Forget about the store-bought cheese log or cream cheese-filled celery stalks your sister makes - a creamy, garlic-herb turkey-shaped cheese ball is the savory appetizer your family will ask for every year. Rolled in crunchy, toasted almonds, this little guy deserves to be the star of Turkey Day.
Recipe courtesy of Michelle Buffardi
Print
Garlic-Herb Turkey Cheese Ball
Yield:
6 to 8 servings
Level:
None
Yield:
6 to 8 servings
Level:
None

Ingredients

For the Cheese Ball:
  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as dill, oregano and thyme)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
For Decorating:
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted, then chopped
  • 1 raisin
  • 1 whole almond (for the beak)
  • 1 slice red bell pepper
  • Dried papaya or orange bell pepper slices (for the feet)
  • Pretzel sticks

Directions

Make the cheese ball: Thoroughly mix cream cheese, herbs, garlic, mustard and salt using a stand mixer, or in a bowl with a rubber spatula. Cover and refrigerate the cheese for two hours or overnight.

Decorate the cheese ball: Scoop out most of the cheese mixture, reserving a walnut-sized portion; you will use that for the head. Form a ball with the large portion of cheese and roll the ball in toasted, chopped almonds. Set the almond-covered cheese ball on a platter.

Roll the remaining portion of cheese into a small ball and set it on top of the larger ball - this is the turkey's head. Cut a raisin in half and place each half on the head for the eyes, the whole almond in the middle as the beak, and arrange a small piece of red pepper under the beak for the turkey's wattle. Slice dried papaya or orange bell pepper and stick them into the bottom of the cheese ball for the feet. Last, arrange thin pretzel sticks on the back of the cheese ball to look like tail feathers. 

Serve with assorted crackers and crudites. 

It's best to decorate the turkey cheese ball no more than an hour before serving, so the components don't get soggy. But you can make and refrigerate the cheese mixture the day before.

Categories:

Cooking Tips 3 Videos

Step-by-step photos

Eggs 101: Poached 01:24

These easy steps will have you poaching eggs to perfection in no time.

Similar Topics:

IDEAS YOU'LL LOVE

Swedish Turkey Meat Balls

Recipe courtesy of Dave Lieberman

Easter Cheese Ball

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Buffardi

Grilled Rib-Eye with Garlic-Herb Butter

Recipe courtesy of Justine Simmons

Nacho Jack-o'-Lantern Cheese Ball

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Buffardi

Beer-Pretzel Cheese Ball

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Buffardi

Grilled Chicken with Garlic-Herb Dressing and Grilled Lemon

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Turkey, Mushroom and Corn Mexican Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

On TV

So Much Pretty Food Here