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Dried Beef Cheese Ball – Easy Party Appetizer

A Dried Beef Cheese Ball (also referred to by some as a Chipped Beef Cheese Ball) is a classic recipe that is popular at many gatherings. It’s served a lot as an appetizer at a holiday party especially around Christmas and New Years, but is great any time of year.

Made with cream cheese, sour cream, dried beef, onions and other yummy ingredients, this cheese ball is a perfect make ahead snack for your guests.

dried beef cheese ball on blue platter with crackers

This is an easy recipe with a few tweaks that I hope you will enjoy. While you’re at it, here are some other great cheese ball recipes to check out:

Tips and Tricks

What is dried beef?

Dried beef are thin slices of salted beef. I located the jar of dried beef in my local grocery aisle with other canned meat products. You can also substitute chipped beef which is usually found in a package in the deli section of most stores.

Making the cheese ball less salty

The jar of dried beef indicates to soak the meat in warm water for about 10 minutes if using in recipes. This helps to remove some of the salt and avoid your recipe or in this case your cheese ball from becoming too salty. It will still have a good flavor though.

Be sure to pat dry the meat after removing from the water so that it doesn’t make your cheese ball watery and fall apart.

I also have modified some of the typical ingredients to help reduce the additional amount of salt in this dish since too much salt flavor can be overwhelming for some.

Chop the beef

The beef needs to be chopped into small pieces to work best for the cheese ball. That includes the beef used to coat the cheese ball.

I found it easier to take a few pieces of beef at a time, roll them and then chop.

chipped beef cheese ball with crackers on a blue platter with a blue and white napkin


What to serve with a Dried Beef Cheese Ball?

Crackers are the common choice. Crusty bread would also be great to use. Or you could even use your favorite sturdy veggies. Just remember, it should be something that can hold up to spreading a cheese ball onto easily without having it break.

How long will this cheese ball last?

This will last around 2 days in the refrigerator.


Finely chop the dried beef after soaking in water (see tip above). Also chop the green onions.

chopped ingredients on wood cutting board

Using a mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sour cream.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix to combine. (except the reserved ones for the outside of the cheese ball)

ingredients in a metal mixing bowl

Place mixture on plastic wrap, cover and shape into a ball. Chill for at least 20 minutes.

Remove from fridge and roll cheese ball in reserved chopped beef and onions.

cheese ball being rolling into the coating


cheese ball with spreader dipped in surrounded by crackers and a blue and white napkin in the background
dried cheese ball on platter with crackers

Dried Beef Cheese Ball

Darlene Kratz
A classic Dried Beef Cheese Ball is a popular appetizer at a holiday party, but is great any time. Make ahead for game day or a potluck.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 212 kcal


  • 2 8 oz blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 TBSP sour cream
  • 1 4.5 oz jar of dried beef, finely chopped and reserve 2/3 cup for the cheese ball coating
  • 5 TBSP green onions, chopped and reserve 3 TBSP for the cheese ball coating
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp hot sauce


  • With a mixer on medium speed, add cream cheese to bowl and mix until creamy.
  • Add in sour cream and combine.
  • Add remaining ingredients to bowl and mix until well incorporated.
  • Place mixture on plastic wrap and cover. Shape into a ball.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes prior to serving.


Soak dried beef in warm water for 10 minutes to remove some of the salt. Remove from water and pat dry before chopping. 


Calories: 212kcal
Keyword chipped beef cheese ball, dried beef cheese ball
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