Lower Calorie Cheese Ball Appetizer

Lower calorie cheese ball made with dates, blue cheese and walnuts

Healthier Weekend Appetizer

I’m going to create a HWA blog post every Friday it’s the Healthier Weekend Appetizer.  Each Friday watch for a fun recipe that is going to make you feel good about serving either for party or to change up the same old salad before dinner.

Because blue cheese has such a strong flavor you don’t need very much of it in this recipe, which saves on calories. Be sure to include a few veggie sticks (celery, carrot, red bell pepper) on the tray with the cheese ball along with some lower fat crackers.  I like using gluten-free rice crackers because you can have about 15 of them for maybe 140 cal. I know you’ll love this unique cheese ball appetizer!

Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball

Lower calorie cheese ball made with dates, blue cheese and walnuts


1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese $
1 tablespoon nonfat buttermilk
5 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened $
3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened $
3 tablespoons minced pitted Medjool dates (2 to 3 dates)
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind $
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Place first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add dates, shallots, lemon rind, salt, and pepper; beat at medium speed until well blended, scraping sides of bowl as necessary.

2. Spoon cheese mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Form into a ball, using a rubber spatula. Wrap cheese ball in plastic wrap; chill overnight.

3. Combine parsley and walnuts in a shallow dish. Unwrap cheese ball; gently roll in nut mixture, coating well. Place on a serving plate. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information

Calories 78 – Fat 4.8 g – Protein 4.2 g – Carbohydrate 5.3 g
Fiber 0.5 g – Cholesterol 12 mg – Iron 0.2 mg – Sodium 229 mg – Calcium 74 mg

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Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Deborah Williams, Recipe from Cooking Light

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