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Swiss and Cream Cheese Ball Recipe

By California Milk Advisory Board

Swiss cheese and cream cheese form the base for these cheese balls flavored with thyme and smoked ham. A splash of vodka gives a peppery flavor, but omit it if you wish. Perfect for parties.

Prep Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme (divided use)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons gin or vodka
  • 10 ounces (2-1/2 cups) grated Swiss cheese
  • 2/3 cup chopped smoked ham
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives


In a large bowl or food processor, combine cream cheese, half the thyme, pepper, salt, and gin or vodka. Beat or process until blended and smooth.

Add Swiss cheese and ham and beat vigorously until evenly mixed. If you are using a food processor, take care not to overmix. The ham and Swiss cheese should retain some texture. This is a rather soft mixture and will be easier to form if it is refrigerated for 2 to 3 hours first.

Combine remaining thyme and the chives and spread on a large plate or sheet of wax paper. Dampen hands and divide the cheese mixture in half. Pat and press each half into a ball about 3 inches in diameter. Roll each ball in thyme and chive mixture, pressing so coating adheres. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and chill until served.

Yield: 2 cheese balls, about 32 servings total

PER SERVING: Cal 68 (71% fat) Fat 5 g (3 g sat) Trace fiber Chol 18 mg Sodium 97 mg Trace carb Calcium 92 mg

Recipe from: California Milk Advisory Board
Used with permission

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