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Classic Cheese Ball Recipe

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My new cheese ball recipe is going to become an instant favorite! The perfect party appetizer to serve up anytime of the year. This is a cream cheese ball loaded with cheddar cheese, green onions, pecans and more. Give this pecan cheese ball a try today.

Learn how to make a cheese ball at home. The steps are simple and this is my go-to holiday appetizer lately! 

cheese ball on on plate

I love my cranberry cheese ball and my cheese ball pecan bites I have made. But sometimes I just crave a classic ball. 

Why This Appetizer Is A Must Make

Feeds a crowd – If you want a party food to feed a crowd this recipe fits the bill. 

Easy Recipe – No fuss, just mix, shape, chill and then cover in pecans. 

Make Ahead – Go ahead and make this a day in advance. It is an awesome make ahead appetizer. Right before serving pair with dipping items like crackers and veggies. 

Affordable Appetizer To Make – On a budget? No worries, this particular recipe is budget friendly. 

Cheese Ball Ingredients 

cheese ball ingredients on a white table with towel behind it
  • Cream Cheese – Regular or Neufchâtel works with this recipe. Just ensure you use room temperature cream cheese. 
  • Sour Cream – The sour cream helps to provide a creamy texture with a tangy flavor. 
  • Cheese – I used a sharp cheddar cheese for this ball. We enjoy the tangy flavor. You could honestly use any flavor of cheese. 
  • Green Onions – The green onions pair so well with the other ingredients. Plus it adds a nice color to cheese ball. 
  • Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper – These 3 ingredients really bring out more flavor in the cheese ball. 
  • Pecans – Crushed pecans are going to coat the ball. 

How To Make

Full directions for this recipe are in the printable recipe card, featured at the bottom of the post.

Step 1: First soften cream cheese by sitting out and allowing it to get to room temperate. Then dice up green onions finely. 

cheese, cream cheese, green onions, and spices in a bowl with pecans in a bowl behind on counter

Step 2: Add all the ingredients but pecans in the bowl. Mix well. 

Step 3: Next, grab parchment paper or plastic wrap and place a strip on table. Dump out the cheese mixture. 

Step 4: Begin grabbing sides of the parchment making a ball shape with cream cheese mixture. Twist the end to ensure airtight and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours or until it firms up a bit. 

Step 5: Now place crushed pecan pieces on a place. Unwrap the cheese ball and roll in the nuts. 

Use your hand to press nuts onto the ball, coating all of the sides.

pecan cheese ball on plate with crackers and pretzels around it

Step 6: Place on a platter then place crackers, pretzels, and other dipping items around the platter. 

Shaping Cheese Balls

There are a lot of ways to shape a cheese ball that you make. I will share a few ideas to help inspire you. 

  • Log shape
  • Round – like I did
  • Football shape – great for a game day appetizer
  • Make into mini bite size balls
  • Etc

What To Serve For Dipping

  • Crackers – Ritz, Club, Triscuigd, Etc.
  • Pretzels 
  • Celery Sticks, Carrots, other firm veggies
  • Pita Chips 
  • Baguettes
  • Etc. 

Truly you can serve this with any kind of dippers you want. 

cheese ball dollop on top of a stack of crackers

Storing

Refrigerate – Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Use your best judgement on if you feel it needs tossed out. 

The green onions in cheese ball will spoil first. So depending how fresh your onions are will vary in terms of storage. 

Freezing – Cheese balls do freeze, the texture can just change a bit. If you make with the nut coating know it will not have the crunch once thawed. 

You can also freeze without nuts then thaw in the fridge, once thawed, coat in nuts and serve. 

This cream cheese appetizer freezes for up to 1 month. Thaw for 24 hours in the fridge.

Expert Tips

  •  The cream cheese needs to be softened. Otherwise you will not be able to mix the ingredients together. 
  • You can store in the fridge without the nuts, then right before serving roll around in the pecans. This helps ensure the nuts stay crunchy and not soft. 
  • The sour cream adds flavor but also helps to ensure the ball doesn’t harden too much. Nothing is worse then breaking crackers trying to scoop up on your plate. 
  • This is a great holiday cheese ball so whip it up and store in the fridge the night before your gathering. Then just pull out and serve for a no fuss make-ahead appetizer.

Variations 

Here are a few changes you can make to this easy cheese ball. Now, feel free to swap any ingredients you would like. We love this for a cheese ball appetizer, because it is so versatile on how to serve it.

  • Swap pecans with slivered almonds.
  • Skip nuts and do a cheese or even crumbled bacon crumble coating.
  • Leave out the green onions if you are not a fan.
  • Add some dried cranberries in with the pecans for a sweet flavor to the ball.
  • Mix in cooked crumbled bacon or even dried beef chopped up.
  • Use any type of cheese – pepper jack, white cheddar, etc.

FAQs

Related Recipes

Here are other appetizer recipes to consider pairing with this best cheese ball recipe!

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cheese ball on on plate

Cheese Ball Recipe

Yield: 1 cheese ball
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Serve up this easy cheese ball! Cream cheese, green onions, spices, and sharp cheddar. This is a delicious homemade cheeseball recipe that makes for a simple appetizer. You can also serve this up as a holiday cheese ball for parties.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened (2 boxes)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated off block
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Instructions

  1. Start by letting your cream cheese come to room temperature. Once cream cheese is ready, dice up your green onions finely.
  2. Then in a bowl add your softened cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, seasonings, and green onions.
  3. Mix well to combine all the ingredients. If you need to use your hands, I use a sturdy wooden spoon.
  4. Dump the cream cheese mixture out on plastic wrap or parchment paper once combined. Then fold it up, and shape into a ball.
  5. Place the cheese ball in the fridge for 2 hours to firm it up a bit. If you don't want to firm it up, you can skip this step.
  6. Crush up your pecans and place on a plate. Then roll your cheese ball in the pecan mixture packing it on the outside of the ball.
  7. Serve up your cheese ball with crackers, pretzels, veggies, or anything else you enjoy spreading your cheese ball on.

Notes

Storage - Your cheese ball can store for 3-5 days in the fridge. The green onions will be the first to spoil, so use your best judgement on when to toss out.

Cheese - I prefer shredding cheese off the block. You will get a better flavor to your cheese ball. Any flavor of cheese works, I prefer sharp or white cheddar.

Coating - If you want a nut free cheese ball recipe you can swap nuts with dried fruit, shredded cheese, cracker or pretzel crumbs, etc. Or don't coat it if you prefer.

Shape - You can shape your cheese ball into a log, football shape, etc. Get creative and have fun.

Freezing - If you want to freeze you can, it will freeze for 1 month. Thaw for 24 hours in the fridge. To ensure the nuts stay crunchy freeze without the nuts on the ball.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

This information is automatically calculated by third-party software, including but not limited to the Create or Bake Me Some Sugar. For accurate nutrition, I suggest running the ingredients in your own system to get a more accurate reading. Nutritional information is approximate and automatically calculated, and should only be viewed as an indication.

cheese ball on platter

If you try this cheese ball recipe let me know how you like it! Leave a rating or comment!

Bill

Sunday 12th of September 2021

This was so simple to make! Eating this right now while watching some football! Delicious.

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