A Quick Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball

by | Nov 20, 2023 | Appetizers | 0 comments

Today, I’m thrilled to share a recipe that’s not just mouth-watering but also incredibly easy to make – the Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball. Trust me, it’s a game-changer for any gathering!

The Secret Ingredient The real star here is the fresh orange juice and zest. It adds a subtle sweetness, transforming the classic cheese ball into something extraordinary. It’s the unexpected twist that makes this appetizer stand out.

Preparation Time for your Quick Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball 

With just 15 minutes of prep time and no cooking required, this recipe is perfect for those busy days. It’s all about mixing, chilling, and serving. Plus, it’s ideal for 6-8 people.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. organic orange zest
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped (divided)
  • ½ cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Crackers, fresh fruit, or vegetable crudités for serving

Simple Steps to Deliciousness for your Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball

  1. Mixing Magic: Combine cream cheese, water, orange juice, zest, and one-third cup cranberries in a bowl. Ensure everything’s well incorporated.
  2. Shape It Up: On plastic wrap, form the mix into a ball. Chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Coat with Flavor: Mix remaining cranberries, pecans, and parsley. Coat the chilled cheese ball with this mixture.
  4. Ready to Serve: Present it with crackers or fresh veggies. It’s time to enjoy!

Customizing Your Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball

Personalize with Your Favorite Ingredients

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. Feel free to get creative and add your personal touch. Experiment with different types of nuts, like walnuts or almonds, for a different crunch. Or, for a more festive feel, add a sprinkle of dried herbs or even a dash of spice for some heat. The possibilities are endless, and each variation brings its unique flavor profile to this delightful appetizer.

Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball

Make-Ahead and Storage

This cheese ball can be prepared in advance. Just freeze it (wrapped) and thaw at room temperature when needed. It’s perfect for unexpected guests or when you need a quick appetizer.

Pairing Suggestions for the Perfect Snack

This cheese ball pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides. For a classic approach, serve it with an assortment of crackers and sliced baguettes. For a healthier twist, a selection of fresh vegetable crudités or fruit slices makes a colorful and nutritious option. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not pair it with a glass of your favorite wine? A crisp white wine or a light red can complement the cheese ball’s flavors beautifully.

Hosting with Ease: Party Tips

When hosting, this Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball can be a real lifesaver. Prepare it ahead of time and freeze, as mentioned earlier. On the day of the event, just thaw and serve. It’s a fantastic centerpiece for your appetizer table and a great conversation starter. To make your spread more appealing, arrange the cheese ball with a variety of accompaniments, allowing guests to customize their own plates. And don’t forget to garnish your serving platter with some fresh orange slices or parsley for that extra touch of elegance!

Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball

Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball

This quick & easy appetizer is delicious and takes just a few minutes of hands-on time to pull it together. The addition of fresh orange juice and zest is the key to this recipe’s success. The subtle hint of sweetness adds an unexpected dimension to an already incredible set of flavors. 
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: orange, cranberry, cheese, cheese ball, cream cheese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
To Chill the Cheese Ball: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 223kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 oz package cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp orange zest preferably organic
  • ½ cup dried cranberries chopped and divided
  • ½ cup pecans finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped

Instructions

  • Add the cream cheese, water, orange juice, orange zest, and one-third cup cranberries to a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir to combine. Use a silicon spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, as shown, to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mixture. 
  • Place a piece of plastic wrap on a clean, dry work surface and use the silicon spatula to gently scoop the cream cheese mixture on top of it. 
  • Wrap the plastic wrap around the cream cheese and gently shape into a ball with your hands. Cover the cheese ball completely in the plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toss the pecans and fresh parsley with the remaining cranberries in a small bowl until combined.
  • Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap. Place the ball on a round serving plate and gently press the cranberry-pecan mixture into the surface to cover. 
  • Serve immediately with your choice of crackers, fresh fruit, and/or sliced vegetables. Enjoy!

Notes

To Serve: Selection of crackers, fresh fruit, and/or vegetable crudités

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 578IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Wrap-Up

This Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball is not just a treat for the taste buds; it’s a joy to make. Whether it’s a party or a cozy evening, this appetizer is sure to impress. Give it a try and let the flavors do the talking!

Remember, good food is all about simple ingredients and a touch of creativity. Happy cooking!

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