A delicious appetizer of goat cheese, pecans, and cranberries that you make in just 10 minutes. Best described as creamy goat cheese balls with a crunchy crust of pecans, cranberries, and parsley. Drizzle each cheese ball with some honey. Great as an amuse-bouche, appetizer, or snack.
When you are almost ready for dinner, you will get the taste buds completely loose with an elegant amuse-bouche. I really like that. My favorite are the three delicious amuse-bouche on a plate. But if you go for something simpler, I can offer you the recipes of this delicious amuse-bouche with smoked salmon and arugula oil and ham with cranberry compote. And today I've added a vegetarian variant.
A vegetarian appetizer with soft creamy goat cheese inside and a crunchy pecan-cranberry outside. A terrific flavor with every bite you take!
A flavor explosion in your mouth
Mixing the goat cheese with cream cheese makes the taste softer and creamier. And by rolling it in a mix of dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and parsley, you get a delicious crunchy outer layer. This will be a crowd-pleaser for sure!
A full list of ingredients can be found at the end of this blog.
- Goat cheese - This recipe uses soft goat cheese. I used small goat cheese balls because they mix well with the cream cheese, but you can also opt for a larger piece of goat cheese. Since you'll be adding honey later, use cheese without honey.
- Cream cheese - Cream cheese makes the goat cheese softer and gives a delicious velvety taste. Any cream cheese without herbs is suitable for this.
- Cranberries - This recipe uses dried cranberries. They are sweeter than fresh ones and is a better combination with the cheese.
You can find a recipe that you can easily print at the bottom of this blog.
Step 1 - Mix the cheeses
Finely chop the pecans, cranberries, and parsley. To a bowl, add the goat cheese, cream cheese, cinnamon, honey, ⅓ of the pecans, and two tablespoons of cranberries. Mix everything well until it is fluffy and creamy. Put it in the fridge for a while so it gets cold and you can easily scoop it. At least 15 minutes, but an hour is better.
Step 2 - Prepare the crust
Mix the rest of the pecans, cranberries, and parsley and put them on a plate. Spread this mixture as much as possible in one layer.
Step 3 - Scoop the goat cheese balls
With a small ice cream scoop, scrape some of the cheese mixture out of the bowl. The ice cream scoop already gives you a nice ball shape.
Step 4 - Coat the balls
- Place the scoop with the cheese mixture on the plate with the nut-cranberry mix.
- Roll the cheese balls in the nut mixture. This sticks super well to the outside. If you serve it right away, drizzle some honey over the balls. If you make this in advance, you can now store them covered with some foil in the refrigerator. Just before serving, drizzle the balls with honey.
- Cream Cheese - Replace the cream cheese with an equal amount of mascarpone. This makes the balls even creamier.
- Pecans - You can also use walnuts or pistachios for this.
- Cranberries - Cranberries can also be replaced with currants, raisins, or dates.
- Parsley - It does not matter flavor-wise whether you use curly or flat parsley, but for the eye, the flat parsley is the most beautiful.
Fried Cheese Balls - Prepare the cheese balls and put them on a plate. Make a coating of finely chopped pecans with the same amount of Panko. Fill a bowl with a beaten egg and a plate with the pecan-Panko mixture. First, dip the balls in the egg and then coat them with the nut mixture. Then bake them for 30 minutes at 465 °F (240 °C) in the oven, 4 to 5 minutes at 250 °F (180 °C) in the deep fryer or 7 minutes at 390 °F (200 °C) in the Airfryer. Drizzle with some honey and serve!
My favorite kitchen utensils
Thank you for reading this blog. I hope you found it helpful to make this recipe. Here are some tools that I used to prepare this. These are affiliate links, so if you decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission.
But, that being said, these are the tools that I use and that I recommend to everyone (even my own family).
- These glass bowls are ideal for making creamy cheese mixes, mixing meats, or making a batter. They can withstand temperature changes well and, because they are made of glass, you can clean them well and hygienically.
- I use this hand mixer to mix the cheese mixture. It fits comfortably in your hand, has a powerful motor (ideal for heavy work), and can be used for whisking, and mixing.
- I make the cheese balls with an ice cream scoop of 1.38 inches (3.5 cm) in diameter. The smallest ice cream scoop from this ice cream scoop collection. And I don't just use this ice cream scoop for just preparing ice cream dessert or making this recipe, but also when baking cookies and other baked goods. You will enjoy this a lot!
- Refrigerator - You can make the cheese mixture up to 2 days in advance and roll it into balls. Keep it covered in the refrigerator. I wouldn't apply the coating just yet. The pecans become soft and the parsley less fresh. But you can make the coating within a few minutes, so the cheese balls are on the table in no time.
- Frozen - You can freeze these cheese balls for up to 1 month. To store them easily, place them on a plate with some space in between and let them freeze. Then remove them from the surface and put them in a bag. That way they don't freeze together. TIP parsley gets a different structure in the freezer. Choose to add the nut topping later or omit the parsley.
- Remove both cheeses (cream cheese and goat cheese) 15 minutes before starting to prepare this recipe from the refrigerator. Then they are softer and blend better.
- Stick a pretzel stick into a cheese ball and you have a goat cheese lollipop. That way you don't need a skewer to eat them.
- Pear and apple wedges
- Baked baguette slices
- Pretzels (salt sticks)
- Mini breadsticks
🥘 Other delicious recipes
Did you make this recipe? Tag #byandreajanssen via Instagram. I really enjoy seeing what your creation looks like. Video recipes can be found on my YouTube channel. And don't forget to save the recipes on Pinterest so you can easily find them next time!
Goat cheese, pecans and cranberries appetizer
Pas met de knoppen het aantal personen aan.
- 5 oz soft goat cheese
- 5 oz cream cheese without herbs
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 oz. pecan nuts finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons cranberry dried finely chopped
- 3 oz. pecan nuts finely chopped
- 3 oz. cranberries finely chopped
- 1 oz. parsley finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
Making cheese balls
- Place goat cheese, cream cheese, cinnamon, honey, pecans, and cranberries in a bowl.5 oz soft goat cheese, 5 oz cream cheese, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 oz. pecan nuts, 2 tablespoons cranberry
- Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed so that the mixture becomes creamy and fluffy.
- Optional: put the bowl, covered, in the refrigerator, for at least 15 minutes, but you can leave it in longer. That makes creating the balls easier.
Coat with nuts
- Mix the pecans, cranberries, and chopped parsley on a plate.3 oz. pecan nuts, 3 oz. cranberries, 1 oz. parsley
- Scoop with an ice cream scoop, I used a diameter of 1.38 inches (3½ cm), a ball of the cheese mixture, and place it on top of the nut mixture.
- Roll the cheese ball through the nut mixture so that it gets an even layer.
- Place on a plate or bowl.
- If you serve the goat cheese balls right away, drizzle a little honey over the balls and serve.2 tablespoons honey
- Otherwise, keep them covered in the fridge. Drizzle with the honey just before serving.
- Refrigerator - Make the cheese mixture up to 2 days in advance and roll it into balls. Keep it covered in the refrigerator. I wouldn't apply the coating just yet. The pecans become soft and the parsley less fresh. But you can make the coating within a few minutes, so the cheese balls are on the table in no time.
- Frozen - You can freeze these cheese balls for up to 1 month. For easy storage, place them on a plate with some space in between and let them freeze. Then remove them from the surface and put them in a bag. That way they don't freeze together. TIP - Parsley gets a different structure in the freezer. Choose to add the nut topping later or omit the parsley.
The nutritional value shown is per appetizer. But it is true that you probably use less coating and honey than what is indicated. The real values will therefore be lower.