Appetizers & Snacks

Cheese-Date Ball with Almonds

Orange zest and fresh thyme give this party staple a gourmet flair. Serve with assorted crackers, toasted baguette slices, and fruit. This recipe can be made up to three days ahead.



  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 4-oz. log goat cheese or blue cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbs. grated orange zest
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted dates


  1. Toast almonds in small skillet over medium-low heat 3–5 minutes, or until light brown. Transfer to plate to cool.
  2. Process cream cheese, goat cheese, orange zest, thyme, and salt in food processor until smooth. Transfer to small bowl, and stir in dates. Coat large rectangle of plastic wrap with cooking spray, and scoop cheese mixture onto it. Shape into ball, wrapping in plastic, and chill 1 hour.
  3. Roll cheese ball in toasted almonds, pressing to adhere. Refrigerate wrapped in clean plastic wrap until ready to serve. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 180
  • Carbohydrate Content 7 g
  • Cholesterol Content 35 mg
  • Fat Content 15 g
  • Fiber Content 1 g
  • Protein Content 5 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 8 g
  • Sodium Content 170 mg
  • Sugar Content 5 g