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.

Nothing beats an appetizer that can be made in 15 minutes, that’s what I love most about this cheese ball.  That’s also the best thing about this easy vegetable dip and homemade shrimp cocktail.

Cheese ball being spread on a cracker with a plate of crackers and the rest of the cheeseball in the background.

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.

the ingredients to make a cheese ball including cream cheese, shredded cheese, spices, and pecans

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!

side by side process photos of how to make a cheese ball.

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.

Side by side process photos of how to coat a cheese ball in nuts.

Chill.  Wrap the cheeseball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Serve the cheese ball with:

  • Crackers
  • Vegetables
  • Mini bagels
  • Pita bread
  • Pretezels

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.

A round plate with a cheese ball (covered in crushed nuts) in the center and crackers fanned in a circle around the edge of the plate.

Consider trying these easy appetizers:

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Recipe

Cheese ball being spread on a cracker with a plate of crackers and the rest of the cheeseball in the background.
Prep 15 minutes
Total 15 minutes
Save Recipe

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • 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!

Notes

*Serve the cheeseball with a spreading knife.  If you dip your cracker straight into the ball, chances are it will break!
Make-ahead instructions:  Make the cheeseball but don't coat it in nuts.  Store it in an airtight container or ziplock and place it in the refrigerator for up to a week (depending on the freshness of your ingredients).  An hour before you are ready to serve it, coat it in nuts and let it rest in the refrigerator until serving.  
Storing: A cheese ball can stay fresh in the refrigerator for several days of a couple 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!
Freezing instructions:  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.

Nutrition

Calories: 101kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 125mgPotassium: 48mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 283IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 1mg

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I originally shared this recipe November 2017. Updated October 2019 with process photos and instructions.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for a party and most people loved it. I was surprised to hear a 75 yo complement it followed by a 10 yo. Big hit for a all ages. I used crushed walnuts because they were in the house.

  2. Loved the recipe! Curious what the serving size is for the nutrition? Guessing 2 tablespoons but not sure! Thank

  3. 4 stars
    My family loved this, but I didn’t care for the oregano – gave it too much of a pizza vibe. But I was in the minority! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    This cheese ball is a hit every time I make it. I always make it 1 – 2 days before the event. I have also substituted the nuts for Doritos (original, red bag) because we have guest that can not eat nuts. I put the Doritos on right before I serve the cheese ball so they aren’t soggy. Just but the Doritos in a Ziploc bag, crunch up into small piece’s and apply.

    1. You don’t have to coat the ball in nuts! Try chopped bacon bits, chopped green onion, craisins, chopped herbs, crushed crackers….

  5. Hello, thank you for the recipe! Not to sound like a big dummy, but when you grate your own cheese, do you buy a brick of it from the deli? Just curious as to how people usually do this. Thank you.

    1. Yes buy Sharp Cheddar Cheese in Block style and grate it by hand. Depending on how many people your serving, usually 1/2 of the block grated is enough.
      Enjoy!

  6. Hi, was so happy to find this recipe. I just finished making it and it is now chilling in the fridge. I only made one small change to this recipe. My late husband used to make this, adding some very finely-chopped dried beef, the little slices that come in a jar. This recipe brings back sweet memories, thank you! 🥰

  7. 5 stars
    Delish!! I subbed fish sauce for the Worchester, and gouda for the cheddar and skipped the hot sauce. Two thumbs up from my family! I’m definitely making this for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    Made this for family gathering, it was devoured within an hour!! Rave reviews from all. I will definitely make it again!!
    Can you say yummy?😋

  9. Simple, easy and quick. I will surely make this again. I personalized it by adding smoked paprika and onion powder.
    This is definitely a keeper.

  10. 5 stars
    First time in my life I’ve ever made a cheeseball but it was a big hit at my friend’s party. Came together easily and, as people said, it makes a pretty good-sized ball, but as there were a couple of dozen people at the party, it worked out well. Will definitely make this one again!

  11. This is a neighborhood favorite!! Super easy and everybody loves it! I add a dash of cayenne pepper to mine

  12. 4 stars
    Tasted very good but found messy and difficult to mix the cheeses together without using a mixer, (it didn’t say to use a mixer so I did it by hand and took all my strength); and as someone commented already this makes two large cheese balls. Only need half the recipe for a good sized one. I froze the other one.

  13. Tried this as a Christmas Eve appetizer and it was easy to make and serve, but there is an awful hot sauce aftertaste that is really off putting. Unless someone loves hot sauce, they aren’t going to like this. If I try this again, I might just add a tiny bit of cayenne or even a little chili powder to add just a hint of spice.

    1. 3 stars
      Hi Nancy. The brand of hot sauce can play a big part in the taste/aftertaste. I personally will only use Franks Hot Sauce or tabasco. If you hot sauce is too old it will leave a after taste. Have an amazing day.

  14. 4 stars
    This is very tasty, but the recipe makes ALOT! The cheese ball in the video looks like half the recipe. I made one cheese ball and one log and had to double the amount of chopped nuts. Will make again, but will halve the recipe.

  15. Has anyone tried this recipe for the mini cheese balls? This has more cheddar & seems more flavorful but will they roll up nicely into mini’s?

  16. I’ve made this for Thanksgiving two years in a row and I substituted the pecans for crumbled bacon and it totally takes it up a notch! Thank you for this super simple family favorite.

  17. 5 stars
    Tired making it today and absolutely love it! I will note that mixing it with helix beaters doesn’t work well but I didn’t have regular beaters. It is little kid approved though! My 3 year old helped make it, and after licking off the spatula, she wanted to eat it all up! 🙂

  18. 5 stars
    Very simple, yet very tasty! I had all the ingredients on hand and made it for my book club. Everyone liked it and I’m passing the recipe on

  19. 5 stars
    Oh my word – just like the cheese ball my Mum made when I was a kid. I loved this, as did my kids! Thanks for sharing this recipe😊

  20. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe. I didn’t realize until I was already into it that I was out of worcestershire sauce and decided that Heinz 57 steak sauce might be OK as a substitute and it taste great. I also opted to use 3 onion seasoning from pampered chef instead of green onions. So some variation in the recipe seems to be ok.

  21. 5 stars
    Delicious! I didn’t have any hot sauce so didn’t add. I’m not a big fan of spicy food anyway. I used chopped yellow onion instead of green, and I used a shredded Swiss/Gruyère cheese because that’s all I had. I was concerned the cheese ball would be bland, but it’s very tasty!

  22. I made this, but I added some dry ranch dressing, bacon, and onion and garlic powder. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m sure it’s good. But an easy way to form the ball is put it on plastic wrap, wrap your plastic wrap around the ball, form it then twist it, and put it in the fridge, That way your hands stay clean.

  23. 5 stars
    I made this cheese ball for superbowl Sunday. I added some bacon bits to it for a personal touch. I have sampled it and Yum. It was easy to make and I’m sure it will be a hit with everyone.

  24. 5 stars
    Really great recipe. Taste supper.
    Served to a group of men and women and was totally enjoyed .
    I used extra sharp white cheddar cheese

  25. 5 stars
    I made this cheese ball and it was a hit at Xmas Eve cocktail party. I’m curious about the nutrition chart, is each entry per serving, so all numbers multiplied by 24? Or is the nutrition chart numbers for the entire ball? So each number divided by 24 for the serving?

    1. Based on two blocks of cream cheese, cheddar and pecans, the nutrition listed is per serving. 101 kcal x24 =2424 calories in the whole cheese ball (plus crackers)

  26. Just made this and it is wonderful! I did not use green onions and rolled it in chopped walnuts because I didn’t have pecans but the flavor is excellent!

  27. 5 stars
    Made this with a couple variations. Added 1 tsp fresh horseradish and made bacon bits to roll the ball in instead of nuts. Was delicious!!

  28. 5 stars
    Absolutely fantastic. Very easy. Extremely versatile regards making in advance. All of my family thought it was superb. It’s rich but definitely moreish!

  29. 5 stars
    I whipped this up in a flash, at virtually the last minute, for company. The ball only had about an hour’s rest in the fridge before I served it. Everyone raved. That cheeseball was gone by the time my guests left. I’d call that a success!

    1. I want to try this, but was wondering if anyone tried rolling in everything but the bagel seeds instead of nuts. (Nut allergies here.)

      1. In the comments, some people rolled the cheese ball in crumbled bacon, and one person didn’t roll them in anything (she made minis).
        I think there’s a lot of leeway with recipes. Those who varied the recipe had hits with their friends and families.

        Did you try making it rolled in seeds?

  30. I made 1 inch cheese balls, rolling them in my hands. With no nuts. Everyone loved them, great flavor good recipe. The small balls were fast and easy to put on your plate.

  31. 5 stars
    I love this cheeseball and my whole family requests it!
    My only comment is that I wrap the mixture which is rolled in
    A ball and chill it before I cover with the nuts. It is easier for me.

  32. 5 stars
    Made as is with no alterations to ingredient flavors. I did halve the recipe though- perfect snack for husband and I 🙂 Fantastic flavors!

  33. I tried this recipe for my family for the Super Bowl Sunday. And my family really enjoyed it” Thank you for sharing!

  34. 5 stars
    This was easy and had tons of flavor…and that’s just what I pinched off the kitchen aid beater. Im betting it will be “super” for the big game Sunday. My new go-to cheeseball recipe. Thanks!

  35. 5 stars
    Everyone loved this cheese ball. I did the bucees sweet and spicy ghost pepper sauce instead of hot sauce. Soooo good

  36. 5 stars
    I was not looking for a cheese ball recipe, but somehow stumbled upon this while looking up a recipe for squash for my Christmas feast. I’ve had cheese balls at other gatherings (that other people supplied), and I’ve seen them for sale at the store, but for whatever reason, it never occurred to me a person could make one of these in their kitchen. Silly me! Anyway, I figured I would make it for an appetizer for Christmas. It was very easy to make and turned out so delicious! It was perfect and Everyone at my small gathering (It was just my brother and Mom) just loved it and even asked for the recipe. I think it also never occurred to them that one could make a cheese ball at home, either, haha haha!! Thanks for the recipe. So simple, yet so delicious. I will file this away, as it’s truly a great thing to bring to a party (after COVID is over) that will surely impress.

  37. 5 stars
    A New Year’s tradition is to make make a cheeseball on the Eve and this recipe did not disappoint!! The only thing we omitted was the green onions since we didn’t have any on hand – and admittedly neither me nor my husband care for them. The flavor was amazing! Wish I could post a pic of us devouring, lol. Thank you for sharing!!

  38. 5 stars
    You don’t need to use bare hands to shape the ball. Mound it on the plastic wrap, pull up the edges and twist them together and shape as you like it. I halved the recipe for our 3- person buffet but we have rolled tossed the leftover cheese ball in homemade Alfredo sauce in the past.

  39. 5 stars
    I forgot to mention that we followed the recipe and video instructions but ended up with two large cheese balls. Not sure how that happened but a bonus for us!

    1. Two Cheeseballs are Always Better than One!!❤️Thanks for Sharing that!! .. I was going to Add an Extra 8oz of Cream Cheese to make two!! Now I don’t have to!! 🙌❤️🤗

  40. 5 stars
    While we all love a cheese ball, for my daughter and her boyfriend a holiday appetizer spread isn’t complete without one. This year, they couldn’t find any in stores, so I said we would just make one. They were skeptical. The task ended up falling to the boyfriend, and I think we were all stunned by how delicious it was. It will be a homemade cheese ball for us from now on, and he will be the chef!! Thanks for this easy and yummy recipe!!

  41. I just made the cheese ball and have tried it and it just seems like it doesn’t have a lot of flavor to it maybe as it marinates overnight maybe the flavors will come

    1. I made this on Christmas Eve and served it on Christmas. It had a ton of flavor and everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. I think the fact it marinaded over night in the refrigerator, as you mentioned, helped a lot. If this didn’t have a lot of flavor in spite of letting it rest over night, maybe the hot sauce you used was mild and mine was more spicy?? Just an idea. It could be you are just used to more flavorful things than me so this tasted more bland to you. If you decide to try making this again, maybe increase your spices. For instance, double the hot sauce, garlic and onion.

    1. Try it with 2-4 oz smoked salmon! You can get in the meat dept. in a shrink wrapped package! I would add a little horseradish if you do.

  42. 5 stars
    Delicious!! Easy to prepare, makes a lovely starter for many. With aged Dutch Gouda cheese of course 😉
    Greetings from the Netherlands!

  43. 5 stars
    I’ve made it 3 or 4 times now with rave reviews!!! The second time I added bacon, delicious addition. Thanks for the great recipe 💖

  44. Thank you for this classic recipe. It’s exactly what I was looking for. So delicious!
    Like Julia, I am interested in the serving size that the nutrition information is based on. 2 Tablespoons maybe?

  45. I love this recipe. Made it for a bachelorette party and everyone wanted the recipe. I’m curious, what is the serving size that the nutrition facts are based on? TIA:)

  46. Substituted the nuts for the beef that comes in the packet. Minced up one and added it inside and wrapped it in uncut slices. Delicious recipe, I love the flavor combination

  47. 5 stars
    Great recipe. My family doesn’t like it too spicy so I substituted the hot pepper sauce for chili sauce. Tastes terrific!

  48. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe! My family scarfed it right up. Perfect appetizer for the holidays. Can’t go wrong with quality cheese!

  49. 5 stars
    I have been looking for a cheese ball recipe for a while! Tried this and we all love it! I have made it several times and it is now a family and friend favorite!! Thank you!

  50. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! Made it on Easter and searched for it at Christmas. I prefer the real spices and not packages of dressing, etc. I got rave reviews! This year made an extra one for us at home this year. What a great idea! Thank you for posting!

  51. 5 stars
    This looks like a simple and delicious recipe. I have always taken cookie plates to my neighbors at Christmas but I’m going to do the cheese ball with crackers as gifts this year. Thanks so much!!!!

  52. Thank you for a delicious looking recipe. I want to make this for a picnic with my boyfriend, i may just add chopped craisins to the mix or the coating.
    I guess if i take it in the cooler box and coat it with nuts when there, it will be nice to eat together as a snack or appetizer.

  53. 5 stars
    I have made your cheeseball at least 4 times over the last few months and I just love this recipe! Thank you!

  54. 5 stars
    I just made two of these, one as is, the other has white cheddar and bacon! Can hardly wait to take this to Easter dinner tomorrow! Wondering what kind of crackers go best with it. Thanks!

  55. If this cheeese ball was made the middle of December would it be spoiled now.I have some left but I don’t know if it’s still good. Thanks,

  56. I have used this same recipe for 20 + Year’s. I also add chopped up pepperoni and crushed pineapple Yum,!

  57. 5 stars
    Yum! I just made this (in like 5 minutes!) and the only thing keeping me from eating the whole thing right now is I don’t have any more cream cheese to make another one for Christmas! This will definitely be my regular contribution to parties! Next time I think I’ll double it and make a giant ball!!! (I left out the nuts because my brother is allergic but I sure it would be great with those too)

      1. 3 stars
        I agree. Store bought shredded cheese is coated with several chemicals to prevent the cheese from sticking together and as a preservative—yucky!
        Buy a block and shred it yourself. The taste is so much better and healthier for you.

  58. Looking for a cheese ball recipe and think I’ll try this one. Might be a stupid question, but is the hot sauce you listed, like a tabasco sauce?

      1. But what is the unit of measurement? 1 serving is how many grams, ounces, or what? We understands 24 servings but what are the serving aizes?

        1. Unless your going to stand by the cheese ball like a bank guard, and control the the portion size each guest takes, this question makes no sense. No two people will take the same amount. You should see how much my husband piles on a cracker LOL

        2. 5 stars
          Based on the ingredients of the recipe, measured in ounces, it would equate to approximately 3/4 of an ounce per serving, which is about 1 1/2 tablespoons.

      1. 5 stars
        Anonymous why are you being sarcastic to another reader who commented she’s been making this cheeseball recipe for 45 yeaars? Perhaps she was looking at this recipe to see if there was a difference or a tip? She probably saw it was the same as hers and simply made a sweet comment. Your attitude is nothing but rude! Why were you looking at this recipe if all you seemed to want to do is put someone else down?!! I copied this recipe and made this recipe twice and it’s great! I can see why the other reader has been using it for 45 years!

      2. Many cooks enjoy looking at new recipes. Why are you on here? Isn’t there a political forum you can go to, to post your obnoxious comments?

  59. I love the simple but elegant cheese balls like this one. It will definitely be on my holiday table! Thank you.

    1. 5 stars
      This chees ball is great. I doubled the recipe. Made it in the morning to serve that evening. It needs time for the flavors to come together.