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!
Why you have to make this recipe
If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know I have a whole lot of pomegranate recipes. My family and I are avid fans of this delicious fruit.
Pomegranates are in season in the fall and early winter. And this pomegranate cheese ball makes a show stopping appetizer for any holiday party.
The very retro appetizer gets an incredible face lift. Three cheeses make the delicious cheese mixture and it is mixed with a slew of fresh herbs and garlic. Every time I make this appetizer, the plate gets cleaned up leaving no trace!
Cheese balls are super easy to make and can be made a day or two before your event. Why wouldn’t you make this recipe???
Ingredients you need
- Cream Cheese: Because of its mild flavor, this is the base cheese for the cheese ball. You can use full fat or low fat.
- Goat Cheese: I add a bit of goat cheese for additional flavor. You could also use a creamy feta.
- Shredded White Cheddar Cheese: I use white cheddar because I didn’t want big flecks of orange in my my cheese ball. I chose a sharp cheese to again, add another flavor profile.
- Herbs: Fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano and chives. Use less variety if you want or whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. Fresh has much more flavor than dried, so try to use fresh only.
- Pomegranate Arils: These ruby red jewels are what needs to be pressed all over your cheese ball.
- Salt and Pepper
Recipe step-by-step instructions
1. In a medium sized bowl add cheeses, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Use a hand mixer and whip the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
2. Using a rubber spatula, scoop the ingredients together and transfer to a large sheet of plastic wrap.
3. While wrapping with the plastic wrap, squeeze and roll cheese into a ball shape.
4. Place cheese ball in refrigerator for at least one hour to firm up.
5. 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. Learn how to cut pomegranates and seed them.
6. 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.
Expert tips and recipe FAQS
- Besides pomegranate, you can stud your cheese ball with chopped nuts, herbs, crushed crackers, even. crushed chips!
- Serve with your favorite crackers, pita chips or even a baguette.
- Cheese balls can be made 2-3 days ahead of time. Just wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Cream cheese makes a great base cheese for your cheese ball. Include more pungent cheeses like goat, feta and/or sharp cheddar for extra flavor.
Once the arils are removed from the pomegranate, spread them on a baking sheet lined with a paper towel. Refrigerate the arils to dry them out. If they are wet, they won’t stick to the cheese ball.
- 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
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ 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.
Instead of goat cheese try a creamy feta instead. For cheddar, use your favorite. It can be mild, sharp or extra sharp depending on your personal preference.
You can also change the herbs to what you have on hand. Just use fresh and not dried for best flavor.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with crackers, bagel crisps, pita chips or crudités.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 337mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 9g
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Disclosure: Special thanks to Cabot Creamery for sending me samples of their fabulous cheddar cheese. I used their Seriously Sharp Cheddar in this recipe. I was not paid to write this post. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about it.