Holiday Cheese Ball Recipe

Try this make-ahead spread at your next seasonal soiree.
Nut-crusted cheese balls served with crackers are a favorite at holiday gatherings.

Nut-crusted cheese balls served with crackers are a favorite at holiday gatherings.

Nut-crusted cheese balls served with crackers are a favorite at holiday gatherings.

Nut-crusted cheese balls served with crackers are a favorite at holiday gatherings.

Related To:

When one pictures the hors d'oeuvre table at any given holiday party, it’s hard not to place the ever-present cheese ball front and center. And with good reason. Although its origins are unclear, the softball-sized ball of cheese blended with a wide variety of fruits, nuts, meats or spices has been a standard at holiday gatherings since before Rudolph guided Santa’s sleigh.

Whether sweet or salty, spicy or mellow, the common element is a blend of soft, mild cheese blended with firmer and more flavorful varieties. The result must be firm enough to hold its shape, yet soft enough to be easily spread on crackers. Often coated in a crust of chopped nuts or fresh herbs, no holiday gathering is complete without the decorative and delicious classic.

This flavorful take on the holiday cheese ball is easy to make and can be prepared a few days in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve. Combining sweet caramelized onions, fresh parsley and tart cranberries in a blend of velvety cream cheese and sharp cheddar, make sure to have plenty of crackers on hand. This one goes fast.

Holiday Cheese Ball

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped

In a small skillet, cook onion in olive oil over medium heat, stirring frequently until soft and browned.

In a stand mixer, combine cream cheeses, sour cream, salt and paprika and mix until smooth.

Add onion, cheddar cheese, cranberries and parsley to mixer and mix until fully combined.

Wrap in plastic wrap and shape into a ball.

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Remove plastic wrap and roll cheese ball in chopped pecans to coat.

Wrap in fresh plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Halloween Party Food: Cake Ball "Eyeballs" Recipe

Kids' favorite party treat — cake balls — get a monstrous makeover for your Halloween get-together. Just the right size for small hands, these sweet treats are sure to get two thumbs up from your favorite trick-or-treaters.

Pub-Style Pretzels and Beer Cheese Sauce Recipe

Serve these pretzels with your favorite beer at your next casual gathering.

Halloween Haystack Mummies Recipe

These adorable white-chocolate "wrapped" mummies are a great addition to your Halloween treat lineup. Flavored with peanut butter and butterscotch, the potato sticks give them just the right amount of salty flavor and crunch.

Homemade Apple Jelly Recipe

Apples don’t require added pectin to produce thick, sweet jelly.

Black Magic Halloween Cocktail Recipe

This deliciously layered cocktail blends together orange juice, triple sec and black vodka.

Black Devil Martini Recipe

Dark rum and a black olive garnish give this martini its midnight hue. Rim the glass with coarse orange sugar to dress it up for a Halloween party.

Pumpkin Spice Halloween Punch Recipe

Pumpkin pie spice and apple cider lend autumnal flavor to this Halloween take on classic sangria. Serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin for a dramatic presentation.

Black Widow Halloween Shot Recipe

Mix together cranberry juice and black vodka to create a venomous Halloween shot.

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.