Ham and Cheddar Cheese Ball

This Ham and Cheddar Cheese Ball made with smoky ham, sharp cheddar cheese, and cream cheese is a delicious twist on the classic party appetizer. It's a great choice for game days, holidays, or barbecues!

Top view of a Ham and Cheddar Cheese Ball on a plate surrounded by crackers on a wood background.

When I think of classic party appetizers, a cheese ball is one of the first things that comes to mind. It's no surprise because cheese balls have had a pretty good run in the culinary world!

What was once an epic new idea on the food scene in the mid-1900s, the humble cheese ball gained popularity in the '70s and is still going strong today.

Top view closeup of a Ham and Cheddar Cheese Ball on a plate surrounded by crackers.

Cheese balls are super fun because they can be dressed up with different flavors by adding or mix-ins in to the cream cheese base. Think herbs, bacon, spices, and even fruit. You can also sub different cheeses to give your cheese ball a whole new flavor profile.

This cheese ball embraces the classic cheddar but is elevated by the addition of smokey, salty, ham. We all know ham and cheese go together like peas and carrots, so this cheese ball is a natural winner. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Side angle view of a Ham and Cheddar Cheese Ball on a plate surrounded by crackers on a wood background.

HOW TO MAKE A HAM AND CHEDDAR CHEESE BALL

A ham and cheese ball is super easy to make! First, combine ham and onion in your food processor. Pulse, then add cheddar cheese, then pulse again. Add softened cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder and process until smooth. Shape into a ball and refrigerate for one hour. Coat with chopped pecans and serve. See below for a detailed ingredients list and instructions.

WHAT KIND OF HAM IS BEST FOR A CHEESE BALL?

This cheese ball can be made with whatever kind of ham you have on hand. My favorite is smokey tavern ham, but you could also try using sweet honey or maple ham. If you have leftovers from a whole ham, you can use that, too! Try substituting the deli ham with leftover ham from Easter or Christmas.

Collage of step-by-step images showing a Ham and Cheddar Cheese Ball being made.

DOES IT MATTER WHAT KIND OF CHEDDAR CHEESE I USE?

This recipe is best made with sharp cheddar cheese. Mild or medium cheddar can be substituted if that's all you have, but the flavor will be best with a sharper cheese.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH A CHEESE BALL

Cheese balls are traditionally served with crackers. You can also try serving your cheese ball with vegetables, pretzels, pita chips, or bagel chips.

Side view of a Ham and Cheddar Cheese Ball on a plate surrounded by crackers on a wood background.

CAN A HAM AND CHEDDAR CHEESE BALL BE MADE IN ADVANCE?

Yes, this cheese ball can be made ahead of time! You can make this cheese all up to three days in advance. Prepare until the chilling step and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just before serving, roll in the chopped pecans.

HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES A CHEESE BALL FEED?

This cheese ball is a large cheese ball! It can easily feed 12-15 people as a party appetizer. If you are feeding a smaller crowd, the recipe can be halved.

Side view closeup of a Ham and Cheddar Cheese Ball.

MORE CHEESE BALL RECIPES

Looking for more fun and creative cheese ball recipes? Here are a few popular cheese balls from the archives:



Side view of a Ham and Cheddar Cheese Ball on a plate surrounded by crackers on a wood background.


If you try this recipe, I'd love to know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!

4 cups

Ham and Cheddar Cheese Ball


This Ham and Cheddar Cheese Ball made with smoky ham, sharp cheddar, and cream cheese is a delicious twist on the classic party appetizer.

  prep time: chill time: total time: 1 HOUR 15 MIN 

INGREDIENTS


1/2 lb thin deli ham, roughly chopped
1/2 small onion, cut into wedges
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 (8 ounce) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup chopped pecans, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, optional


INSTRUCTIONS


1. Add the chopped ham and onion to your food processor and pulse to finely chop.

2. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the shredded cheddar cheese and set aside. Add the remaining shredded cheddar cheese to the food processor and pulse to combine.

3. Add the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder to the food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides as necessary.

4. Line a large bowl with plastic wrap and scrape the cream cheese mixture into the bowl. Wrap the plastic wrap around the cheese and shape it into a ball. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

5. Combine the chopped pecans, reserved cheddar cheese, and optional seasoned salt and spread onto a plate. Place the cheese ball on the pecan mixture and use your hands to gently press the pecans onto the cheese ball to coat.

NOTES


Recipe can be halved.

Author: Becky (Adapted from Taste of Home)


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