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My Classic Cheese Ball is creamy, cheesy and off the charts delicious! It’s made with cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, fresh chives and spices, formed into a ball and coated with chopped pecans.
The cheese ball is the ultimate in nostalgic appetizers. Made popular in the 1950s, this party snack has become all the rage again in recent years. You can customize it just about any way you like, but I’m partial to the classic cheddar and herb cheese ball that I’m sharing today.
If you’ve got 15 minutes, you can whip up this easy cheese ball recipe for your next party, or for surprise visitors. It’s quick, easy and super low maintenance. Serve with your favorite crackers and you’re good to go!
Table of Contents
Classic Cheese Ball Ingredients
- Cream cheese – This is the base of the cheese dip and what holds the shape. For the best flavor, use full fat, brick style cream cheese.
- Sour cream – Helps to smooth out the cream cheese and to make it spreadable.
- Cheddar cheese – Freshly shredded off the block. I prefer the flavor of sharp cheddar cheese but use what you like.
- Chives – For a hint of freshness. You can also use the greens from a green onion.
- Seasoning – garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper
- Pecans – Chopped into small bits, but not crumbs, to roll on the outside of the ball.
- Crackers – for serving.
How to Make a Cheese Ball
Blend the base. Blend the cream cheese and sour cream in a large mixing bowl until nice and smooth (no lumps!). For best results, use an electric hand mixer. Stir in the remaining ingredients and chill for at least an hour.
Form the cheese ball. Form a ball, coat with pecans and chives, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill until you’re ready to serve. You can also serve it right away.
Yes, you can make this recipe in advance, just don’t coat with pecans. Wrap up and store for up to 2 days. About an hour or 2 before serving, shape, coat in nuts, and chill until ready to serve.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for several days or up to 2 weeks, depending on how fresh the ingredients were to begin with. Be sure to take note of the expiration date of any products you use.
Yes! You can freeze for up to a month as long as you haven’t yet added the nuts. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and place into a freezer bag. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then roll in the pecans. Serve immediately or re-wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
Serve with your favorite crackers. I like to provide a variety or crackers and crostini. Having little mini cheese spreaders on hand really helps.
There are so many different flavor variations you can try! Sweet, spicy, savory, we love them all!
- Spicy – Add a few dashes of hot sauce to the cream cheese mixture for a little heat. Or, try Pepper Jack instead of cheddar. You could even mix in some diced jalapeno.
- Cheddar, Bacon, Ranch – Add chopped (cooked) bacon and Ranch dip mix to the cream cheese, and coat the outside with chopped bacon, dill and parsley.
- Cranberry and Blue Cheese: Cream cheese, blue cheese, minced parsley and Craisins. Coat the outside with chopped Craisins and pecans.
More Easy Appetizers to Try
Classic Cheese Ball
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened (full fat, brick style)
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded (about 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced chives divided
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper optional and to taste
- Pecans finely chopped
- Crackers for serving
- Place cream cheese in a medium sized bowl. (cream cheese should be softened, but still slightly firm). Beat with an electric mixer until smooth; 1-2 minutes. Add the sour cream and beat until combined; about 30 seconds.
- With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the shredded cheddar, 1 tablespoon fresh chives, garlic powder, onion powder and Worcestershire sauce.
- Cover and chill for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.
- Remove from the refrigerator and form cheese mixture into a ball shape. Roll in chopped pecans and remaining chives, coating completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve
- Serve chilled with crackers, toasted crostini or raw vegetables.
- Make Ahead: You can make this recipe in advance, just don’t coat with pecans. Wrap up and store for up to 2 days. About an hour or 2 before serving, shape, coat in nuts, and chill until ready to serve.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for several days or up to 2 weeks, depending on how fresh the ingredients were to begin with. Be sure to take note of the expiration date of any products you use.
- Freezing: You can freeze for up to a month as long as you haven’t yet added the nuts. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and place into a freezer bag. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then roll in the pecans. Serve immediately or re-wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.