Easy Cheese Ball Recipe

12.21.2018

This Cheese Ball is a holiday must ever year! It’s incredibly easy to make and it only requires a few simple ingredients. It has a deliciously creamy texture, it’s brimming with rich and cheesy flavor, and who doesn’t love that nutty pecan finish for a contrasting crunch?

Best Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Cheese Ball Recipe!

Growing up my mom always made a cheeseball around the holidays and we would polish it off in no time. Not much has changed because now I’m doing the same thing for my family.

This is my go-to cheese ball recipe. It’s nothing fancy and far cheaper than creating some extravagant cheese board.

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Just good old fashioned comfort food with the classic cheddar cheese and cream cheese.

In this version of mine I also like to add sour cream for extra creaminess and for a softer texture, then I like to add garlic powder, onion powder and a bit of black pepper for flavor.

I’d recommend skipping the salt though, I know normally salt and pepper just go together but there’s already plenty in the ingredients and the crackers you’ll be serving it with.

Close up image of Cheese Ball

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Ingredients for This Cheese Ball

  • Cream cheese – the key ingredient to a good cheese ball.
  • Sour cream – adds extra creaminess and makes it softer.
  • Garlic powder – adds extra flavor.
  • Onion powder  – adds extra flavor.
  • Pepper – adds a faint background spice, skip the salt or it will be too salty.
  • Cheddar cheese – cheddar gives it that classic flavor we remember.
  • Pecans – the cheese ball would be a mess without these. They add nice crunch too.

Cheese Ball Ingredients

As always I chose to use Fisher Pecans in this recipe. Fisher is a brand I love because:

  • They’re always a perfectly delicious, high quality product.
  • There’s no added preservatives and they’re none GMO. Just the nuts right out of their shell.
  • The convenient stand up bag actually helps keeps the nuts fresher longer.
  • And I especially love them for holiday cooking and baking! They also make a great healthy snack.

How to Make a Cheese Ball

  • Add cream cheese, sour, garlic powder and onion powder and pepper to a medium mixing bowl. Mix with an electric hand mixer until smooth.
  • (Sorry I actually added the powders in the next step since I forgot in the first, it will distribute more evenly to add at the beginning).

Showing how to make a cheeseball. Mixing cream cheese sour cream and seasoning in a mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer.

  • Mix in cheese (with electric mixer).
  • Cover bowl and chill 1 hour to help firm it up.

Mixing shredded cheddar into cheese ball mixture.

  • Shape into a ball using a spatula then with greased hands.

Forming chilled cheese ball mixture in bowl into a ball with a spatula.

  • Place pecans in a medium bowl. Roll cheese ball through pecans to cover entirely.
  • Serve with crackers, using a butter knife for spreading. Store in refrigerator.

Rolling cheese ball through chopped pecans in a mixing bowl.

Homemade Is Best

How many of us are just tempted to grab one of those cheese balls from the deli? Already made and ready to serve. Skip it. This homemade version is way better!

Tips for This Recipe

  • Skip the pre-shredded cheeses here. The freshly shredded has a better flavor and doesn’t have the added powdery coating. Mild or sharp cheddar will work here too if that’s what you prefer.
  • Chop the pecans into small bits, that way they’ll coat better and be better for spreading.
  • Don’t skip the chill step or you likely won’t be able to shape the mixture into a ball.
  • Let it rest at room temperature before serving for a softer consistency.
  • Use a butter knife for spreading. I don’t know why so many of us try to just dive right in with a cracker always to find it broken in half.

Cheese ball on a serving platter with crackers around it.

Can I Mix it By Hand?

If you don’t have an electric mixer you could also mix this by hand. Let the cream cheese soften well then just use a wooden spoon and stir stir stir.

How Long Can It Sit Out?

Because of the dairy in this for food safety it shouldn’t be left sitting unrefrigerated for longer than two hours.

How Long Will It Keep For?

This will keep well refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 week.

Cheese ball on a serving plate with crackers.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fisher. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Cheese Ball Recipe

5 from 4 votes
This Cheese Ball is a holiday must ever year! It's incredibly easy to make and it only requires a few simple ingredients. It has a deliciously creamy texture, it's brimming with rich and cheesy flavor, and who doesn't love that nutty pecan finish for a contrasting crunch?
Servings: 16
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 (8 oz) pkgs. cream cheese, softened but still slightly firm
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 8 oz. shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Fisher Pecans, chopped small

Instructions

  1. Add cream cheese, sour, garlic powder and onion powder and pepper to a medium mixing bowl. Mix with an electric hand mixer until smooth.

  2. Mix in cheese (with electric mixer). Cover bowl and chill 1 hour to help firm it up.

  3. Shape into a ball using a spatula then with greased hands.

  4. Place pecans in a medium bowl. Roll cheese ball through pecans to cover entirely.

  5. Serve with crackers, using a butter knife for spreading. Store in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  • It's best to let it rest at room temperature to help it soften up for about 20 minutes. Don't sit at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
Nutrition Facts
Cheese Ball Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 211 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 184mg 8%
Potassium 88mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 2g 1%
Sugars 1g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 11.4%
Vitamin C 0.2%
Calcium 14.2%
Iron 2.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheese Ball Recipe
Calories: 211 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

14 comments

  • Doris: Merry Christmas to you all!
    Forgive me for hijacking your recipe for the cheese ball but some other poster said it was very liquidy or soft. I think the problem is the sour cream —too much. I made it like this and my party people said it was terrific. Only 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 bricks of sofenend cream cheese, 2 tsp worcestire, one tablespoon of grated onion (fresh) 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese, 1/2 tsp hot sauce, 1/2 tsp. of cajun spice, 1/2 tsp. white pepper. I used my mini chopper for the pecans which were toasted for six minutes in oven at 300 degrees. It made them uniform in size. I woudl used a pie plate to roll out the cheese ball…you could coat your hands with some butter or cooking spray but I used two pieces of saran wrap. I made a second one today and it’s chilling now. Great recipe and thanks so much for the suggestiions . December 25, 2018 at 10:56am Reply

    • Doris: I did also add 1/2 tsp garlic power (not salt) . For me, I am a cheapo…I buy the store brand cream cheese. Was on sale for 59cents each. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and thanks Jacklyn for a great recipe! December 26, 2018 at 7:57am Reply

  • Gigi: I used Philadelphia Cream Cheese. No I did not melt it. It tastes fine but, like I said, it was very sticky. When I rolled it in the pecans it didn’t look anything like yours. Did I over mix it? December 24, 2018 at 8:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: If it was mixed for a while that might make a difference since it would be fluffier and less dense. You could try halving the sour cream next time. December 24, 2018 at 10:54pm Reply

  • Jessica: Made this for Christmas Eve we loved it! Thanks! December 24, 2018 at 8:22pm Reply

  • Gigi: I made half the amount of the recipe. It turned out sticky even though I followed the recipe exactly, what did I do wrong? December 24, 2018 at 5:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: What brand of cream cheese did you use? Some are softer than others I prefer Philadelphia here. Also did you melt the cream cheese vs just softening? Sorry it didn’t work out! December 24, 2018 at 8:19pm Reply

  • Donna: Wondering about switching the cheese to a pepper jack? My hubby cant have cheddar (his cardiologist put it on the do not eat list). Have you tried a different cheese? Would the recipe be the same? December 23, 2018 at 7:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes another cheese like pepper jack, mozzarella or swiss should work great here too. Hope you enjoy and happy holidays! December 24, 2018 at 2:12pm Reply

  • Shirley Meunier: I need a cheese ball recipe with crushed pineapple in it December 23, 2018 at 2:21pm Reply

  • Teresa: What kind of crackers do you like to use? I know the flavor and texture of the cracker can make a difference. December 23, 2018 at 12:11pm Reply

  • Doris: Happy Holidays to you and your family! Thanks for this recipe as I was looking for something to bring to a house party. Two questions please? Do you toast the pecans or not? I would like to kick this up a bit by adding horseradish or tabasco sauce. Would a teaspoon of either /or do it or do you think that could be too much? Can’t wait to try this! December 22, 2018 at 6:51am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Tabasco would be fine to add or even a little cayenne pepper. And I didn’t toast the pecans but you definitely could for one more layer of flavor. Hope you enjoy, Happy Holidays! December 23, 2018 at 10:19am Reply

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