This Classic Cheese Ball recipe makes the perfect party appetizer. This cheese ball is made with cheddar cheese, cream cheese, green onion and spices, and coated in chopped pecans.
A homemade cheeseball is one of the most classic holiday appetizers, ever! If you want to get more creative than the traditional serving style, these mini cheese ball bites are also a crowd favorite.
What I Love about this Classic Cheese Ball:
1. Make it ahead of time. This recipe can be made up to a week in advance if you want to! Although, you will want to wait to add the nuts till closer to when you serve so that they don’t get soft. The only problem with making it in advance is figuring out how to keep your family from eating it all!
2. The flavor combinations. This is not a boring cheeseball. The mixture of cheeses with Worcestershire, spices and a little hot sauce is nothing short of magical. Not one specific spice overwhelms and all of the flavors in the cheese ball blend together nicely. Also, it’s worth noting that the hot sauce wont make it spicy, it just adds great flavor.
3. Low maintenance. This cheese ball is perfect as a party appetizer while you prepare the rest of your holiday feast! It’s completely low maintenance. Just fix it up, pull it from the fridge when you’re ready, and set it out with a bunch of yummy crackers for people to serve themselves.
Cheese ball ingredients:
- Cream cheese. Regular or low fat will work fine.
- Cheddar cheese: I like Sharp cheddar best. Be sure to freshly grate the cheese instead of buying the pre-shredded kind! It will make a big flavor and texture difference.
- Green onion: finely chopped.
- Seasonings: dried parsley, garlic powder, dried oregano, ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce.
- Chopped pecans. Chop them very finely so the cheeseball is easier to serve. You could substitute almonds or another finely chopped nut, or leave the nuts out and use bacon bits, chopped green onion, or Craisins.
How to make a homemade cheese ball;
Combine ingredients. Beat cream cheese until smooth, and then mix in the remaining ingredients. Remember that high quality ingredients make a high quality cheese ball. Buy block cheese instead of pre-shredded cheese!
Form the cheese ball. Use a spatula and your hands to form the mixture into a ball. Be sure to spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray to prevent the cheese from sticking.
Coat in nuts. You can use whatever type of nuts you prefer, just be sure to chop them finely. To coat in nuts, hold the cheese ball in one hand and use your other hand to gently scoop the chopped nuts and press them onto the ball.
Chill. Wrap the cheeseball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Serve the cheese ball with:
- Mini bagels
- Pita bread
To serve: Make sure your cheese ball platter is complete with a cheese spreading knife. If you dip your cracker straight into the ball chances are it will bread into pieces!
Make-ahead, Storing, and freezing instructions:
To make-ahead: Make the cheeseball but don’t coat it in nuts. Store it in an airtight container or bag and place it in the refrigerator for up to one week (depending on the freshness of your ingredients). An hour before you are ready to serve it, coat it in nuts and refrigerate until serving.
Storing: A cheese ball should be stored in the refrigerator and will stay fresh for several days or up to 2 weeks depending on the freshness of your ingredients. To estimate how long your cheese ball will stay fresh, first notice the expiration date on the ingredients you are using. Assuming you are using recently purchased ingredients, your cheeseball should last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator!
To freeze: To freeze the cheeseball, wrap it well in plastic wrap (without nuts) and place it in a freezer safe ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and add nuts once completely thawed.
Consider trying these easy appetizers:
- Seven Layer Bean Dip
- Easy Vegetable Dip
- Artichoke Dip
- Slow Cooker Cranberry BBQ Meatballs
- Artichoke Dip Stuffed Bread
- 16 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese (avoid pre-shredded cheese)
- 2 green onion , chopped
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- dash freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup pecans , finely chopped
- Place cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth. Add cheese, green onion, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, parley, garlic powder, oregano and pepper and mix well to combine.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl and gather the mixture into one lump. Lightly grease your hands and form the mixture into a round ball.
- Place the pecans on a plate. Hold the cheese ball in one hand and use the other hand to scoop the pecans onto the outside of the ball, pressing them in gently and turning the ball to coat all sides.
- Cover the cheeseball in cling wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour to allow it to firm up. Take it out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving to allow it to soften just slightly. Serve with crackers, pretzels, vegetables or anything else you'd love to dip in cheese!
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I originally shared this recipe November 2017. Updated October 2019 with process photos and instructions.