Easy Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log

10 Minute prep creamy, sweet and tangy cheese log with cranberries and pistachios is the EASIEST yet most impressive appetizer you will ever make!

 This festive cheese log can be made DAYS in advance so it’s the perfect stress-free appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday party!  YAY for easy entertaining! and YAY for the best Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log!

Cheese Log Recipe Video

10 Minute prep creamy, sweet and tangy Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log is the EASIEST yet most impressive appetizer you will ever make! And it can be made DAYS in advance so it’s the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday party!

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Cheese Log

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?!  I have all your scrumptious sides covered (click HERE to see them all in one place) so this has been the week of appetizers!  And I saved the best for l last.  My dear Readers.  I don’t beg often so you know I’m serious when I implore you to please make this Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log.  For you.  For your family.  For your guests.  Everyone will lovoooooe you for it!

With the bustling holiday season upon us, this Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log is your back pocket appetizer ace to sanity and deliciousness all entertaining season long!  It’s sophisticated and beautiful yet deceptively simple to prepare.  At the same time, it’s so crazy delicious everyone will crowd around until every last pistachio crumb has been licked off the plate.

10 Minute prep creamy, sweet and tangy Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log is the EASIEST yet most impressive appetizer you will ever make! And it can be made DAYS in advance so it’s the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday party!

Cheese Log Recipe

The outer coating of tangy, fresh cranberries and salty, crunchy pistachios paired with the tangy, smooth and creamy herb spiked goat cheese is an indulgent, textural taste of heaven.  Drizzle it all with honey to enhance the flavors and balance the tangy cranberries and goat cheese then dig in with Crunchmaster crackers for even more textural bliss.

This Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log can be paired on a cheese plate with grapes, nuts, etc. or can stand alone served with crackers. It also is delicious spread on baguettes, burgers, muffins, etc. No matter how you serve this cheese log recipe, it will be a hit!

How to Make Cheese Log

Once you’ve picked up your Crunchmaster crackers and are ready to make your Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log, you can be serving your appetizer in no time!   To make, first pulse your fresh cranberries and pistachios in your food processor until chopped small. I have never seen a cheese log with chopped cranberries like this, and let me tell you, it’s divine and looks gorgeous!

10 Minute prep creamy, sweet and tangy Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log is the EASIEST yet most impressive appetizer you will ever make! And it can be made DAYS in advance so it’s the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday party!

Remove ½ cup of your chopped cranberries and pistachio to a medium bowl to make your filling.  Next add your goat cheese, cream cheese, honey, and dried thyme, dried rosemary ground ginger, ground cinnamon, salt and pepper and stir to combine.   The fact that we are adding pistachios, cranberries and seasonings to the inside of the cheese log and not just to the outside means flavor through and through which equals maximum flaaaaaaaavor through and through.

The filling will be quite soft at this point, so we add it to a piece of plastic wrap and form into the shape of a log, wrap it up and freezer for 20-30 minutes until slightly firm however we still want it to be semi-soft so the coating will stick to it.

10 Minute prep creamy, sweet and tangy Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log is the EASIEST yet most impressive appetizer you will ever make! And it can be made DAYS in advance so it’s the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday party!

Next, sprinkle your chopped cranberries and pistachios onto a piece of parchment paper in a single layer square a little larger than the length of the cheese log.  Add the cheese log to the edge of the Coating and roll until evenly coated, pressing Coating into the cheese so it sticks.  Viola!  You’ve just made your impressively beautiful, festive, crave worthy Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log!

10 Minute prep creamy, sweet and tangy Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log is the EASIEST yet most impressive appetizer you will ever make! And it can be made DAYS in advance so it’s the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday party!

Make Ahead Cheese Log

The cheese log can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at this point and refrigerated for several days until ready to serve – love this, because, when it comes to holidays, appetizers are all about simplicity.  When ready to serve, remove the Cranberry Goat Cheese Log from the refrigerator about 15 minutes beforehand so it can soften and come to room temperature.  Drizzle generously with honey just before serving to compliment the tangy cranberries and goat cheese and serve with your Crunchmaster crackers.

And enjoy every rich, creamy sweet and savory crunchy bite with a subtle punch of flavor and a not so subtle punch of Oh. My. YUM.

10 Minute prep creamy, sweet and tangy Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log is the EASIEST yet most impressive appetizer you will ever make! And it can be made DAYS in advance so it’s the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday party!

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10 Minute prep creamy, sweet and tangy Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log is the EASIEST yet most impressive appetizer you will ever make! And it can be made DAYS in advance so it’s the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday party!

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Easy Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log

10 Minute prep creamy, sweet and tangy Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log is the EASIEST yet most impressive appetizer you will ever make! This festive goat cheese log can be made DAYS in advance so it’s the perfect stress-free appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday party! 
Servings: 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Cranberry Pistachio Coating

  • 1 1/4 cups cranberries
  • 1 cup shelled roasted, salted pistachios

Cheese Log

  • 7-8 oz. goat cheese log or tub
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 tsp EACH ground ginger, ground cinnamon, salt, dried thyme, dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup Cranberry Pistachio Coating mixture (in directions)

Garnish

  • honey

Instructions

  • Add cranberries and pistachios to your food processor and chop into small pieces (but don’t over-process). Remove ½ cup and add it to a medium bowl. Add all remaining Goat Cheese Log ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add this cheese mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap, and form into the shape of a log. Wrap in plastic wrap. Freezer for 20-30 minutes. We want the cheese log slightly firm so it holds its shape but is still soft enough for the Coating to be pressed into it.
  • Line counter with about a large piece parchment paper. Add Coating ingredients to parchment and spread into a single layer square a little larger than the length of the cheese log. Add cheese log to the edge of the Coating and roll in Coating (see photos) until evenly coated, pressing coating into the cheese so it sticks. The cheese log can be refrigerated at this point until ready to serve or serve immediately.
  • When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator 15 minutes beforehand so it can soften. Drizzle generously with honey just before serving. Serve with crackers.

Video

Notes

Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!
*I used Laura Chenel’s in the tub.

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©Carlsbad Cravings Original

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TH Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Reader Interactions

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68 Comments

  1. Kathryn Larson says

    This sounds interesting. Do the pistachios lose their crunch when making ahead?

    • Jen says

      Hi Kathryn! I don’t find pistachios overly crunchy like other nuts so I would say they loose a little crunch but not too noticeable – the texture is still great.

  2. Sue says

    This recipe looks divine.. I will definitely be making for Christmas celebrations.. Can i ask, as I live in Australia and not able to get fresh cranberries, will frozen ones be ok? My only problem with the ingredients.. Thank you…Sue

    • Jen says

      Hi Sue, I think frozen would be fine as long as they are defrosted and thoroughly patted dry. Enjoy! Merry Christmas!

    • Jen says

      Hi Marilyn, feta won’t stick together like goat cheese. I would try cream cheese instead. Enjoy!

      • Marianne says

        That was my question. I’m not a fan of goat cheese either. What would you recommend to use instead? The whole thing be cream cheese? Or is there another soft cheese?
        Thank you!!

        • Jen says

          Hi Marianne, you can substitute the goat cheese with cream cheese but I would reduce the amount of honey because cream cheese isn’t as tangy. Enjoy!

  3. Ratha says

    Can I freeze this? I just made it, but would like to serve it on Christmas in 4 days.. so not sure if I should leave it in the fridge that long or freeze it?

    • Jen says

      Hi Ratha, you can certainly leave it in the fridge for 4 days if it is well wrapped, no problem!

  4. Koree says

    I made this for a get together last weekend. Very delicious and festive for the holidays! Thanks for yet another great recipe, Jen! Merry Christmas to you & your family and wishing you all the best in the new year!!

    • Jen says

      You are so thoughtful Koree, thank you so much! I love hearing you are enjoying my recipes! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well!

  5. Dee Dee Nunn says

    Can I freeze this.!!

    • Jen says

      I don’t recommend freezing because it will loose moisture and become crumbly. Sorry!

  6. Ashlee says

    Have you ever tried using dried, sweetened cranberries in this instead? I just wondered if the cranberries were tart or not.

    • Jen says

      Hi Ashlee, I like the texture of fresh cranberries in this recipe. The tartness is balanced by the honey and sugar for a delightful sweet-tart combo.

  7. Basia says

    I am not a fan of goat cheese. I know this is messing with your recipe but can you think of an alternative? I love the idea of cranberry and pistachio. Thanks

    • Jen says

      Hi Basia, you could use half cream cheese/half goat cheese or I think it would also work with all cream cheese. Enjoy!

  8. Diane says

    HI Jen, just made your Cranberry pistachio cheese log and absolutely love it. My daughter and I get together for our Christmas cookie memory bake and we shared appetizers and this had to be on the list. The pic of this was what made me want to try it, it is so pretty. My husband was home and also joined us and loves it also. It will be on my have to make list of appetizers.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Diane! I am honored this made the list of “have to make appetizers!” What a fun traditional you and your daughter have! Happy holidays!

  9. Noor says

    Hi! This looks amazing! I was wondering would Brie cheese be a good substitute for the goat cheese?

    • Jen says

      Hi Noor, unfortunately brie will not work in this cheese log recipe. You could try all cream cheese. Cream cheese is less tangy than goat cheese so you will want to reduce the amount of honey. Enjoy!

  10. Britney says

    Am I crazy in thinking it might, also, be good to try with pomegranate instead of cranberries!?

    • Jen says

      Hi Britney, I haven’t personally tried it, but bet that would be good too! I would make sure the pomegranate seeds are very dry before chopping or they will make the mixture soggy.

  11. Pam says

    Are the pistachios salty? Roasted?

    • Jen says

      Great question Pam, I’ll clarify in the recipe -roasted and salted.

  12. Jennifer says

    I love goat cheese especially with dates. Definitely trying this for Thanksgiving and may slip in some dates with the cranberry pistachio mixture. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jennifer, dates would be delicious! You may want to reduce the amount of honey if you add dates. I hope you love this cheese log as much as us – Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Kathleen says

    For some reason I’m having trouble running down pistachios right now. Do you think walnuts would be a good substitute?

  14. Barbara J Brcka says

    Is the recipe actually 7 (seven) 8 oz. logs of goat cheese??

    • Jen says

      No it is one 7-8 oz log of goat cheese.

  15. Holly says

    Do you think agave syrup would be okay to use instead of honey? Its what I have on hand. haha

    • Jen says

      Hi Holly, I think it that should be fine. The only thing to be aware of is that is is slightly thinner than honey so you may need to chill the log longer. Enjoy!

  16. Anna says

    Hi I can’t find anything but dried sweetened cranberries where I currently live. Is that okay to use in this recipe?

    • Jen says

      Hi Anna, I haven’t personally tried it but it might work if you chop the craisins by hand and omit the honey from the recipe as craisins are are quite sweet.

  17. Sharon says

    I don’t see the amount of sugar used in the recipe. It instructs to add the sugar, honey and spices into the cream cheese/goat cheese mixture but doesn’t include sugar where ingredients are listed.

    • Jen says

      My apologies, there is no sugar, just honey. I updated the recipe but not the text. Thanks for letting me know – all fixed!

  18. Christina Drake says

    Hello! This recipe looks amazing and I cant wait to try it. I wanted to make it tomorrow for a Christmas day appetizer but that means it will be in my fridge for 3 days. Will the pistachios get soggy and will the cranberry juices run everywhere and ruin it? Wondering if anyone has tried making it a few days ahead?

    • Jen says

      Hi Christina, the pistachios will soften but the flavors will still be there – so you’re call. Merry Christmas!

  19. Maryann says

    Beautiful, delicious, and festive! My fourth time making this exactly as written and everyone loves it. My only tip would be to buy the pistachios already shelled if you can find them. Your fingers will thank you!

    • Jen says

      Agreed! I always purchase the pre-shelled pistachios. I didn’t the first time and it was a beast! I’m thrilled you love this cheese log so much Maryann, thank you and Merry Christmas!

  20. Mikayla says

    So I’ve made this and it was BOMB!! Seriously, this recipe is totally easy and SUPER DELICIOUS!! But…. I have a lot leftover. (I think I was planning to feed an entire football team‍♀️) What do you do with leftovers?! Do you think it would freeze? Please help.

    • Jen says

      Hi Mikayla, I’m so happy it was a winner! You can freeze leftovers but the texture won’t be as pleasing.

  21. Deb says

    Have you used dry cranberries instead?

    • Jen says

      Hi Deb, dried cranberries are sweeter and don’t have the same fun texture as fresh. I’m sure you could dry them but expect different results. Best!

  22. Graziella Benenati says

    What would you suggest in substitution of the cranberries, can’t find those here in Italy? Thx!

  23. Deb says

    Can I use all cream cheese? Will it affect the texture/flavor that much?

    • Jen says

      Hi Deb, yes you can use all cream cheese – just think cheese ball but in log form. It will taste like cream cheese and be less tangy than goat cheese so you may want to go lighter on the honey.

  24. Alexis says

    Hello!
    Can you think of a good substitute for the goat?

    • Jen says

      Hi Alexis, you can use all cream cheese – just think cheese ball but in log form. It will taste like cream cheese and be less tangy than goat cheese so you may want to go lighter on the honey.

  25. Pat says

    For the log: is the honey added to the bowl with the other ingredients or is the honey only used for the drizzle?

    • Jen says

      Both. You will add 2 tablespoons honey to the bowl and then drizzle the final cheese log. Enjoy!

  26. Jewels says

    For the cranberries. Can you tell me if these cranberries come in a jar or in bag? Can you explain cranberries more? I’m clueless when it comes to them.

    • Jen says

      Hi Jewels, cranberries come in a bag and will be located with the fresh produce. If you can’t find them, I would ask someone for help. Good luck!

  27. Aimee says

    Can this be made and frozen a couple weeks before being eaten? Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Aimee, I haven’t personally tried it, but in theory, it should be able to be frozen for two months.

  28. Frelynda m Matthews says

    Can I substitute marscapone or feta(nongoat milk) for the goat cheese?

    • Jen says

      I would use cream cheese rather than mascarpone or feta. You can, however, add some feta to the cream cheese. Enjoy!

  29. BARBARA SCHOON says

    MY DAUGHTER MADE THIS FOR THANKSGIVING. IT WAS WONDERFUL. I’M MAKING IT FOR XMAS.

    • Jen says

      I love hearing that, thanks so much Barbara!

  30. Janet says

    What can you substitute the honey with?

    • Jen says

      Hi Janet, you could try pure maple syrup.

  31. Melissa says

    Hi! Any sub for the pistachios ? I have an allergy in the family!

    • Jen says

      Pecans would be my second choice. Good luck!