Have you ever had Cranberry Pesto before? Served with crostini and chevre, it is a simple and flavorful appetizer perfect for a cocktail party, holiday gathering, or to serve for book club night with friends. It takes mere minutes to make and the taste is savory, tart and a little sweet.

cranberry Pesto crostini a Christmas or Thanksgiving appetizer, Healthy Seasonal Recipes by Katie Webster

Why We Love This Recipe For Cranberry Pesto Crostini with Chevre

One of the things I daydream about the most are appetizer recipes. They’re fun and simple to make. Ilove that you can get really creative with them and have them turn out amazing almost every time.

This cranberry pesto crostini from our friend, Lisa Danforth, is no different. The pesto is made with walnuts, cranberries, fresh basil and olive oil. For an appetizer I spread over a crostini with creamy and tangy chèvre. The combination is so incredible I couldn’t stop eating them!

I mean, I love classic basil pesto for pesto pasta, pizza and more. But this amped-up cranberry pesto is really next level and is the starring ingredient in these appetizer canapes.

I suggest whipping up a batch of this cranberry pesto and bring it to a party. Place the crostini next to a charcuterie board and you’ll be the talk of the evening. I promise!

Key Ingredients For This Recipe

Chevre

Cheve is a type of goat cheese that’s exceptionally creamy, soft and tangy. You can swap it out for a milder soft cheese if you’d like, but I highly recommend sticking to chèvre.

Cream cheese

You can either use cream cheese or for a lower calorie option try 1/3 less fat cream cheese or Neufchatel.

Dried cranberries

You want sweetened dried cranberries for this. Commercially produced varieties with sugar or those sweetened with fruit juice are both fine in this recipe. The slight sweetness really is a key component in this pesto.

Fresh basil leaves

The best fresh basil leaves should be bright green and have few imperfections/brown spots.

Walnuts

If you don’t have walnuts you could use pecans or even pine nuts or almonds instead. If you’re dealing with a nut allergy use sunflower seeds instead.

Italian flat leaf parsley

To cut the basil, some parsley is needed. Otherwise, the basil steals the show. The mellow grassiness of the parsley helps to extend the pesto without overpowering the cranberries.

Baguette

This recipe calls for a classic baguette, however feel free to buy a whole-wheat baguette if you’d like.

Additional Ingredients

  • ¾ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly grated
  • ¼ cup best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

How to Make Cranberry Pesto

Step 1: Mix chèvre & cream cheese

Mix the chèvre and cream cheese together in a small bowl. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt.

Step 2: Make cranberry pesto

Pulse the garlic in food processor until finely chopped. Add cranberries and pulse until roughly chopped. Add basil, walnuts, and red pepper flakes, process until blended but still chunky. Place the mixture in a bowl, then stir in the Parmesan cheese, parsley, oil, pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt until blended.

Step 3: Assemble crostini

Spread 1 teaspoon chèvre mixture on each baguette slice and top with 1 tablespoon of the cranberry pesto.

cranberry-pesto-crostini-with-chevre

FAQs and Expert Tips

How long can I keep cranberry pesto in the fridge?

Since homemade pesto doesn’t contain any preservatives, it will darken along the top surface within a few hours. Underneath the pesto will be bright green for a few days. Make sure to store it covered in the fridge (preferably in an airtight container).

Can these be made in advance?

You could certainly make the pesto a day ahead, but wait until right before serving to assemble the pesto crostini.

Additional Recipes to Try

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
crostini with goat cheese and pesto with a sprig of parsley

Cranberry Pesto Crostini with Chevre


  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups pesto, 24 appetizers 1x

Description

Cranberry Pesto on baguette with chevre- a delicious and easy holiday appetizer!


Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ cup chevre at room temperature, 4 oz.
  • ¼ cup cream cheese at room temperature, 2 oz. (I used Neufchatel)
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts
  • 
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly grated
  • 
¼ cup coarsely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 
¼ cup best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 24 slices baguette, toasted

Instructions

  1. Mix chevre and cream cheese together in a small bowl. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt.
  2. Pulse the garlic in food processor until finely chopped. Add cranberries and pulse until roughly chopped. Add basil, walnuts, and red pepper flakes, process until blended but still chunky. Place mixture in a bowl, stir in the Parmesan cheese, parsley, oil, pepper and the remaining1/2 teaspoon salt until blended.
  3. Spread 1 teaspoon chevre mixture on each baguette slice and top with 1 tablespoon of the cranberry pesto.

Notes

Cooking Tip:

Since homemade pesto doesn’t contain any preservatives, it won’t last nearly as long as regular pesto. Make sure to store it covered in the fridge (preferably in an airtight container). This way it will lats 4 to 5 days.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: no cook
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 appetizer
  • Calories: 126
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 232 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Keywords: cranberry pesto,pesto appetizer