Cheese Balls & Pinwheels


Salmon Cheese Ball


  • 1-pound can of salmon
  • 8-ounce cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated onion
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup crushed pecans
  • 3 Tablespoons minced parsley

Strain and flake salmon, removing any of the larger bones. Combine with the cream cheese, juice, onion, horseradish, and salt. Chill. Shape into ball. Combine the parsley and the pecans on a pie plate or shallow bowl. Roll the cheese ball in the mixture so it presses into the surface. Serve or wrap in plastic wrap and chill again till ready to use.

Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball


  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced green onions
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Combine all ingredients but the parsley. Mix well and form into a ball. Roll in the parsley, so it presses into the surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Savory Cheese Ball


  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp. Dijon or hearty mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (I use granules)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, crushed
  • 3/4 cup parsley, minced

Place the cream cheese, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, mustard, garlic powder, Worcestershire and salt in a mixer bowl and beat until well blended. Stir in the pecans. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill the cheese mixture for 30 minutes or until slightly firm, then form into a ball. Roll in the chopped parsley to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Holiday Cheese Ball


  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese
  • 1 jar of Kraft Old English cheese
  • 1 jar Kraft Roquefort cheese
  • 2 tbsp. onion, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. granulated garlic
  • dash paprika
  • 1/4 cup pecans, crushed

All of the cheese should be room temperature. Mix all the ingredients together until blended, except for the pecans. Chill. Form into a ball when fairly chilled and firm. Roll the cheese ball in the pecans till coated. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Spicy Ham Cheese Ball


  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp. Cajon seasoning-the more the hotter
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup minced cooked ham
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, green onions, chili powder, Cajon seasoning, Cheddar cheese, ham and mayonnaise. Form the mixture into one or more balls. Chill for about an hour. Serve chilled.

Fiesta Cheese Ball


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope taco seasoning, divided
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1 cup seeded and minced red bell pepper
  • 8 ounces shredded Colby-jack cheese

Preheat over to 300 degrees F. Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, remaining taco seasoning and Tabasco sauce until smooth. Add jalapeno, onion, bell pepper and the cheese. 

Stir to combine. Form the cheese into a large ball. Roll cheese ball in the nuts, coating the surface. Double wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 'til firm and serve.


Ham rolls, or pinwheels as most people call them, are a steadfast tradition in our family. Every family reunion, holiday gathering or special occasion has some form of this addictive appetizer! The first recipe I've included is the basic roll that is hands down a favorite with adults and kids alike. Simple and easy, but still a winner. However, there are hundreds of variations! I've included a few that are also easy. You can use any quality thinly sliced ham, but mesquite smoked turkey is great too. Roll them one at a time or overlap on a large piece of foil and roll all at once. Everyone has their favorite method. We just grab a piece of ham and start rolling-usually there are at least three of us helping out, so it goes quickly. Older kids can help out too!

Basic Ham and Onion Pinwheels

Rectangle shaped deli-sliced ham
Softened cream cheese-room temperature
Green onions with long stalks

Spread the softened cream cheese on one side of a ham slice. Place one of the onions vertically at one end of the ham slice. Roll the ham slice and the onion together lengthwise. Chill the rolls in the refrigerator until the cream cheese becomes firm again. Before serving, slice the rolls into one inch pieces. Place on a platter with extra green onions for garnish.

Ranch Ham and Tortilla Pinwheels

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 package (.4 oz) Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
2 green onions, minced
4 (12 inch) flour tortillas
1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles or 2 fresh jalapenos, minced
1 can (2.25 oz) sliced black olives (optional)

Mix cream cheese, dressing mix and green onions. Spread on tortillas. Drain chiles and olives thoroughly. Sprinkle equal amounts of either or both on top of cream cheese. Roll tortillas tightly. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight. Cut rolls into 1-inch pieces. Makes 3 dozen rolls.

Oriental Smoked-Turkey Pinwheels

4 10-inch flour tortillas
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce, plum sauce or other oriental style sauce
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
2 cups thinly sliced smoked turkey; 8 ounces
4 large leaves leaf lettuce to cover tortillas

Spread each tortilla with the sauce; sprinkle with green onions. Arrange turkey in single layer on each tortilla, leaving a 1-inch border around edge. Cover the turkey with a lettuce leaf. Roll up tightly like a jelly-roll and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 6 hours. Cut each on the diagonal into 12 slices.

Boursin Pinwheels

3 7-8-inch tortillas
1 5.2-ounce carton Boursin cheese (garlic/herb cheese)
12 large fresh basil leaves
1/2 of a 7-ounce jar roasted sweet red peppers
4 ounces shaved deli roast beef, ham, or turkey
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (light or regular)

Spread each tortilla with one-third of the cheese. Add a layer of the large fresh basil leaves to cover. Cut the peppers into 1/4-inch wide strips and divide among the tortillas. Arrange over the basil leaves 1 to 2 inches apart. Top with meat slices. Spread 1 teaspoon mayonnaise over the meat on each tortilla. Roll up the tortillas tightly, jelly-roll style. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors.

To serve, remove the plastic wrap and cut each of the rolls into 1-inch slices (make diagonal slices, if desired). Makes about 24 pinwheels.

Mexican Style Pinwheels

8 oz. sour cream
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 can (4 oz.) diced green- chilies, well drained
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onion
Garlic powder and seasoned salt to taste
5 (10 ") flour tortillas

Mix all of the filling ingredients together. Divide the filling and spread evenly over the tortillas. Roll up tortillas tightly and cover with plastic wrap, twisting ends. Refrigerate for several hours. Unwrap; cut in slices about an inch thick. NOTE: You can use light ingredients and no salt seasoning if you wish.

Spicy Ham Pinwheels

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. onion, grated
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
15 thin ham, slices

Blend cream cheese, onion, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce until they are a spreading consistency. Spread each ham slice with cheese mixture. Chill. Just before serving, slice into one inch slices. This is also great with roast beef from the deli.

Pineapple Ham Pinwheels

1 package of flat bread or large tortillas
1 container cream cheese with pineapple
1 pound shaved ham
1 can roasted red peppers

Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on bread. Place a layer of ham over this. Pat dry peppers on paper towel. Place them on the ham, scattered, don't cover the entire piece of ham. Roll up bread and wrap in plastic wrap over night. Just before serving, slice into 1 inch slices.

Mustard Ham Pinwheels

4 cups cooked ham
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon Mustard or hearty mustard
1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese
2 Loaves Unsliced Sandwich Bread
1/2 cup-1 stick of butter

Trim the crust off of the loaf of unsliced sandwich bread. Cut into 5 to 7 half inch horizontal slices. Set aside. Grind cooked ham in food processor or food grinder. Combine ham, cheese, mayonnaise and mustard. Mix well. Butter each horizontal slice of bread and spread filling onto each slice. Roll up tightly each horizontal slice like a jelly-roll.

Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove wrap the next day and cut each roll into 8 to 12 crosswise slices. Use a very sharp knife. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. This makes about 80 pinwheels.

From Brenda Hyde, owner of Old Fashioned Visit her for more tips, recipes and crafts. Sign up for her free newsletters here: