This appetizer will be a hit at your next holiday party.

By By Nicole Crane
Updated: November 17, 2017
Photo: Nicole Crane

Thanks to its rich red hue, pomegranate is a festive (antioxidant-rich!) addition to holiday dishes. And in this recipe, the winter fruit teams up with goat cheese to create the ultimate festive appetizer. (We also suggest making these healthy pomegranate recipes this season.)

This pomegranate bejeweled goat cheese ball takes just 15 minutes to whip up and only requires six ingredients. To make it, first dry roast some chopped pecans, mix in a bit of sea salt and maple syrup, then add the pecan mixture to the goat cheese. Toss in some chopped chives for a subtle onion kick, then shape the whole thing into a ball. Lastly, roll the cheese ball in the pomegranate arils, pressing them into the ball until it's coated with the fruit all the way around. Serve it with your favorite crackers, pita chips, or pretzels. Consider the crowd pleased.

Pomegranate Bejeweled Goat Cheese Ball

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw natural pecans
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 oz goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • Arils from 1 medium pomegranate (about 2/3 cup)
  • Crackers, pita chips, or any other dippers

Directions

  1. Roughly chop the pecans. Transfer to a saucepan heated over medium-low heat. Dry roast for 5 minutes, tossing once or twice.
  2. Meanwhile, break the goat cheese into chunks and place in a bowl. Add the chopped chives.
  3. Once the pecans are done roasting, drizzle the maple syrup and sprinkle the sea salt in. Remove from heat and stir together.
  4. Transfer the pecans to the goat cheese bowl. Use a wooden spoon to combine everything evenly.
  5. Transfer the goat cheese mixture to a cutting board. Use your hands to mold it into a ball.
  6. Place the pomegranate arils on a small plate. Roll the goat cheese ball in the pomegranate, pressing the arils into the cheese ball with your hands. Continue until the entire cheese ball is covered in arils.
  7. Place in the refrigerator until it's ready to be served. Serve with crackers, pita chips or pretzels.

Nutrition facts: Per 1/8 recipe, about 1.3 oz, 125 calories, 9g fat, 4g saturated fat, 6.5g carbs, 1g fiber, 4g sugar, 6g protein

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