Holiday Cheese Ball with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Picture of Holiday Cheese Ball with Sun-dried Tomatoes
Holidays are often more chaotic than relaxing, but regardless of elevated stress levels, there is always good food to be had. Do you sometimes have unexpected guests drop by because "it's the holidays" and find yourself unprepared, munchies-wise? Are you cookied-out? Make a holiday cheese ball! Cheese balls are impressive-looking and usually spawn the flattering question, "did you really make that?" They are also incredibly easy to make, and keep well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and in the freezer for 2 months! As long as you have crackers on hand and a festive plate, you are ready to entertain at a moment's notice. This recipe has many shortcuts: buy pecans that are already chopped, cheese that is already shredded, and a package of ranch dressing mix in place of chopping up garlic and onion.
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Step 1: Prepare

Picture of Prepare
Gather the ingredients and utensils! You will need a cutting board, knife, medium-sized bowl, spoon, and measuring cup. Here are the ingredients:

1 12-oz container cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 9)
1/2 of a 1-oz package ranch dressing mix
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Step 2: Mash cream cheese

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Empty the container of cream cheese into the bowl. Mash with the back of a spoon to soften.

Step 3: Chop sun-dried tomatoes

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Measure out 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (from produce section OR jar), or count out about 9. Chop into 1/2-inch pieces.

Step 4: Mix in tomatoes, ranch, and cheese

Picture of Mix in tomatoes, ranch, and cheese
Add the tomatoes, the 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, and half of the ranch dressing packet (save the other half for another cheese ball!). Mix together well.

Step 5: Pour pecans onto the cutting board

Picture of Pour pecans onto the cutting board
Well, the title basically says it all! Measure out the chopped pecans and pour onto the same cutting board you were using. Spread out.

Step 6: Get your hands dirty!

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Well, not dirty, but a bit cheesy. This is the fun part! Scoop out the cheese mixture and form into a ball with your hands.

Step 7: Drop and Roll

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Roll the cheese ball in the pecans, making sure to coat the entire ball.

Step 8: Ta-da! Holiday cheese ball!

Picture of Ta-da!  Holiday cheese ball!
At this time, you can dig into the cheese ball with crackers, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. It will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 2 months. Wow your guests with a homemade creation that involved no cooking or baking and very little chopping. Wine and cheese ball party, anyone?
Braeburn6 years ago
it needs more cheese. and bacon. yummmmmmmm............
Shifrin7 years ago
Wow, That looks really nice! I think I saw something similar to this in a cook book but it had a different recipe, I think, I'm going to try this sometime soon! Thanks, Awesome Instructable! ~Shifrin
aliciak your such a cheese ball, lol this looks good, if I make it sometime I think I'm gonna add some bacon
looks quality! but im persionally not a cheeseball fan, lol. hmmm.. gives me ideas for variations >:-D.... you just gave me an idea for a instructable (when ever i get a camera :-( )
its a lion7 years ago
that looks like it may be quite good. im a fan of cheese balls, and a big fan of sun dried tomatoes. so i may have to make this during the holidays.