Is it really a party if there isn’t a Chipped Beef Cheeseball? This easy, crowd pleasing appetizer is a must make for holiday gatherings. This cheeseball with dried beef is loaded with flavor and ready to be scooped onto crackers, crostini, veggies, or just a spoon!
Looking for a cheeseball with a little Tex-Mex flair? Try these Mini Spicy Cheeseballs.
Party Perfect Cheeseball with Dried Beef
Growing up, no holiday was complete without a Chipped Beef Cheeseball. It’s the perfect thing to pull out of the fridge as guests arrive. It staves off the hangries while everyone waits for the roasted turkey or Prime rib roast to finish.
While there are many different cheese ball recipes out there, I’m particularly fond of this one, which trades the traditional chopped nut or seed coating for thin strips of savory chipped beef.
It makes for an attractive and delightfully savory cheeseball that can be served by itself or as part of a charcuterie platter.
This is a recipe to keep in your back pocket throughout the holiday season (and beyond!). It checks all the boxes I want in an appetizer recipe. It’s:
- Make ahead friendly. You can make this 24 hours ahead of time, 2 hours ahead of time, or 2 months ahead of time. Either way, it helps free you up for other last minute details, decorating, or (even better) relaxing!
- Easy to make. Whip this baby up in 10 minutes flat. That’s right, 10 MINUTES. That’s shorter than the Starbucks drive-thru line most mornings.
- Incredibly versatile. From mixing up flavors and fillings to shaping into different shapes, cheese balls can be adapted to fit a variety of tastes and occasions.
What is dried beef?
If you’re wondering what the heck chipped beef is, I’m here to help. Dried beef is beef that has been partially dried, cured, and thinly sliced. You can find it in the dry pantry section of most grocery stores, where it may also be called chipped beef. I have used and like the Armour brand.
Dried beef is used most often in cheese balls, but it’s also used to make Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast.
What is a cheese ball made of?
Like most cheese balls, this one starts with softened cream cheese and shredded hard cheese. I use Mexican blend or sharp cheddar cheese. I also like to add a little bit of sour cream for a pleasant tang.
My cheese ball recipe is seasoned with garlic powder, dried parsley, and chopped green onions. It then gets a powerful hit of umami from Worcestershire sauce and is, of course, finished with savory strips of dried beef for plenty of flavor!
How to Make Chipped Beef Cheeseball
Mix. To make the cheese ball, combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, dried parsley, green onions, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Mix until the ingredients are well distributed.
Shape the mixture into a round ball using your hands, then wash and dry your hands well to make rolling easier.
Chop the dried beef into small pieces and spread it out on a baking sheet or parchment paper.
Roll the cheese ball over the dried beef, covering as much of it as you can. Then, use your hands to place any remaining chipped beef over any bare spots.
Chill the cheese ball in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors meld, then serve with crackers, pretzel crisps, pita wedges, carrot sticks, or Melba toast.
How long does a cheese ball last?
Cheese balls can be mixed up and stored in the fridge up to 3 days in advance. If it’s going to be longer than that, I recommend freezing it.
How to freeze cheeseballs:
Double wrap the cheeseball tightly with saran wrap then a layer of aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw the cheese ball in the fridge overnight before serving.
You can also shape into several smaller cheese balls that are perfect for pulling out and adding to a charcuterie board.
There are so many possibilities to make this cheese ball your own. Feel free to add any of the following for added flavor, texture, or color:
- Finely chopped nuts: pecans or walnuts are especially good for this. Roast them first for added flavor.
- Diced vegetables: green or red pepper add festive color to cheese balls.
- Poppy or sesame seeds: stir in a tablespoon or two of these to add some visual interest.
- Hot sauce- if you’re craving a little heat, a few dashes of hot sauce are just the trick!
Mix it up for different occasions
If you want to get super fancy, try shaping your cream cheese ball into different shapes for various holidays. If you’re doing a more complicated shape, I recommend chilling the cheese ball for 2 hours first, to make it easier and less sticky to shape.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- A Christmas tree- shape the cheeseball then cover it in fresh parsley and chipped beef “ornaments”
- A football- Pipe some softened cream cheese “lines” on the outside of the cheese ball to get the full look.
- A heart
- A pumpkin- Stir the chipped beef into the cheese ball, then coat it with either cheddar cheese or crushed Cheetos or Cheezits for an orange color.
- A Thanksgiving Turkey Cheeseballs– Yes, it’s a thing.
- 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons chopped green onions
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2.25 ounce jar dried beef, chopped
- Dash hot sauce (optional)
- Combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, dried parsley, green onions, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Add two tablespoons of the chopped beef. Mix until the ingredients are well distributed.
- Shape the mixture into a round ball using your hands, then wash and dry your hands well to make rolling easier.
- Spread the remaining beef out on a baking sheet or parchment paper.
- Roll the cheese ball over the dried beef, covering as much of it as you can. Then, use your hands to place any remaining chipped beef over any bare spots.
- Chill the cheese ball in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors meld, then serve with crackers, pretzel crisps, pita wedges, carrot sticks, or Melba toast.
Cheese balls can be made ahead of time and frozen. For tips on freezing, see the post above.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 568mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g
Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.