Ranch, Salmon & Beef Cheese Ball


My daughter would never forgive me if I didn’t include her most-loved cheese ball recipes in my 24 Day Favorite Holiday Recipe Blitz. So here you go, enjoy.

Hidden Valley Ranch Cheese Ball
1 – 8 ounce package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing, dry
¼ cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
Fresh parsley, cilantro or candied cherries (optional)

Combine dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing, butter and cream cheese together until well blended. Form into a ball or loaf/roll, and roll in nuts. Wrap securely in plastic wrap. Garnish with parsley, cilantro or candied cherries, if desired. Chill 4 to 6 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any cheese ball that’s leftover.
Yield: Approximately 1 1/4 cups cheese ball mixture, and serves 10 with a variety of snack crackers.

Betty B’s Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball
1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
6 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon dried minced onions
½ cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
Fresh parsley and lemon slices (optional)

Mix cream cheese, salmon, lemon juice and onions together until well blended. Form into a ball or loaf/roll, and roll in nuts. Wrap securely in plastic wrap. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices, if desired. Chill 4 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any cheese ball that’s leftover.
Yield: Approximately 1 2/3 cups cheese ball mixture and serves 14 serve with variety with a variety of snack crackers or raw vegetables.

Special Blend Cheese Ball
1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 – 2.5 ounce packages chipped beef (i.e., Buddig or Hormels Dried), chopped fine
1 bunch green onions with tops, chopped fine
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Fresh parsley or cilantro (optional)

Mix cream cheese, chipped beef, green onions, mayonnaise and garlic powder together until well blended. Form into one large cheese ball (or two small) or a large loaf/roll, and roll in chopped pecans. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 4 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any cheese ball that’s leftover.
Yield: Approximately 2 cups cheese ball mixture, serves 24 with a variety of snack crackers, celery sticks or zucchini discs.

Cook’s Note: Any cheese ball can easily be used for a dip. Simply mix everything together according to the instructions. Place mixture in an appropriate dipping dish; sprinkle nuts over the top, if desired. These dips (above) should sit for at least 1 hour so the flavors can meld, but they don’t have to be refrigerated before serving. Just place them on the buffet table and you’re ready to go.
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