Carrot cheese ball, a show stopper Easter appetizer made with carrot crab and cheese, shaped like an orange that will look pretty on any dinner table. The flavor combo takes this homemade treat to the next level. A perfect starter to serve during holidays or breakfast/brunch party or a high tea.
- Why you should try this recipe ?
- Ingredients list
- Add -in and substitute ingredients
- Recipe success tips
- Recipe FAQs
- Other popular crab recipes
Why you should try this recipe?
An easy appetizer that is insanely simple to make the last minute and looks pretty on any party table. The ingredients are not season dependent so you can make this a year round entertaining appetizer.
- TASTE: The richness of cheese balances the sweet earthy flavor of crab and toppings. Salty, sweet, and herbaceous are the flavors of this dish.
- TEXTURE: The crab has a delicate and moist texture, while the carrot is soft while the cheese adds a bite to the appetizer.
- TIME: It only takes 15 minutes!
- EASE: This is such a simple recipe to make. You can whip up carrot cheese ball with only a few ingredients very easily swap with other ingredients of your choice.
- Carrot : Use fresh sweet carrot avoid ones with fiber.
- Crab : Use frozen canned claw or lump meat
- Mayonnaise : It acts as the binding agent and adds flavor too.
- Parmesan cheese : add a fruity nutty taste.
- Dill dried : bright, sweet flavor (somewhere between anise, parsley, and celery).
- Italian seasoning: Adds a little sweet and peppery balance of flavors to the appetizer.
A versatile recipe that can use any kind of filing of your choice.
ADD-INS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
For making the best Easter carrot cheese ball :
- Try other filings- You can make this Carrot cheese ball just the way you like it with fillings like hard boiled egg, smoked salmon , lobster meat, spicy shrimp cooked shredded chicken etc. Salt-cured, brined, or cooked fish works in this recipe.
- Substitute the parmesan cheese - Instead use cream cheese, you can make this recipe with goat cheese, brie, chipotle cheese or any spreadable/ soft cheese. Reduce may accordingly to avoid sogginess.
- Use different types of vegetables - Any vegetable that does not overpower the flavor can be used.
- Seasoning - you can also use any toasted seeds like poppy, other herb powders like garlic, onion etc, fresh green herbs like mint, parsley, chives, spring onion, etc will taste good here.
RECIPE TIPS for making carrot cheese ball :
- Cook the carrot - While this isn’t mandatory, cooking until soft without adding any water gives the appetizer a good eye appeal, holds the filling without getting soggy or breaking easily.
- Mash the carrot well - You don’t want huge pieces sticking out while shaping the carrot as we are going for the orange peel look. Hence mash everything well with a masher to an even consistency. No paste please - It will not hold the shape.
- Don’t overdo the cheese- Cheese can easily take over with its rich flavor and thick texture, so use only to keep your flavors in balance.
- Be careful with strong flavors- Dill is the right match for seafood but please do not use any seafood with strong smell, too overpowering that dill can't handle .
- Keep Crab meat under refrigeration at all times. It contains salt hence do not add salt to anything else as it will turn out too salty otherwise.
Can the Carrot cheese ball be served for brunch?
It is perfect for brunch ideas. Any Spring themed party, Easter or Summer party can have this as the cute looking, edible centerpiece.
Can this recipe be turned in to other diet friendly options?
This recipe can be turned into gluten free, dairy free or vegan friendly by swapping a few ingredients are. Instead of crab use sliced cucumber or avocados. Mashed potato, pineapple, spinach, blanched sliced asparagus, olive, tomato, colored radish.. the options are endless.
Carrot cheese ball - shaping options
You can turn the carrot covering into any shape of your choice. Carrot shape pumpkin shape etc. But if the Mandarin shape isn't working for you or the mixture is falling apart then go for the simple log shape. Refrigerate for an hour and try reshaping. Check if its soggy then add dry ingredients such as cheese or more crab etc but if it's too dry and cracking then add more mayo. Once the shape is messed up its hard to reshape as all the ingredients are very fine and cannot be separated.Hence check consistency before you begin.
Other popular crab recipes on this blog :
Popular Spring and Easter recipes on the blog:
Step by step pics for making Mandarin shaped carrot cheese ball:
Pressure steam cook carrot without water directly touching it to avoid excess moisture while shaping the cheese ball.
Over mixing the crab can turn into a mush fast be gentle when shaping into a ball shape too.
Using a cling wrap to shape the mandarin shape works like a charm in this recipe.
Use basil leaves or other flat herbs for leaf garnish.
Crab will not stay good if left in room temperature. Use cold crab and serve immediately after assembling for best results.
- TO STORE: Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to a day or 2 days. But freshly made tastes best.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Keep all the filling ready in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Mix and shape just before serving for best tasting appetizer
- Remember : Carrot can oxidize and turn blackish if left open in room temperature for long
Carrot cheese ball
- 5-6 Carrot
- 8 oz Crab meat
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 1 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dill leaves powder
- 1/2 tsp Italian spice powder
- Few sprigs Herb
- Steam/ cook peeled and cut carrot until it is soft. Here I pressure cooked the carrot for 15 minutes in Instant pot then did a quick release. Then mashed the pieces into a soft paste finish. Do not add any water while cooking carrot the moisture present in it is enough to cook it.
- Add the crab meat into th mixing bowl, parmesan cheese mayonnaise and the spice powders mix very gently and make small balls out of it
- On to a cling wrap spread a tbsp of mashed carrot spread evenly and place the crab and cheese mixture in the center of it and gather all the sides together so the carrot mash covers all the white areas evenly.Use your finger to make indent on top to look like an orange/ mandarin. Carefully open the cling wrap and place on the serving plate. Insert any herb on top to garnish to complete the fruit look. Brush with a thin coat of olive oil if needed to give the shiny plump look and protect from oxidizing.
- Serve the carrot cheese ball as an appetizer plain or with crackers.
- Do not add any water while cooking carrot the moisture present in it is enough to cook it as that will make the carrot mushy and hard to shape.
- Before shaping check the consistency of both the coating and the filling.
- Check if its soggy then add dry ingredients such as cheese or more crab etc to the filling. If it's too dry and cracking then add more mayo.
- Once the shape is messed up it's hard to reshape as all the ingredients are very fine and cannot be separated.Hence try one and make sure its holding the shape well.