Making a cheese ball at home is simple to do in just 5 minutes with only 4 ingredients! This Cranberry Goat Cheese Ball is the perfect quick & easy gluten free appetizer recipe. And, since it can be prepped ahead of time it’s great for holiday parties and Christmas!

Cheese ball on plate surrounded by dried cranberries and crackers

There might be nothing I love more in life than cheese. Ok, maybe a few things, but very few things surpass my love of cheese!

I grew up eating cheese balls every holiday season. My Mom would take me to the Hickory Farms store in the mall. (Does anyone else remember when they had actual stores?)

It was heaven on earth trying what felt like endless samples of cheese before deciding on our favorites. All December long lunches were filled with a variety of cheeses, summer sausage and cheese balls, and I looked forward to it every December.

I still look forward to cheese boards for lunch, but now I make my own cheese balls at home! They’re so easy to make and you can easily mix up the ingredients to make them sweet or savory, like this Buffalo Cheese Ball.

With goat cheese, cream cheese, blue cheese or cheddar cheese, the flavor combinations are endless! And they’re guaranteed to be a hit as an appetizer at holiday parties or for lunch during the busy holiday season!

This easy goat cheese ball recipe is filled with fresh chopped rosemary and dried cranberries, then rolled in sliced almonds. It’s so flavorful and can be easily prepped ahead of time to snack on before Christmas dinner or take to a friends house during the holidays.

Who’s ready for cheese ball season?! I know I am!

Image showing how to make a goat cheese ball

Step by step instructions

  1. Combine the ingredients. Add softened goat cheese, dried cranberries and fresh chopped rosemary to a medium mixing bowl. Stir all of the ingredients together, then form the cheese mixture into into a ball shape.
  2. Create the crust. Spread a piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Sprinkle sliced almonds in an even layer. Place the goat cheese ball in the middle of the almonds. Roll the ball in the almonds, then wrap the plastic wrap around the ball.
  3. Let it chill. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Dig in! Serve with crackers, fruit or veggies for dipping. You can even drizzle honey over the cheese ball before serving for a touch of sweetness on top!
Goat cheese ball on plate with dried cranberries, rosemary sprigs and crackers

Frequently asked questions

  • How many days in advance can you make a cheese ball? This goat cheese ball can be made up to 5 days in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If the cheese ball is served immediately after it’s made, any remaining cheese ball can be wrapped up and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • How do you make a cheese ball firmer? Chilling cheese balls in the refrigerator will allow them to come back to a more firm consistency.
  • Can you roll the cheese ball in something other than almonds? Yes, chopped pistachios or more dried cranberries would make a delicious crust on the outside of this goat cheese ball!
Hand dipping cracker into cheese ball on plate

What to serve with it

Here are a few of my favorite ways to scoop up this goat cheese ball!

  • Crackers or toast
    • Wheat Thins – these crackers hold up well and wont crumble when dipped into the cheese ball.
    • Triscuits – another good, sturdy cracker for dipping!
    • Raisin Rosemary Crisps – if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, the flavor of these crackers pairs perfectly with this recipe!
    • Toasted Baguette – slice a baguette, then toast the slices in the oven at 400°F for 10 minutes. Serve the toasted baguette slices with the cheese ball.
    • Pretzels – these salty, crispy snacks are perfect for dipping in a cheese ball!
  • Veggies – since this cheese ball is more on the sweet than savory side, I recommend serving it with veggies like celery, which are more mild in flavor, or red bell peppers, which have their own sweetness.
    • Bell Peppers
    • Carrot Sticks
    • Celery Sticks
  • Fruits
    • Pear Slices – be sure to soak both pears and apples in a 50/50 water and lemon juice mixture before serving them with a cheese ball, so that they don’t brown while sitting out at room temperature.
    • Apple Slices

Pair this cheese ball recipe with any of the following recipes to create an epic appetizer spread.

Goat cheese ball on plate surrounded by dried cranberries

More appetizer recipes

Try all of these easy entertaining appetizer recipes!

Goat cheese ball on plate surrounded by dried cranberries
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Cranberry Goat Cheese Ball

Making a cheese ball at home is simple. Made with only 4 ingredients in just 5 minutes, this Cranberry Goat Cheese Ball is the perfect quick & easy appetizer!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz goat cheese
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  • Add the cheese, cranberries and rosemary to a medium bowl.
  • Mix together, then form into a ball shape.
  • Spread a piece of plastic wrap on the counter.
  • Sprinkle the almonds in an even layer.
  • Place the cheese ball in the middle of the almonds.
  • Roll the ball in the almonds, then wrap the plastic wrap around the cheese ball.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with crackers, fruit or veggies for dipping.

Notes

  • This cheese ball can be made 2-3 days in advance. Any leftover cheese ball can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 150kcal (8%)Carbohydrates 5g (2%)Protein 8g (16%)Fat 11g (17%)Saturated Fat 6g (30%)Cholesterol 17mg (6%)Sodium 139mg (6%)Potassium 52mg (1%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 390mg (8%)Calcium 69mg (7%)Iron 1mg (6%)
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