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

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4.5 35 33
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While the real bird is roasting, you can present your guests with this tasty Thanksgiving turkey. It also makes for a fun centerpiece. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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): 72 calories, 5g fat (4g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 168mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 5g 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).
Originally published as Turkey Cheese Ball in Country Woman October/November 2007, p18

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shortbreadlover User ID: 960739 256583
Reviewed Nov. 9, 2016

"this is a fun center piece for the table plus your guests can enjoy it. i made it with a group of kids and they had so much fun."

patbus User ID: 8021002 239217
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2015

"This was so good! It makes a nice size cheese ball and there wasn't a thing left including the eyeball! I also let it sit overnight and I do believe it is the best way to do this adorable cheese ball."

stgonly User ID: 7875234 99739
Reviewed Nov. 2, 2014

"So creative but doable"

kcrihfield89 User ID: 5121811 169476
Reviewed Feb. 18, 2014

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

parw455 User ID: 7513380 154998
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."

becky66 User ID: 1915904 169457
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."

shiny0torchic User ID: 6958458 168918
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."

barnsnip User ID: 966001 99738
Reviewed Dec. 4, 2011

"This was a hit! I used pretzels rather than pecans and the squeeze-type of icing so it was easier for the kids to use...also used cheese for the orange. Decorated with green icing leaves around the tray."

kmauk User ID: 5520821 99737
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2011

"Couldn't find the townhouse bistro crackers, or any other large oval cracker so I "glued" two oval townhouse crackers together with the cream cheese mixture. It worked, but the larger oval crackers would have been much better."

chocorich User ID: 2156319 172268
Reviewed Nov. 18, 2011

"This has become a family favorite during the holidays. One friend comes over just for this cheese ball. Last year, a picture of this cheese ball made it into our family calendar!"

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