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 little savory appetizers are delicious! A mixture of cheeses, spices, and tasty toppings – why wouldn’t they be? And 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! They freeze quite well.
The ingredients needed to make this recipe
You’ll only need a few ingredients to make this tasty appetizer. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
- Cream cheese
- Sharp cheddar, shredded
- Grated Parmesan
- Salt and pepper
- Spices: garlic, parsley, and cayenne
How to make cheese balls
It’s a truly easy recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- Mix together some softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar, grated Parmesan, and spices.
- Form the mixture into balls and roll them in the tasty 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 them?
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?
Cheese balls shouldn’t be a staple of your diet. But yes, I believe that as far as party appetizers go, these are a good choice.
Unless you have a specific issue that requires you to minimize your consumption of saturated fat, full-fat dairy products are far healthier than we previously thought. And nuts and spices are very healthy.
Needless to say, they are the perfect appetizer for anyone following a low carb or a keto diet.
More easy make-ahead appetizers that you might enjoy
A nice variation on this basic recipe are these bacon cheese balls, made with shredded cheddar, bacon bits, and Dijon mustard.
And these wonderful 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.