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Easy and cheesy, this cheese ball recipe appetizer is great for the holidays or any get-together. With minimum prep time with only 15-minutes needed, have more time to spend with your family enjoying this delicious bacon, cheesy goodness of everyone’s favorite food – cheese!

It’s perfect to serve alongside this healthy buffalo chicken dip or this three-ingredient avocado dip.

cheese ball served on top of a bed of ritz crackers in a white shallow bowl

Who doesn’t love cheese balls? They’re fun, savory, and garlicky with the perfect amount of salt. Addictingly delightful with the perfect texture, they are easy to modify for every eater. Time and time again, these cheese balls are a crowd-pleaser for the whole family at any and every event.

You can pack these balls in the kids’ lunchbox, serve them at your next girlfriends’ brunch, or leave them at the buffet table to pick on as favorite finger food during the next big game.

cheese ball sitting on top of a bed of rtiz crackers served in a white shallow bowl
ingredients to make cheese ball

Ingredients

  • Cream cheese – softened
  • Sour cream
  • Green onion – thinly sliced
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – shredded
  • Bacon – crumbled, divided
  • Pecans

Substitutions

  • Make it dairy-free for your lactose-intolerant loved ones by using dairy-free sour cream and dairy-free cheese. I recommend Kite Hill for the sour cream – it tastes like the real thing! As for the cheese, you really want to get one that will melt to make sure it’s still gooey and delicious. My favorite is CHAO cheddar- it melts easily and bubbles up, too.
  • Veganize it by swapping out bacon bits for seitan crumbles. The Chorizo flavored seitan crumbles from Upton Naturals is loaded with italian seasoning and crisps up well.
steps to make a cheese ball

How to Make Cheese Ball

  1. Place cream cheese in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy.
  2. Add sour cream, green onion, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Beat until combined. Stir in 1⁄2 cup cheddar cheese and 1⁄2 cup bacon.
  3. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  4. Remove from the fridge and shape into a ball. Combine remaining 1/2 cup bacon, chopped pecans, and cheese. Roll the cheese ball in the mixture pressing to adhere.
  5. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving.

Hint: If you buy whole pecans, easily chop them in the blender using the pulse setting so they can easily fit into the balls without having big chunks sticking out. Serve these cheese balls with ritz cracked, raw veggies, pita bread, pretzels, and more.

cheese ball sitting on top of a bed of ritz crackers served in a white shallow bowl

Variations

  • Spicy: add red pepper flakes to the mix to taste and BAM taste explosion!
  • Dairy-free: see the substitutions above- I would recommend making one batch of each to suit all of your guests’ eating preferences or restrictions.
  • Deluxe: Serve on top of fresh greens like arugula with crisped-up red-onion spirals served alongside thinly sliced raw zucchini and carrots.

FAQ

What is a cheese ball made of?

Traditional cheese balls are a mixture of cream cheese, grated semi-soft or semi-firm whipped cheese, and flavorings of choice.

How do you firm up a cheese ball?

The longer you chill your freeze balls in the fridge, the firmer they will be.

Are cheese balls good for your health?

Depending on how you prepare your cheese ball, it can be a good source of protein.

How long does a cheese ball last?

Store your cheese balls in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Trust me, you won’t need to worry about storing them because they taste so good, there won’t be any leftovers.

Top Tip

The more time you have to chill the balls, the better. This recipe can be made up to a week in advance, but just wait to add the nuts last so they don’t soften. The only problem with this is stopping your family from eating them all! Remember to finely chop your nuts for even distribution around the balls.

To freeze, wrap individually in plastic wrap (without nuts) and place in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Thaw in the fridge overnight and add nuts after thawing is complete.

If you’re looking for more….try these recipes next!

Easy Breakfast Casserole
Dorito Casserole
Low Carb Keto Zuppa Toscana Soup
Cranberry Brie Bites

cheese ball served with crackers in a white shallow bowl

Cheese Ball Recipe

This easy cheese ball recipe is made with real cheddar cheese, cream cheese, bacon, and chopped pecans. This appetizer is great for holidays or any get-together.
3.03 from 35 votes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Kasey Schwartz

Ingredients  

  • 16 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 green onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup crumbled bacon divided
  • 1/2 cup pecans

Instructions 

  • Place cream cheese in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fluffy.
  • Add sour cream, green onion, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder. Beat until combined. Stir in 1⁄2 cup cheddar cheese and 1⁄2 cup bacon.
  • Chill in the fridge for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • Remove from the fridge and shape into a ball. Combine remaining 1/2 cup bacon, chopped pecans, and cheese. Roll the cheese ball in the mixture pressing to adhere.
  • Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before serving.
Keyword: cheese, cheese ball
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

Categories: ,

About Kasey Schwartz

Hi, I’m Kasey, Founder of All Things Mamma – where I am dishing up family favorite recipes that are easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients. Plus – tips and tricks for living your best life!

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I added orange peel and dried cranberries and a litte more sour cream and it was Great! My family ate the whole cheese ball!! Thank you for this recipe.

  2. To make this even better, add a small can of crushed pineapple to this, very well drained. You don’t really taste the pineapple so much,but it really really keeps
    the ball creamy, softer and you can dip, as apposed to cutting pieces.
    I have had family devour the cheeseball when cookies were placed on the table with it.

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