I love this pineapple pecans cheese ball appetizer that is great for any type of gathering you might think of. Holidays, games, potlucks, birthdays and anything else in between, this recipe will be one of the stars on the table.
Cheese ball with pineapple and pecans
I was not used to do a lot of appetizers over the years. My style of entertaining is pretty elaborate in terms of main dish and dessert, so the appetizer part of it was always kept simple.
Lately, trying to improve and expand my appetizer repertoire , I remembered that every party in Minnesota has some sort of cheese ball appetizer made with all kind of ingredients.
These cheese ball recipes are very popular as you can serve them with crackers or vegetables for a healthier or low carb option. They are easy to put together and loved at any party.
You can make them vegetarian if you want to by removing the ham.
If you want to make it regular, instead of ham you can add other cold cuts or bacon.
What kind of ingredients you need to make this appetizer?
- Cream cheese
- Crushed pineapple from a small can– this one needs to be drained really well
- Green onions
- Chopped ham or bacon
- Powdered sugar
I was kind of surprised when I tasted the first time this cream cheese ball. The powder sugar doesn’t make this appetizer sweet, it only balances the flavors, so I am not recommending transforming this pineapple pecans cheese ball appetizer into a dessert.
This means to only add the amount of sugar that the recipe requires and not more.
I saw many recipes out there with salt in the cream cheese, but I think the salt ruins the whole thing and makes it saltier than necessary.
After all, these cheese balls are served with salty crackers, and there is bacon or ham in them, which also adds savory to it.
How To make this pineapple cheese ball :
First step is to drain the can of crushed pineapple. Place the pineapple in a strainer and press it gently to remove as much moisture possible from the pineapple.
Note: I was reading some comments on other blogs saying something like this: “I did not like this recipe at all! I followed the instructions and ended up with a mixture that was too thin to stay in a ball!”
Uhhmmm, I bet that person skipped the part where the blogger was talking about draining the juice from the pineapple.
So, she made a dip instead, because the pineapple juice thinned out the cream cheese. Oh well!
Step two is to gather the ingredients and get them ready for the recipe. Chop the green onions and the ham and set them aside.
Toast the pecans if you want to, they bring more flavor to the final product. Set them aside and allow them to cool.
Step three is to place the cream cheese, pineapple, ham/bacon, green onion, powdered sugar in a medium ball and combine them together.
Step four– Lay a piece of plastic foil on the table and place the mixture of cheese on it. Form it into a ball and chill it for an hour.
Meanwhile, crush the pecans or the walnuts (you can use those instead) and roll the cheese ball on them, very gently pressing so the nuts stick to the ball.
Refrigerate until served. When it comes to serve, place the cheese ball on a platter and surround it with crackers or veggies.
Can I make this recipe in advance?
Yes, you can. These kind of recipes last about 2-3 days in the fridge, so you can definitely make it in advance.
What do I serve this with?
Crackers are the most popular ones, but you can also serve sliced baguette, crostini, vegetables, like small sticks of celery, sliced red peppers, carrots, even slices of apples.
How long can this cheese ball stay at room temperature?
That depends a lot on the temperature of the room, but for safety, I would not leave it outside more than two hours.
After all, cream cheese is perishable, and most perishable foods should not be outside refrigeration for a long time.
During the party, you can refrigerate it after two hours and if your guests would like more of it, it is good if it sits in the fridge for a while and goes back to a solid consistency.
Can I use a stand mixer for this recipe?
Yes, you can. It will definitely prepare this recipe in no time. I use my Kitchen Aid all the time for savory or sweet recipes. A perfect life saver!
Did I tell you that last year my family relocated and I had to sell my Kitchen Aid as it was not working overseas due to the different voltage?
Well, as soon as we settled, a new Kitchen Aid was ordered, as my life cannot be the same without one.
When a friend of mine found out that I am selling my Kitchen Aid, she said: “What is wrong with you? You cannot give that away, a Kitchen Aid is like a family member! “
I agreed with her, but I had no choice at the time.
Anyway, if you are still reading my article, I commend you, but it is time to get off the computer, phone or iPad and start making the recipe.
Ready for other appetizers?
- 2 packages(16 oz) cream cheese
- 1 small can crushed pineapple(8 oz) well drained
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar or to taste
- 2 green onions chopped small
- 3 tablespoons chopped ham( crumbled bacon works well too)or to your taste
- 1 cup chopped roasted pecans
- Combine first five ingredients together.
- Mash into a ball and chill.
- Slightly roast the pecans in a pan for 2 minutes or until they develop the flavor. Allow to cool, then chop them small or crush them.
- Roll the cheese ball pressing very gentle into the crushed pecans to cover entirely.
- Refrigerate until served.
- Serve them with your favorite crackers.
- Add powdered sugar to taste, it can be more or less than 2 tablespoons.
- Chopped ham adds saltiness to the cream cheese, so there is no need to add salt to the recipe, especially if you serve this with salty crackers. Crumbled cooked bacon works nicely in this recipe as well.
- Make sure the pineapple is drained really well, otherwise the cream cheese will become too thin and it will not stay together in a ball.
- For an elevated taste, try to roast the pecans for few minutes in a pan until they develop the flavors.
- Pecans can be replaced with walnuts.
- Do not skip the green onions, they bring color, texture and flavor this slightly sweet and delicious appetizer.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 42Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g