This cheese ball recipe is made with cream cheese, white cheddar cheese and spices, all blended together and rolled in chopped pecans. A classic appetizer that’s easy to make and always a hit at parties.
I love to prepare make-ahead appetizers for holidays and family gatherings, it saves me so much time on the big day. Some of my favorite party snacks include bacon deviled eggs, shrimp ceviche and a homemade cheese ball.
There’s nothing better than a homemade cheese ball – it’s super easy to make and is perfect for feeding a crowd. Best of all, you can customize the flavors to your tastes, there are so many different ways to jazz things up!
How do you make a cheese ball?
The first step is to make a cheese mixture by stirring together white cheddar cheese with cream cheese and seasonings like onion powder and garlic powder. Make sure to thoroughly combine the cheese mixture. Once you have the cheese mixture, form it into a ball. Try to get the ball as round as possible. Chop pecans into small pieces and roll the ball over the pecans. Serve the cheese ball in slices or put out a knife and let everyone help themselves.
Tips for homemade cheese balls
- Make sure not to use pre-shredded cheese because it tends to have anti-caking agents and does not form a ball as well as other cheese.
- For the white cheddar, use a high quality aged cheddar to pack your cheese ball with flavor.
- Getting a round cheese ball can by tricky. Save yourself some hassle by wrapping your cheese mixture in plastic wrap to shape it. You can then shape it by rolling on the counter and shaping it in your hands.
- For a big party or a big appetite, you can double this recipe for a big ball or multiple smaller balls. You can also make bite sized cheese balls for an elegant presentation.
This recipe has a delicious flavor, but can add some additional flavors if you like to spice things up a bit.
- Feel free to add up to 1/3 cup of any of the following ingredients: fresh herbs, chopped olives, sun dried tomatoes, bacon or jalapenos.
- You can coat the cheese ball with almonds or walnuts instead of pecans.
- Many cheeses work well for this recipe like goat cheese, fontina, Monterey Jack, smoked cheddar, Gouda or mozzarella.
How long do cheese balls last?
This recipe will stay fresh for about a week in the refrigerator. However, if you add fresh herbs or other perishable ingredients, the it may last only 2-3 days. Keep in mind that the pecans will soften a bit as the cheese ball sits in the fridge. The nuts will be crunchiest on the first day if you like that added texture component.
How do you store a cheese ball?
Store this snack in the refrigerator by wrapping it in plastic wrap and placing it in an airtight container or a resealable bag. If you use a resealable bag, try to remove the air from the bag before sealing it.
Cheese balls are a fun appetizer for parties, potlucks or game day. The creamy, cheesy texture with the crunch of the pecans is an irresistible combination.
More great appetizer recipes
- Jalapeno Popper Dip with Bacon
- Fried Chicken Wings
- Hot Spinach Dip
- Philly Cheesesteak Dip
- White Queso Dip
Cheese Ball Recipe
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons butter softened
- 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese finely grated
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Place the cream cheese, butter, white cheddar cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and smoked paprika in a bowl.
- Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Place the cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic around the cheese mixture, shaping it into a ball.
- Roll the ball in chopped pecans. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve. Let a chilled cheese ball sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.