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Turkey Cheese Ball

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
    1 cheese ball (3 cups)


  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 6 ounces deli smoked turkey, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 9 ounces 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


  • In a small bowl, beat the first six ingredients until combined. Shape into a ball; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
  • 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.
  • Transfer each mixture to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of each bag.
  • For turkey tail feathers, decorate the top halves of large oval crackers with tinted cream cheese.
  • 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.
Nutrition 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.

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Average Rating:
  • shortbreadlover
    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
    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
    Nov 2, 2014

    So creative but doable

  • kcrihfield89
    Feb 18, 2014

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

  • parw455
    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
    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.

  • monkeyrobert
    May 4, 2013

    No comment left

  • shiny0torchic
    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.

  • ebcriss
    Oct 15, 2012

    No comment left

  • barnsnip
    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.