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Cranberry-White Cheddar Cheese Ball with Fresh Rosemary

This is the second recipe in my Crazy for Cranberry series, and it’s a good way to tie some festive cranberry flavor into an appetizer that’s always a hit: the cheese ball!

Crazy for Cranberry Logo

I don’t know about you, but I always get pretty excited – probably a little more excited than I should, truth be told – when I go to a party and find a cheese ball included in the spread. (Admit it, your eyes light up too. ;) ) There’s just something about a cheese ball that’s addictive, in a very retro holiday-ish way.

Now, if cheese balls could be classified as holiday food in general, then this one in particular takes the (holiday) cake. Cranberry and rosemary make a lovely festive pairing, not only in the flavor department, but color-wise as well. Sharp white cheddar is a great backdrop here because it stands up to the other bold flavors going on without overwhelming them.

Cranberry-White Cheddar Cheese Ball with Fresh Rosemary 2

If you’re making this as an appetizer for Thanksgiving, just swipe three tablespoons of the cranberry sauce beforehand to make this and no one will be the wiser. If you’re making it for a holiday party after that, it’s at least a little help in using up some of the leftover cranberry sauce, and to use up more leftover cranberry sauce, you could always double this recipe and either give one cheese ball away or wrap it up for later use (it will keep for up to five days in the fridge). How is that for multi-purposing?

Cranberry-White Cheddar Cheese Ball with Fresh Rosemary 3

Cranberry-White Cheddar Cheese Ball with Fresh Rosemary
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 large cheese ball, about 10 to 12 servings
  • 8 oz (230 g) regular or low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 oz (230 g) sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite prepared cranberry sauce
  • 3 tablespoons minced white onion
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins (sultanas), minced
  • 1½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅓ cup (40 g) walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Crackers or sliced bread, for serving
  1. Use a handheld electric mixer (or a stand mixer) to beat together all ingredients except the walnuts and parsley.
  2. Roll the cheese mixture into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Toss the walnuts and parsley together in a shallow bowl. Roll the cheese ball in the walnut-parsley mixture and serve, or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days before serving.
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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  1. Faith, I love it when I hear back from you…I was floored when you mentioned you were hangen’ in DC now! I was born there & would say that if there’s any place in the states that’s home it’s DC…I love/love it there! There’s so so much to do & it’s so beautiful, I was there this summer for a couple of weeks, you should drive by my home, my father got for me when I was going to AU, the address is 5000 McArthur Blvd, OMG…I know, it’s so funny who does that? Daddy was a diplomat & that was my life, but a mansion for a teenager, come on? So many stories so little time…
    Last year(Halloween ’13) my eldest was pregnant with my 1st grandchild, I so badly wanted her to go as a “D” princess…I’m sorry but I think a hugely “Knocked-up Belle”…LOL! I’ve got the most beautiful baby girl in the world, her name is Mila & I’m working on a hovercraft so I can just swoop down & BOOM Coco’s here…my G’ma name! Love this cheese ball, aged white cheddar is one of my faves…xoxo Andrea

  2. I’ve actually never HAD a cheese ball at ANY family or friends get-together. Which is just CRAZY. I feel like i have to take matters into my own hands and make this. For the greater good.

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