Appetizers | December 10, 2018

Three Easy Cheese Ball Recipes

Cheese Balls. THE classic American party appetizer!  Cheeseballs are popular for so many occasions and are so easy to make. Once you learn how to make a cheeseball at home, you’ll never want to eat store bought again.  This post includes three easy cheese ball recipes your family will love!

Three Easy Cheese Ball Recipes

Cheese Ball in 15 minutes or less

I dare you to take longer than 15 minutes to make a cheese ball!  Think about it. We’re talking about mixing softened cheese,  adding a few ingredients for flavor and you’ve got an appetizer all rolled into one ball. No cooking or baking, nothing complicated. If you have a mixer, great-  if not, no problem!  Make sure the ingredients are room temperature and you’ll be able to mix everything in a large bowl with or without a mixer. This post will show you exactly how to make delicious cheese balls at home! You’ll save money, and I think you’ll be amazed at how little time it takes to make a really great cheese ball in your kitchen.

Three Easy Cheese Ball Recipes

Cheese Balls and Nike Cortez making a comeback (think my teen years)

Maybe they never went out of style? Whenever I think of cheese balls, I think of the 70’s and my parents purchasing cheeseballs for parties they had with friends, or for Christmas or New Year’s gatherings. They came from those little pop-up shops in stores like JC Penney during the holidays. Those shops always sold things like summer sausage and spreadable cheese that expired two years after the present date (YIKES!).  The cheese balls always had a funny orange color. I’m not sure how much cheese was really going on inside of the cheese ball! Cheese balls in 2018 are a whole different type of food. Fresh ingredients like steamed jalapeños, fresh pomegranates, lime and goat cheese are included. Simple, quality ingredients are what makes this post for three easy cheese ball recipes PIN worthy!

Three Easy Cheese Ball Recipes

Three Easy Cheese Ball Recipes: Jalapeño Cheddar;  Pomegranate, Goat Cheese and Honey;  and Pineapple Pecan

Almost every time Grant and I make a trip to the grocery store (especially on a Saturday night) he slips a cheese ball into the grocery cart!  He is partial to the Harmons Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese Ball, so I decided to make a copycat recipe. Because we all know home made is best!  I’m not much of a cheese ball-ish type of person, but I do like the consistency of Harmons cheese balls.

Three Easy Cheese Ball Recipes

Harmons cheese balls are soft and easily spreadable with lots of flavor. I wanted the cheese ball recipes I shared to be the same. Here’s what I think makes a winning cheese ball: Easy to make, easy to eat, a standout on a plain cracker or cookie, but also flavorful enough to make a statement on its own! All three of the cheese ball recipes I’m sharing on this post fit the criteria. I love this trio of: 1 sweet, 1 savory,  and 1 sweet & savory cheese ball recipes,  all in one place!

Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese Ball
Pineapple Pecan Cheeseball

Party time

The next time you’re invited to a party, offer to bring an appetizer. I promise everyone will love the cheeseball and you won’t have to spend hours making your offering. Also, each of these three cheese ball recipes are perfect for make ahead. I’ve included instructions on the note portion of each recipe. Hope you love these recipes as much as we do.  Leave us a comment and share your favorite cheese ball memory!

Three Easy Cheese Ball Recipes

Pomegranate, Goat Cheese and Honey Cheese Ball

This slightly sweet cheese ball is perfect for serving with cookies! Ginger, shortbread or sliced raising bread work well with this appetizer. 

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, Cheese, Cheese ball, holiday recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
refrigerate 2 hours
Servings 16
Author abountifulkitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 pomegranates or a 8 oz cup of pomegranate seeds divided
  • 8 oz cream cheese- room temperature
  • 4 oz goat cheese- room temperature 4 oz cream cheese may be substituted
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped scallions white part of green onions
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Drain the pomegranate on paper towels and lightly pat dry. Let sit on paper towel while preparing cheese ball.
  2. Whip cream cheese and goat cheese together for two minutes in a large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle.
  3. Add mayonnaise, honey, chopped scallions, lime juice, cinnamon and salt.

  4. Fold in 1/2 cup pomegranate- save the rest for garnish.
  5. Scoop into small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, Remove from fridge. Using food handler's gloves or very clean hands, form into a ball shape. 

  6. Place on plate, garnish with remaining pomagranite seeds and chopped cilantro if desired. 

Recipe Notes

  • Optional: Roll finished and chilled cheeseball in a mixture of 2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/3 cup of granulated sugar mixed in a bowl,  just before serving. Roll several times so the entire ball is coated well. Garnish with remaining pomegranate seeds and serve with Biscoff cookies, or ginger snaps, or other small thin cookie. I only recommend this if serving this cheese ball on the same day it is made. 
  • If making ahead, make the cheese ball as directed. Wait to garnish the cheese ball until just before serving with pomegranates and chopped cilantro or parsley. Do not make this cheese ball more than one day before serving. If you would like to make this a day or two before serving, omit the fresh pomegranates inside of the cheese ball and substitute dried sweetened  Craisins. The pomegranate tends to make the cheese ball too wet if left for more than a few hours. if using Craisins, add honey to taste. 
  • I like to have food handler's gloves on hand to shape the finished product if possible. If you don't have or don't want to purchase FH gloves,  just wash hands thoroughly before shaping!

Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Ball

Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Ball is a copycat version of Harmons favorite cheese ball! Made with fresh jalapenos, grated cheddar cheese and cream cheese, it's always a hit at parties. 

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, jalapeno cheese ball
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese - room temperature
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion or 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 jalapeños chopped by hand or 2 tablespoons canned jalapeño*
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of dill weed not seed

Instructions

  1. Combine the cream cheese, mayo, sour cream and milk together in a mixer on low until blended well.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low until all ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before forming a ball and serving. 

Recipe Notes

  • Soften the whole jalapeños by wrapping washed jalapeño in a damp paper towel and microwaving for 1 minute. Adjust the heat by taking out or leaving in the seeds. Slice down the middle, discard top and chop. 
  • The color of the fresh jalapeños is much prettier than canned.
  • If using canned jalapeños, the flavor will be a bit more concentrated, make sure to drain thoroughly!
  • You may use low fat cream cheese, but it will effect the texture of the cheeseball. It will be a bit softer than if you use regular cream cheese. If you are using low fat, I suggest omitting the milk. 
  • This recipe may be made up to three days before serving. 
  • I like to have food handler's gloves on hand to shape the finished product if possible. If you don't have or don't want to purchase fh gloves,  just wash hands thoroughly before shaping!

Pineapple Pecan Cheeseball


Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, Cheese ball
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese - room temperature
  • 8 oz crushed pineapple - drained well*
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt or 21 seasoning salute from Trader Joes
  • 1/2-2 teaspoons chopped onions

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients, reserving one cup nuts. 

  2. Chill ball for at least one hour. 

  3. When chilled, roll into remaining chopped pecans and shape into round ball. 

Recipe Notes

  • I like to have food handler's gloves on hand to shape the finished product if possible. If you don't have or don't want to purchase fh gloves,  just wash hands thoroughly before shaping!

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