This Muffuletta Cheese Ball has all the tastes of a classic New Orleans muffuletta sandwich. The flavors of salty salad olives, provolone cheese, and salami that meld together with cream cheese and Italian seasonings make for an appetizing appetizer. Spread it on a cracker or some veggies for a quick and easy snack food fit for a party or any occasion!
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The Lovelies Of This Cheeseball
What’s not to like in a cheeseball? They’re tasty, a cinch to make, store well in the refrigerator, and they like going to parties. What makes this Cheese Ball so unique? Well, it’s good looking (we eat with our eyes first) and it tastes just like a muffuletta sandwich.
If you aren’t familiar with the muffuletta sandwich, it’s a classic New Orleans dish. I had my first as a teenager at Central Grocery & Deli – Home of the Original Muffuletta Sandwich, while visiting the French Quarter with my cousin, Anne. Her husband was attending medical school in New Orleans, and I was invited for a fun weekend.
I’ll never forget my first Muffuletta experience. The bread was soaked with a saucy Italian dressing, layered with olives and other vegetables then piled high with spicy meats and sliced cheese. The ambiance and smells of Central Grocery’s quaint atmosphere added to the experience of biting into that fresh wedge from a stuffed round loaf. Oh, my!
And now, let me introduce you to this cheese ball. It brings me back to my first bite of that Italian sandwich every time.
Tasty Ingredients With A Few Substitutions
There are a lot of renditions of the muffuletta sandwich out there. This recipe has the basics down pat with a few substitutes to encourage you to make your own version. You can adjust this recipe to suit your taste.
- Cream Cheese is the basic element in most cheese balls. The mild taste blends in with other ingredients and holds everybody together. Especially after it’s chilled in the refrigerator.
- Salad Olives are simply sliced green olives with minced pimentos. They give the original muffuletta sandwich that distinct salty, salad flavor. The same goes for this appetizer, accenting the flavors of the cheese and meat.
- Olive oil is found in every good Italian dish and it adds to the texture of the ball as well as the taste.
- Garlic and dried Italian seasongs are also standards in Italian cuisine and they certainly do their job bringing distinct Italian flavor.
- Red onions give a crunchy sweet onion bite to a good sandwich, it does here also.
- Provolone cheese, what’s not to love with its mild flavor and compatability with deli meats. Mozzorella cheese is similar and can substitute for or be added to the provolone in this dish.
- Salami is the main ingredient here, but you can’t go wrong substituting it with any spicy deli meat like pastrami, capicola, or even a black forest ham. I’ve tried pastrami and black forest in this cheese ball and both are delicious.
- Chopped Chives garnishes the cheese ball with a fresh, finished look and a mild oniony flavor. You can also roll the cheese ball in chopped prosciutto, minced parsley, more Italian seasoning, or chopped salad olives.
How To Assemble
It’s so easy to put this appetizing appetizer together. Start with creaming the cream cheese, then stirring in the other ingredients except for the chives.
After the ingredients are mixed together, place them on a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap it up, form into a ball, and refrigerate until the cream cheese has time to firm up with the rest of the ingredients.
The cheese ball tastes better after it’s chilled and becomes easier to apply the chive garnish.
Storing And Serving The Muffuletta Cheese Ball
You may serve the cheese round right away with crackers, bread, or veggies. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the appetizer for up to a month. This makes party planning and preparation a hassle-free event.
More Appetizers You might Like
- Crawfish Nachos
- Blackened Catfish Dip, Delta Meets Acadien
- Chunky, Cheesey, Creamy Crawfish Dip
- Baked Mexican Layered Dip
- Creamed Spinach With Mushrooms
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sliced salad olives, drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
- 8 ounces shredded or chopped provolone cheese
- 4 ounces thin sliced salami, chopped
- 1/3 cup chives, chopped or snipped with scissors
- Cream the cream cheese with a mixer.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except for the chives and thoroughly mix together with the mixer.
- Place mixture on a piece of plastic wrap forming into a ball as you wrap it up and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Remove ball from the refrigerator and unwrap.
- Garnish by pressing the chives onto the outside of the cheese ball to cover.
- Serve or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve; keep in mind that the cheese ball gets more flavorful as it sets in the refrigerator.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or 1 month in the freezer.
- Substitute salami with pastrami, capicola, Black Forest ham, or any spicy deli meat.
- Use chopped prosciutto ham, parsley, salad olives, or dried Italian seasoning instead of chives to garnish the ball or serve without any garnish.
- Mozzarella cheese makes a great combination with or substitute for provolone cheese.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Category: appetizers
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: muffuletta cheese ball, cheese ball
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“Relying on God has to start all over everyday, as if nothing has yet been done.” – C.S. Lewis