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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Mini Cranberry Cheese Balls

Each of these mini cranberry cheese balls is perfect for topping just a couple of crackers. They are perfect for parties because each individual can grab one or two.

plate with 2 mini cranberry cheese balls, butter crackers and some cheese ball spread on crackers

    Mini individual sized cheese balls are perfect for a party. They are cute, easy to make and eliminate the worry of double dippers! These cranberry blue cheese and pecan cheese balls combine some of my favorite salad toppers in spreadable appetizer form.

    When planning a baby shower for our friend we just knew there had to be cheese balls.  They are always one of her favorites.

close up of plate filled with pecan coated cranberry blue cheese balls

   The problem is, serving from a large cheese ball in a buffet line like that can hold things up.  So, we thought it would be fun to do them as individual cheese balls instead!

   All our guests had to do was grab one or two and move on.  If you put a pretzel stick in each one, you don't even need utensils.

   People can grab a pretzel and walk away with a cheese ball. Some people even eat them as is, nothing additional needed.

small plate of mini cranberry cheese balls and crackers on plate with platter of cheese balls in background

     We served them with crackers on the side in case people would want to spread them over the top like a traditional cheese ball.  Either way is completely fine.

   These cheese balls have a fun mix of sweet and savory and are an unexpected addition to your menu. They are perfect for the holidays, parties or even potlucks.

Making them

   Though it's not absolutely necessary, I love making cheese balls in a food processor. It's a great way to quickly make chunky ingredients smaller and fully incorporate everything together.

dried cranberries, cream cheese, blue cheese etc. in food processor

    A small cookie scoop is a perfect way to portion the mixture. Scoop it right onto a small pile of chopped pecans.

     Gently roll the ball in the nuts to coat. Then roll the balk between your palms to shape.

     This helps to keep your hands clean so you can keep working. Once all of the cheese balls are formed, chill them until it's time to serve.

pile of chopped pecans, small cookie scoop full of cranberry cheese ball mixture and a couple of finished cheese balls

      They can be made up to a couple of days in advance. Just be sure to cover them or put them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator.

     Ideally they would have a chance to come to room temperature before you eat them. That allows for better flavor and spreading consistency.

      If you don't like blue cheese, feel free to substitute feta. We've had friends do this and enjoy them.

     However I've also seen people who don't like blue cheese eat plenty of these cheese balls. So give it a go if you're on the fence!

platter of individually sized cranberry cheese balls ready to serve

If you are a fan of different cheese balls, be sure to check out the recipe for the havarti cheese ball. It is super creamy and has a lovely flavor.

    Or if it's the cranberry and blue cheese combo that drew you in, check out my fall dinner salad. It mixes these flavors with greens, apples and a simple homemade vinaigrette.

If you want to see some of my favorite kitchen tools and gadgets, check out my Amazon shop page. There are great pans, appliances, and more!

individual cheese ball, cranberry blue cheese balls, party appetizers
Yield: 24 servings

Mini Cranberry Cheese Balls

Mini Cranberry Cheese Balls

Each of these mini cranberry cheese balls is perfect for topping just a couple of crackers. They are perfect for parties because each individual can grab one or two.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (feta would work if you prefer)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
  • pretzel sticks and crackers for serving


How to cook Mini Cranberry Cheese Balls

  1. Combine cream cheese, blue cheese, cranberries and hot sauce in a food processor.
  2. Process until completely blended.
  3. Form into small balls a Tablespoonful at a time, a small cookie scoop is perfect for this. Roll in chopped pecans.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 
  5. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. 
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Each of these mini cranberry cheese balls is perfect for topping just a couple of crackers. They are perfect for parties because each individual can grab one or two.


  1. Who would have ever thought to put hot sauce in that combination of ingredients. YOU - that's who. What a fun treat.

    1. It needed a little something to pep it up. Of course I didn't add enough to make it spicy, just enough to make it a bit more complex.

  2. What a perfect, bite-sized snack, Carlee! They'd be pretty for Valentine's Day, too.

    1. Thanks, Kitty! I hadn't thought of doing them for Valentine's day but that would be perfect! Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Wow! Those sound easy and yummy! What a great idea. I'll have to try it soon. Stopping by from Funtastic Friday. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you so much! I really had fun making and serving them. Have a great weekend!

  4. These look delicious!
    Thanks for sharing at Funtastic Friday!

  5. Those sound delicious! Love that you made them small for people to take. You're a smart cookie!

    1. I might just be impatient! People can move much more quickly through the food line if they can grab and go rather than stop and spread ;-)

  6. These look terrific! We are a household of cranberries fans, so I know these would be a big hit!

  7. You know I love me any kind of appetizer in ball form! Especially with cheese in it, these look and sound so good!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!