Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Ball

Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Ball with orange zest, thyme, and smoked paprika is an elegant and festive appetizer which will entertain a crowd. However, it’s so delicious that you might not want to share!

Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Ball

Hey, hey, hey. There are only two weeks until Christmas, so like the previous week, I am keeping this super elegant and classy today. And please don’t even ask if I have finished my Christmas shopping – rather ask if I have started it yet. I’m trying to convince Andrey to have a “No Gifts This Christmas” or “Gift Certificates” policies this year, but it looks I will need to manage my shopping somehow. Indeed, I bought Andrey a beautiful present a month ago; that was a nice crystal music ball with a winter theme. What’s the problem with that gift? – you might ask me. Well, technically nothing. It was a nice thing. The problem is that I am horrible at hiding and waiting, so I ended up giving it away on the same day. Eh. In my excuse, I waited for about 5 or 7 hours.

Now I am thinking if this counted as an early Christmas gift. And if I’ve got to buy another one, should I do it now or wait until almost Christmas? You see: that’s complicated.

But at least this Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Ball will not cause any harm – only lots of enjoyment (Let’s skip the part that you can end up gaining an extra pound or so. This cheese ball has zero calories and fats. Period.)

That’s not surprising. It’s super scrumptious, and it looks fancy too. Let’s count: cheddar, cream cheese, goat cheese, orange juice and zest, garlic, thyme, and – hello yes – salted pistachios and cranberries! Who can ever resist? By the way, don’t be afraid of adding salted pistachios as plain cream cheese and goat cheese will balance it out; but you’re certainly welcome to use unsalted ones.

Not only is the combination of pistachios and cranberries is delicious, but it also looks festive. That’s why I believe this Cranberry Pistachio Cheeseball will be a great addition to your holiday’s celebration. Just try not eating the entire cheese ball all by yourself (I won’t judge you, though. I might or might not have done this myself).

Cheers and see you soon.

Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Ball

Category: Appetizers & Snacks, Cheese Balls & Cheese Appetizers, Christmas, Holidays


  • 3 cups grated old cheddar + possibly a bit more
  • 200 gr. plain goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 150 gr. plain cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. smoke paprika
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. grated orange zest
  • 2 tsp. orange juice
  • 2/3 - 1 cup salted pistachios, roughly chopped, divided
  • 2/3 - 1 cup dried cranberries, divided


  1. Place the cream cheese and goat cheese in a large bowl and mix until combined. Stir in the cheddar, paprika, thyme, garlic powder, orange juice and zest. Add 1/3 cup each pistachios and cranberries and mix once again to combine. You might need to add a bit of cheddar (up to 1/3 cup grated) more to thicken up.
  2. Roll the mixture into a ball. If it's too sticky, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Otherwise, take the remaining pistachios and cranberries (1/2 - 2/3 cup each) and cover the cheese ball gently pressing the topping into the cheese and gently turning the ball to coat all sides.
  3. Cover the cheese ball with plastic wrap and chill for an hour or until ready to serve.
  4. Enjoy!


8 thoughts on “Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Ball

  1. Such a yummy cheeseball! I really love the way it looks! So beautifully rustic and jam packed with cranberries and pistachios and all those cheeses! Pinning for later for the holidays!!

  2. Hahaha! Ben, I have the same problem as you. I find great Christmas presents for people and just can’t wait to give them their gifts, then I’m stuck looking for something else last minute :). Someday I’ll have a little patience! Anyway, I love cranberries and pistachios so I want to try this cheese ball sooner rather than later. Hope you’re having a great week!

  3. Well, we have something else in common, Ben! I already gave Boy his Christmas gifts too! LOL. Mostly because he just pesters me to death so I cave and let him have the gifts early. ;) Anyways, I am a HUGE fan of cheese balls! I mean, you just can’t have a holiday party without one or three of them! And this cheese ball is perfection! I’m loving the tart salty combination here! I definitely would not want to share this!! ALL the cheese ball for me! Cheers!
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Baked Orange Cranberry Chicken & RiceMy Profile

  4. Cheese balls are a must at Christmas and this cranberry pistachio combo is perfect. I always want to give my husband his gifts right away, but resist the urge knowing that I’ll have to go out closer to Christmas to find him something else. Christmas wouldn’t feel right if he didn’t have anything to open! Best of luck with your shopping Ben! ;)
    Leanne | Crumb Top Baking recently posted…Dark Chocolate Cranberry Bundt CakeMy Profile

  5. 3 different kinds of cheese!? And that salty + sweet combo? This cheese ball wouldn’t last long in my house at all. I love it! I’m a fan of cheese balls during the holidays, but I don’t really like the store-bought versions. Homemade is the way to go! I can save you some time buying presents for me, Ben. Just send me this cheese ball, and we’ll be good. :-)
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Beef BourguignonMy Profile

  6. That’s hilarious that you can’t wait to give gifts! I can understand that though, especially if it’s something that you are super excited about too ;) Hubby and I are hosting a party this weekend for family and I was thinking about making cheese balls and this one would be perfect! Love the smoked paprika in there…must contrast so deliciously with the cranberries. Have an awesome weekend ahead, Ben :)

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