Look no further for the perfect Christmas appetizer! This Christmas Tree Cheese Ball is an easy-to-make snack that will wow your holiday guests.
A Christmas Tree Cheese Ball will be a gorgeous addition to the holiday appetizer table this year. Shaped into a cone and decorated with fresh herbs and pine nuts, this flavorful appetizer is festive and tasty.
The decorations on this Christmas appetizer were inspired by a similar cheese ball recipe from the Betty Crocker Kitchens. I saw it, and I just had to recreate it with my own spin!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Make Ahead. A cheese ball like this one or my Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball can very easily be made the day before, meaning less stress for you on the big holiday.
- Festive Appetizer. While you’ll find many recipes for Christmas themed desserts, holiday themed appetizers are a bit more rare. Your guests are going to love the extra mile you went to make the day feel special.
- Pine Nuts. There aren’t many recipes that use up a jar of pine nuts like this one does! Pine nuts are delicious in pesto, but aside from that, they aren’t used very often. This recipe uses them as the perfect Christmas tree cheese ball decoration.
- Simple Flavors. Cream cheese is blended with cheddar and monterey jack cheeses to create this tasty christmas cheese ball, seasoned with common seasonings you have in your spice rack.
Here’s what you need to make this cheese ball:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Cream Cheese: The base of any good cheese ball is softened cream cheese.
- Shredded Cheese: A combination of sharp cheddar and monterey jack cheeses gives the best flavor. Buy your cheese pre-shredded to save time, however it tastes a bit better if you shred it fresh.
- Seasonings: Parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian Seasoning, salt, and pepper give the cheese a savory, salty flavor.
Decorations: To make this cheese ball look like a fresh Christmas Tree, we’ll decorate with chopped fresh parsley, diced bell peppers in various colors, pine nuts, and pistachios.
How to Make a Christmas Tree Cheese Ball
- Mix: In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the cheeses, then add in the parsley and seasonings and beat until well combined.
- Shape and Chill: Transfer the mixture onto plastic wrap, tightly cover and shape into a cone. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, and preferably overnight.
- Decorate: Transfer the cheese ball cone onto a serving plate to decorate. Lightly press some of the parsley into the cheese, then dot the pine nuts to create a string light effect. Decorate next with bell pepper pieces and pistachio nuts to resemble baubles or ornaments.
- Add the star. Press in the remaining parsley to fill in any gaps. Then cut a star from a thick slice of cheese using a small cookie cutter. I attached it to the top of the tree with a toothpick to keep it secure.
- Serve: Serve with crackers, bread, or sturdy chips.
Be sure to serve your cheese ball with lots of crackers, sturdy chips, or toasted bread. Set out spreading knives for your guests to use too.
Nuts are Optional: You can make this a nut-free cheese ball. Add a few more pieces of yellow or red pepper in place of them while decorating the tree.
Other Decorations: You can get creative with decorating your Christmas Tree Cheese Ball. Try adding sliced green olives, roasted red peppers, pieces of red onion, or even chopped bacon.
Soften the Cream Cheese: Don’t try to mix this up until your cream cheese has softened to room temperature.
Looking for a dessert recipe shaped like a Christmas tree? I have you covered with my pull-apart chocolate chip Christmas dessert!
Nope! If you’d rather not sculpt your cheese ball into a Christmas tree shape, it’s fine to serve this in a traditional ball shape or a log. It won’t be quite as festive, but it will still be a delicious appetizer.
The cheese mixture will stay fresh for up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator, however, I suggest eating it within 1-3 days, as the seasonings will intensify as they sit. Add the decorations to your cheese ball tree shortly before serving to avoid the parsley wilting.
Yes, you can mix the cheeses with the seasonings, shape, and then freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, allow the cheese to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then decorate just before serving.
More Delicious Holiday Appetizers
Try making a few of these to serve at your Christmas parties or Christmas Eve celebrations. Festive holiday appetizers, desserts, and drinks will make for a social, fun time!
See all of my Christmas Recipes Here!
You are now well on your way to the perfect holiday party appetizer! Enjoy, and be sure to pin this recipe for later.
- 3 x 8 ounce/(225g) packages cream cheese softened
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ of each yellow and red bell peppers diced
- 1 tablespoon pistachios roughly chopped, optional
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts optional
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the cheeses, then add in the parsley and seasonings and beat until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture onto plastic wrap, tightly cover and shape into a cone. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, and preferably overnight.
- Transfer the cheese ball cone onto a serving plate to decorate. Lightly press some of the parsley into the cheese, then dot the pine nuts to create a string light effect. Decorate next with bell pepper pieces and pistachio nuts to resemble baubles or ornaments.
- Press in the remaining parsley to fill in any gaps. Then cut a star from a thick slice of cheese using a small cookie cutter. I attached it to the top of the tree with a toothpick to keep it secure.
- Serve with crackers, bread, or sturdy chips.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen