Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball

5 from 9 votes
18 Comments

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This Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball is the perfect appetizer for the holidays. Festive colors and flavors make this a brilliant buffet centerpiece for any occasion!

Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball with a slice taken out and pieces of bread on the side.

Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball

This Bacon Cheese Ball, stuffed with cranberries and almonds is one of my favorite holiday appetizers. What is more festive than a creamy cheese ball at a holiday party? The red cranberries and green sprinkling from the cilantro really make this cheese ball stand out. Not only is it colorful, it is filled with flavors and textures that blend beautifully together. I love appetizers that are savory and sweet, and the cheese, smoky bacon, and roasted almonds are complemented perfectly by the slightly sweet and tart dried cranberry pieces. With all of this you get crunchy, chewy, and creamy in every bite!

What to Serve with a Cheese Ball

This Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball can be made ahead and will keep in the refrigerator for several days. Be sure to plan for the 3 hour refrigeration time so the cheese ball can set up and the flavors can blend before serving.  While it chills, make a platter of baguette bread, pita chips, rye crackers, or just about any kind of cracker. It’s also delicious as a veggie dip! I like to pile cucumber slices, carrots, celery sticks and pea pods on a tray nearby so guests can nibble on some healthy snacks along with rich, holiday desserts.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of using white cheddar, you can substitute feta, Gorgonzola, or my personal favorite, goat cheese! You can’t go wrong with any of these, so go with whatever cheese you like best.
  • Substitute dried cherries for the cranberries, or any dried fruit you like.
  • Swap out the almonds for pecans, walnuts, whatever you may have on hand.
  • For a sweeter cheese ball, roll the outside in a mixture of coconut and nuts. So delicious!
  • If you’re not a huge fan of cilantro, you can add parsley flakes instead. You’ll still get that beautiful green color with a more mild flavor.

More Holiday Appetizers

  • Pineapple Pecan Cheese Ball – Another delicious cheese ball that is delicious any time of year.
  • Shrimp Cocktail Dip – This is the easiest dip ever – it only takes about 5 minutes to throw together and it is so good.
  • Cranberry Salsa – This salsa is made with fresh cranberries and jalapeños. It is so pretty on the plate.
  • Blue Cheese Bombs – These buttery and cheesy bites are a 3-ingredient recipe. They are little bites of heaven!
  • Cinnamon Almonds in the Slow Cooker – These Cinnamon Almonds will make your house smell like Christmas… and they taste just as good as they smell!

How to Make Cranberry Almond Cheese Ball

Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball with a slice taken out and pieces of bread on the side.

Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball

5 from 9 votes
This Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball is the perfect appetizer for the holidays. Festive colors and flavors make this a brilliant buffet centerpiece for any occasion!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Refrigerate 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Whip softened cream cheese in a medium size bowl until it is creamy with no lumps.
  • Add white cheddar, bacon, cranberries, cilantro, and Worcestershire sauce and blend everything together.
  • Spoon mixture out onto a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Bring corners together and form mixture into a large ball. Place in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours until cheese ball becomes firm.
  • Once the cheese ball has set up, roll it in the chopped almonds until thoroughly coated.
  • Serve with sliced baguette bread or your favorite crackers.

Notes

*This Cheese Ball will need to refrigerate for 3 hours.  Plan accordingly!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 404kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 14gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 372mgPotassium: 221mgFiber: 3gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 789IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 273mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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Comments

  1. I made this for my company Thanksgiving potluck and it was beautiful and tasty. I couldn’t find chopped almonds so I did chopped/roasted hazelnuts. Great recipe 👍

  2. 5 stars
    I made this as an appetizer for Thanksgiving and what a hit it was! Everyone wants the recipe. I followed the recipe, except I substituted Italian Parsley instead of the cilantro. The savory flavors of bacon and roasted almonds along with the tart sweetness of the cranberries is amazing! This recipe is a keeper that I will make time and time again!

  3. 5 stars
    Ooooh yum!! These sound amazing! I love the flavor of those smokehouse almonds… and… you really can’t go wrong with cheese and bacon! 😛

    Regards Hashmanis.com.pk

  4. 5 stars
    I made the Cranberry Bacon Almond Cheese Ball for my Sonand future Daughter-In-Love’s Engagement Party. I split it in half so that when it ran low I could just replace it with another. Came out great! I substituted the cheddar cheese with the goat cheese mainly because I didn’t want to have to grate the cheddar. Got so many compliments. I was asked to make it again for my friends Bunco Night!! Thank you!!

    1. You are very welcome 😀 So glad you liked this. It is a great party appetizer. Perfect for Bunco 🙂

  5. Amazing appetizer! I used orange cheddar instead of white, doubled the amount of Worcestershire sauce and added roughly 4 tbsp of chopped cilantro. Everyone loved it!

  6. This sounds great, although I probably would use pistachio nuts for the green as then you could make much earlier for the holidays