Pineapple Cheese Ball

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!

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 CHEESE BALL RECIPE VIDEO

up close of best Pineapple Cheese Ball with some cheese spread missing

Cheese Ball Recipe

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 BallBruschetta 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.

up close of a Pineapple Cheese Ball

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
  • spices!
showing how to make Pineapple Cheese Ball by adding cream cheese, pineapple, sharp cheddar cheese, coconut, ham and green onions to a glass bowl

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)!

Cheese Ball

  • Add all of the Pineapple Cheese Ball ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well combined.
showing how to make Pineapple Cheese Ball by mixing cream cheese, pineapple, sharp cheddar cheese, coconut, ham and green onions until well blended in a mixing bowl
  • 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.
showing how to make Pineapple Cheese Ball by wrapping in plastic wrap and forming into a 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.

Coating

  • 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.
showing how to make Pineapple Cheese Ball by rolling in coating with macadamia nuts, coconut and green oninos
  • 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.

Pineapple Cheese Ball with some cheese spread missing

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.

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up close of Pineapple Cheese Ball spread on a cracker

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Pineapple Cheese Ball with some cheese spread missing

Pineapple Cheese Ball

This Pineapple Cheese Ball is bursting with the flavors of Hawaii, takes just minutes to whip up, and is the ideal make ahead appetizer! 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!
Servings: 50 servings
Total Time: 10 mins
Prep Time: 10 mins

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Ingredients

Cheese Ball

  • 2 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 8 oz. cans crushed pineapple very well drained
  • 1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Pepper Jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut toasted
  • 1/2 cup chopped ham thick cut then chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 jalapeno seeded, deveined, minced
  • 1/4 tsp EACH ground ginger, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper

Coating

  • 2/3 cup unsalted toasted macadamia nuts chopped
  • 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut toasted
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

Instructions

Cheese Ball

  • Add all of the 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 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.

Coating

  • Add all of the Coating ingredients 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 and/or bell peppers.

Video

Notes

Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!
  • Cream Cheese.   You want cream cheese that is slightly softened and will soften further as you blend it with your wooden spoon.  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.
  • 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.

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6 Comments

  1. Calie says

    Hi Jen, I just made your Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball last week and it was so yummy. I was going to make it again but I think I’ll switch it up with this Pineapple Cheese Ball instead- the ingredient list looks wonderful. Thanks for all your amazing recipes!

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Calie! Thank you for making my recipes 🙂 I’m so pleased you loved the Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball, I think you’ll love this on too! Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  2. Jamie says

    What great timing! I have to bring and appetizer to a party this weekend but I’m going to be working all day- so now I can make this the night before. Thanks so much! I have loved every recipe I’ve tried of yours, keep ‘em coming!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Jamie, that is great timing! I love the make-ahead aspect of cheese balls too – so convenient! I hope yo have fun at your party and that this Pineapple Cheese Ball is a hit!

  3. Lynne says

    You did not give quantities needed of ingredients. Help

    • Jen says

      Hi Lynne, all the quantities are listed in the recipe. Click “jump to recipe” at the top of the page and it will take you right there.

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