A quick, easy & delicious Christmas appetizer that can be made in advance! Serve with crackers for the perfect way to feed a crowd!
Disclaimer: This post is a paid partnership with Countdown Supermarkets. All content and opinions are my own.
There is nothing like Christmas Day for spending time with family and friends, especially after the year we have had!
But if you’ve just remembered that you’ve forgotten about a Christmas Day appetizer, don’t panic - my Christmas Cheese Ball Wreath is exactly what you need.
All of the ingredients can be bought from Countdown in advance and you can even make the wreath and store in the fridge for a few days before you need it, meaning more time on Christmas Day for eating and spending time with family and friends.
Not only does it look the part, it’s a real crowd pleaser and thanks to Countdown’s great range of own brand products, it is a very affordable and easy way of providing snacks for a big group of people. Perfect for Christmas!
The cheese ball mixture is cream cheese, feta, toasted pistachio nuts, dried cranberries, lemon juice & zest, balsamic vinegar, garlic and pepper.
Mix it all together and form into a wreath using a lined ring cake tin if you have one, or directly on the serving plate with a small bowl turned upside down in the center to create the middle. Chill it in the fridge for a few hours or for a couple of days until you are ready to serve it.
I used chopped fresh parsley and chives, dried cranberries and rosemary sprigs to make it look just like a wreath, but use whatever you like to make it your own. You can also play around with what you add into the cheese ball - I have a sneaking suspicion that a bit of bacon wouldn't go astray!
Christmas Cheese Ball Wreath
- ½ cup pistachio nuts
- 450 grams cream cheese (2 x blocks at room temperature)
- 400 grams feta
- 4 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Ground black pepper to taste (be generous)
- ½ cup chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley & chives)
- 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries (or red pepper, finely chopped)
- Fresh rosemary sprigs
- Line a ring cake tin with glad wrap and set aside. If you don't have a ring tin, you can place a small bowl upside down in the middle of the serving platter you will use and create the wreath around the bowl.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and place the pistachio nuts on a baking tray.
- Bake for 8 minutes (keep a close eye on them around this time as they can burn quickly) and remove from the oven. Chop the nuts coarsely (or use a food processor) and set aside.
- Using a stand or hand held mixer (or a bowl and wooden spoon) beat the softened cream cheese and feta until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients and combine.
- Spoon the cheese ball mixture into the prepared tin. Spread into an even layer using light pressure to ensure the mixture holds together. Cover and place in the fridge for 3 hours (or longer) to chill.
- Remove from the fridge, uncover and invert onto the serving plate. Use a spatula or knife to smooth the edges.
- Sprinkle with the chopped fresh herbs and garnish with dried cranberries, red peppers or pomegranate arils (anything red) and fresh rosemary sprigs.
- Serve with crackers or toasted bread. Cheese ball can be made 4 days in advance and stored in the fridge until needed.
My daughter in law made this recipe for Christmas and Boxing day. Absolutely beautiful. Hubby's comments, best he's ever had! My daughter in law sent me the link, so it will definitely be a must in the future for me. Highly recommended.