Pineapple Cheese Ball

Here's a simple little recipe for a festive looking and tasty Pineapple Cheese Ball.  With cream cheese on sale, at wonderfully low prices this time of the year, it is so much cheaper to make your own cheese ball than buy one at the grocery store.  And, I find, the homemade cheese balls are so much tastier than the purchased ones.  This Pineapple Cheese Ball is mild tasting but if you'd like it a little nippier add ½ cup of grated old or sharp cheddar cheese to the mixture. 

Party cheese balls are oldies, for sure, as most people my age will remember them from the 1970s and '80s, but if they tasted good back then they will taste good now!  And they're still in the stores around Christmas and especially New Year's Eve.  Served with an assortment of party crackers they make a dandy little appetizer. (But I've known some to make a meal out of them!)

Make the Pineapple Cheese Ball mixture the day before or at least early the day of serving to let all the flavours meld together.  If you want the nuts to remain crunchy, roll the ball in the chopped nuts shortly before serving. 

Pineapple Cheese Ball
1- 8 oz. package cream cheese
⅔ cup crushed pineapple, well drained after measuring
2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
¼ teaspoon seasoned salt
½ cup finely chopped pecans*

Soften cream cheese by leaving it out of the refrigerator at room temperature for several hours.   Mix with pineapple, green pepper, green onions and seasoned salt and combine well.  Cover and place in refrigerator to chill.  When mixture is cold roll into a ball and cover with chopped pecans. Serve with assorted crackers.  

Makes 1 cheese ball, about 2 cups of mixture. 

*If for some reason you cannot eat nuts, omit them and pack the mixture in a nice serving bowl and serve with crackers as you would the cheese ball

Drain the pineapple very well by pressing it against the strainer.   If it still seems wet, squeeze it to remove as much juice as you can.

If the cream cheese is soft enough you can mix it by hand just as easily as using a mixer.  Once the cream cheese is soft mix in the remaining ingredients, except the nuts, and place in the refrigerator  to chill. 

Form the well chilled cheese mixture into a ball.  You may find it easier to handle if you are wearing latex or plastic gloves.  

Roll the cheese ball in the chopped pecans and place on a pretty serving dish.  I toasted the pecans for about 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven before chopping. 

Surround the Pineapple Cheese Ball with your favourite crackers.  I used wheat thins, vegetable crackers and onion crackers.  Place a cheese spreader on the plate and dig in.

Yum...smooth and crunchy in every bite.
All dressed up and ready for the party!


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