Creamy, salty and meaty join together to make the best Cheese Ball with Dried Beef! We have tried many cheese ball recipes and this one with only 4 ingredients is our favorite.
Cheese Ball Recipe with Dried Beef
The creamy base combines with salty beef, slightly spicy and peppery green onions and a hint of garlic to create a bold and delicious cheese ball! This vintage recipe calls for accent that we replace with garlic powder.
A cheese ball recipe is a classic appetizer to serve along side a Vegetable Tray and Fruit Tray at a party, potluck or holiday meal. This cheese ball recipe with dried beef is flavorful and easy to make.
A variety of wheat crackers, butter crackers or others that you enjoy are perfect for scooping up the cream cheese mixture. We like to get creative shaping the cheese ball for different occasions.
Slightly more mild, but also popular is our Chili Cheese Ball. And packed with a unique variety of flavors is our Jalapeno Bacon Cheese Ball. It’s great to have options, but this Dried Beef Cheese Ball is definitely the most requested recipe of the bunch.
Why This Recipe Works:
- 5 simple ingredients combine to make an easy appetizer that is always popular
- Can be made a day ahead of the party
- One of those classic recipes that never goes out of style
- Dried beef is a unique ingredient that works really well and creates an enjoyable saltiness in this recipe
- Cream Cheese – we do prefer Philadelphia brand over the generic options when cream cheese is not cooked and one of the core flavors in the dish
- Dried Beef – is also known as chipped beef, Armour is the most popular brand. Thin, round slices come in a small jar and large jar. A large jar works well for this recipe.
- Green Onions – chop up the white onion, well into the green stalk. Chives work fine as a substitute if necessary.
- Garlic Powder – takes the place of accent which was traditionally used in a lot of cheese balls.
Cheese Ball Recipe
Two blocks of cream cheese is typically the base of a cheese ball. Other complimentary items are chopped and mixed in to create endless unique flavor combinations.
Dried beef is our favorite cheese ball flavoring, but bacon, ranch and jalapeños also pair well while chopped nuts and paprika are a popular finish for the outside when smoked or salted meat isn’t used.
The softened cream cheese mixture can be shaped into a ball, a log or be used as a dip. Using plastic wrap is the most common tool to use in the shaping process.
My mom has a vintage dish that is made to put a cheese log on and serve with crackers around the mixture.
Round crackers make a beautiful ring around a ball. The options to arrange the pairs are endless and allow for creativity.
The Original Recipe Calls For Accent
Since accent is no longer commonly available or used I substituted 3/4 teaspoon of garlic powder for 1 teaspoon of accent.
My neighbor who is a great cook shared this vintage recipe and said it’s one of her favorites.
An extended family member shared this as one of her long time party food favorites.
What Type Of Crackers To Use?
We prefer an assortment of party crackers. Party crackers are large round crackers that are usually up higher on the grocery shelves above the more common Ritz and Club crackers.
I made this for our family Easter party where there are lots of kids. The kids love to snack on crackers, so we bring extra crackers so there’s still some to enjoy with the cheeseball when the adults make it to the table.
How To Make A Cheese Ball
Allow cream cheese to soften or follow the directions on the inside of the box to soften in the microwave.
Put blocks in a medium mixing bowl and sprinkle garlic powder on top. Beat cream cheese until smooth.
Wash and chop up the green onions. If there’s a thin outer skin that seems a bit dirty I peel it off.
Then cut the roots off and discard them.
Here is how I slice the green onions. Then I turn the knife 90 degrees and cut the opposite direction to finely chop.
I also discard the longer green pieces left at the end.
Add the finely chopped green onions to the cream cheese mixture.
Remove the beef from the jar and separate into three to four stacks.
Here is how I cut the dried beef into small squares.
Add half of the beef to the cream cheese mixture.
Reserve the other half to coat the outside once the ball is done.
Use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir the mixture together.
Fold from the outside and bottom of the bowl to the center repeatedly until the mixture is uniform in appearance.
Form The Ball
Unroll about 12″ of plastic wrap. I like to leave one end hooked to the roll to decrease movement while getting started.
Scoop the cream cheese mixture into the center of the plastic.
Detach the plastic and use it to shape a ball. Sometimes the ball can be sticky and soft. Then the original plastic wrap may need discarded and replaced.
Sprinkle some of the remaining dried beef on a new piece of plastic and transfer ball onto the pile of beef. Add remaining beef to the outside of the cheese ball focusing on coating the top and sides the best.
Use fingers to pat pieces into the cream cheese so they stick better.
Place on serving tray and recover with clean plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator to firm up before serving.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce are common additives to a cheese ball. While we like those flavors paired with dried beef we have tested versions that became too soggy from adding liquid. If do you want to add liquid only add a teaspoon or two to make shaping easier.
- Be sure to use fresh green onions so the bright flavor really bursts in each bite.
- Chop beef into evenly sized pieces for the best eye appeal.
Storage & Handling
Keep the cheese ball cool and only serve at room temperature for about an hour at at time.
Cover tightly or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
Based on the ingredients used in this cheese ball it will be best if used within one to two days.
This dried beef cheeseball may last for up to a week if very fresh green onions are used, but this will likely be pushing past the expiration of the best flavors.
Extra cheese ball may be frozen, but the quality will likely decrease in the thawing process.
More Easy Recipes For Entertaining
Artichoke Jalapeno Dip is a favorite to buy at Costco, but so easy to make at home.
White Pizza Dip is cheesy, delicious and looks like pizza which makes it popular.
Baked Chicken Pinwheels are versatile, look pretty and are pretty easy to make.
Dried Beef Roll-Ups make another great finger food with lots of flavor.
Cheese Ball with Dried Beef
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 green onions finely chopped
- 4.5 ounce jar dried beef finely chopped
- In a medium mixing bowl sprinkled garlic powder over the softened blocks of cream cheese. Beat until smooth.
- Add chopped green onions and half of the chopped dried beef. Stir gently until mixed well.
- Use plastic wrap to shape mixture into a ball. Remove wrap and sprinkle remaining half of the beef on the top and sides of the cheese ball. Pat the pieces in so that they stick.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator until chilled.
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