Who else loves a super easy, retro cheeseball appetizer?! They are SO underrated. I love how simple they are to make, and they’re so festive! And we all know how I feel about festive things..like these cocktails for example. I’m such a little kid when it comes to the holidays and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I live for the aura and energy around Thanksgiving and Christmas. It makes me so so happy!
If you need a last minute appetizer for tomorrow, I’ve got you covered! I asked you guys on Instagram yesterday if you were app people like me, or if you liked to save up for the big meal. And the majority of you are definitely appetizer people. I knew I liked you.
I’m such a “picker” and I can’t imagine any holiday meal, or any meal for that matter, without some snacking beforehand!
One of the reasons I love cheeseballs is simple because of the texture! You could’ve guessed that, I know. The creaminess of the cheese mixed with the crunchy outside is to die for. I toasted the pecans for extra flavor and the cranberries are so chewy, tart, sweet, and delicious! What’s not to love?
What gives this a huge punch of flavor is the caramelized onions. I caramelized a sweet onion for almost a half an hour and it just tastes like a delicious, sweet onion marmalade. And I didn’t add any brown sugar or anything! Toooo good.
You could totally add this cheeseball to a huge Thanksgiving cheeseboard like this one I shared last week! Or by itself with a variety of crackers, chips, apples, and whatever else you like for dipping! I’ve said it before, but more is more in this situation, in my opinion. Huge, loaded cheeseboards are the best for entertaining!
I know turkey day is tomorrow, but there’s still time to make this, and it’s actually a perfect recipe to make ahead of time! It’s best if you chill it for at least two hours, but you could totally let it chill overnight and just let it sit for a little longer to let it come to room temp!
I find that it tastes best after it has chilled for a bit and then comes to room temp. I honestly could not stop eating this darn thing. I ate it every single day for a week after I made it. And one day I may have had it for dinner with crackers and some apples. Does anyone else sometimes resort to cheese for dinner? Tell me I’m not the only one. Snack dinners are my fave.
Happy almost Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has a lovely, relaxing day tomorrow.
ALSO. I’m super obsessed with hearing about other people’s traditions and favorite side dishes/menus, so comment below if you wanna share! <3
Cranberry Pecan Caramelized Onion Cheeseball
This cranberry caramelized onion cheeseball is so flavorful, super easy to make, and so festive! It's such a crowd pleaser and it's great to entertain with!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium sweet onion, very thinly sliced
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped into smaller pieces
- salt and pepper
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once melted, add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently for 25-30 minutes, or until deeply golden and caramelized. They will be almost a jam-like consistency.
While the onions are caramelizing, heat a skillet over medium high and add the pecans. Toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring, watching very carefully as they can burn quickly. Remove from heat.
Add the cream cheese, mascarpone, the caramelized onions, white cheddar, half of the toasted pecans, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a medium mixing bowl. Beat the mixture with electric beaters until combined.
Add remaining pecans and cranberries to a plate and stir with your fingers to combine.
Form cheese mixture into a ball using your hands, and gently roll in the pecans and cranberries to adhere. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. I like to let mine sit at room temperature for an hour or so before serving. Serve with your favorite crackers, chips, and sliced apples!