This Pineapple Cheese Ball is bursting with the flavors of Hawaii, takes minutes to whip up, and is the ideal make ahead appetizer!
If you are looking for an appetizer to bring to your next holiday gathering — look no further than this Pineapple Cheese Ball! It is is loaded with crushed pineapple, sweetened coconut, smoked ham, green onions and COATED in more cheese, macadamia nuts, green onions and coconut for a taste of Hawaii that is tropically delicious but EASY too!
As we enter the season of parties, it’s time for appetizers galore. And no appetizer gets me more excited than a cheese ball or log. Not only are they beautifully impressive, make ahead and super easy to prepare, but they are the ideal cracker spread because they are basically cheese loaded with more cheese and other delectable ingredients.
I love cheese balls and logs so much I’ve already shared my Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball, Bruschetta Cheese Ball, Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log, Garlic Herb Cheese Log and now I’m ecstatic for this Pineapple Cheese Ball to join the list!
I brought this Hawaiian Cheese Ball to a Halloween Party last week and it was all but obliterated. My host friend said she finished it off for breakfast. Because this Pineapple Cheese Ball is so good you’ll be want to devour its sweet and tangy, savory creamy cheesy goodness any time of the day.
What is in this Pineapple Cheese Ball?
Just when you didn’t think a cheese could get any better, I give you this Pineapple Cheese Ball. Because pineapple and coconut are a match made in tropical paradise. This Pineapple Cheese Ball boasts:
- cream cheese
- sour cream
- crushed pineapple
- sharp cheddar cheese
- Pepper Jack cheese
- toasted coconut
- chopped ham
- green onions
- macadamia nuts
This ensemble cast creates a sweet-salty addiction that is unparalleled. The sweetness of the crushed pineapple and toasted coconut mixed with the salty ham, savory cheeses and punchy green onions all enveloped in rich, crunchy macadamia nuts – paradise in a bite, after bite, after bite….
How to Make Pineapple Cheese Ball
You are going to be GIDDY over just how easy this Pineapple Cheese Ball is to make (video coming soon)!
- Add all of the Pineapple Cheese Ball ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well combined.
- Drop mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap, cover tightly, and shape into a ball. Don’t worry about the shape being perfect – you can refine it later when you coat the cheese ball.
- Chill Pineapple Cheese Ball in the refrigerator for 2 hours to firm but best if allowed to chill 24 hours so the flavors can meld. Roll in coating as close to serving as possible.
- Add macadamia nuts, coconut, cheese and green onions to a medium bowl and stir to combine.
- Spread Coating in an even layer on cutting board/parchment lined counter. Remove cheese ball from refrigerator and roll in Coating mixture, pressing to adhere, until evenly coated. At this point you can refrigerate for 1-2 hours until ready to serve.
- Serve with crackers, bell peppers, etc.
Tips and Tricks for Hawaiian Cheese Ball
Cream Cheese. You want cream cheese that is slightly softened and will soften further as you blend it with the rest of the filling ingredients. If it is too soft then it will not hold its shape very well and will take longer to firm up in the refrigerator. To prevent your cream cheese from being too soft, let it sit at room temperature to soften and never microwave it.
Crushed Pineapple. Crushed pineapple is the pineapple in Pineapple Cheese Ball! Take care that you drain your crushed pineapple very well. To do this, add it to a fine mesh sieve and press down on it with the back of a spoon several times until no juices are released.
Ham. Use thick cut ham from the deli counter and not thinly sliced sandwich ham. I ask the deli counter to cut my ham into 1/4″ thick slices which I then cut in the other direction at home to create cubes. I prefer smoked ham but you can use your favorite cut.
Pepper Jack Cheese. This cheese does not make the Hawaiian Cheese Ball hot, just flavorful. You can substitute with Monterrey if that’s what you have on hand, but I highly recommend the pepper jack.
Coconut. To toast coconut, spread it out in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes. Watch closely towards the end because it can go from toasted to burnt very quickly.
Jalapeno. The jalapeno gives a little kick but not enough to make the Pineapple Cheese Ball “spicy.” Its gentle heat cuts through the sweetness of the pineapple and coconut.
Macadamia Nuts. I love the tropical crunch of Macadamia Nuts for the coating but because they are more expensive, feel free to substitute with pecans. You can even use half pecans and half macadamia nuts. I get my macadamia nuts at the bulk bins at Sprouts so you can get as little or as much as you need.
Refrigerate! This Pineapple Cheese ball tastes WAY better if allowed to chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours before rolling in the coating. The flavors develop and meld into something truly paradisaical.
Coating. You can mix all your Pineapple Cheese Ball Coating ingredients together (cheese, green onions, coconut) except the macadamia nuts ahead of time and refrigerate. I like to do this while I make the cheese ball because then I don’t have to get out the same ingredients twice and all that’s left to do is to roll the cheese ball in the coating. We wait to add the macadamia nuts until ready to coat the cheese ball so they don’t loose any of their crunch.
LOOKING FOR MORE PARTY RECIPES?
- Cherry Cheesecake Dip
- Pumpkin Dip
- Key Lime Cheesecake Dip
- Spinach Dip Stuffed French Bread
- Stuffed Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
- Artichoke Dip Bites
- Buffalo Chicken Dip Ring
- Cheesy Chili Dip
Want to try this Pineapple Cheese Ball Recipe?
Pin it to your APPETIZER, PARTY or HOLIDAY Board to SAVE for later!
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