This Rudolph Chicken Cheese Ball is such a cute snack for Christmas. Not only is it adorable, but this cheese ball is delicious! It is a blend of cream cheese, shredded chicken, and lots of spices. This is our new favorite Christmas Cheese Ball.
This easy Christmas appetizer is perfect for your next Christmas party.
You can make the cheese ball ahead of time, but I would recommend adding the Rudolph face right before you are ready to serve it.
We also have a similar recipe for Chicken Cheese Ball without Rudolph’s face. (We put it in a pretty green Christmas tree dish instead!)
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Key to Success #1 – Soften the Cream Cheese
This Chicken Cheese Ball is so tasty and a bit spicy. It’s delicious.
It starts off with a base of canned chicken and cream cheese then you can start to layer on the flavors.
The key to combining the chicken and cream cheese is to let the cream cheese soften before you start mixing.
If you have time, let the cream cheese sit out on the counter for at least an hour.
If you’re in a rush, you can certainly pop the unwrapped cream cheese into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power for about 30 seconds.
This will let your cream cheese soften without melting.
After your cream cheese is softened, you can use a wooden spoon to combine the cream cheese, chicken, and ranch dressing mix.
Make sure that your canned chicken has been drained very well!
Key to Success #2 – Choose Your Favorite Ranch Flavor
It has a blend of tomatoes, red bell peppers, and onions and it’s a fantastic choice for this chicken cheese ball.
I have also used the Hidden Valley Ranch Spicy Ranch Dip mix and it’s also a crowd favorite for those who like things a little spicier.
I’m a big fan of this variety and will use this if I think the guests will like the spiciness.
Those two are my favorites but you can use any ranch dressing mixes that you enjoy.
You really can’t go wrong with this easy recipe.
Key to Success #3 – Bring Rudolph to Life
Rudolph’s face on this cheese ball really just makes my whole Christmas!
It’s a lot easier than you think it’s going to be.
Here are the step-by-step details to make the cutest Rudolph Cheese Ball ever.
We’re using finely chopped pecans for Rudolph’s fur.
Chop up the pecans then place them in a single layer on a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper.
Roll the cheese ball into the pecans, making sure to cover the entire cheese ball with pecans.
As you continue working with the pecans, your cheese ball will become less sticky and easier to handle.
Be sure to maintain the cheese ball’s round shape while rolling in the pecans.
You want Rudolph to have a nice, smooth round head.
Rudolph’s eyes are made from two black olives.
Look for the medium-sized whole black olives. They come in a can or small jar at the grocery store.
Look at your olives and see if one end has a star-shaped opening.
This star-shaped end is the one you want to use for Rudolph’s eye.
Use a sharp knife to slice off the star-shaped tip a little less than half an inch from the end.
Using the photo below as a guide, decide where you want Rudolph’s eyes to sit and use your finger to make two indentions in the cheese ball for the eyes.
The indentions are so that the eyes are slightly embedded into the cheese ball.
This helps ensure that there are no gaps and that the olives look like eyes instead of olives.
Place two toothpicks into the center of your indention then gently press the olives into place.
The toothpicks should not come through the outside of the olives.
Use your fingers to gently smooth the cheese ball around the eyes so that they look like eyes.
Rudolph’s Red Nose
Rudolph’s nose is made from a grape tomato or a cherry tomato.
Look at your tomato and find the end that is round and smooth.
You do not want to use the end that had the stem attached.
Use a sharp knife to slice off a little less than 1/2 inch from the end of the tomato.
Use your finger to create an indention in the cheese ball for the nose and place a toothpick into the center of the indention.
Gently press the tomato onto the toothpick for Rudolph’s nose.
Use your finger to smooth the cheese ball around the nose.
For Rudolph’s antlers, we’re using two large pretzels.
I used the Snyder’s of Hanover Old Tyme pretzels for my reindeer antlers.
The pretzel twists should be facing each other so that they look like antlers.
Use the photos as a guide if you’re unsure of the placement.
The antlers should go closer to the eyes than to the back of the head. Err, back of the cheese ball.
Take the two pretzels and press them into the top of the cheese ball.
Press them far enough into the cheese ball that you can use your fingers to smooth some of the cheese ball over the pretzels.
This bit of cheese ball that is over the antlers is what helps hold them into place.
That’s really all there is to it.
Save this Rudolph Chicken Cheese Ball recipe to your favorite Christmas Appetizers board or your Christmas Party board.
- 2 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
- 2 cans (12.5 oz) Tyson Premium Chunk White Chicken Breast, drained
- 1 pkg (1 oz) fiesta ranch dressing mix
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 2 medium-sized olives
- 1 grape tomato
- 2 Snyder's of Hanover Olde Tyme Pretzels
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, chicken, and ranch dressing mix. Form the mixture into a ball
- Spread the chopped pecans on a sheet of waxed paper. Roll the ball in the pecans until it is fully coated.
- Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, make slight intentions in the cheese ball for the eyes and nose.
- Slice off the tip of two olives. Insert toothpicks into the indentions for the eyes and place the tip of the olives onto the end of the toothpicks. Smooth cheese ball around the eyes.
- Slice off the tip of a grape tomato. Insert a toothpick into the indention for the nose and place the top of the tomato onto the end of the toothpick. Smooth cheese ball around the nose.
- Make indentions in the reindeer antlers. Press pretzels gently into the cheese ball for antlers. Smooth the cheese ball around the pretzels.
- Can substitute large twist pretzels for the old tyme pretzels.
- Can substitute a black olive for the nose instead of a tomato for a different look.
- Serve with buttery crackers, Ritz, Townhouse Crackers, Chicken in a Biscuit crackers, or pretzel sticks.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 257mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g
Nutrition Information Provided For Educational and Informational Purposes Only.