This cheese ball comes together so quickly, with a savory-sweet flavor delicious bits of cranberry and pistachio throughout!
When it comes to easy party food, cheese-centric dishes must certainly be at the top of the list. For example, how simple it is to fan out a few slices of a tasty Cheddar or creamy Havarti? And then alongside the cheese serve crackers that are usually a few degrees fancier than the saltines or store-brand version of Ritz crackers that you’d normally buy for your own family.
At Costco I saw pre-assembled trays of fanned cheeses – more convenient still! Cheese spreads are also quite delicious and easy to pull together yourself: blend a creamy cheese together with various seasonings, maybe some nuts and fruit to add texture and flavor.
A cheese ball is an old-fashioned app but still a popular one, and so yummy when you have a sturdy cracker to dig down through it!
This cheese spread is a perfect option for a last-minute appetizer to whip up and set out just in time for your party.
The base of this spread is tangy chèvre, with a distinctive flavor all on its own but that is also really nice in combination with a handful of dried cranberries and another handful of chopped pistachios.
The bright flavors of the berries and nuts play quite nicely with the chèvre.
To tie everything together I blended in some hot pepper jelly – the sweetness of this lovely condiment is a nice foil to the tangy cheese, while also contributing a touch of heat.
This spread blends up quickly.
You can simply spoon it into a dish, or like I did press it into a plastic wrap-lined bowl.
Invert the bowl onto a serving platter and you have a nice ball of cheese to dig into with a good, sturdy cracker.
This one checks all the boxes: easy to make, quite tasty, goes well with good crackers. And all with just 5 ingredients! I’m a big fan of the cheese products from Vermont Creamery, but if they’re not available in your area use any good quality chèvre.
Easy Goat Cheese Spread with Pistachios & Cranberries
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pistachios in their shells (or 1/4 cup shelled pistachios)
- 8 ounces good quality chèvre goat cheese (such as Vermont Creamery)
- 3 tablespoons hot pepper jelly
- 1 pinch salt
- Sturdy crackers to serve with the cheese (I like Town House Pita Crackers)
- Use a sharp knife and cutting board to chop up the dried cranberries. You don’t have to worry too much about uniformity of the pieces, just chop them into smaller pieces.
- Remove the pistachios from their shells and use a sharp knife to chop them into small pieces.
- Place the chopped cranberries, chopped pistachios, goat cheese, pepper jelly and pinch of salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and blend the ingredients together on medium speed until the ingredients are equally blended in. (You can also use a large bowl and hand mixer to do this step.)
- At this point you can simply spoon the cheese spread into a small serving dish and set it out with crackers, or you can shape the cheese spread: line a small, round bowl with plastic wrap and press the cheese spread firmly into the bowl. Cover the top with plastic and refrigerate the bowl for 30 minutes. Have a serving plate ready: remove the top piece of plastic and invert the bowl onto the serving platter. Remove the bowl and the plastic wrap from the cheese.
- You can serve the cheese spread as is or warm a little pepper jelly to spoon over the top, and add a few dried cranberries and pistachios as a garnish. Place crackers around the cheese and serve it up!