This adorable Hedgehog Cheese Ball is the ultimate cheese spread with almonds, green onion and bacon! 

It’s great for woodland themed baby showers, Thanksgiving, Christmas or any special event when you simply want to serve up some charm.

A hedgehog cheese ball on a white plate, garnished with fresh rosemary.
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There’s a traditional cheese ball I’ve seen served many times, decorated like a pine cone for Christmas. I love a little whimsy for holidays and special events, so I made this the centerpiece of the Woodland Baby Shower I recently hosted.

It’s a simple and delicious cheese ball recipe with almonds, cream cheese, mayonnaise, bacon pieces, dill weed and green onion. When it marinates while refrigerated overnight, magic happens!

It’s true, I love cheeseballs in every shape, flavor and style. Who can argue with ALL.THE.CHEESE? In fact, I’ve got your ultimate cheese ball guide right here – it’s a round up of everything you need to know to make the best traditional cheese ball appetizers!

Don’t miss my ornament cheese ball if you’re looking for holiday appetizer inspiration! I’ve also got a simple, elegant way to elevate a classic cheese and crackers spread- your guests will love it.

When I’m hosting a large get together, I look to make ahead dishes. That way I can make a little at a time without added stress. A cheese ball is the perfect make ahead appetizer and will keep for 5+ days!

A hedgehog cheese ball on a white plate.

Why You’ll Love this Hedgehog Cheese Ball

This hedgehog cheese ball is as delicious as it is adorable. It’s the perfect fit for a baby shower or birthday party. You can also serve it rolled in a ball for a more traditional cheese spread for football games, New Year’s Eve and so much more!

  • Simple Ingredients
  • Quick and Easy
  • Make Ahead
  • Feels Special

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Cream Cheese – Use softened cream cheese, full fat for fullest flavor. Learn more about How to Soften Cream Cheese here.
  • Mayonnaise – I love an olive oil mayonnaise for great flavor. You can also learn how to make homemade mayonnaise here.
  • Bacon – Chopped bacon pieces work great for this recipe. Cook and crumble your bacon using your favorite method – or buy premade cooked pieces for a shortcut!
  • Dill weed – Dried.
  • Green onion – Chopped small.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Almonds – Left whole, to create the charming hedgehog shape!
  • Olive – For the eyes and nose, if you wish.

Curious about freezing your cream cheese recipes? Read more in Can you Freeze Cream Cheese to learn all about what works and what doesn’t!

A hedgehog cheese ball on a white plate.

Variations

  • Try with cranberries on the exterior instead of almonds.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of Everything Bagel Seasoning or instead of bacon.
  • Try your favorite Seasoning Blend instead of the dill weed
  • Try a lower fat mayonnaise and cream cheese for a healthier option.

How to Make a Hedgehog Cheese Ball

  1. Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, bacon pieces and dill weed.
  2. Fold in green onion, salt and pepper.
  3. Refrigerate covered until solid.
  4. On a platter, shape into a hedgehog (more of an oval shape than a traditional cheese “ball”) using your hands or parchment.
  5. Press almonds into the cheese spread in rows covering all but a small area at the front to create the body of the hedgehog.
  6. Cut an olive in half. Place one half on the front of the hedgehog to create a nose.
  7. Use a slice of the remaining olive and cut it in half to create eyes.
  8. I also added a little rosemary to make it appear he’s scurrying through the grass.
A hedgehog cheese ball on a white plate, garnished with fresh rosemary.

Tips

  • Make Ahead – Yes, you can make this incredible holiday appetizer ahead! Simple wrap tightly and add toppings just before serving.
  • Be sure to cover your cheddar cheese ball tightly. This not only helps it keep its shape when you refrigerate, but it prevents air from getting inside and drying your hedgehog cheese ball out before it’s ready to serve.
  • Fresh bacon is always best, but I think it’s okay to use a pre-made bag of bacon bits here.
  • This is delicious at room temperature but it can certainly be served cold right out of the fridge. It’s delicious either way, which is why it’s such a perfect make-ahead party food!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can cheese ball sit out?

Cheese balls generally have a cream cheese base, and shouldn’t sit out for more than two hours while serving.

What can I use instead of almonds in this recipe?

If you’d like to make this hedgehog cheese ball nut free, use pretzel sticks as the “quills” for your hedgehog! It’s just as cute and fun to serve.

Serving Suggestions

  • Pear and apple slices are firm for effortless spreading. Just toss them in lemon juice to prevent browning.
  • Carrots and celery are the perfect low-carb alternative to serve with a cheese ball.
  • Crostini – it’s my favorite pairing! Crunchy crostini is the ultimate way to enjoy a cheese spread, especially when drizzled in olive oil.
  • Salty pretzels are great.
  • Buttery crackers are always a favorite with this cheese ball.
A hedgehog cheese ball on a white plate.

What to do with Leftovers

  • Use the leftover cheese ball melted into your favorite pasta dishes.
  • Add to sandwiches or wraps.
  • Add to egg dishes like quiche.
  • Top a salad with this leftover cheese ball.

Dietary Considerations

  • Gluten Free
  • Vegetarian
  • To make it Nut Free, replace the almonds with pretzel sticks!

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – You can leave this hedgehog cheese ball out for up to two hours while serving.
  • Refrigerate – Make this cheese ball up to one day in advance and store tightly wrapped (prior to adding toppings). Store for up to one week in the refrigerator.
A hedgehog cheese ball on a white plate.

More Cheese Balls

A hedgehog cheese ball on a white plate, garnished with fresh rosemary.
5 from 4 votes

Hedgehog Cheese Ball

This adorable Hedgehog Cheese Ball is the ultimate Cheese Spread with almonds, green onion and bacon! 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Refrigerate: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 14
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Ingredients  

  • 8 ounces cream cheese One package, softened
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • cup bacon Chopped or Crumbled (one 2.8 ounce container of bacon bits works well here too)
  • ½ teaspoon dill weed dried
  • 1 tablespoon green onion chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cup whole almonds for decorating

Optional

  • Olive Cut in half for eyes and nose of hedgehog

Instructions 

  • Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, bacon pieces and dill weed.
  • Fold in green onion, salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate covered until solid. Shape into a ball, pine cone or hedgehog.
  • Insert almonds into the cheese spread in rows.
  • Optional: cut olive in half, use for nose. Slice olive and cut it in half and press in for eyes.

Julie’s Tips

  • Make Ahead – Yes, you can make this incredible holiday appetizer ahead! Simple wrap tightly and add toppings just before serving.
  • Be sure to cover your cheddar cheese ball tightly. This not only helps it keep its shape when you refrigerate, but it prevents air from getting inside and drying your hedgehog cheese ball out before it’s ready to serve.
  • Fresh bacon is always best, but I think it’s okay to use a pre-made bag of bacon bits here.
  • This is delicious at room temperature but it can certainly be served cold right out of the fridge. It’s delicious either way, which is why it’s such a perfect make-ahead party food!
Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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