A cheese ball is a classic appetizer! It is perfect for holiday dinners, parties with friends, or date-night at home! A cheese ball appetizer is made from a base of soft cheese such as cream cheese, and then you can add other variety of cheeses or toppings to boost its flavor. Because a cheese ball is made from a soft cheese, it can be molded into different shapes, like a pumpkin!

This cheese was molded to be the perfect center piece for a Thanksgiving cheese tray, but this recipe can work for any gathering! We wanted to add some protein to this traditional recipe to help balance blood sugars and displace saturated fats that can be found in full-fat dairy products. We found a Greek yogurt cream cheese that did just that! Greek yogurt cream cheese contains 4 times the protein compared to regular cream cheeses. I found this Greek yogurt cream cheese at Wegmans.

You can pair this appetizer with sliced vegetables, whole wheat crackers or pita chips, or fruit. The leftovers from this recipe can also last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks!

Another heart-healthy dip you can serve at any party is baked hummus!

Thanksgiving Cheese Ball

Course: Appetizers and Snacks
Cuisine: American
Condition: Diabetes, Nut Free
Servings: 16 servings


  • 2 8 oz blocks greek yogurt cream cheese
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 tbsp thyme fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • In a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, combine all ingredients and beat until smooth.
  • Use a spatula to scrape cream cheese mixture onto the center of a large piece of cling wrap. Form cream cheese into a ball and close cling wrap tightly around the ball. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  • Cut the stem off of a bell pepper. Remove cheese ball from fridge. Remove cling wrap and place on serving tray. Press stem onto top of cheese ball. Serve with crackers and/or veggies.


Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 2mg

Did you know that our dietitians create, prepare and even photograph the recipes in our blog? Yes, Kaitlin Williams Eckstein, MPH, RD, LD came up with this idea and implemented it.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have this pumpkin cheese ball for Thanksgiving?

Let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments below.

Please note:

Nutrition info is an estimate and may contain errors.

An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.