This mid-century classic appetizer gets an elegant face lift in this ruby red studded pomegranate cheese ball, made with garlic and fresh herbs. Find more of my pomegranate recipes.
My family is so happy right now. We have recovered from our sugar coma of Halloween and are firmly in the heart of pomegranate season! Every fall my family goes bonkers and my husband and I are shucking pomegranates daily. And it’s not all for my blog.
My kids could easily eat a cup of pomegranate arils everyday. When the season is over, my husband gasps, “I’m never going to cut another pomegranate AGAIN!” And every fall, we forget about all the work and start seeding them again!
All about pomegranates!
If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know I have a whole lot of pomegranate recipes. Persians (and all middle easterners) have loved this bejeweled fruit for centuries. It’s about time that pomegranates have taken over the western cuisine.
Pomegranates flourish in dry arid climates. So it’s no surprise that they grow beautifully here in California. The pomegranates pictured in this post are from our little pomegranate tree. With the drought conditions and low water restrictions, not to mention an unseasonably warm beginning to our fall, we did not have a bumper crop.
Our tree, even on a good year, won’t grow enough pomegranates to keep my family satisfied. So we get gifts from friends with trees or I hit the store and purchase pomegranate. We just can’t get enough of this delicious and nutritious fruit.
Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, vitamins C and K and are super high in fiber. And before you ask, yes, the entire pomegranate aril, seed and all, are edible!
How to make a pomegranate cheese ball
So you see, every fall I spoil my family with buckets of pomegranates. My daughter is now 14 and has learned how to cut pomegranates and seed them. I supposed her dad and I weren’t working fast enough as she could eat up the pomegranate seeds.
This year I wanted to create another elegant and easy appetizer for all of the entertaining we do over the holidays. So I decided to update one of my favorite appetizers from my childhood: the retro cheese ball!
This pomegranate cheese ball is studded with ruby red pomegranate arils. The cheesy center is filled with flavors like garlic and fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and chives. And it tastes as good as it looks. My 10-year old Princess couldn’t stop eating it.
What kind of cheese to use to make a pomegranate cheese ball
Cheese balls are super easy to make and the flavor combinations are endless. This cheese ball recipe is made with a combination of cream cheese, goat cheese and white cheddar. You use any kind of cheddar, just note that the sharper the cheese, the more flavor it brings. You can also swap out the goat cheese and use a creamy feta like Bulgarian feta.
Honestly, most of the work is from cutting the pomegranate and seeding them. You do need to make sure that the pomegranate arils are patted dry with a paper towel and refrigerated. The arils stick better to the cheese when they are completely dry.
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 5 oz goat cheese
- 4 oz shredded white cheddar cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 TBS finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 TBS finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 TBS finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1 TBS finely chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 ground tsp black pepper
- 1 large pomegranate
- In a medium-sized bowl add all of the ingredients except the pomegranate.
- Using a hand mixer, whip the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
- Using a rubber spatula, scoop the ingredients together and transfer to a large sheet of plastic wrap.
- While wrapping with the plastic wrap, squeeze and roll cheese into a ball shape. Place cheese ball in refrigerator for at least one hour to firm up.
- Peel and remove seeds (arils) from pomegranate.
- Lay pomegranate arils in one layer on a plate and refrigerate to dry out, about one hour. If arils are wet, they will not stick to the cheese ball.
- Unwrap cheese ball and roll into the pomegranate arils, firmly pressing arils into the cheese. Continue doing this until the entire cheese ball is covered with pomegranate.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with crackers, bagel crisps, pita chips or crudités.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236 Total Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 51mg Sodium: 337mg Carbohydrates: 9g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 6g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 9g