Christmas Ornament Cheeseball Appetizer (Low Carb and Gluten Free)
If you want to create a special atmosphere for the Holidays you should prepare this Christmas ornament cheeseball appetizer. This recipe will instantly excite kids and they will be happy to help with preparing it. This appetizer is great for gatherings. You can bring it over for a Christmas party or impress even the most pretentious guests.
The cheeseball ornaments are not only looking festive but are fast and easy to make. It will take you about thirty minutes to serve them at the table. Basic chopping and cooking skills are needed.
Furthermore, this Christmas Ornament Cheeseball Appetizer is gluten free and low in carbs. Make sure you serve it with low carb vegetables instead of chips and crackers. Cucumbers, bell peppers or celery are great options. Almond crackers are an example for a replacement for regular wheat ones.
When I created this recipe I thought about what my family will enjoy the most. I wanted to add something slightly spicy, smoky, and sweet. The spicy note is coming from the jalapeño, the smoky is from the bacon and the sweet is from the caramelized onions. I also thought about rolling the balls into toppings that my family loves. This adds extra flavor and texture to the appetizer. You can make the cheeseballs with simple ingredients that you already have at home. You can omit bacon to make them vegetarian. Some people don’t tolerate spicy foods and might think the jalapeño is not needed. Just improvise and add flavors that you love.
Leave the cream cheese at room temperature for an hour. That will soften it and help with mixing the ingredients in.
You can prepare this appetizer in advance. Make the cream cheese mixture in the morning and store it in the fridge until your guests arrive. Then right before you serve it you can make the balls by rolling them in the toppings and decorating them with olives and herb sprigs.
Store any leftovers in the fridge no longer than 2-3 days.
Christmas Ornament Cheeseball Appetizer
- 8 oz cream cheese softened at room temperature
- 2 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion cooked until caramelized
- ¼ cup shredded smoked Gouda
- 1 finely chopped jalapeño stem and seeds removed
- smoked paprika, chopped pistachios and dill for rolling the cheeseballs
- sliced olives for tops
- Add two slices of bacon to a pan and cook them on medium high until fat is rendered and the bacon becomes crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and place it on a paper towel to drain the excess fat.
- Add the chopped onion to the same pan and cook it until caramelized.
- When the bacon is cool enough to handle chop it finely and add it to a bowl. To the same bowl add the other ingredients (the cream cheese, smoked Gouda, caramelized onions and the finely chopped jalapeño) and mix them well.
- In three different plates add the ingredients that we are going to roll the balls in (chopped pistachios, smoked paprika and chopped dill). Using an ice-cream scoop form three balls and roll each ball in each plate.
- Top the balls with a sliced olives and the sprigs from the dill to make them look like ornaments. Serve with crackers, chips, or fresh vegetables. Store leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days.