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Easy and fast to mix up, and place in the fridge for later. A great make-ahead appetizer, this Ham & Pineapple Cheese Ball is sure to please the majority of guests!
Step-by-step photos and instructions are below!
Ham & Pineapple Cheese Ball
This easy Hawaiian cheese ball recipe is deliciously simple and a hit at parties, holidays and game days.
It’s one of those recipes that you literally just mix up and refrigerate, then pull out and serve. Total winner!!
Is this easy? Is it quick to make?
HECK YEAH!! I mix this up in under 5 minutes and set it in the fridge for later. I roll it in pecans, then set it on a platter – ready to serve whenever I am! Just add some crackers, and you’re good to go.
Meat + Fruit = okay, or no?
There are two distinct camps about mixing fruit and meat – those who love it (hi there Hawaiian pizza) and those who think it’s all wrong and should never happen. And then there are those that love Hawaiian pizza, but say that fruit and meat should never mix in any other way, ever.
Which camp are YOU in?
Want another Cheeseball Recipe? Grab my Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Super easy to make. Literally just a few minutes to mix, and then store in the fridge until you want to eat it.
- Make ahead. Make this the day before a party or holiday and cross it off your list of things to do!
What to serve with a Cheese Ball
Sturdy crackers like wheat thins or pita chips go great with this recipe. You can also do sliced vegetables. I like cucumbers, carrots and red bell peppers too.
I have included step-by-step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
Recipe Ingredients and Possible Substitutes
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Cream Cheese – softened, so it’s easy to mix.
- Pineapple. I use crushed pineapple, as it disperses well into the mixture. Drain the pineapple really well.
- Powdered Sugar. Totally optional, but I think it works well with these flavors. Not a fan of sweet? Add a dash of hot sauce!
- Chopped Green Onions. Don’t leave these out! They add a pretty color and subtle flavor
- Ham. I use a high quality thin sliced deli ham that I then chop into fine pieces
- Chopped Pecans. What is a cheese ball if not rolled in finely chopped nuts? You’ll need about a half cup of pecans.
How to make this recipe
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The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Soften the cream cheese, drain the pineapple, chop the green onions, dice the ham.
In a large bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, drained pineapple, powdered sugar, chopped green onions and dice ham.
Shape the mixture into a ball. Line a small bowl with plastic wrap and scoop the mixture in. Close the plastic wrap around the mixture and shape into a ball as shown. Don’t worry about getting the perfect shape, you can roll it more later when it is chilled.
Chill. The Cheese Ball AND you.
Chill until firm, then roll in crushed pecans.
Return to the fridge and store until you want to serve.
Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator about 10 minutes before you want to eat (so you can dig in easily!).
Serve with crackers, devour.
Don’t worry about getting the perfect shape, you can roll it more later when it is chilled.
You can use a stand mixer to mix this, but I generally just use a large mixing bowl.
Remove from the refrigerator about 10 to 15 minutes before you want to serve so it is softened and scoopable
Add a little garlic powder or ranch dressing mix for some added flavor!
Check the flavor – you may wish to add a pinch of salt.
You may like to add blue cheese, or sharp cheddar cheese (I use pre-shredded cheeses to keep this super fast)
More appetizer recipes
- Baked Chicken Taquitos – Baked in the oven, not fried – easy to make, super delicious, and freezer friendly.
- Ham & Cheese Savory Palmiers – Make ahead, and bake as your guests arrive –yummy!
- Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls – sweet corn, black beans, spinach and cilantro. These are as tasty as they sound!
- Smoked Paprika Almonds (with Bacon) from Take Two Tapas
- Best Ever Deviled Eggs from Sugar, Spice & Glitter
Ham & Pineapple Cheese Ball
- Soften the cream cheese, drain the pineapple, chop the green onions, dice the ham.
- In a large bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, drained pineapple, powdered sugar, chopped green onions and dice ham.
- Shape the mixture into a ball. Line a small bowl with plastic wrap and scoop the mixture in. Close the plastic wrap around the mixture and shape into a ball.
- Chill until firm, then roll in crushed pecans.
- Return to the fridge and store until you want to serve.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Update: This recipe was originally published in May of 2017. It was republished with updated photos in June of 2022.