Delicious savory cheese balls are an ideal party snack, because they are made in advance and served at room temperature.
I make these creamy, savory cheese balls often and serve them as a dinner party appetizer. They are always such a huge hit.
When I entertain, I like to start the evening off with a few simple party appetizers and cocktails. Ideally, the appetizers can be made in advance and I can serve them at room temperature. So these are perfect!
These savory cheese balls are delicious, of course. A mixture of cheeses, spices and tasty toppings – why wouldn’t they be? Another plus – they are gorgeous! So pretty and colorful.
The only caveat: they are totally addictive! So if you have any leftovers, and no willpower, give them to your guests at the end of the party. Or freeze them!
How to make cheese balls
Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. But the basics are simple. Mix together cream cheese, cheddar, Parmesan and spices. Form into cheese balls and roll in toppings. That’s it! Do remember to take them out of the fridge an hour before you plan on serving them, to allow them to get to room temperature. Some foods are simply not good when chilled. Cheese and chocolate are prime examples.
Can you freeze cheese balls?
Yes, you can. You can either keep them in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Or freeze them in freezer bags for a few weeks.
Is this a healthy recipe?
They shouldn’t be a staple of your diet. But yes, I believe that as far as party appetizers go, these cheese balls are a good choice. Full-fat dairy products are far healthier than we previously thought. And nuts and spices are very healthy. Needless to say, this is the perfect appetizer for anyone on a low carb or keto diet.
More easy make-ahead appetizers you might enjoy
A nice variation on this basic recipe for cheese balls are these bacon cheese balls, made with shredded cheddar, bacon bits, and Dijon mustard. And goat cheese stuffed dates are drizzled with honey and topped with walnuts. So you get savory, sweet and crunchy in one bite!
Savory Cheese Balls
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)
- 1 oz grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (not table salt)
- 1 oz finely chopped pecans (1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- Place the cream cheese, cheddar, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, cayenne, black pepper and kosher salt in your food processor. Process until well blended.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into a bowl, cover, and freeze for 15 minutes.
- Shape the mixture into 20 1-inch cheese balls, each weighing ½ oz (15 grams).
- Roll the cheese balls in the toppings to coat. You will need to gently press the cheese balls into the chopped nuts to help the nuts adhere.
- Serve immediately, with crackers and/or crudités, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove from fridge 30-60 minutes before serving.