Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball

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This Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball is one for the books! Tangy goat cheese paired with sweet dried fruit, fresh herbs, and encased in salty pistachios — your next party needs this appetizer!

Try our original Cheese Ball Recipe or perhaps our brownie-batter flavored Dessert Cheese Ball next!

Image of the Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball ready to be served

Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball

If you know me well, you know my love for goat cheese runs deep (shout-out to my fave Pistachio Goat Cheese Salad). The more I can use goat cheese in recipes, the better. 

Typically, goat cheese is used in my recipes as a salad or pizza topping (like on this Beet and Goat Cheese Flatbread), but I thought it’s about time goat cheese becomes the star of the show! And what better way to do that then in a cheese ball recipe?!

This Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball is the appetizer of my dreams! But it’s not just me who loves it — it has been wildly popular with everyone that has tried it. I recently took several of these cheese ball appetizers to an event and they were a huge hit — not a speck left and dozens of recipe requests!

Ingredient shot-- images of all the ingredients used in this appetizer

Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball Ingredients

This cheese ball recipe is so easy to make. In fact, there are only six ingredients:

  • Goat cheese: Use a brand of goat cheese you enjoy — it’s the star of the show here! If you live near a Trader Joe store, their goat cheese is phenomenal.
  • Cream cheese.  For best results, use full-fat (reduced-fat cream cheese doesn’t taste as rich and isn’t as thick). I also recommend a good quality brand; We love Philadelphia Cream Cheese® the best in this cheese ball.
  • Dried apricots. The apricots add a wonderful sweetness and contrasting texture. You could also use sweetened dried cranberries or dried tart cherries here.
  • Fresh herbs. The combination of fresh thyme and green onions is unbeatable! It livens everything up nicely and adds loads of flavor.
  • Pistachios. The perfect finishing touch to this Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball! These nuts add flavor, savoriness, saltness, and a satisfying crunchiness. Make it easy on yourself and get roasted, salted, and shelled pistachios

QUICK TIP

Roasted pistachios: If you aren’t able to find roasted pistachios, I recommend roasting them yourself so you aren’t missing out on flavor and they don’t get too soft too quickly. To toast pistachios in the oven, spread the nuts in a single layer in a baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 6-8 minutes or just until fragrant. (More information here).

Process shots of Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball-- images of the cream cheese, goat cheese, and remaining ingredients being added into a bowl and it all being mixed together

VARIATIONS

Make miniature cheese balls instead! Use a spoon to divide the mixture into tablespoon-size portions. Dip clean hands in some water and gently smooth each portion into a small, round ball. Transfer to a parchment-paper-lined sheet pan and chill for 30 minutes before rolling in the pistachios. Serve immediately or press a small pretzel rod for an easy way to pick up these mini Pistachio Goat Cheese Balls.

Top Recipe Tips

  • Use fresh herbs: Dried herbs just don’t cut it for flavor in this pistachio cheese log.
  • Make sure the dried fruit is fresh: Feel the bag of apricots or cranberries before you purchase to ensure the dried fruit inside is soft and feels fresh. If they aren’t, it will make for hard bites in the Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball.
  • Use soft cream cheese. Before starting, soften the cream cheese so it will mix in smoothly and without bumps.

QUICK TIP

To soften the cream cheese: Place a completely unwrapped package of cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 10-15 seconds, check, then microwave for an additional 10-15 seconds as needed. You don’t want it at all melted, just softened to room temperature.

Up-close image of the pistachio goat cheese ball on a plate with crackers on the side ready to be enjoyed

More Favorite Appetizers

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Pistachio Crusted Cheese Ball

4.58 from 7 votes
This Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball is one for the books! Tangy goat cheese is paired with sweet dried fruit, fresh herbs, and encased in salty pistachios -- your next party needs this appetizer!
Print Recipe

Pistachio Crusted Cheese Ball

4.58 from 7 votes
This Pistachio Goat Cheese Ball is one for the books! Tangy goat cheese is paired with sweet dried fruit, fresh herbs, and encased in salty pistachios -- your next party needs this appetizer!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword pistachio crusted cheese ball
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16 as an appetizer
Calories 112kcal
Cost $10.84

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. good quality goat cheese
  • 1 package (8 oz.) full-fat cream cheese (Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots (or chopped dried cranberries/cherries)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions/scallions
  • 3 teaspoons fresh thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted & salted shelled pistachios, (Note 2)
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • For dipping: chips, raw veggies, pretzels etc.

Instructions

  • PREP: Place the unwrapped package of cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 10-15 seconds, check, flip to the other side, and then microwave for an additional 10-15 seconds as needed. You don't want it at all melted, just softened to room temperature. Transfer to a large bowl or bowl attached to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • CHEESES: Add the goat cheese in with the softened cream cheese. Beat the two cheeses together on low speed until just combined.
  • ADD REMAINING INGREDIENTS: Add in the finely chopped dried apricots, finely chopped green onions, and chopped fresh thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste (remembering the nuts are also salted; I add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper). Beat on low speed until ingredients are combined and integrated. Scrape down the sides with a spatula as needed.
  • CHILL: Use the spatula to transfer the mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Using the wrap, knead the mixture together and form a long log or cheese ball. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or until firm. (I like to chill it overnight to allow the flavors to really meld!) At a minimum, chill for 1 hour.
  • COAT: Coarsely chop the shelled pistachios on a cutting board and then unwrap the cheese ball or log right on top of the chopped nuts. Roll the ball around and use your hands to gently attach the pistachios to the ball or log until it is completely coated in nuts. Serve promptly with crackers, veggies, pretzels, etc.
  • STORAGE: Refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 3-4 days. The pistachios will soften considerably as it stores. We do like this cheese ball best the same day it is coated in the pistachios.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Cream cheese: For best results, use full-fat (reduced-fat cream cheese doesn’t taste as rich and isn’t as thick) brick-style cream cheese. I also recommend a good quality brand; We love Philadelphia Cream Cheese® best.
Note 2: Pistachios: Make it easy on yourself and use roasted, salted, and shelled pistachios. If you aren't able to find roasted pistachios, I recommend roasting them yourself so you aren't missing out on flavor and they don't get too soft too quickly. To toast pistachios in the oven, spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 6-8 minutes or just until fragrant.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 112kcal | Carbohydrates: 2.5g | Protein: 4.4g | Fat: 9.7g | Cholesterol: 20.9mg | Sodium: 255.5mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 1.3g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was a big hit at a potluck! Fantastic recipe. Very creamy, Definitely a keeper and will make again. Keep up the good work!

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