cheese balls getting ready to be served.

Holiday Cheese Ball Trio

Caramelized onions, sharp white cheddar and minced garlic create the base for this Holiday Cheese Ball Trio decked out in fresh parsley, cranberries and almonds. It’s a holiday appetizer you’ll love!

cheese balls getting ready to be served.
Holiday Cheese Ball Trio

What Makes This Recipe Special?

There are as many retro cheese balls out there as stars in the sky, but this gourmet party appetizer is a notch above the rest. The depth of flavor from caramelized onions and sharp white cheddar makes it the best cheese ball ever!

It’s so good, in fact, there’s no need to make the mixture of cheese balls three ways. You only need one delicious recipe divided into thirds! The toppings make each cheese ball unique with different flavors.

Cranberries, parsley and toasted almonds create a festive red, green and gold theme you’ll be proud to serve. You’ll love how easy this recipe is to create, but your guests will think you labored for hours.

holiday cheese ball trio with slice cut out of almond ball.

Ingredient List

  • onions – caramelize for incredible flavor
  • butter – helps create the caramelization
  • soy sauce – gives this cheese ball its depth
  • minced garlic – pairs well with the onion
  • cream cheese – use full fat for best results
  • sharp white cheddar – shred by hand
  • onion powder – enhances the onions in this recipe
  • salt & pepper – adds a little boost
  • dried cranberries – (ad) sweet and tart flavor
  • fresh parsley – chop fine, or leave curly as shown in photos
  • toasted almonds – toasting brings out the nutty flavor

How to Make Gourmet Cheese Balls

  • In a skillet, sauté onion in butter until caramelized. Stir in soy sauce and garlic. Take off heat.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy. Mix in half of the white cheddar cheese and blend well.
  • Stir in the onion powder, pepper, and salt. 
  • Fold the onions into the cream cheese mixture.
  • Stir in the other half of the white cheddar cheese.
  • Divide mixture into thirds and roll into balls using hands.
  • Wrap balls with plastic wrap and refrigerate while making toppings.
  • Unwrap cheese balls. Press parsley into one ball, almonds in the second ball, and cranberries in the last ball.
  • To serve, arrange cheese balls on a plate with assorted crackers. Garnish with fresh fruit and curly leaf parsley if desired.
step by step instructions on how to make the recipe.

How Should They Be Stored?

Store cheese balls in the refrigerator before and after serving. The almonds and cranberries will hold well, but the parsley will not. It’s best to serve the parsley cheese ball within 2 hours.

Can I Substitute Toppings?

The great thing about this Holiday Cheese Ball Trio recipe is how versatile it can be. If you’d rather use pomegranate seeds instead of cranberries, go for it! Dill weed or other green herbs can be substituted for parsley, and toasted pecans can be used instead of almonds. Use what you love!

crackers surrounding three cheese balls on a white plate.

Recipe Tips and FAQs

  • If you want the cheese balls to be firmer, refrigerate for at least 2 hours before adding toppings.
  • Toast almonds in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes for best flavor.
  • Curly leaf parsley is used for decorative purposes, but feel free to chop into a finer blend if desired.
  • When adding toppings to cheese balls, it’s easier if you press them into the balls instead of rolling.

More Holiday Appetizers to Love

Christmas is the perfect time to bring out your best appetizer tray! Add these recipes to the mix for even more crowd pleasers…

Print
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cheese balls getting ready to be served.

Holiday Cheese Ball Trio


  • Author: Debi ~ QuicheMyGrits
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 36 1x

Description

Caramelized onions, sharp white cheddar and minced garlic create the base for this Holiday Cheese Ball Trio decked out in parsley, cranberries and almonds. It’s a holiday appetizer you’ll love!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz. sharp white cheddar, shredded by hand
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (ad)
  • 1 cup curly leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup toasted sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Sauté onion in butter until caramelized. Add soy sauce and garlic. Take off heat.
  2. In a mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add half of the white cheddar cheese and mix well.
  3. Mix in the onion powder, pepper, and salt. 
  4. Fold the onions into the cream cheese mixture with a spatula.
  5. Fold in the other half of the white cheddar cheese.
  6. Divide mixture into thirds and roll into balls. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate while preparing toppings.
  7. Take cheese balls out of refrigerator and unwrap. Press cranberries in one ball, parsley in second ball, and toasted almonds in final ball.
  8. To serve, arrange cheese balls on plate with assorted crackers. Garnish with fresh fruit and parsley.

Notes

Use full fat cream cheese for best results.

Toast almonds in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to enhance flavor.

For firmer cheese balls, refrigerate at least 2 hours before adding toppings.

It’s easier to add toppings to cheese balls by pressing them into the balls rather than rolling. 

  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cheese balls, caramelized onion cheese balls, holiday cheese balls

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2 Comments

  1. These sound so good I wish we could have a party!

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