Better-for-You Holiday Cheese Ball

Servings 
16

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Okay, so maybe a cheeseball isn’t the epitome of health food, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for it in a healthy diet. If you keep your portions in check, make some healthy swaps, and serve it with healthier dippers, a cheeseball can actually be a great healthier option for bringing along to your holiday potlucks. And, even better, a cheeseball presented beautifully on a platter is incredibly impressive! Shhhh, they don’t need to know it only took you about 10 minutes to make.

To make this cheeseball a little healthier, kick out the sour cream and mayo and add in lighter, protein-packed Greek yogurt. Instead of regular cream cheese, the base of the cheeseball uses lighter Neufchâtel cheese—which you can find right next to the cream cheese in most grocery stores. And of course, this cheeseball is loaded with a whole bunch of healthy spinach (because you gotta sneak in veggies whenever you can during the holiday season) and topped with heart-healthy pecans (they pack a powerful healthy fat and protein punch) for texture.

Instead of typical white bread toasts or processed crackers you normally find with a cheeseball, try serving this one with whole grain crackers and cucumber slices. Your guests will welcome the change of pace!

Spinach Parmesan Cheeseball

Ingredients

8

ounces softened Neufchâtel cheese (often sold as “1/3 Fat Cream Cheese”)

2/3

cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt 

1

cup shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4

cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

2

t garlic powder

1

t hot sauce

1

t Worcestershire sauce

1/2

t black pepper

1

10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1

cup finely chopped pecans

whole grain crackers and cucumber slices for serving

Steps

  1. Combine the Neufchâtel cheese, Greek yogurt, mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, hot sauce, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and spinach. Stir until evenly mixed.
  2. Refrigerate the mixture for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly solid.
  3. Place the mixture in the middle of a large piece of plastic wrap, close the wrap, and form the mixture into a ball. Place the mixture into a small bowl, and refrigerate for an additional hour, or until mostly solid.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the remaining Parmesan cheese and pecans in a shallow dish. Once the cheeseball is chilled, roll it in the mixture to coat.
  5. Serve with whole grain crackers and cucumber slices.

142 calories, 10g fat, 2.9g carbs, 8.3g protein

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