Growing up my mom was semi-famous for a cheese ball she would make around the holidays. This was a staple at family gatherings and I still look forward to having her prepare it for Christmas dinner. Even though I have her exact recipe, somehow it always tastes just a little better when she makes it.
The combination of pineapple, green pepper, onion, and seasonings might seem a bit odd at first glance, but it combines to be an amazing cheese ball. Decorated with some plain almonds and fresh rosemary sprigs, this cheese ball would look right at home on any holiday table. To make it even more festive, consider adding some finely diced orange or red bell pepper to color-coordinate with the season.
- 16 oz. Organic Valley cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tsp. seasoning salt
- 1/3 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. onion, finely chopped
- 8 oz. crushed pineapple, very well drained
- crackers or slice vegetables
Optional: to make pine cone shape:
- plain almonds (approximately 1 – 1 1/2 cups)
- fresh rosemary sprigs
- Use a mixer on medium speed to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the seasoning salt and mix to combine. Stir in the green pepper, onion, and pineapple. If the mixture is too soft to shape at this time, cover and refrigerate for a couple hours.
- Optional: Shape the mixture into a tapered wedge like a pine cone. Starting at the bottom of the tapered end, press the almonds into the cream cheese so they stick out at an angle. Work in rows, slightly overlapping the almonds. Garnish with fresh rosemary springs, cover, and refrigerate (the longer the better to allow flavors to meld).
- Serve with your favorite crackers or sliced veggies. We especially enjoy it with crispy wheat crackers.
Here’s another delicious cheese ball recipe to round out your holiday appetizer repertoire!
Holiday Orange-Cranberry Cheese Ball with Sugared Cranberries