This fast-and-easy cheese ball recipe makes a delicious spread for crackers, veggies, crostini, or whatever else you like.
Cream cheese and cheddar cheese get a lift from onion and garlic and a crunch from nuts. If you like, you can toast the nuts and let them cool before giving them a rough chop and rolling the cheese ball in them. The flavor will be entirely different from untoasted nuts.
It's a never-fail party or game-day favorite and so versatile because you can change the ingredients and add or subtract exactly what you like. Blue cheese in place of the cheddar, for one, comes to mind!
Don't count out this cheeseball with a glass of wine when you're cuddling with your honey for movie night at home. Skip dinner if you like and focus on the cheese!
- 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, finely chopped, more or less as needed)
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended.
- Refrigerate the cheese mixture until firm and then shape it into a ball.
- Roll the cheese ball in 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 Heyday
The cheese ball is a retro appetizer that goes back to the '70s and one that has never lost its popularity. Probably, in part, because it is one of the easiest party foods to make, especially for a newbie cook, and lends itself to myriad varieties. The rest of the good news? They are best made at least 24 hours in advance so the flavors can marry freeing you up for hosting duties the day of.
- If nuts are a problem, roll the cheese ball in chopped parsley, cilantro, or bacon bits.
- Blue cheese, cream cheese, and well-drained pineapple tidbits are a delicious combination.
- Cream cheese and Boursin cheese is another stellar combination.
- Go Italian with a combination of cream cheese, finely grated provolone or Asiago and roll it in finely chopped pepperoni.
- If you're in the mood for a dessert cheese ball, make it with cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla and roll it in mini chocolate chips or finely crushed graham cracker or Oreo cookie crumbs. Serve it with fresh fruit or pieces of pound cake.