This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full Disclosure Policy for details.
Bring on the party with this easy make ahead Christmas cheese ball. Serve it as is for any occasion or use a few strategically placed items to turn it into Rudolph!
When my husband was growing up, their Christmas Eve tradition was pizza and deli trays. Part of that deli tray HAD to be a Christmas cheese ball. Over the years, we’ve all become a bit more “fancy” (or bougie as the kids say) 😉 and now Christmas Eve is the perfect time to create amazing charcuterie boards.
A cheeseball is a perfect addition for a charcuterie board. And this one can be turned into a simple Rudolph with just a couple ingredients. It’s easy to assemble and have ready to serve up when the party guests arrive.
What you’ll need to make this Christmas Cheese Ball:
- cream cheese
- sour cream
- ranch dressing mix
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- sharp cheddar cheese
- chopped pecans
Start by creaming together the softened cream cheese and sour cream. Add the ranch dressing packet and spices and mix until combined.
Mix in the sharp cheddar cheese. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and make sure everything is blended together. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter and transfer the cheese mixture from the bowl to the middle of the plastic wrap.
Bring the plastic wrap around the cheese mixture to wrap it up completely. Shape into a ball as you go. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
After chilling, unwrap the ball and roll it in chopped pecans until completely covered. Serve it as is, or add pretzel antlers, olive eyes and a tomato nose to turn the cheese ball into a Rudolph inspired Christmas Cheese Ball!
If you love cute, simple holiday treats like this, I think you’ll also want to take a peek at my Easy Reindeer Pancakes. They are perfect for Christmas morning breakfast!
How long will a cheese ball last?
A cheese ball properly covered and stored in the refrigerator can last up to 2 weeks. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.
What are the best kinds of crackers to use with a cheese ball?
You need a hearty kind of cracker to stand up to the spreading, so stick with crackers like Triscuits-I really like the garlic flavored crackers! Wheat Thins are pretty sturdy and work well. I love the taste of buttery Ritz crackers, but unless the cheeseball is quite soft, they tend to crumble a bit. You can also use a box of variety crackers like those typical of charcuterie boards.
Can this Christmas cheese ball with pecans be frozen?
Yes, it can. However, you don’t want the pecans to slide off as it thaws. To prevent that from happening, remove from the freezer 24 hours before serving and thaw in the refrigerator. Also, be sure not to add the Rudolph ingredients (pretzels, olives and tomato) until just before it’s ready to be served.
Easy Christmas Cheese Ball
- 2 8 oz packages cream cheese softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 packet ranch dressing mix
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Place the cream cheese and sour cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together until mixed together well.
- Add ranch dressing mix powder and spices. Mix again.
- Add the grated cheddar cheese and mix until well incorporated.
- Lay a generous piece of saran wrap on the counter and spoon the cheese ball mixture into the center of it, piling it into a pile in the center.
- Gather up the edges of the plastic wrap to the middle, and using your hands, smooth the mixture into a ball.
- Place the plastic wrap covered cheeseball in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
- Pour the chopped pecans onto a single layer on a baking sheet or cutting board. Roll the chilled cheese ball in the pecans until it is completely covered.
- Transfer the cheese ball onto a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour more in the refrigerator before serving.
- To turn a plain cheese ball into Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, add pretzel antlers, olive eyes (olives cut in half), and a cherry tomato (cut in half) nose right before serving.
- Serve with an assortment of crackers.