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This is my go-to classic cheese ball! It’s deliciously cheesy with a mix of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green onion and seasonings that gets shaped into a ball, then rolled in crunchy pecans. It’s packed with flavor and makes the best holiday appetizer!

Cheese balls are welcome at any party! Give this Bacon Ranch Cheese BallJalapeño Bacon Cheese Ball, or even this Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball a try next!

A classic cheese ball, cut into so the cheese inside can be seen.

Classic Cheese Ball

From game day to the holidays, it’s the season for appetizers! I love everything from dips to sliderscharcuterie boards and a good classic cheese ball! If you happen to be hosting a get together or party, this irresistible classic cheeseball made with cheddar cheese and pecans definitely deserves a spot on the menu!

They are great because they’re quick and easy to prepare, can be made ahead of time and everyone always loves them! There are many different varieties, but this classic recipe is a major favorite. It’s simple, no fancy ingredients or methods required but it always turns out so tasty. You just can’t stop at one bite! It’s that good!

Ingredients Needed

This cheese ball recipe is made up of just a handful of simple ingredients. I recommend getting good quality ingredients so the finished product will be amazing! You can find full measurements below in the recipe card.

  • Cream Cheese: You will need two blocks of cream cheese for this recipe. The full-fat cream cheese is best, as it is richer and more flavorful. Don’t forget to leave it out at room temperature for a few hours, so it has time to get soft.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Even though buying pre-shredded cheddar cheese is convenient, I prefer freshly grated as it will taste better.
  • Green Onion: Adds fresh flavor and color throughout the ball. You will want to make sure they are finely chopped.
  • Garlic Powder & Onion Powder: Both seasonings add a nice savory flavor and work well with the other flavors in this recipe.
  • Dried Parsley: For color and a lovely herby taste.
  • Pecans: You’ll want these to be coarsely chopped, so they coat the outside of the cheese ball evenly and add a nutty crunch.

How to Make a Classic Cheese Ball

Just a few simple steps and a few minutes to make this tasty cheese ball recipe. I love this served alongside a nice sturdy cracker, like Wheat Thins or thick pita chips. It’s also great with fresh vegetables for dipping. Let it sit out at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving, so it’s softer and easier to dip or spread.

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, add the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green onion, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Mix: Mix together until incorporated. I put mine in the mixer and used the paddle attachment. That made it so easy. Otherwise, mix in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Roll: Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least an hour or until firm.
  4. Coat: Unroll the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and roll in the chopped pecans.
  5. Serve: Serve classic cheese ball with crackers or veggies and enjoy!

Recipe Tip

I recommend waiting until just before serving to roll the cheese ball in the chopped pecans, so they’re nice and crunchy!

4-photo collage of the cheese ball being prepared and rolled in pecans.

Tips for Making a Cheese Ball

Even though making this cheese ball recipe is super simple, here are a few tips and tricks so this turns out perfect, especially if you’re new to making cheese balls.

  • Softened Cream Cheese: Be sure to leave your cream cheese at room temperature for a few hours before you plan on making this recipe. At room temperature, it will be easy to incorporate with the other ingredients and roll into a ball.
  • Use Freshly Grated Cheese: For best results, shred your own cheese from a block. Pre-shredded cheese contains preservatives and doesn’t stick well to things. Freshly grated cheese will also have better flavor.
  • Use a Mixer: You can mix the cream cheese mixture by hand, but it is so much easier and quicker to use a mixer. It will turn out perfectly creamy!
  • Forming Into a Ball: I find it easiest to transfer the mixture onto a section of plastic wrap. Then, pull the corners together and twist to easily form a ball. Roll your cheese ball on the counter to help form the shape. Then, finish shaping it with your hands. To remove the cheese ball, you can either cut the wrap at the base of the twist, or simply untwist it and transfer it to a serving dish.
A cheese ball, coated in pecans.

Storing Leftovers

Surprisingly, cheese balls make great leftovers. They’re easy to store and stay tasting delicious for days.

  • In the Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container for up to about 5 days in the refrigerator.
  • In the Freezer: This classic cheese ball recipe actually freezes wonderfully! Make this in advance of a party, so it’s ready to go. Just wrap in plastic wrap and put it inside of a plastic airtight bag. It will keep fresh for up to about one month.
Dipping a cracker into the cheese.

More Delicious Appetizers

Every party or holiday gathering needs a spread of appetizers! Here are just a few of our favorites. Add these to your party menu, they’re guaranteed to be a hit!

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Classic Cheese Ball

By: Alyssa Rivers
This is my go-to classic cheese ball! It's deliciously cheesy with a mix of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green onion and seasonings that gets shaped into a ball, then rolled in crunchy pecans. It’s packed with flavor and makes the best holiday appetizer!
Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, add the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green onion, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, salt, and pepper.
  • Mix together until incorporated. I put mine in the mixer and used the paddle attachment. That made it so easy. Otherwise, mix in a bowl until smooth.
  • Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least an hour or until firm.
  • Unroll the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and roll in the chopped pecans.
  • Serve with crackers or veggies and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 175kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 6gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 140mgPotassium: 80mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 254IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 162mgIron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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1 Comment

  1. Happy Holidays! I did make this cheese ball which we will enjoy soon as Christmas got delayed. Very easy and I’m confident it will be delicious! I so enjoy many of your recipes Alyssa. Keep up your outstanding work and all the best in 2024.