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Ham Cheese Ball

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This Ham Cheese Ball is such an easy 3 ingredient appetizer and savory snack! Perfect for your next party or keep on hand for late night munchies! A great way to use up leftover flakes of ham!


main image of ham cheese ball


When it comes to a good cheese ball, I’m all about saving time. So a 3 ingredient cheese ball it right up my ally! Simple ingredients can’t be beat when it comes to time and simplicity!

I love that this ham cheese ball recipe uses up leftover ham from Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter. I’m also a big fan that it only takes only minutes to whip plus you can make it in advance and freeze it for later! WHAT?! Yep, you read that right!

Now if you don’t have leftover ham flakes, don’t panic. You can use deli ham – just have them slice it nice and thick or even a ham steak that you cut up.

This classic party appetizer is perfect for game days, baby showers, or your work potluck!


cream cheese, ham and green onions in a bowl, unmixed.


What is the Difference Between a Ham Spread and a Ham Cheese Ball?

This is a question that many have asked. The difference between a ham spread and a cheese ball really comes down to what part of the country you live in.

In the South, a ham spread is actually ham salad. Diced up bits of ham with celery, seasonings and mayo spread on bread.

However in the north, many refer to a ham spread as a cheese ball. Simply something you can spread on crackers.

So how about we just say this cheese ball recipe with ham is both. A cracker spread AND a dip! That way everyone wins. Really when it comes to delicious recipes, I’m not a stickler on what to call it other than delicious and this one really does make the perfect appetizer!


ham, cream cheese and green onion in a bowl, mixed up


What Ingredients are in this cheese ball with ham?

You’ll never believe how easy it is to make this ham and cream cheese dip! With only three ingredients, it’s hard to mess up!

Cream Cheese – Smooth and creamy cream cheese brought to room temperature offers a light flavor that binds the dip together. 

Ham – You can use canned ham, leftover ham, a slice of ham or even chopped up lunch meat. We like to make this right after Easter and Christmas with our leftover ham!

Green Onions – These onions tend to be milder than a larger died yellow or white onion and pair well with the cream cheese and ham. Offering flavor, texture and color.


ham spread placed on top of plastic wrap


How do you make a ham cheese ball?

This one bowl, one spoon, 3 ingredient appetizer is SO easy! This Ham and Cheese Ball is certainly going to be come a party staple once you try it!

Simply toss all the ingredients into a bowl, mix well with a spatula, wrap up in plastic wrap whatever shape you wish your spread to take (log or ball) and refrigerate. 

When ready to eat, simply remove from fridge, and serve with crackers! SO EASY!


cheeseball wrapped up in plastic wrap and rolled into a ball


If you’re looking for a variation of this recipe, try one of these ideas:

Sour Cream or Greek yogurt – If you’re looking for more of a dip than a ham spread, I suggest adding in one cup of sour cream or Greek yogurt.  

Onion Powder – 1/4 teaspoon or more (to taste) should add another flavor element to this easy Cream Cheese & Ham Spread.

Chives – Though chives offer a milder flavor than green onions, they make a great substitute and a nice pop of bold green!

Bacon – Ham with Bacon? Yes please! Let’s be honest, anything with bacon always tastes better!

Worcestershire Sauce – a 1/2 teaspoon will add both salt and flavor!


zoomed in image of cheese ball surrounded by crackers


What to serve with a Ham Cheese Ball?

We recommend your favorite crackers or pita chips to serve with this recipe for cheese ball with ham!

However if you really want to go all out, serve it with celery sticks or carrot sticks. That way your gluten free friends can also enjoy this savory cheese ball along with all your other guests!

If you have leftovers, you can thaw it out and spread it on bread for a sandwich too! Don’t be afraid to try new things!


knife digging into spread on plate


How long does this cream cheese & ham spread last?

When refrigerated this cream cheese ham dip should last up to a week. Anything longer and I’d suggest making a new batch.

To store, simply wrap the cheese ball back up in plastic wrap or put in an air tight container.

We recommend writing the date on the container so you can remember how old it is, then enjoy!


knife full of dip ready to spread on cracker


Can you freeze a ham cheese ball?

You absolutely can freeze a ham cheese ball! Just know that how you freeze it and thaw it does matter.

To freeze this ham spread with cream cheese, simply make as directed.

  1. Shape it in whatever for you choose for serving (a log or ball) and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  2. Once you have a good first layer, then wrap it again in a second layer. We want to make sure that it doesn’t dry out.
  3. Now put the entire cheese and ham ball into a freezer zipper bag and seal tight with as little air as possible.
  4. This cheeseball should be good for up to 3 months if stored like this. Just remember to write the date on the bag so you don’t forget how old it is.


cracker dipping into cheese ball


How do you thaw this recipe for ham and cheese ball?

To thaw, you’ll want to have ample time to transition this from frozen to soft and spreadable.

Because cream cheese and ham should not be left on the counter for long periods of time (longer than a few hours), you’ll need to thaw this in the fridge.

Depending on the size of your cheese ball, this may take 6-24 hours to thaw.

I recommend at least 24 hours in the fridge just to be safe.

Then when preparing for your party, remove from the fridge 1 hour before serving to make sure it’s spreadable.

Though it may sound complicated, it’s really not. You just have to have ample time to get the best results for this cream cheese ham dip.


hand holding crack with dip on it


Can dogs eat cheese balls?

Dogs can eat certain cheese balls in small quantities. This ham dip for cheese ball has green onions and onions are bad for dogs.

Dogs do not tolerate onions as they can make them ill. So depending on the size of your dog and how much of your cream cheese and ham dip the dog eats, there is a chance this recipe can make them sick.

I find it best to avoid any chance and just keep this away from your dog.

When it comes to great cheeseball recipes, give this Ham Cheese Ball recipe a try. It makes a great gift or holiday party appetizer!

Not to mention just a tasty midnight snack for when you get the munchies. Our family has loved this recipe for years and think you will too!

Are cheese balls gluten Free?

I can stay for all cheese balls, but this ham dip cream cheese spread is gluten free! The only thing you have to watch out for with this recipe is what you serve it with.

If you need gluten free, serve it with gluten free crackers or veggies.


top side view of ham spread in the middle of crackers


More Recipes That Use Leftover Ham:

More Appetizer Recipes You’ll Love:

Yield: 20 Servings

Cream Cheese & Ham Spread

hand holding crack with dip on it

This Ham Cheese Ball is such an easy 3 ingredient appetizer and savory snack! Perfect for your next party or keep on hand for late night munchies! A great way to use up leftover flakes of ham!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 ounces of ham, diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Ritz Crackers (or favorite cracker)


  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine cream cheese, ham and onions.
  2. Mix until well combined.
  3. Using plastic wrap, form mixture into a round tube shape or cheese ball shape. Wrap up and refrigerate 2 hours - over night.
  4. Serve on crackers

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 11Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
Originally Posted: April 21, 2020

Photos &  Text Updated: August 24, 2022

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Thursday 21st of December 2023

This is a must for Christmas at our house!! Everyone loves it!!


Tuesday 11th of August 2020

Yum! My husband is going to love this recipe! I can't wait to make this!


Thursday 24th of January 2019

I put the ham and cream cheese in my Cuisinart and let 'er rip!! Then I carefully stirred in the green onions. Family loved it!!


Tuesday 5th of March 2019

Laverne, yayyyy! Thanks for using my recipe! So happy to hear that the family enjoyed it as much as my family does! We appreciate your comment and glad it became a new family favorite.


Saturday 27th of October 2018

This is so awesome and a very good snack! Easy to make and great for finger food at get togethers.


Saturday 2nd of March 2019

Kay, so glad this was a success for you! I love simple good snacks and this is a popular go to for me as well. So happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for your comment.


Tuesday 25th of July 2017

I used to make this with chipped beef but we like the ham better.


Thursday 21st of March 2019

Karen, I think the chipped beef would be great too! Thanks for using my recipe and I am so glad you love the ham! Thanks for your comment!

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