This holiday pecan cheese ball is filled with smoked gouda, dried cranberries and rosemary, and is perfect for entertaining!

cheeseball with crackers

I’m not sure why I waited so long to fall in love with cheese balls, but now I know the truth. Hidden amongst a pile of crackers and behind the punch bowl is where I can find my most favorite party appetizer— the flavorful and addictive cheese ball.

When it comes to cheese balls, homemade is the only way to go. Skip the pre-made cheese ball from the deli counter, and instead make your own. They are super simple to assemble, and the taste is monumentally better.

This pecan and gouda cheeseball is a delicious sweet and savory combination of shallots, rosemary, dried cranberries, toasted nuts and of course— cheese! It’s so simple and easy to make. And it’s the perfect snack or appetizer for celebrations during the holiday season, or any time of the year.

pecan and gouda cheeseball ingredients

Ingredients you’ll need

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this pecan and gouda cheeseball (full recipe below):

  • Cream cheese
  • Smoked gouda (or any gouda cheese)
  • Shallot
  • Dried cranberries (dried cherries will work great too)
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Pecans
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

all of the cheeseball ingredients in a bowl

covering cheeseball with chopped pecans

How to make this pecan and gouda cheese ball

Homemade cheeseballs are remarkably easy to assemble!

  1. Combine cheeseball ingredients. Use an electric mixer to combine cream cheese, gouda, shallots, rosemary, cranberries, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth, and scrape down bowl as needed.
  2. Form into 2 balls. Divide mixture in half and shape each into a ball. Using plastic wrap or disposable gloves is very helpful!
  3. Roll in pecans. Put the pecans in a shallow dish and roll the cheeseball around until covered in nuts, using your hands as needed to fill in any gaps.
  4. Wrap and chill. Wrap the cheeseball in clean plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. The longer it rests, the more the flavors will meld together.
  5. Serve. This cheeseball will keep for at least a week in the fridge. Serve with your favorite crackers or toasted bread.


a spread of cheeseball on a cracker

More holiday appetizers you’ll love

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This recipe was originally published December 2014.

cheeseball with crackers
4 from 1 review

Pecan and Gouda Cheese Ball with Cranberries and Rosemary

Servings: 24 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
These cheese balls filled with gouda, rosemary, and cranberries, and rolled in pecans, are perfect for holiday entertaining.
This recipe makes 2 cheeseballs.


  • 2 packages cream cheese , at room temperature (1 lb, 455 grams)
  • 8 ounces regular or smoked gouda cheese , shredded (about 2 cups, 226 grams)
  • 1 small shallot , finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or cherries , roughly chopped (28 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary , chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (110 grams)


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a bowl with a hand-held mixer, combine the cream cheese, gouda, shallot, cranberries, rosemary, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth.
  • Divide the mixture in half and shape into two balls. Using plastic wrap or disposable gloves makes it easier to shape into balls.
  • Place the pecans in a shallow bowl and roll the cheese balls in the pecans until they're coated. Wrap in clean plastic wrap.
  • Let harden in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. Cheese balls will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Serve with your favorite crackers or toasted bread.


Makes 2 cheese balls.
Calories: 98kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 109mg, Potassium: 47mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 256IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Author: Annalise Sandberg
Have you tried this recipe?I’d love to hear about it! Leave a rating and review below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram @completelydelicious with #completelydelicious.