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Easy Basic Cheese Ball Recipe

Looking for an easy cheese ball recipe? Here’s one that you can use as-is or add other ingredients according to your taste!

This basic cheese ball recipe is one you’ll want to make often. One of the things I enjoy about homemade cheese balls is how versatile they are. They are a great appetizer for any occasion. You can even garnish them for holidays and other special occasions. 

cheese ball on a board with a cheese spreader

We love cheese around our house. In fact, it’s a toss-up between cheese balls and these yummy cheese crisps when asked about our favorite cheese snack. 

Classic Cheese Ball Recipes

cheddar cheese ball covered in sliced almonds

After you put the basic ingredients in the bowl, you can add a variety of other ingredients to suit your personal taste. In fact, this one basic recipe can turn into dozens of recipes that provide plenty of variety so that you’ll never get tired of them.

cheese ball covered in parsley and spread on a cracker


You only need a few ingredients for the basic cheese ball recipe. Here is what you’ll need:

block of cream cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Grated cheese (cheddar cheese, mozzarella, or Colby)
  • Garlic (jarred garlic or fresh minced garlic – optional)
  • Parsley (optional)
  • Chopped pecans to top the cheese ball (optional)

Although this may not seem like an essential ingredient, I’ve found that it adds an important element of flavor the the cheese ball. But it’s actually up to you whether or not to add it. I say do it!

jar of minced garlic

If you want to add more to your cheese ball, here are some things you can try:

  • Chopped pecans
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Chopped green onions
  • Ranch dressing mix
  • Italian seasoning
  • Taco seasoning
  • Chili powder
  • Curry powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Sour cream (in place of some of the cream cheese)
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Bacon bits

I highly recommend starting with only one or two of the above add-ons before you add more. If you put too many different seasonings in the mix, it can overwhelm the taste buds.

You can add any of the above ingredients to the cheese mixture to give it flavor throughout. But be sure to set aside some of the chopped nuts, bacon bits, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and other items to roll the cheese ball in after you chill it.

How to Make a Cheese Ball

First, soften the cream cheese and put it in a bowl. Next, shred the cheese. I’ve found that cheddar cheese is much easier to shred than mozzarella, and we prefer sharp cheddar cheese. 

You can use mozzarella instead, or you can mix the two different types of cheese if you prefer. Pour the shredded cheddar cheese, garlic, and parsley into the bowl with the sour cream. Stir until it is well mixed.

Carefully form the cheese mixture into a ball and cover in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Put the cheeseball in the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour so it can firm up. After the cheese ball is firm, roll it in nuts, chopped dried fruit, bacon bits, or parsley. During the holidays, you can choose colorful cranberries and either chopped chives or parsley.

Mini Cheese Balls

variety of mini cheese balls on a plate

If you want to get super fancy, make a bunch of mini cheese balls. I like to make them slightly bigger than a shooter marble or slightly smaller than a golf ball. You can put them on a plate with some tongs for guests to pick them up. Or you can put a toothpick or wooden popsicle-style stick in each one.

How to Serve a Cheese Ball

I like to provide some color if the cheeseball is monochromatic. Place it on a bed of lettuce or spinach leaves. Spread out a variety of crackers or small breads on the plate. Make sure you provide some cheese spreaders to make it easy for guests to get what they want.

Common Questions About Cheese Balls

Cheeseballs are popular throughout the year, especially during special occasions such as the holidays. If you want to try your hand at making one … or more cheese balls, you might have some questions.

Here are some common questions and answers.

Can You Freeze a Cheese Ball?

Yes, you can freeze a cheese ball. But first, wrap it well in waxed paper or plastic wrap and place it in either an airtight container or in foil. Be sure to label it and include the date.

How Long Will a Cheese Ball Last?

After the cheese ball softens at room temperature, it will last up to 4 hours. After that, bacteria may start to grow.

A cheese ball will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Just make sure it’s well wrapped to prevent it from drying out.

You can freeze a cheese ball for about a month. After that, the texture will change, and it won’t be as good.

Is a Cheese Ball Low Carb?

A basic cheese ball is low carb and keto friendly. However, if you spread it on crackers, the carb count will be higher.

If you want to keep the cheese ball low carb, avoid adding dried fruit to the mixture. Dried fruit is high in natural and added sugar, which drives up the carb count.

cheese ball on a plate with crackers

More Delicious Appetizer Recipes

When I have a snack or appetizer table, I like to offer a variety of options in addition to a cheese ball platter. Here are some of our favorites:

Bisquick Sausage Balls – These have been popular for decades. And there’s a good reason! They’re absolutely delicious!

Bacon Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes – Colorful and nutritious, these delicious little tomatoes are a great addition to any appetizer or snack table.

Grilled Cheese Portobello Caps – These uniquely stuffed mushrooms from Julia’s Simply Southern will have everyone returning to the appetizer table over and over.

Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips – Why buy packaged chips when it’s just as easy to make them yourself? And they are absolutely wonderful when they’re freshly cooked!

Classic Guacamole – Of course, you’ll need something to dip your chips into. And this super easy classic guacamole is perfect!

Homemade Salsa – However, if you’re in the mood for salsa, you’ll want to try this recipe. It’s so good, so be sure to make enough!

Bacon Wrapped Potato Wedges – Make these in your air fryer for the perfect crispy bacon outside and flaky potato on the inside.

Stuffed Dates – Add a touch of elegance to your appetizer table with these stuffed dates. You’ll love just the right blend of sweet and savory.

Yield: 10 servings

Basic Cheese Ball Recipe

cheese ball on a board with crackers

Cheese balls are always one of the most popular items on the appetizer table. This is a basic cheese ball recipe that gives you an opportunity to make it your own.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 ounces grated cheese (cheddar cheese, mozzarella, or Colby)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (jarred garlic or fresh minced garlic - optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts to roll the cheese ball in


  1. Soften cream cheese in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the grated cheese, garlic, and parsley (if you choose to use it) to softened cream cheese. Mix well.
  3. For a single large cheese ball or 10 smaller cheese balls and wrap each one in waxed paper. Put in the refrigerator and chill until firm—about an hour.
  4. Put chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit, or whatever you want as toppings on the cheese ball in a bowl. Roll each cheese ball in the toppings until well coated.
  5. Wrap the cheese ball and refrigerate until half an hour before time to serve it.


If you want to add more ingredients, look in your spice cabinet and choose your favorite seasonings. Some that are good include garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, Italian seasoning, and ranch dressing mix.

If you want different toppings, try chopped cranberries, walnuts, pecans, chopped green onions, or parsley flakes.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 233Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 48mgSodium 268mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 9g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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Paula Carlisle

Sunday 25th of June 2023

I want all the recipes in this email!


Sunday 25th of June 2023

Hi Paula! Thanks! I hope you click around while you're on my site. There are so many wonderful recipes that my family enjoys!

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