These festive Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles are a perfect make ahead holiday appetizer! Loaded with creamy goat cheese, cinnamon, cranberries and crunchy pecans, these mini cheese balls are always one of the first appetizers to go. Plus, they only take 15 minutes to make!
Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles
The holidays are here again and we are celebrating with my favorite Cranberry Pecan Goat Cheese Truffles! I know the word “truffles” are normally reserved for a dessert or an expensive mushroom, but I think it describes them much better than ‘mini cheese balls’ ever could.
Each truffle is filled with creamy goat cheese, warm notes of cinnamon, crunchy pecans and some sweet honey to pull the flavor all together. Then we roll each little bite size truffle in a festive mixture of dried cranberries (or cherries!), pecans and fresh parsley. Once you drizzle on some gorgeous golden honey, they always disappear in seconds!
These easy goat cheese truffles are incredibly quick to whip up and take about 15 minutes of total work. They also can be made the day before a party, making them a perfect holiday appetizer. If you are traveling to friends or families for the holiday, they also travel incredibly well!
You will need a handful of ingredients to make these mini goat cheese balls:
- Goat Cheese. You will want to use the traditional creamy goat cheese. I know they sell lots of goat cheeses now with flavors already added, but with this recipe, I prefer to be in control of the added flavors. So the plain creamy goat cheese is best!
- Cream Cheese. Cream cheese helps to give the truffles the perfect texture and saves a little cash on buying all goat cheese for your truffles. The goat cheese is the stronger flavor profile, so you can’t even taste it!
- Honey. I use honey in the truffle itself and also like to drizzle the goat cheese truffles with honey just before serving.
- Pecans. You can also use walnuts or pistachios!
- Dried Cranberries. Any dried fruit is tasty with these goat cheese balls, but dried cranberries or dried cherries will give you a festive look of red and green for the holidays.
- Fresh Parsley. Parsley is a very mild flavored fresh herb. It adds a burst of fresh flavor to your truffles, but also gives them that gorgeous green color. However, it is optional and you can skip it if you are not a parsley fan.
How To Make Mini Goat Cheese Truffles
These goat cheese truffles may look impressive, but I promise you they are incredibly easy to whip together. From start to finish, these goat cheese balls take me about 15 minutes to whip together. Let’s get started!
Combine: In a large bowl, you will need to beat together the goat cheese, cream cheese, cinnamon and honey until light and fluffy. I like to do this with a hand mixer because it is MUCH easier to beat the cheeses together with a little electric power. Then fold in a 1/2 cup of the pecan chips.
Toppings: Line countertop with parchment paper. Toss together remaining pecan chips, dried cranberries and parsley in the center of the parchment paper.
Scoop: Using a large cookie scoop, scoop out one round of cheese filling and gently roll it in the cranberry/pecan mixture. Continue until all truffles have been rolled in coating.
Store: Refrigerate cheeseballs until ready to serve. You can make these up to three days before, just make sure and store them in an airtight container.
To Serve: Drizzle with honey, if desired. Serve with crackers, warm crostini or as is with a toothpick!
- Hand Mixer. I find it a lot easier to whip together the cream cheese and goat cheese with a hand mixer or stand mixer. It can be done by hand, but just know that you will be working out those arm muscles!
- No Parsley. If you don’t like parsley, but still want to get that festive red and green look, I recommend swapping your chopped pecans for chopped pistachios. You will still get that great red and green look, but without having to use fresh herbs.
- I don’t Like Goat Cheese. If you aren’t a fan of goat cheese, yes, you can swap it fully for just cream cheese. You can also use any other soft mild cheese you do like, many readers have told me feta works great as well.
- Cookie Scoop. Using a cookie scoop will help keep your mini cheese balls all even in size. It also makes it a lot easier to scoop the cheese filling into a ball shape and then roll it into the toppings.
Can I Make Cheese Balls Ahead Of Time?
Yes! This mini cheese balls make an excellent make ahead holiday appetizer and also travel very well. You can make them up to a few days ahead of your party and they will taste just as good as they day you made them. Just make sure and do not drizzle them with honey until you are ready to serve them.
If you need to travel with these goat cheese balls, wrap them in an air tight container and refrigerate them until you are leaving. Then transfer them in an ice chest with a couple of ice packs. I traveled with these goat cheese balls for 4 hours last year and they were still perfectly chilled once we arrived at our destination.
How To Store Cheese Truffles
Store these mini goat cheese balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
And yes, you can even freeze these mini cheese balls! Wrap them tightly in saran wrap (I wrap each individual cheese ball) and then store them in a freezer ziplock bag. Just make sure you allow them to thaw completely, in the refrigerator, before serving.
- 10 oz goat cheese
- 6 oz cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons honey, plus extra for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups Fisher Nuts pecan chips, divided
- 1 cup diced dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- In a large bowl, beat together the goat cheese, cream cheese, cinnamon and honey until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup pecan chips, folding to combine. Set aside.
- Line your countertop with parchment paper. Toss together remaining pecan chips, dried cranberries and parsley in the center of the parchment paper.
- Using a large cookie scoop, scoop out one round of cheese filling and toss in the cranberry/pecan mixture. Continue until all truffles have been rolled in coating. (If you have any questions, watch the video in this recipe card to see how I easily do this.)
- Refrigerate cheeseballs until ready to serve. You can make these up to three days before, just make sure and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- To Serve: Drizzle truffles with honey, if desired. Serve with crackers, warm crostini or as is with a toothpick (or pretzel stick)!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 142mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 6g
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More Easy Holiday Appetizers
Looking for more easy holiday appetizer recipes? Here are some reader favorites you won’t want to miss:
- Honey Pecan Cheese Truffles
- Easy Bisquick Sausage Balls
- Strawberry Brie Crostini
- Cheesy Ranch Pigs In A Blanket
- Cheesy Turkey Sliders
- Hot Crab, Corn and Bacon Dip
- Ranch Raw Veggie Bars (or some call this Veggie Pizza)
- Baked Mustard, Ham and Cheese Sliders
- Pumpkin Cheese Ball
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