This heavenly creamy cheese ball recipe with cranberries is a delicious appetizer that is perfect for get-togethers with family and friends. This homemade cheese ball is packed with delicious creamy cheeses and a hint of spice from the tabasco - and it's easy to make in just 15 minutes and sure to be a hit with everyone!
🌟 Why this recipe works
The secret to this cheese ball recipe is the combination of ingredients. Softened butter and cream cheese are used as the base, while freshly squeezed lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and mango chutney provide an array of flavors. It is then rolled in chopped dried cranberries to add a sweetness that can't be beaten.
Although this recipe may seem intimidating at first glance, it's actually quite simple to make for any level home cook. It's as simple as mixing everything together and forming it into a large ball, rolling it in cranberries, and chilling it. With just 15 minutes on the clock, you'll have a homemade cheese ball ready to feed your hungry party guests.
The beauty of this recipe is in its versatility, as you can customize the flavors to suit your tastes with other dried fruits or nuts. (Check out the variations section for flavor combos)
This classic cheese ball recipe with cranberries is a great way to start any gathering. Serve it with crackers, chips, or fresh vegetables, and watch your guests' faces light up with delight!
And if you're looking to serve this amazing cheese ball with other appetizers for your party, be sure to check out our other appetizer recipes:
🍽 Key Ingredients
The cream cheese makes the base for cheese ball recipes, while the other ingredients give it flavor and texture.
Butter - The softened butter in this cheese ball recipe adds a creamy texture and flavor.
Cream cheese - The cream cheese provides a rich, thick base for the cheese ball.
Lemon juice - Freshly squeezed lemon juice gives the recipe a slight tartness that helps to balance out all of the flavors.
Worcestershire sauce - Worcestershire sauce adds depth to the cheese ball.
Tabasco - Tabasco adds just a hint of heat to the recipe for an extra kick.
Sharp cheddar cheese - Finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese gives this cheese ball plenty of flavor and texture.
Mango chutney - A spoonful of mango chutney adds sweetness and complexity to the recipe.
Cranberries - Chopped dried cranberries give the cheese ball some needed sweetness that really makes it stand out.
If you don't have fresh lemon juice, you can use bottled lemon juice.
Swap out Tabasco for your favorite hot sauce.
Sharp cheddar cheese
A strong-flavored cheese like cheddar works best for this recipe. If you don't have cheddar cheese, you could replace it with a different type of cheese, such as blue cheese, gouda, or gruyere.
If you don't have mango chutney, you can replace it with apricot preserves for a similar flavor profile. Or omit it altogether.
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- cayenne pepper
🔪 How to make
This easy cheese ball recipe needs just 15 minutes of prep time and no baking or cooking involved - it's easy for anyone to make and can be made ahead of time to save yourself some stress on the day of your party!
To make a cheese ball mixture, simply combine the butter, softened cream cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl using an electric whisk on low speed.
Mix in the cheddar cheese and chutney and form into a large ball using your hands, then wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill.
Before serving, roll the ball in the chopped cranberries and serve with crackers.
💭 Cooking tips
Room-temperature dairy products
To help the mixture come together nice and smooth, remove the cream cheese and butter from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature before mixing.
Using pre-shredded cheese
For best results, I recommend shredding the cheddar cheese yourself rather than buying it already shredded in a packet.
This is the classic cheese ball recipe that can be mixed with other ingredients to suit your taste buds. Here are some tasty alternatives:
Bacon and ranch cheese ball
Add ½ cup of crispy bacon bits, ¼ cup of sour cream, and 3 tablespoons of ranch seasoning to the cheese mixture for a delicious and savory combination.
Cheese ball with chopped nuts
Add ¼ cup of your favorite nuts, such as chopped pecans or walnuts, to the cheese mixture for a crunchy and nutty flavor.
Green onion and chives cheese ball
Add ¼ cup of chopped fresh green onions and 2 tablespoons of fresh chives to the cheese mixture for an herby and flavorful twist.
🥗 What to serve with
There are so many ways to enjoy this delicious creamy cheese ball! If you're making a cheese ball platter, some good serving options apart from crackers are:
Soft white bread is always a good option to dip into a cheese ball! Or you can try something more fun for sharing, like this easy pizza monkey bread recipe or some homemade pretzels that are chewy and flavorful.
Crostini's and Parma breadsticks are a great way to dip into the cheese ball for a quick snack!
Serve up some crunchy vegetables such as celery, carrots, and bell peppers with the cheese ball for a healthy option. Or make some root veggie chips for a fun twist.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
How long should a cheeseball be set?
It is best to refrigerate the cheese ball for at least 2 hours before serving so that all of the flavors can combine and set.
Can you make the cheese ball in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the cheese ball up to 3 days in advance and store it in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Can I freeze this cheese ball recipe?
No, it is not recommended to freeze the cheese ball, as it won't have the same texture and consistency when thawed.
On the off chance, you have any leftovers or have made two and want to save one for another day, you can store it in the fridge.
Fridge - The cheese ball will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To save leftovers, wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container.
🍳 Related recipes
For more delicious ideas, check out our 50 best comforting fall recipes or 45 best Southern comfort food recipes. Both feature a wide array of options perfect for any gathering or just to whip up on a quiet night. Enjoy!
🍳 Serving size
This recipe makes 1 large cheese ball or 2 smaller ones. The serving size depends on the size of the balls and how they are served - however, each cheese ball can easily serve up to 8 people.
The recipe is also easily scalable to make two or three cheese balls to cater to larger crowds. With all this deliciousness, you'll be sure to have a crowd-pleasing dish at your next get-together!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Try one of my comfort dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Cranberry Cheese Ball
- ¼ cup butter - softened
- 2 packages cream cheese - 8 oz or 200 g
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice - freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon tabasco
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese - finely shredded
- 1 tablespoon mango chutney
- ½ cup cranberries - dried, finely chopped
- salt and pepper - to taste
- crackers - for serving
- To make a cheese ball mixture, simply combine the butter, softened cream cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl using an electric whisk on low speed.
- Mix in the cheddar cheese and chutney and form into a large ball using your hands, then wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill.
- Before serving, roll the ball in the chopped cranberries and serve with crackers.
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