The best Pineapple Cheese Ball made with cream cheese and sweet pineapple, spiced with red pepper flakes, and rolled in crunchy pecans. Make this great appetizer in 5 easy steps for the perfect crowd pleaser at your next gathering.
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Have you ever heard of the classic Pineapple Cheese Ball? It's been called a vintage recipe, but I'm not sure I've ever heard of it until recently. Maybe because it's also called the Hawaiian cheese ball, you may have seen these ready-made in the grocery store deli.
Anyway, it's new to me! Is it a Southern thing? Well, wherever it originated from, I'm glad it did because it's so delicious.
The sweet and savory cheese ball with crunchy pecans is a satisfying snack or easy appetizer. But I added some heat for another layer of flavor to the pineapple cheese ball taste. Of course I did! I can't get away from satisfying my needy Cajun palate.
It's a great recipe to prepare ahead for a helpful timesaver. There's no cooking involved either. It's like this Muffuletta Cheese Ball with the taste of a muffuletta sandwich to add to your appetizer table for holidays, game days, or any occasion.
How Do You Make A Pineapple Cheese Ball?
It only takes five easy steps. But first, gather the ingredients together and measure them out.
- Cream cheese - softened cream cheese blends easily with other ingredients.
- Crushed Pineapple - drain the pineapple well to get a firm cheese ball.
- Seasoned Salt or House Seasoning Blend- the perfect seasoning for a good cheese ball.
- Green Onions - for mild onion taste and added color.
- Red Bell Pepper - red for sweetness, crunch, and color; but the more common green pepper is also acceptable in this recipe.
- Lemon Zest - to brighten up the flavor, do yourself a favor and don't leave it out.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - for a pop of zing, it can be reduced or omitted, but I don't suggest it. 😉
- Chopped pecans - that final roll in chopped pecans adds just the right taste and texture; try using these easy-to-make Buttery-Salted Roasted Pecans for a crispier, tastier bite.
The ingredient amounts and nutrition information with the full recipe are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Bring a block of cream cheese to room temperature. No time to set it out? That's OK! Place it in a bowl and use a hand mixer to beat it until it's creamy.
Step 2: Mix the cream cheese well with the other ingredients except for the pecans in a large mixing bowl.
Step 3: Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter. Then, spoon the cream cheese mixture onto the plastic wrap and gather the ends around the creamy ingredients, twisting it to form a ball.
Step 4: Place the wrapped ball on a plate and put it in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until it's firm. In a time crunch, place in the freezer for 15 - 30 minutes.
Step 5: Remove it from the refrigerator and roll the cheese ball in the chopped pecans.
Tips On Rolling In Pecans
- Start with a chilled cheese ball mixture; you may need to re-shape it into a round sphere after it settles in the refrigerator.
- Make sure that it's cold and firm and can withstand the pressure of being rolled in the pecans.
- Spread the chopped pecans in a single layer on a flat surface.
- Roll the ball across the pecans with your hands, pressing the chopped nuts into the cheese mixture as you roll while picking up more pecans to press into the ball to ensure the whole surface is covered.
Drain the pineapple well, squeezing out the juice with the back of a spoon; save the juice for later use. And be sure to chill the cream cheese blend until firm to get it to roll onto the nuts.
How To Store
How long does a pineapple cheese ball last?
- After the cheese ball is made, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- You can also wrap it again in aluminum foil or seal it in a zip-top bag before placing it in the freezer to keep for up to 1 month.
How To Serve
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THE CHEESE BALL?
- Crackers - such as wheat thins or buttery crackers with a spreader to help apply the cheese and not break the cracker.
- Chips - a firm chip like pita chips works best.
- Bread - use thinly sliced and toasted pieces of baguette slices.
- Vegetables - try bell pepper strips, celery sticks, or endive leaves.
- Savory Cheeses - a perfect combination with the sweetness of the pineapple in this cheese ball.
The homemade cheese ball makes a perfect addition to any charcuterie board alongside other cheeses and meats.
- 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple, drained well, see notes
- 1.25 teaspoon seasoned salt or house seasoning
- .5 cups sliced green onions
- .5 cups chopped sweet red bell pepper
- .5 teaspoon crushed red pepper or red pepper flakes
- .25 teaspoon lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Cream the cream cheese with an electric mixer in a large bowl.
- Stir in the pineapple, seasoned salt, green onions, pepper, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest and mix well.
- Spoon cheeseball ingredients onto a large piece of plastic wrap, form it into a ball using the plastic wrap and seal tightly.
- Chill it in the refrigerator until firm for at least an hour. In a time crunch, place in the freezer for 15 - 30 minutes.
- Place pecans onto a flat dish or pan, remove the cheeseball from the refrigerator, unwrap it, and roll the cheeseball in the pecans until all sides are covered.
Serve cold and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
- Drain the pineapple well, squeezing out the juice with the back of a spoon; save the juice for later use.
- Reduce or omit the red pepper flakes for a milder taste.
- Roast the pecans before chopping them for a richer-tasting, crispier nut crunch.
- Serve cold with pita chips, wheat thins or buttery crackers, and veggies.
- Prep Time: 1.5 hours
- Category: appetizers
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: pineapple cheese ball, cheese ball, easy pineapple cheese ball
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