Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball

5 from 14 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 missing a wedge. Crackers and vegetables surrounding the cheese ball.
Table of Contents
  1. What to Serve with a Cheese Ball
  2. What is a Cheeseball Made Of?
  3. Recipe Variations
  4. 5-Star Reviews From Our Readers:
  5. FAQs about Cheeseballs
  6. More Holiday Appetizers
  7. How to Make Cranberry Almond Cheese Ball
  8. Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball Recipe

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 recipe 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, crostini, 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.

Whole Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball with vegetables, crackers and bread.

What is a Cheeseball Made Of?

Cheeseballs typically have a cream cheese base that is combined with some sort of other cheese or cheeses and then some additional mix ins. Here are the ingredients used to make this cheeseball:

  • Cream cheese – It’s best to avoid low-fat or non-fat cream cheeses because they don’t set as well. Regular cream cheese will serve you best.
  • Sharp white cheddar cheese – You can also use regular cheddar cheddar cheese. You can shred it yourself or buy it pre-shredded.
  • Bacon – All the best cheese balls have bacon (in my honest opinion)
  • Dried cranberries – aka “Craisins”
  • Cilantro
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Almonds
Bowl of bacon, raisins, cilantro, white cheddar and cream cheese to make a Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of using white cheddar (sharp white cheddar is best), you can substitute sharp cheddar cheese, feta, Gorgonzola, or my personal favorite, goat cheese! You can’t go wrong with any of these, so go with whatever cheese mixture you like best.
  • Substitute dried cherries for the cranberries, or any dried fruit you like.
  • Swap out the almonds for chopped pecans, walnuts, whatever you may have on hand. If you aren’t a fan of nuts, you can use chopped pretzels for a similar crunch.
  • 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 or chives instead. You’ll still get that beautiful green color with a more mild flavor.
Hand holding triangle crackers with Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball on top.

Read More:The BEST Thanksgiving Appetizers

5-Star Reviews From Our Readers:

“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!” – Pamela H.

“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!!” – Tamara

“This might be my favorite cheese ball recipe yet!! ALL those cranberries. yummy.” – Lisalia

FAQs about Cheeseballs

How long will a cheese ball keep?

Cheese balls last up to 10 days if wrapped well and stored properly.

Can you make a cheese ball the the day before?

Yes! We do it all the time. You can actually make it several days ahead of time and still be fine.

Do cheese balls need to be refrigerated?

Yes, you will want to keep your cheese ball in the fridge when not being served.

How long can a cheese ball be left out?

Cheese balls can be left out for 3 hours or less when serving.

More Holiday Appetizers

How to Make Cranberry Almond Cheese Ball

Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball missing a wedge. Crackers and vegetables surrounding the cheese ball.

Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball

5 from 14 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.
    Bowl of whipped cream cheese with a whisk.
  • Add white cheddar, bacon, cranberries, cilantro, and Worcestershire sauce and blend everything together.
    Bowl of bacon, raisins, cilantro, white cheddar and cream cheese to make a Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball.
  • 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.
    Unshaped mound of Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese mixture on plastic wrap.
  • Once the cheese ball has set up in the fridge, roll it in the chopped almonds until thoroughly coated.
    Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball in a bowl of chopped almonds.
  • Serve with sliced baguette bread or your favorite crackers.
    Full view of Cranberry Almond Bacon Cheese Ball board with vegetables, bread and crackers.

Notes

  • This Cheese Ball will need to refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Plan accordingly!
  • If you are worried about a time crunch the day of serving, you can make this cheese ball up to a week before serving. Just make sure it it tightly wrapped and refrigerated.
  • The ingredients in this recipe can easily be swapped out. See notes above for variations.

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