A massive ball of cheese on the table makes a statement: Welcome to our party ! Cheese balls are fun, tasty, lovably retro and easy to make in advance. So go ahead and choose your own cheese-ball adventure. Just don't forget the crackers.
Select your ingredients
I make my balls with cream cheese, blue cheese, freshly ground black pepper and garlic flakes, all coated with toasted chopped almonds. But there are a bunch of ways to go.
- 1 brick (8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese
Add ½-to-1 cup of grated or crumbled semi-firm cheese to the cream cheese. Any of these will work:
- Blue cheese
- Goat cheese
Use a splash, dash or shake of one of these:
- Hot pepper flakes
- Dried herbs
- Spice blends such as Herbes de Provence
- Pepper flakes
Things are getting interesting! Add ½-to-1 cup of mix-ins:
- Chopped nuts
- Chopped dried fruit
- Sliced olives
- Chopped cured meats
A topping is the difference between an ordinary cheese ball and a cheese ball that's ready to party. Choose ½-to-1 cup of one of the following:
- Chopped nuts
- Chopped parsley
- Crumbled potato chips
- Toasted coconut
- Bacon crumbles
- Shredded cheese
Put everything together
This is the fun part.
Combine the cheese and mix-ins
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the additional cheese(s) and any flavorings until smooth. Fold in your mix-ins, if using, and make sure they're evenly distributed.
Form the ball and chill
Line a small bowl with plastic wrap. Spoon the soft cheese mixture on top of the plastic wrap, then gather it around the cheese to make a rounded shape.
Place the bowl with the wrapped cheese in your refrigerator to firm up for at least an hour (overnight works too).
Coat the ball in toppings
Remove the ball from the refrigerator and use slightly wet hands to mold it into a ball.
Place your topping mixture in a shallow pan. Coat the cheese ball with the topping, patting it back into a ball shape if the sides get flat.
Place the cheese ball in the refrigerator until just before serving.
Have a ball!
Serve with crackers or toast triangles.