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 the perfect cheese ball
- This recipe tastes best with freshly grated cheese. The bags of pre-grated cheese at the grocery store are often coated with preservatives and anti caking agents, and have less flavor.
- For the white cheddar cheese, use a high quality aged sharp variety to pack your cheese ball with flavor. I like to use Cabot extra sharp, or a smaller artisan brand cheese company.
- Getting a round cheese ball can be tricky. Save yourself some hassle by wrapping your cheese mixture in plastic wrap to shape it. This keeps the cheese from sticking to your hands as you work
- 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 is delicious as-is, but you can add some additional flavors to spice things up a bit.
- Add-Ins: You can add so many different flavorings such as fresh herbs, chopped olives, sun dried tomatoes, bacon or jalapenos. Use up to 3/4 up of additional flavorings.
- Coatings: You can coat the cheese ball with almonds or walnuts instead of pecans. You can also roll your ball in other ingredients such as fresh herbs, bacon bits or even crushed tortilla chips for added crunch.
- Cheese Varieties: Many cheeses work well for this recipe like goat cheese, fontina, smoked cheddar, Gouda or pepper jack. Choose a bold flavored cheese for the best results.
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, 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 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 Video
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.
This post was originally published on August 8, 2019 and was updated on February 7, 2020 with new content.