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Classic Cheese Ball Recipe

This Classic Cheese Ball is a perfect party appetizer! This delicious no-nut cheese ball recipe is made with cream cheese, old cheddar and a crust of dried apricots, cranberries, bacon and green onion. So good.

Hello friends! I’m so happy you’re here, I think you’re going to love what’s on the menu today! Today is all about holiday entertaining, more specifically, appetizers! I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for new appetizer recipes to add to my recipe box. I’m joining Krista of The Happy Housie and a group of my blogger friends as part of the Seasonal Simplicity Christmas Series. We’ve come together to share some delicious appetizer recipes for the holiday season. So if you’re looking for something yummy to serve up at your next gathering, you’re in the right place!

Easy Classic Cheese Ball Recipe

Today, I’m sharing a delicious recipe for a Classic Cheese Ball. But if you missed any of my previous posts as part of this Seasonal Simplicity Christmas Series, make sure to check out my DIY Winter Wonderland Snow Globe Forest, Cinnamon Stick and Orange Slice Ornaments, Cinnamon Sugar Scrub, and my Christmas in the Kitchen home tour! Now on to the recipe!

A Perfect Appetizer for Parties

I love that cheese balls have risen in popularity once again. Why did they ever disappear, they’re so good! What’s not to love about a ball of cream cheese and old cheddar, covered in a delicious crust of flavourful ingredients?! This easy cheese ball recipe would be perfect on a cheese board for your next party or at Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

Making the Cheese Ball Crust:

The great thing about cheese balls is that you can tailor them to your tastebuds! For this Classic Cheese Ball I kept the traditional cheese centre, but made a no-nut crust. Most cheese balls have nuts, but I was sharing this with a friend that has a nut allergy, so I decided to make mine a no-nuts cheese ball. I used minced apricots, cranberries, cooked bacon, parsley and green onion. The key is to mince the ingredients so they are really small, as shown in the picture below.

Use a food processor:

I like to use a food processor to make cheese balls. The key is to make sure that you process each of the ingredients individually, otherwise you will end up with a mushy looking mess. You want each of the ingredients to stand out. Read more about how I do that in the recipe card below.

Now you’ll have a bit of everything in every bite! So much flavour…I could eat the whole thing!

Serving Suggestion:

Dig in! Serve your cheese ball with an assortment of buttery crackers (we love Ritz crackers), pita chips, pretzels, crusty bread and even fresh veggies such as carrot and celery sticks, and sliced bell peppers.

Cheese Ball Recipe Tips

  • CHEESE: For the filling use an 8 oz blocks of cream cheese. And for the shredded cheese use flavour cheeses such as sharp cheddar cheese. You can really use any of your favourite cheeses…more examples are pepper jack cheese, old cheddar and even gouda. To save yourself time you can also use pre-shredded cheese.
  • BACON: Use cooked and crumbled bacon. I like to use real bacon, but you can also use bacon bits.
  • NUTS OPTION: If you like nuts on your cheese ball, feel free to add them. Just make sure to chop them up small as well. Chopped pecans are particularly delicious.
  • LET IT REST: Make sure you give yourself enough time to let the finished cheese ball rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. This makes for a firm cheese ball, and also lets all the flavours come together.
  • MAKE AHEAD TIP: You can make the base of the cheese ball a day or 2 ahead of when you want to serve it. Just add the crust later on the day you are serving it, or the toppings will get soggy.
  • PERFECT FOR POTLUCKS: Cheese balls hold their shape really well, making them perfect to take to potlucks!
  • LEFTOVERS: If you have any leftover cheese ball, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

So easy and delicious…a definite crowd pleaser!


Classic Cheese Ball Recipe

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5 from 2 reviews

This Classic Cheese Ball is a perfect party appetizer! This delicious no-nut cheese ball recipe is made with cream cheese, old cheddar and a crust of dried apricots, cranberries, bacon and green onion. So good.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 810 people 1x
  • Category: Appetizer


Units Scale

Cheese Ball Mixture:

  • 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
  • 2 cups grated old cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp finely minced green onion
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper

Cheese Ball Topping:

  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh green onions
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 8 dried apricots
  • 8 slices cooked bacon (well done)


Making the Cheese Ball:

  1. Use a stand mixer to whip the cream cheese until it is creamy and smooth.
  2. Mix in the grated cheddar cheese, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, minced onion, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Using your hands, (you can grease them slightly with butter), shape the mixture into a ball shape.
  4. Set aside and prepare the ingredients for the crust.

Cheese Ball Crust:

  1. I like to use a food processor to chop the ingredients that make up the crust. The key is to make sure that you process each of them individually, otherwise you will end up with a mushy looking mess. You want each of the ingredients to stand out.
  2. First start with processing the dried apricots until they are like minced apricots. Scrape them out onto a plate as shown in the picture above.
  3. Then process the cranberries. Scrape them out onto the plate.
  4. Then the bacon. Scrape it out onto the plate.
  5. Then pulse the parsley and onion together. Scrape them out onto the plate.
  6. Then mix together all the chopped ingredients together.

Putting the Cheese Ball Together:

  1. Now it’s time to cover the cheese ball in all of the crust ingredients. To do this lightly press the crust ingredients into the sides of the cheese ball. Cheese balls are not easy to roll, so I find it best to press the ingredients into the ball. Press until all of the ingredients are used.
  2. Cover the cheese ball in plastic wrap then place it in the fridge for at least one hour to chill.
  3. Serve with crackers. Fresh vegetables like celery and carrot sticks are great too!

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Mention @prettysuburbs so I can see what you made!

More Delicious Easy Appetizers to Make:

Make sure to check out these delicious appetizer recipes from my blogger friends…I’m sure you’ll find something tasty to make this holiday season! There are so many creative ideas and easy recipes here to try.

Baked Brie, Fig, and Walnut Phyllo Cups at The Happy Housie
Classic Cheese Ball Recipe at A Pretty Life
Cheesy Butternut Squash Bites at Jenna Kate at Home
Fresh Cranberry Salsa at We’re the Joneses

Easy Holiday Party Appetizer at a Rooms FOR Rent
Baked Goat Cheese Bites at Modern Glam
Smoked Turkey with Cranberry Orange Muffins at My 100 Year Old Home
Caprese Salad Skewers at Cherished Bliss

I hope you enjoy this delicious cheese ball recipe! Have a delicious day!

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