|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 26g||33%|
|Saturated Fat 13g||63%|
|Total Carbohydrate 4g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
The cheese ball is a retro appetizer that goes back to the '70s and has never lost its popularity, probably because it is one of the easiest party foods to make, especially for a newbie cook, and because it lends itself to myriad varieties.
This fast-and-easy cheese ball recipe makes a delicious spread for crackers, veggies, and crostini and also a beautiful centerpiece for your appetizer table. Cream cheese and cheddar cheese get a lift from onion and garlic and a delicious crunch from nuts. Toast the nuts and let them cool before giving them a rough chop and rolling the cheese ball in them; roasted nuts are more aromatic and make this cheese ball really spectacular. Great for game day, afternoon tea, or a holiday gathering, this cheese ball is an excellent template to experiment with to find the flavor that works best for you: Blue cheese, Mascarpone, Boursin, goat, or any creamy cheese can make it into the ball, as well as other nuts and seasonings. Check our variation section for suggestions.
- 18 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese (sharp, finely grated, room-temperature)
- 2 teaspoons onion (grated)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic (finely minced)
- 2 to 4 ounces pecans (or peanuts; roasted, finely chopped)
Gather the ingredients.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Scrape the sides with a spatula and cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate the cheese mixture until firm and then shape it into a ball. Wet your hands to help with the process without the cheese sticking to your palms.
Roll the cheese ball in the chopped pecans or peanuts until well coated.
Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 24 hours for best flavor.
Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before serving. Remove the plastic wrap and place it in the center of a plate or tray and arrange assorted crackers around it just before serving. Wrap and refrigerate any leftover cheese ball for up to one week.
Cheese Ball Extravaganza
Here are a few suggestions to vary your cheese ball flavors and experiment with other ingredients:
- Nut-Free: If there are nut allergies present in the household or if you prefer to add crunch using other ingredients, roll the cheese ball in chopped parsley, cilantro, bacon bits, pepitas, sunflower seeds, or everything-bagel seasoning.
- Greek: Mix the suggested cheeses from our recipe with a teaspoon of dry rosemary and one of fresh chopped oregano. Add 1/2 cup of chopped sundried tomatoes and mix well before refrigerating. Roll the ball in chopped walnuts and decorate with kalamata olives.
- Sweet-Savory: Use Blue cheese, cream cheese, and well-drained pineapple tidbits for a delicious combination. Serve with water crackers and crusty bread.
- Italian: Mix the cream cheese with finely grated provolone or Asiago; season with garlic powder and Italian seasoning and wrap the ball in prosciutto pieces.
- Dessert: Mix cream cheese, softened butter, sugar, and vanilla extract to make the ball. Refrigerate and roll it in mini chocolate chips, finely crushed graham crackers, or Oreo cookie crumbs. Serve it with fresh fruit, breadsticks, ladyfingers, or pieces of pound cake.