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This easy cheese ball recipe is classic and full of bold flavor! Everyone will gather around this simple party appetizer.

Cheese Ball Recipe
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Here’s a classic party appetizer everyone will crowd around: this easy Cheese Ball recipe! Yes, this one gives us all the retro vibes, imagining a 1970’s style appetizer spread with shrimp cocktail and party franks. But some recipes never go out of style, and this one still pops for parties. This recipe freshens up the classic with cheddar, green onion, Worcestershire, garlic powder and smoked paprika for a creamy, savory punch. It’s perfect for parties, surrounded by crackers or crostini. Here’s how to make it!

Ingredients in this cheese ball recipe

There are loads of variations on a cheese ball, from spicy to fruity and everything in between. For this recipe, we wanted to stay true to the classic, straightforward cheese ball of the 1970’s. (Everything comes back around again, doesn’t it?) You’ll need just a few ingredients and 1 hour of chilling time. Keep in mind: this recipe is party sized! Here’s what’s in a cheese ball:

  • Cream cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Green onions
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Garlic powder, smoked paprika, and dried dill
  • Pecans
  • Kosher salt
Cheese Ball Recipe

How to bring cream cheese to room temperature

The first step to a cheese ball recipe is to let the cream cheese come to room temperature. There are two ways to do this:

  • Let the cream cheese stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour unrefrigerated. This is the most common, straightforward method. It’s especially important when making something like cream cheese frosting since you don’t want to risk melting the cheese with a faster method.
  • Microwave the block of cheese for 5 to 10 seconds. Place the cheese on a plate in the microwave, cook 5 seconds, flip over the block of cheese and cook another 5 seconds. If it’s not room temperature at this point, cook another few seconds, but air on the conservative side! You don’t want melty cheese (though this recipe is a bit more forgiving).

Tips for making this cheese ball recipe

The process for making a cheese ball is simple: mix the filling ingredients, form it into a ball, and chill for 1 hour. But there are a few best practices to keep in mind when you make your cheese ball! Here are a few tips:

  • Bring the cream cheese to room temperature. See the notes above!
  • Mix in the flavorings in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. If you don’t have either, you can use a bowl and spoon: just make sure the cream cheese is close to room temperature since it is difficult to mix the colder it is.
  • Reform the mixture into a ball using plastic wrap.
  • Chill 1 hour. This allows the ball shape to set and be firm enough for the outside coating.
  • Roll in pecans, then allow to stand 30 minutes. This allows the cheese ball to become softer so that it’s spreadable.
Cheese Ball Recipe

Do you have to toast the pecans?

The recipe below states to toast the pecans prior to using them as a coating on this cheese ball. Is this step really necessary? In our opinion, yes! Toasting nuts brings out their nutty flavor, just like salt brings out the flavor of savory foods. Since there’s time while the cheese ball chills, it’s a simple step that brings major flavor.

Serving a cheese ball

This cheese ball is perfect for parties, as a Christmas appetizer, or for any type of gathering. How to serve it? Simply add crackers or other dippable items, and you’re ready to go! You can also add fruits or vegetables to make a beautiful platter, though they wouldn’t necessarily be intended for dipping. Here are a few ideas:

  • Crackers
  • Nut-based crackers (for gluten-free)
  • Crostini, purchased or homemade
  • Bread
  • Flatbread
  • Vegetables like carrot sticks celery, red pepper strips, etc
  • Fruit like apple slices, grapes etc.
  • Olives
  • Nuts like mixed nuts or candied pecans
Cheese Ball Recipe

Cheese ball storage info

This cheese ball recipe is easy to make ahead and stores well! Here are a few storage notes:

  • Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. You can easily make this cheese ball in advance. We’d recommend waiting to coat it with nuts until 30 minutes before serving.
  • Store frozen for up to 1 month. Cover it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Allow to defrost at room temperature for a few hours, then refrigerate (or allow to defrost in the refrigerator overnight). Again, if you’re making in advance wait to coat it with the pecans until 30 minutes before serving.

More party appetizer recipes

Looking for more great party appetizers? Here are a few more appetizer recipes you’ll love:

This cheese ball recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free (with gluten-free crackers).

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Cheese Ball Recipe

Cheese Ball Recipe


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes (including chill time)
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x

Description

This easy cheese ball recipe is classic and full of bold flavor! Everyone will gather around this simple party appetizer.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (2 blocks), room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (1 tablespoon of the greens chopped finely and reserved)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dried dill
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup toasted pecan pieces, chopped
  • Crackers, for serving

Instructions

  1. Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature (let it stand about 30 minutes unrefrigerated or see the tips above). Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the shredded cheddar cheese, green onions (with 1 tablespoon finely chopped greens reserved), Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder, smoked paprika, dried dill and kosher salt. Mix on low speed until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.
  3. Scoop the cheese onto plastic wrap. Wrap the cheese in the plastic and form it into a ball shape. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the pecans: place them in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often, until the nuts are fragrant and slightly darker brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a cutting board. Finely chop the pecans and place them in a shallow bowl. Stir in the reserved chopped onion greens.
  5. Gently roll the cheese ball in pecan mixture, lightly pressing so that the entire ball is coated. Rest at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 1 month (wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then foil).
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Julie Roberts says:

    I made a cheeseball for the first time with this recipe. I loved it! I could taste all the notes of flavor. I didn’t have a mixer so used a wooden spoon. I’ll keep this recipe and look at your other dishes. Thanks!