Snag some leftover cranberry sauce and swirl it into this super luxe cranberry walnut holiday cheese ball! Kick it up a notch with sprinkle of cinnamon, a drizzle of honey, and a whole lot of flavor!
Yup! I went there.
I had zero intention of diving into wintry holiday fare when we’ve barely begun to experience Fall weather here in Florida buuuuut… I couldn’t help myself!
Technically I have a really good excuse. I was cleaning out the freezer, doing some major re-organizing, when I found last Winter’s cranberry bounty. The second I laid eyes on those gorgeous berries I had to have them, there was no putting that bag back into the frozen abyss, no way!
I made my go-to cranberry sauce and after tucking a jar away for later, I swirled the remainder into this super luxe cranberry walnut cheese ball. I’ve done this many a times with goat cheese and decided this festive combo would be positively stellar with cream cheese too.
It was AMAZING!
Cranberry Walnut Holiday Cheese Ball
There’s something about pairing sweet and tart with creamy and nutty and cinnamon-y goodness (humor me and pretend that makes sense) that works so perfectly well. I could spread this on everything from crackers to pretzels to my morning bagel.
Quick! Someone toss me a bagel!
The leftovers even make the most amazing sandwich spread in all the land — really!
Spread it on a buttery bakery croissant then pile it mile-high with crisp romaine lettuce, fresh cucumber, and turkey. Now take the biggest bite ever and… SWOON!
Cranberry Walnut Holiday Cheese Ball
Yield 30 servings
- 16 oz (1lb) cream cheese, slightly softened
- 1/2-3/4 cup cranberry sauce , to taste
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 1 TBSP ground cinnamon, plus extra to taste
- 3-4 TBSP honey
- 1/3 cup baking walnuts, finely crushed
- 2-4 TBSP fresh chopped parsley
Serve this heavenly spread at room temperature with sliced green apple, whole grain crackers, fruit and nut crackers, pretzels, and crunchy celery sticks. Or just go crazy and spread it on everything in sight!
- In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese with cranberry sauce, cinnamon, and honey.
- Using a hand mixer or a fork and some elbow grease, mix well.
- Swipe a taste with a cracker or celery stick and add any extra to taste.
- When it comes to the walnuts, you have two delicious options. You can keep them on the outside only, as a crunchy, nutty coating with a smooth creamy center or amp up the flavor + texture by mixing extra walnuts into the cranberry cream cheese mixture before shaping your ball. In my opinion, the more walnuts the better! Add anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup crushed walnuts to the inside of your cheese ball.
- Use a silicone spatula to scoop out the cheese mixture and shape into a ball with your hands. If mixture is too soft, place on a large sheet of plastic wrap and squeeze into a ball, then pop it in the fridge to chill until it holds shape.
- Place your ball on a sheet of parchment paper or cutting board.
- Sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon if you're as cinna-crazy as we are!
- Next combine your chopped/crushed walnuts, cranberries, and parsley and press firmly into the cheeseball to coat. Pile it on!
- Surround with your favorite extras from the list above and dig in!
- Leftovers taste deeeeeelicious spread on pretty much everything in sight the following day and will keep for up to 4 days.
The links above are for my delish crock-pot cranberry sauce. Need it fast? This speedy stove-top cranberry sauce is ready in just 10 minutes!
The glory of a cheeseball is you can literally do anything to them! Pecans would be a tasty addition to the walnuts (LOVE the walnut-pecan combo) and even a little fresh rosemary could be let in on the fun if you’re a fan.
Let your tastebuds be your guide and have fun with it!