Impress Guests with a Secretly Healthy Cheeseball

spinach parmesan cheeseball

Okay, so maybe a cheeseball isn’t the epitome of health food, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for it in a healthy diet. If you keep your portions in check, make some healthy swaps, and serve it with healthier dippers, a cheeseball can actually be a great healthier option for bringing along to your holiday potlucks. And, even better, a cheeseball presented beautifully on a platter is incredibly impressive! Shhhh, they don’t need to know it only took you about 10 minutes to make.

To make this cheeseball a little healthier, kick out the sour cream and mayo and add in lighter, protein-packed Greek yogurt. Instead of regular cream cheese, the base of the cheeseball uses lighter Neufchâtel cheese—which you can find right next to the cream cheese in most grocery stores. And of course, this cheeseball is loaded with a whole bunch of healthy spinach (because you gotta sneak in veggies whenever you can during the holiday season) and topped with heart-healthy pecans (they pack a powerful healthy fat and protein punch) for texture.

Instead of typical white bread toasts or processed crackers you normally find with a cheeseball, try serving this one with whole grain crackers and cucumber slices. Your guests will welcome the change of pace!

Spinach Parmesan Cheeseball

Makes 1 large cheeseball (about 16 servings)

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (1 brick) softened Neufchâtel cheese (often sold as “1/3 Fat Cream Cheese”)
  • 2/3 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1–10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • Whole grain crackers and cucumber slices for serving

cheeseball bites

Directions

  1. Combine the Neufchâtel cheese, Greek yogurt, mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, hot sauce, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and spinach. Stir until evenly mixed.
  2. Refrigerate the mixture for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly solid.
  3. Place the mixture in the middle of a large piece of plastic wrap, close the wrap, and form the mixture into a ball. Place the mixture into a small bowl, and refrigerate for an additional hour, or until mostly solid.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the remaining Parmesan cheese and pecans in a shallow dish. Once the cheeseball is chilled, roll it in the mixture to coat.
  5. Serve with whole grain crackers and cucumber slices.

Nutrition Per Serving

Does not include the crackers or cucumbers

142 calories, 10g fat, 2.9g carbs, 8.3g protein

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Cassie Johnston is an award-winning food writer and recipe developer living and working in Southern Indiana. Her work has been feature in national publications such as Gourmet Magazine and The Huffington Post. Cassie’s a big fan of strenuous hikes, cheese, watching sports, Brussels sprouts, and craft beer, and she’ll talk your ear off about her love of local food and seasonal eating. She’s obsessed with social media and loves connecting with new friends!