Easy Pomegranate Cheese Ball: A Fancy, Festive, and Fun Recipe for Your Holiday Party
Dec 06, 2023
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This creamy, salty, and scoopable pomegranate cheese ball is the perfect appetizer for your next Christmas party. Whipped cream cheese and Asiago covered in pomegranate seeds and topped with a Rolo and sprig of thyme, this easy recipe looks just like a festive ornament.
Cheese balls are always a hit at any party.
And we covered our cheese ball with pomegranates for a beautiful red color on the outside.
As you dip your cracker or favorite veggie into your pomegranate cheese ball, you and your family will love this festive take on a classic recipe.
This recipe is kid-friendly, quick, and only needs a handful of ingredients.
Let’s make sure you have what you need to get started.
Ingredients for Your Pomegranate Cheese Ball
We’ll use a handful of ingredients to make our cheese ball creamy, vibrant, and decadent.
This is how we make sure your cheese ball firms up and keeps its ornamental shape. We’re using soft cream cheese as the base, and it can only firm up so much on its own. Butter has a freezing point where it hardens when it’s below a certain temperature, but it doesn’t melt like an ice cream cone when it sits at room temperature.
Be sure to use two tablespoons of salted butter in your cheese ball so your festive appetizer doesn’t turn into a gooey mess when it sits out on a party spread. You probably already know where butter is in the store, but just in case, it’s in the dairy section.
The more, the merrier, so we’ll use two types of cheeses for our pomegranate cheese ball: cream cheese and shredded Asiago. Cream cheese is soft and easy to mix with other ingredients, like shredded Asiago, and form into a ball. The subtly sweet, salty cream cheese pairs well with the mild nuttiness of Asiago, giving this recipe a well-rounded punch of flavor and creamy textures.
Shredded Asiago and cream cheese are both in the dairy aisle, near the butter. For a stronger taste, buy a block of Asiago from the artisan cheese section and shred it at home. Block cheese is 100% worth the extra effort. However, if you’re short on time, we completely understand that too. Feel free to get the pre-shredded Asiago and dump it right into your mixing bowl.
What better way to add earthy flavors to a recipe than with fresh herbs? We’ll use some chopped chives in addition to fresh minced garlic. Chives add a delicate onion flavor that doesn’t overpower the sweet and saltiness of the cheese and pomegranates.
We’ll also need a sprig of thyme for the garnish on our pomegranate cheese ball. Even though the thyme is just for looks, it really brings the whole look together for your festive ornament cheese ball.
Herbs are usually located by the lettuce and salad kits in the produce section of your grocery store. Since we’re using fresh herbs, you don’t need much to add extra flavor, which means it’s light on the wallet, too.
We love to use fresh ingredients as much as possible, even when it’s something as intemidating as a pomegranate. It’s so worth it! You’ll need about one cup of arils (the seeds inside of the pomegranate) to cover the outside of your cheese ball. One pomegranate should have more than enough seeds to cover the outside of your cheese ball. Leave as little white showing underneath as much as possible.
The arils are the best part of this cheese ball. They have a glossy look that resembles a Christmas ornament, and they shoot a burst of sweet, tart juice as you bite into them. It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it. Look for pomegranates in the produce section for the beautiful red coating on your cheese ball.
And if you need a shortcut, look in the value-add section of the produce department for fresh pomegranate arils.
Related: How to Open a Pomegranate
We’ll use a Rolo candy for an edible garnish that everyone will love. You only need one because this caramel-filled chocolate candy is going to serve as the “golden” ornament tip. Rolos are sort of cone-shaped with a flat bottom so it sits perfectly on top of your pomegranate cheese ball. Leave a small space on your cheese ball empty and stick the Rolo to the cheese so it stays in place. Then use your hands to cover any white space with arils around the Rolo.
Rolos are going to be in the candy section. Since you only need one, you can get a small bag. But if your family is likely to fight over the one Rolo, we recommend the family size!
How to Make a Cheese Ball With Pomegranates
Step 1: Add the softened butter, cream cheese, and shredded Asiago to a mixing bowl. Use a hand or stand mixer to whip the cheeses together until they are combined and have a smooth texture.
Step 2: Chop the chives, mince the garlic, and mix them into your cream cheese base until combined.
Step 3: Use your hands to form a ball with the cheese mixture.
Step 4: Spread the pomegranate arils onto a plate and gently roll the cheese ball in the arils until it’s covered in bright red, juicy seeds. Use your hands to fill in any gaps with more arils until the entire cheese ball is covered. There should be as little white showing as possible.
Step 5: Cut a piece of plastic wrap and lay it on the counter. Place the cheese ball in the middle and pull each corner in toward the center. Wrap your cheese ball tightly and set it in the fridge to chill for 60 minutes or until it’s firm and holds its shape.
Step 6: Unwrap your pomegranate cheese ball and transfer it to a serving plate. Garnish with a Rolo on top and a sprig of thyme and serve!
Related: How to Seed a Pomegranate
How to Select a Pomegranate
Pomegranates should be hard on the outside without cracks or bruises. The rind varies in color from bright pink to dark red. The color is dependent on the variety of pomegranate, not the ripeness. When it comes to color, you can choose whichever one you’d like. The larger a pomegranate is, the juicier it is.
How to Serve
Pomegranate cheese balls are so much fun to make, and they can be tailored with dippers to fit any dietary needs.
Here are a few serving ideas:
- Carrots and Celery
- Buttery Crackers
You can either serve your cheese ball fresh out of the fridge or let it sit at room temperature to let it soften.
How to Store Your Pomegranate Cheese Ball
One of the things we love about this recipe is that it can be made the day before you plan to serve it. If you wrap it nice and tight with plastic wrap, it will stay fresh for up to three days in the fridge. But you have to make sure it’s tightly wrapped, like a present.
Your pomegranate cheese ball can also be left at room temperature for up to two hours and still keep its shape.
If you have any leftovers, add hand-picked pieces to pasta, salad, or wraps.
More Pomegranate Recipes
- Pomegranate Hearts — 15-minute gelatin hearts
- Veggies Glazed with Pomegranate — root veggies served with whipped goat cheese
- Pomegranate Spritz — easy yet simple New Year’s cocktail
- Pomegranate Salsa — colorful salsa with a twist
Pomegranate Cheese Ball
- 2 tablespoons salted butter softened
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 8 oz shredded Asiago cheese
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons chives chopped
- 1 cup fresh pomegranate arils patted dry
- 1 Rolo candy unwrapped for onament top
- 1 sprig thyme for garnish
- Use a mixer to combine the butter, cream cheese, and shredded Asiago cheese until smooth. Add in the minced garlic and chives and mix until combined.
- Use your hands to form a ball.
- Add pomegranate arils to a plate. Then, roll the cheese ball in the arils until the surface of the cheese ball is covered. Use your hands to fill in any bare spots with more arils.
- Tightly cover your pomegranate-covered cheese ball in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 60 minutes or until firm.
- Add the Rolo to the top to create the stem. Top the Rolo with a sprig of thyme and serve with crackers and veggie slices.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.