If you go into any gathering in the Midwest around the holiday season, you are bound to find a cheese ball just waiting to be snacked on! Cheese balls are inherently unfussy, but they are delicious crowd favorites that are stupendously easy to make.
This easy cheese ball recipe is a slightly modified version of a family recipe that’s been loved for generations! Simply mix together all the ingredients, form into a ball, and then enjoy with your favorite pretzels, crackers, pita chips, or crudités like celery or carrots. Let’s make this super simple appetizer!
Here’s why you’ll love this cheese ball!
We truly believe our recipe is the best cheese ball around! This recipe has been handed down for generations, and it’s been a winner for so long for good reason.
While you can definitely experiment with interesting cheese ball flavors, we love our four cheese cheese ball because of its classic flavor, easy to source ingredients, and just how darn simple it is to pull together.
What ingredients do I need for this cheese ball recipe?
Let’s get straight to it: you’re going to need several types of cheese. It is called a cheese ball, after all!
We use sharp cheddar cheese, soft goat cheese, cream cheese, and crumbled blue cheese—it is the perfect mix of flavors and textures. The goat cheese and cream cheese are particularly important, because their creaminess holds the whole cheese ball together.
Beyond that, you’ll need minced onion, garlic powder, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce for flavor, pecan halves for texture, and hot sauce if you want to add a little heat (but that last one’s optional!).
We know blue cheese isn’t everyone’s thing, but in this recipe, the small amount gives the cheese ball an umami flavor that’s hard to replicate otherwise. If you’re staunchly anti-blue cheese, no worries. Just leave it out, and you’ll still have a great cheese ball!
How do you make this cheese ball?
If you’ve never made a cheeseball before, you’re going to be blown away by how easy it is. To make a cheese ball, follow these steps:
- Toast the pecans until lightly browned and fragrant. Allow to cool, and chop.
- Mix together the cheeses, onion, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.
- Use a rubber spatula to blend all the ingredients.
- Scoop the cream cheese mixture into a large piece of plastic wrap, and mold into a ball shape. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but up to two days.
- Remove from the plastic wrap and roll the cheese ball in toasted and chopped pecans and parsley to coat.
- Serve and enjoy!
Bring all your cheese to room temperature to make it easy to mix.
What should I serve it with?
Imagine the cheese ball as basically just a spreadable dip, so anything you can dip, you can serve with a cheese ball! Here are our favorite suggestions:
- Your favorite crackers (buttery crackers like Ritz crackers are really a win here)
- Sliced baguette
- Raw veggies like celery sticks, baby carrots, or sliced peppers
- Bagel chips
- Pita chips
Can I make my cheese ball in advance?
Absolutely! In fact, some time in the refrigerator will allow the flavors to develop and meld, making the flavor even better. This is a great dish to meal prep for your holiday parties—you can make it up to two days in advance.
If you plan to make it ahead of time, we recommend waiting to roll the cheese ball in the nuts until just before serving so that the pecans keep their texture.
How should I store the leftovers?
Just rewrap the cheeseball in plastic wrap (or store it in an airtight container) and stash it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. The pecans will soften slightly while in the fridge, but not so much that they won’t still be enjoyable.
How long will a cheese ball last?
Because of the fresh onions in this cheese ball, it’s pretty perishable, but wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, your cheese ball will be fine in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You can extend the life of your cheese ball by swapping in onion powder for fresh minced onions (more info on that swap in the recipe card below).
Can this cheese ball be frozen?
Sure can! To freeze the cheese ball, wrap it well in plastic wrap before rolling in the pecans, and place it in a zip-top freezer bag or airtight freezer safe container. Freeze for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, remove from the plastic wrap, and then roll in the nuts once completely thawed.