Salmon Cheese Ball With Horseradish

Salmon cheese ball and crackers

Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

Prep: 75 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
214 Calories
16g Fat
4g Carbs
15g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 214
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 144mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 15g
Calcium 75mg 6%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cheese balls aren't complicated to make, but they always impress as an appetizer at a party. Served with crackers, toast points, and cut vegetables, they're hearty enough to fill people up while still being a lighter option. This particular cheese ball variety incorporates salmon, which makes it a particularly elegant hors d'oeuvre. The horseradish gives it a little extra kick, though you can add more spice with hot sauce or red cayenne pepper.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon onion (finely chopped or grated)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh dillweed
  • 1 can (15.5-ounce) salmon
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup pecan or walnut halves (chopped)
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, onion, horseradish, dill, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Use a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer until the mixture is well-blended.

  3. Drain and flake salmon, removing skin and bone. Add it to the cream cheese mixture and beat at low speed until it's incorporated. Be careful not to overmix and shred the fish into unrecognizable pieces.

  4. Put the bowl in the refrigerator and chill until the mixture is firm enough to handle. If you need it to be done faster, put the mixture into the freezer for 30 minutes.

  5. Wash and dry your hands, leaving them a little damp. When the mixture is firm, use your hands to shape it into a ball.

  6. Combine the fresh chopped parsley and chopped walnuts or pecans on a large plate. Roll the ball in the mixture to coat the sides of the ball thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.


  • Instead of canned fish, finely chop about a pound of cooked fresh salmon. Make sure that all the skin and bones have been removed from the fish.
  • Experiment with herbs and spices to see what you like best. Options include Old Bay or lemon pepper.
  • If there's a concern about nut allergies, roll the ball in finely chopped herbs instead of chopped nuts.
  • Prep for your party in advance by making this cheese ball a few weeks ahead of time and freezing it until the party. Wrap it tightly in freezer-quality plastic wrap. Don't place anything on top of the cheese ball or it will squish it and cause the cheese ball to lose its shape. Before serving, remove the cheese ball from the freezer at least 24 hours in advance and let it thaw in the fridge.
  • Serve with a variety of crackers, toast points, and cut vegetables.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of canned or fresh salmon, substitute 4 to 6 ounces of smoked salmon in the recipe.
  • Instead of using salmon, chop up a pound of smoked whitefish to incorporate into the cheese ball.