|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 13g||17%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||22%|
|Total Carbohydrate 4g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
The cheese ball has long been an appetizer favorite, and for good reason: it can include a variety of ingredients and is easily made ahead. In this recipe, there's a mixture of sweet and savory, with crushed pineapple, green onions, and bell pepper adding color and flavor to the cream cheese, which is then shaped into a ball and rolled in chopped pecans.
This delicious cream cheese spread can be served with a range of accompaniments, including buttery crackers, bagel chips, or crostini, as well as slices of pear and apple. A plate of sliced ham on the side would be wonderful with this spread as well. You can make the cheese ball the day before or just a few hours before guests arrive.
Gather the ingredients.
In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, drained crushed pineapple, chopped bell pepper, chopped green onion, seasoned salt, and 1 cup of the chopped pecans. Mix well to blend ingredients.
Put the remaining chopped pecans in a container. Cover and set aside until serving time.
Chill the cream cheese mixture in the refrigerator until it's quite firm and then shape into a ball. Return it to the refrigerator until serving time.
Just before serving, roll the cheese ball in the remaining cup of chopped pecans.
Serve with assorted crackers or with simple baked crostini slices or croutons. It would be a delicious spread to serve with slices of ham as well.
How to Make Basic Crostini
Slice a narrow French bread baguette thinly on the diagonal. Brush both sides of each slice with good quality olive oil. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the slices on a foil- or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 5 minutes. Turn the pieces and continue baking for 5 minutes longer. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese just before it's done.
How to Store a Cheese Ball
If wrapped well, a cheese ball can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, making it ideal to prepare ahead of time. Cover in plastic wrap, twisting the top ends tightly closed. Then wrap in aluminum foil. It is best to take the cheese ball out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for a bit (15 to 20 minutes) before serving to remove the chill; the flavors will be more prevalent and the cheese will be easier to spread.
- Instead of chopped pecans, use 2 cups of chopped walnuts in the recipe.
- Finely chopped red onion may be used as a substitute for the green onions.
- Add a few tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro for additional flavor and color.
- Give the cheese ball a festive holiday twist by using a combination of sweet green and red bell pepper in the spread.