Cranberry and Pistachio Cheese Ball

While the name alone doesn’t elicit thoughts of elegance or refinement, I find that if you put one of these out, it’s almost guaranteed to be the first thing to disappear – people cannot resist a cheese ball!


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1⁄4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1⁄2 pound shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1⁄8 cup water
  • 5 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • Crackers, for serving


  • In a small saucepan, add cranberries, garlic, brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer until cranberries are softened and liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Transfer the mixture to a small plate and pop in the freezer until chilled.
  • While the cranberries cool, mix together cream cheese, goat cheese, cheddar and salt. Add in the cooled cranberry mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Form into a ball and wrap in plastic. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm.
  • Roll in chopped pistachios. Serve with crackers.