favorite crackers to serve with a cheese ball (along with Ritz). So buttery and crispy and they hold up well to the thicker cheeseball mixture. 
  • Pecan Nut Thins – These are gluten-free crackers made by the brand Blue Diamond and they are delicious as well. Elevate the pecan flavors in the cheeseball with these crackers. 
  • Triscuits
  • Town House Crackers
  • Carr’s Table Crackers
  • Toasteds Crackers – These are a variety pack of crackers with three different flavors; buttery crisp, harvest wheat and rosemary & olive oil. They are larger, rounder crackers which pair well with a cheeseball appetizer. Plus the rosemary crackers are really good with this Christmas cheeseball. 
  • Baguette Bread Slices

Overhead shot of a cheeseball with cheese knife next to it and lots of crackers around it.

Recipe Tips

Here are a few of my helpful tips so that you can have success recreating this cheese ball recipe in your own kitchen ♥

  • Cream Cheese : For best results and texture, use full-fat cream cheese and not the reduced-fat cream cheese. There is more water in the lite cream cheese which makes it thinner and not as flavorful. In a recipe like a cheese ball, where the cream cheese is the star, you want to make sure that you are using a full-fat, good quality version of it. I love the Philadelphia brand cream cheese!
  • Make This Cheeseball Ahead of Time : This cheeseball will store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks! Wait to roll the cheeseball in the pecans and cranberries until right before serving. Also, make sure the cheeseball (without the toppings on it) is wrapped in plastic wrap and then wrapped again in foil if storing for a longer period of time in the fridge. When company comes or you just need an appetizer quick, it will be ready to go!
  • Cheddar Cheese : I know it’s so much easier to just buy the bag of already shredded cheese at the store. But don’t do it! Please. Buy a small block of cheddar cheese and grate it yourself on a cheese grater. It will be worth it, promise. I prefer medium cheddar cheese in this cheeseball but you can also use mild or sharp cheddar, or even extra sharp cheddar if that’s your preference. 
  • Fridge Time : Plan ahead because this cheeseball needs at least 2 hours of fridge time before rolling it in the toppings and serving it. Without the refrigeration time the cheeseball will be too sticky to roll it in anything. 

Close up of a cracker with a portion of cheeseball on it.

More Sweet & Savory Cheeseball Recipes You’ll Love

  • Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheeseball – Edible & egg-free peanut butter cookie dough covered in mini chocolate chips. Add some Holiday sprinkles (red & green) for a festive look. 
  • Christmas Cookie Dough Cheeseball – Be sure and snatch a bag or two of the Christmas mini m&m’s at the store for this recipe! They always go fast each year.
  • Bacon Ranch Cheeseball – Ranch flavored cream cheese and lots of bacon and cheddar cheese make this cheese ball a favorite. 
  • Olive Cheeseball – If olives are your thing then this is a must make. The olives pair perfectly with the parmesan cheese, mozzarella, and garlic. 
A cheeseball covered in dried cranberries and pecans with rosemary sprigs on it.
Together As Family Logo

Christmas Cheeseball


Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Appetizer, Christmas
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10
This festive Christmas Cheeseball is so delicious served as an appetizer at a Holiday gathering or party. A creamy cheeseball with cream cheese, seasonings, cheddar cheese, and green onions gets covered in pecans and cranberries for a festive look. Decorate with fresh sprigs of rosemary and serve with a variety of crackers. 

Ingredients
  

Cheeseball

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 block (8 oz) medium cheddar cheese shredded
  • teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions

For Rolling

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • fresh rosemary sprigs optional

Instructions

  • Prep : Set the cream cheese out at room temperature for at least 60 minutes before making the cheeseball so it can soften.
    Shred the block of cheese with a cheese grater so it's ready to go.
  • Add cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese into a medium mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to blend until combined.
    How to make this cheeseball recipe with step by step process photos.
  • Add in the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Blend until combined.
    How to make this cheeseball recipe with step by step process photos.
  • Stir in the chopped green onions and mix just until combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to form it into a ball.
  • Wrap the cheeseball in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
    How to make this cheeseball recipe with step by step process photos.
  • Once chilled, unwrap the cheeseball and roll it in the dried cranberries, pecans, and green onions. Add sprigs of fresh rosemary if wanted.
    Serve with a variety of crackers on a serving platter.
    How to make this cheeseball recipe with step by step process photos.

Notes

How to Store Cheeseballs : You can keep this cheeseball in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks, wrapped tightly in both plastic wrap first and then aluminum foil. Leftovers will last for 2 weeks in the fridge and you can also make it ahead of time and leave it in the fridge for company, or a quick appetizer for a gathering. 
If storing the cheeseball in the fridge (for future use) do not add the topping on until before serving it and double wrap the cheeseball in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to protect it well. 
Recipe Tips
  • Cream Cheese : For best results and texture, use full-fat cream cheese and not the reduced-fat cream cheese. There is more water in the lite cream cheese which makes it thinner and not as flavorful. In a recipe like a cheese ball, where the cream cheese is the star, you want to make sure that you are using a full-fat, good quality version of it. I love the Philadelphia brand cream cheese!
  • Make This Cheeseball Ahead of Time : This cheeseball will store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks! Wait to roll the cheeseball in the pecans and cranberries until right before serving. Also, make sure the cheeseball (without the toppings on it) is wrapped in plastic wrap and then wrapped again in foil if storing for a longer period of time in the fridge. When company comes or you just need an appetizer quick, it will be ready to go!
  • Cheddar Cheese : I know it's so much easier to just buy the bag of already shredded cheese at the store. But don't do it! Please. Buy a small block of cheddar cheese and grate it yourself on a cheese grater. It will be worth it, promise. I prefer medium cheddar cheese in this cheeseball but you can also use mild or sharp cheddar, or even extra sharp cheddar if that's your preference. 
  • Fridge Time : Plan ahead because this cheeseball needs at least 2 hours of fridge time before rolling it in the toppings and serving it. Without the refrigeration time the cheeseball will be too sticky to roll it in anything.

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 585IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

I'd love to see it! You can share it with me on @togetherasfamilyblog and follow on Pinterest @together-as-family-blog-recipes or Facebook @togetherasfamilyblog for more!

Overhead shot of a cheeseball

 

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