These cranberry pecan cheese ball bites are the perfect decadent holiday appetizer. A classic cheese ball is reimagined in bite sized servings with freshly roasted pecans, goat cheese, cranberries, and sweetened with cinnamon and honey.
This sweet and savory appetizer is one of our favorites to bring to potlucks and Christmas parties! They’re easy to make ahead of time and the goat cheese creates a rich, velvety texture that pairs perfect with freshly toasted pecans, colorful parsley, and tart cranberries.
One of the biggest complaints with a classic cheese ball is all of the work on presentation is gone as soon as people start enjoying it. Not to mention the toppings are gone, leaving you with just the cream cheese.
With mini cheese ball bites, each guest can get the perfect amount of cheese, toppings, and you won’t have to sacrifice the presentation!
How To Make Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball Bites
To make this perfect make ahead appetizer:
- Toast the pecans – place the chopped pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 5-10 minutes at 350°F. Careful not to overbake them.
- Combine goat cheese, cream cheese, cinnamon, and honey until smooth. This will be difficult if you don’t allow the ingredients to come to room temperature before mixing.
- Form the cheese balls using a small cookie scoop or rounding out scoops with a teaspoon. If time permits, this step is easiest once the cream cheese mixture is cooled.
- Roll the cheese balls to smooth them out as you go. Gloves are helpful for easy cleanup! You should get about 30 cheese balls, and are aiming to have each one about 1 1/2 teaspoons – 2 teaspoons big.
- Combine the parsley, pecans, and cranberries in a shallow baking dish. Roll each cheese ball in topping mixture until completely covered.
- Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
How Long In Advance Can You Make Cranberry Cheese Ball Bites
These cheese ball bites can be made up to 3 days in advance without losing their flavor. Store them in the fridge in an air tight container.
You may notice a little less crunch from the pecans after 24 hours.
Can You Freeze A Cheese Ball?
Both a large cheese ball and cheese ball bites can be frozen, for the time you forget you need an appetizer for tonight’s holiday party.
To freeze mini cheese ball bites, place them on a baking sheet in the freezer for 2 hours, then place them in a plastic freezer bag for up to 1 month.
To defrost them, place them in the fridge for 24 hours before serving.
More Delicious Holiday Appetizers
- Rosemary Bacon Peach Brie en Croute
- Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
- Franks Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Bacon Wrapped Brussel Sprouts
- Bacon Deviled Eggs
Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball Bites
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 8 ounces goat cheese softened
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups pecans finely chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries finely chopped
- 1/3 cup parsley finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place finely chopped pecans on a baking sheet, and toast for 5-10 minutes, ensuring they don't burn. Allow to cool.
- Using a stand mixer or electric mixer, combine softened cream cheese and goat cheese. Add in honey and cinnamon, stir to combine.
- Using a small cookie scoop or teaspoon, create rounded spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture. You may want to wear gloves for easy clean up.
- Combine toasted pecans, chopped cranberries, and parsley in a shallow baking dish.
- Roll each cheese ball in mixture until completely coated.
- Refrigerate until serving for up to 3 days. Before serving, drizzle with additional honey.
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