This crowd-pleasing Pistachio Cranberry Bacon Cheese Ball is packed with the flavour and texture, and it’s a perfect way for the New Year Eve celebration.
Hello, everyone! I hope you had a fabulous and relaxed holiday. Our holiday was great – we spent exactly the way I wanted. Food, walks (We didn’t have White Christmas, but at least the weather was beautiful, not too cold and sunny), naps, board games, movies, and more food. Perfect Christmas, I won’t like.
While Christmas might be over, the holiday season isn’t yet! I know many people don’t care for New Year’s Eve celebration, but I don’t see the reason not to enjoy the holiday as longer as possible. Also, Andrey’s birthday is on January 2nd, so we don’t technically wrap up the season until that day. That’s okay, though – we will all face January soon which is statistically the most depressing month of the year, so let’s enjoy now as much as possible!
This delightful Pistachio Cranberry Bacon Cheese Ball is an excellent way to go. It’s jam-packed with the flavour and texture you will certainly enjoy:
- Smoked cheddar gives a very bold flavour (If you don’t have it on hand or want a milder flavour, use regular cheddar);
- Crispy bacon cooked with fragrant rosemary;
- Dried cranberries;
- Juicy pomegranate arils for the outer layer
- Aromatic thyme, nutmeg, and clementine – to enhance the cheese ball with all the festive vibes
As you see, there’s nothing not to like about this Pistachio Cranberry Bacon Cheese Ball. However, if you don’t like some of the elements, simply omit or substitute. This cheeseball is highly versatile and forgiving.
See you soon!
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 150-200 gr. bacon, roughly cut into pieces
- 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary
- 2 cups grated smoked cheddar (use regular cheddar if prefer)
- 2 cups plain cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 tbsp. whipped cream cheese or regular cream cheese (for the outside layer)
- 3 tbsp. dried cranberries, chopped roughly
- About 2/3 cup of pistachios, roughly chopped and divided
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- Juice and zest of 1 small clementine
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the bacon over high-medium heat, 3 minutes. Add the rosemary and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until everything is nice and crisp. Off heat and transfer the bacon on paper towel to absorb the excessive fat. Cool then crumble into smaller pieces. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the cream cheese (2 cups) and cheddar until well-mixed.
- Stir in the cranberries, 3 tbsp. of the pistachios, thyme, smoked paprika, nutmeg, and juice and zest of the clementine. Also, add about ½ of the crispy bacon. Mix well and try – most likely you won’t need extra seasonings as the cheddar and bacon are salty enough, but this is up to you.
- The mixture will remain very soft and sticky. Shape the mixture into a ball (It won’t be perfect at this moment), cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight.
- Remove from the fridge and now it’s time to shape it once again into a ball. It might not be impeccable because the mixture is relatively soft.
- Thinly spread 3 tbsp. of whipped cream cheese or regular (softened) cream cheese as your outer layer – it works as glue for the remaining ingredients.
- In a plate combine the pomegranate seeds, remaining bacon, and rosemary. Rotating the cheese ball, roll the mixture into it, gently pressing.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up.