Classic Cheese Ball Recipe

Who doesn't love a good hunk of cheese? This recipe for a classic cheese ball is an excellent alternative to a charcuterie board, or it would even be great in the middle of one! There is a lot to love about this appetizer, which comes complete with a cream cheese base, cheddar and pepper Jack cheese, and a lemon and Worcestershire sauce that adds plenty of flavors to complement the cheese. You'll ultimately roll the ball in a blend of pecans and parsley, which adds the perfect pop of flavor and texture. Another great thing is that the cheese ball pairs well with a lot of things, from crackers to bread, or even with meat.

Recipe developer Erin Johnson is the brains behind this recipe, and she loves the ease of making it for a gathering. "One of the things that I love about a cheese ball is that it's easy to make ahead of time, but looks like you put a lot of effort into it," Johnson shares. "It seems a bit more special than just slicing cheese and putting it out with crackers."

Gather the ingredients for a classic cheese ball

Start things off by making a list and heading to the store. You will need to pick up cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded pepper Jack cheese, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, black pepper, chopped pecans, and parsley flakes.

Mix together the cheeses and add green onion

Grab a bowl and add the cream cheese, cheddar, and pepper Jack cheeses. Mix to combine well. "I like to mix cheddar and pepper Jack, but you can really use any cheese you'd like or whatever you have on hand," Johnson notes.

Then, add the green onions and mix again. By the way, you can make this ahead of time. "You can make this a day in advance. It holds up well but to ensure the nuts are crisp, I don't usually make more than 24 hours in advance," Johnson shares. 

Add the sauces and spices

In this step, you will add some flavor to the cheese ball. Pour in the Worcestershire, lemon juice, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Lemon juice is the special ingredient that makes this cheese ball different from most. "I like to add lemon juice to my cheese balls because I think the acidity really helps to add a brightness and a little something extra, without making the cheese taste sweet or dessert-like," Johnson notes.

Pour into a bowl and refrigerate

Now that you've added all the filling to the cheese ball, place it into a plastic wrap-lined bowl. Then, use your hands to shape the cheese into a ball. Pop the cheese ball in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, so the cheese has time to get firm.

Mix in pecans and parsley

On a bowl or on a plate, combine the pecans and parsley. "I mix about half the nuts and parsley to start and add more if I need to ensure the cheese is well covered to avoid any unnecessary waste," Johnson shares. Remove the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and roll it into the pecan mixture until it is well-coated on all sides.

Serve the cheese ball and enjoy

Once you finish rolling the cheese into the pecan mixture, you can serve it to your guests. "Cheese balls are best paired with buttery crackers, but can work anywhere you want to put a little extra cheese," Johnson shares. "I will use any leftovers to top burgers or go crazy and throw it into your mac and cheese." 

It will be good for a while if you have some left, so be sure to keep it! "[The cheese ball] lasts at least 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge," Johnson notes.

Classic Cheese Ball Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
Serve up this classic cheese ball at your next party or event.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cheese ball on plate
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  1. Mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, and pepper Jack.
  2. Stir in the green onions.
  3. Add the Worcestershire, lemon juice, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  4. Pour the cheese mixture into a plastic wrap-lined bowl and shape it into a ball.
  5. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  6. Combine the pecans and parsley on a plate.
  7. Roll the cheese ball in the pecan mixture until it is well coated on all sides.
Calories per Serving 102
Total Fat 9.7 g
Saturated Fat 4.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 25.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Total Sugars 0.8 g
Sodium 102.8 mg
Protein 2.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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