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Turkey Cheese Ball Recipe
Turkey Cheese Ball Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Turkey Cheese Ball Recipe

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While the real bird is roasting, you can present your guests with this tasty Thanksgiving turkey. Our flock of clever Test Kitchen cooks dreamed up the recipe for this festive cheese ball centerpiece.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. + chilling
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. + chilling
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 6 ounces deli smoked turkey, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • Brown, orange and yellow paste food coloring
  • 6 large oval crackers
  • 1 large sweet red pepper
  • 1 small yellow summer squash
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • Assorted crackers

Nutritional Facts

2 tablespoons (calculated without decorations and additional crackers) equals 72 calories, 5 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 21 mg cholesterol, 168 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 5 g protein.


  1. In a small bowl, beat the first six ingredients until combined. Shape into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
  2. In another small bowl, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Divide among four small bowls. With food coloring, tint one bowl brown, one dark orange and one light orange (using yellow and orange); leave one bowl plain.
  3. Transfer each mixture to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of each bag.
  4. For turkey tail feathers, decorate the top halves of large oval crackers with tinted cream cheese.
  5. Using the red pepper, form the turkey head, neck and wattle. For beak, cut a small triangle from summer squash; attach with cream cheese. Add eyes, using brown and plain cream cheese. Insert pecan halves and decorated crackers into cheese ball. Serve with assorted crackers. Yield: 1 cheese ball (3 cups).
Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested with Townhouse Oval Bistro crackers.
Originally published as Turkey Cheese Ball in Country Woman October/November 2007, p18

Nutritional Facts

2 tablespoons (calculated without decorations and additional crackers) equals 72 calories, 5 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 21 mg cholesterol, 168 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 5 g protein.

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Reviewed Nov. 2, 2014

"So creative but doable"

Reviewed Feb. 18, 2014

"My family looks forward to this "turkey" every thanksgiving! Easy, yummy and a cute display for the holiday table."

Reviewed Nov. 29, 2013

"Made this cheese ball for Thanksgiving and it was awesome! I had read to let it sit over night and I'm SOOO glad I did. It tastes completely different!! The flavors really come out and it tastes much more savory. Loved how easy it was to make! I didn't add the smoked turkey and had a little less Worchestershire and was perfect for me."

Reviewed Nov. 11, 2013

"When I worked as the cooking class instructor at an adult residential care facility, we made this cheese ball as one of the resident's cooking projects. Although it took a little time to assemble and decorate, it was a fun project that turned out really cute - and the cheese ball was delicious."

Reviewed Nov. 25, 2012

"I'm afraid I managed to fail the presentation of this dish. When I used the cream cheese decoration on the 'feather' crackers, I came out with some really terrible colors and a really big mess. BUT, the actual cheese ball was delicious. I'll make this recipe again, but I think next time I'll just decorate the rim with an assortment of crackers and leave the cheese ball as just a cheese ball. Tasty recipe, I'll be making this again."

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