Red Wine Cheese Ball

What is the holiday season without cheese balls? It’s the perfect time of year to indulge, and while cheese balls will never be referred to as health food, you can make your own lower-fat cheese ball in just a few minutes.

We started with two, eight ounce packages of low-fat cream cheese (at room temperature), two, seven ounce pouches of finely shredded Kraft Sharp Cheddar cheese made with 2% milk, and a package of Wine Barrel Gourmet Creamy Parisian Herb Salad Dressing mix.

Red Wine Salad Dressing Mix

Beat the cream cheese and salad dressing mix together until light and fluffy. (Add 1 Tbsp red wine if you want a more pronounced wine flavor).

Creamy Parisian Herb Dressing and Cream Cheese

Add the sharp Cheddar cheese and stir until well mixed.

Adding the Cheddar cheese.

Cover a piece of parchment or waxed paper with about 2 cups of chopped pecans (parsley or paprika could be used instead of nuts). Lightly flour your hands and gather the cheese mixture into a ball. Roll the ball in the nuts to cover. This step is quite messy so be prepared! It works best if the pecans are finely chopped.

Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The long chill time does two things; it allows the herbs  to fully flavor the cheese and it helps the ball stay together!

Red Wine Cheese Ball

We are still eating cheese ball leftovers three days later and it tastes better every day!

Tips: Serve on crackers or flat bread or pita chips. Adding red or white wine to the mix will enhance the wine flavor. The red wine solids included in the Creamy Parisian Salad Dressing mix do add a non-alcohol red wine flavor.  Creamy Parisian Salad Dressing mix is full of several herbs and garlic, but any of our Red Wine Salad Dressings would be equally delicious in this cheese ball. Try the Italian Rosemary Salad Dressing mix and use 3 1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese instead of Cheddar, or the Sunny Greek Salad Dressing mix using crumbled feta instead of Cheddar.  Perfect for the holiday appetizer table.

 

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at SeedToPantry.com and HestiasKitchen.com.

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