The holidays can be a busy time so it is nice to have some quick and easy recipes under your belt. This classic Holiday Cheese Ball is great appetizer recipe that can be made in advance or just a few minutes before any holiday party. Best of all, since this recipe only takes about 30 minutes, you can enjoy your time with friends and family.
Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 250 gram package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Preheat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Do not add any oil to the pan. Once hot, add the chopped pecans. Toss the pecans every 30 seconds until they have turned golden brown and are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let the pecans cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, cheddar, 1 tablespoon of chives, 2 tablespoons of the toasted pecans, 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries, the green onion, chili flakes and lemon zest. Use a spatula to mix until combined.
Scoop the cheese out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the cheese up into a ball, forming it in the plastic wrap. Place the cheese ball into the freezer for 15 minutes for the cheese to firm up slightly.
Sprinkle the remaining chives, pecans and cranberries onto a large dinner plate. Unwrap the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and roll it in the chive mixture until fully coated. To get the mixture to stick to the outside, gently press the mixture into the cheese ball as you roll it.
You can serve this immediately with crackers or toasted baguette. Alternatively, you can prepare this up to three days in advance and keep it wrapped up in plastic wrap in the fridge- just remember to take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving to let the cheese soften up.