I almost called this a turkey cheese ball, but that might lead one to think turkey meat was actually an ingredient, which, of course, it is not. Instead, this is an adorable take on a traditional cheese ball recipe. This turkey-shaped Thanksgiving Cheese Ball makes me laugh. Those wide-eyed olive slice and cream cheese eyes make this silly cheese turkey look like he knows we’re about to dive in — and he’s right!
You don’t need to slave over a hot stove to make this cutie. You can make the turkey’s body from a store-bought cheese ball, if you’d like (just, please, sample it first and make sure it is worthy, okay? Because I guarantee it will be eaten. What’s funny is that it will be eaten from the rear forward. No one wants to spoil the cuteness of the face until it’s the only part left!)
- Cheese ball of your choice (either store bought or homemade)
- Chopped pecans, or walnuts, or almonds
- Chopped parsley
- Chopped dried cranberries (or some that you’ve drained out of your cranberry sauce)
- Either two slices of black or green olive or two slices of green onion, with the center rings removed, plus two more tiny pieces for the eyeballs
- Whole bay leaves
- Piece of carrot (with which to fashion the feet and mouth)
- Small amount of plain cream cheese to “glue” the eyes on
Roll your cheese ball into a ball the size of a softball. Wrap it in plastic wrap, or put it in a bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill a few minutes. While it is chilling, mix together the cranberries, parsley, and nuts in a medium size bowl. Pull your cheese ball out of the refrigerator and roll it in the nut mixture until thoroughly coated.
Before you chill the cheese ball again, insert the bay leaf tail feathers. Then stick the round olive or green onion eyes on with a little cream cheese and pop another tiny piece onto the middle of each eye.
The only tricky part is fashioning the beak and feet. Fortunately, my sister-in-law Ellen took command of a small sharp paring knife and got the job done far better than I could have hoped to do myself. I mean, honestly, how would I know what turkey feet or turkey beaks look like?
Serve with crackers of your choice.