Traditional Christmas Cheese Ball

I look forward to this simple, traditional cheese ball every year. It has been served during family Christmas Eve parties since before my time. The ingredients are few and inexpensive, and might be made year-round, but I reserve this one special appetizer for the holidays only to maintain its specialness. I love to serve Ritz crackers with the cheese ball to bring out its savory flavor.

Original recipe makes 12 servings


1 1/2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (2.5 ounce) package thinly sliced smoked beef, chopped
1 (2.25 ounce) can pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion, minced
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
1 cup chopped walnuts

  • PREP

    25 mins


    2 hrs 25 mins


  1. Mix the cream cheese, beef, olives, onion, and Worcestershire sauce together in a bowl until evenly blended. Keeping the mixture in the bowl, scrape it into a semi-ball shape. Cover, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
  2. Place a large sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface. Sprinkle with walnuts. Roll the cheese ball in the walnuts until completely covered. Transfer the cheese ball to a serving plate, or rewrap with waxed paper and refrigerate until needed.


Calories: 180 kcal
Carbohydrates: 2.8 g
Cholesterol: 35 mg
Fat: 17.3 g
Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 4.9 g
Sodium: 293 mg