Easy Cheese Ball

Want to make the BEST and most colorful cheese ball for a gathering? This Easy Cheese Ball recipe without nuts is perfect for all occasions—and it’s perfectly balanced! Roll it in a combination of green onions and crispy bacon and then serve it with crackers, your favorite veggies and more to have the easiest starter around.

Close up of a cut-into cheeseball coated in green onions and bacon

Today’s the day — it’s time for our Freaky Friday Winter 2023 Exchange!

I’m thrilled to be sharing a recipe from Jennifer of Take Two Tapas!

I’ve known Jennifer for several years now. We met at a food blogging conference in 2017, and I had the best time perusing her site to choose a recipe for this collaboration.

Jennifer is all about helping people host like bosses, so my work was cut out for me. 😉

In the end, I decided to make her Cheese Ball recipe. Why? Jennifer she has a Cheese Ball recipe index and so many fabulous ideas of how to make them for sharing.

Spoiler alert: They’re not just for holiday parties and are the PERFECT combination of flavors for any gathering.

Cheese Ball recipe:

Before I made Jennifer’s classic savory cream cheese ball, I had never made a cheeseball in my life… I’d only eaten them.

I was surprised by how simple and straightforward the recipe was, as well as how quickly the cheese ball came together.

If you’re looking for the perfect appetizer meant for sharing, look no farther than this recipe for a cheese ball. You can pair it with crackers, but we also added various veggies, which made the platter extra colorful and delicious.

And if you have someone in your life who cannot eat nuts, this is an excellent choice for sharing because this is an easy cheese ball recipe without nuts. In fact, it’s coated with green onions and bacon, which add to the savoriness of the whole thing.

Why I love this recipe:

Cheese balls are classic holiday appetizers, but they’re wonderful for sharing any time. We made and shared this recipe with friends for the first time, and it was a huge hit!

Here are some of the reasons why I love a cheeseball:

  • You can make it ahead of time!
  • It looks stunning on any spread with a variety of different dippers.
  • It’s made with simple ingredients that are easy to find and tastes absolutely amazing.

I mean—who wouldn’t love a creamy cheese mixture coated in crunchy, salty bacon and fragrant green onions that’s perfectly balanced, savory and great with crackers, veggies and more?

Other easy appetizers to make and share with people you love: Cucumber Bruschetta (Easy Cucumber Appetizer) | Homemade Loaded Queso | Garlic Herb Cream Cheese Dip | Caramelized Onion Guacamole | Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Graphic that says Freaky Friday a good old fashioned blog hop

Let me tell you about Jennifer and Take Two Tapas

Jennifer is the mastermind behind Take Two Tapas, a site that focuses on smaller portioned plates that are made for sharing. She’s all about helping her readers entertain guests at home like pros!

On Take Two Tapas, you’ll easy appetizers, sweets and festive cocktails for any occasion.

Jennifer is someone I’ve gotten to know over the years, and y’all, she is just a delight. From her colorful conversations to her incredible talent and knowledge in this space, I am so happy to know her.

To be honest, I really struggled with what recipe to choose from her site because Jennifer’s passion aligns perfectly with my passion for easy entertaining.

I debated whether I should go the appetizer route and make a crudite or Easy Deviled Eggs in preparation for springtime? Or maybe I should make something sweet, like her buttery Toasted Pecans?

In the end, I decided to make her Cheeseball recipe, and it did not disappoint!

Jennifer has all kinds of thoughts, tips and tricks in her post. She talks about adding different flavors to this already great recipe, including how to make a vegan cheese ball (with vegan cream cheese) and how to make bite-sized cheese balls.

She also discusses using variations of cheeses, like monterey jack or pepper jack to add unique flavors. She even talks about toppings for this recipe, including nuts, so check that out.

What Is Freaky Friday?

Freaky Friday is a collaboration between bloggers.

It’s a fun way to connect with other people who are doing the same work as me, as well as a fun way to introduce our readers to new bloggers. 

Michaela from An Affair from the Heart founded this quarterly collaboration.

She secretly assigns everyone another blogger. We choose a recipe from this assigned blogger and make it, photograph it as if it were our own, write a post about it and then share our posts on the same Friday.

We hope that you discover some amazing new recipes, as well as find new bloggers to follow!

Some recipes I’ve made for previous collaborations include:

More recipes from our Freaky Friday collaboration:

Looking for more easy appetizers? Try Fried Pickles from Feast + West. Take Two Tapas is serving Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip.

Love bread-based dishes? Life, Love, and Good Food is baking up some Cheddar Bar Biscuits. Soulfully Made is sharing a No Rise Pizza Dough Recipe.

Need dinner inspiration? The Carefree Kitchen is cooking up Chicken Tikka Masala. Home Cooked Harvest has Roasted Cabbage Steaks for ya. The Wimpy Vegetarian made Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole.

Want a sweet treat? An Affair from the Heart has festive Bailey’s Chocolate Chip Cookies on her site. The Culinary Compass is sharing a Scotcharoos Recipe. House of Nash Eats has an excellent Bread Pudding recipe.

Looking for a drink? The Fresh Cooky mixed this Easy Elderflower French 75 Cocktail with St Germain just for you.

Ingredients to make a savory cheeseball recipe in bowls on a marble surface with a blue patterned towel

What you need to make this recipe:

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Let’s talk ingredients!

In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cream cheese — you’re going to need a full 8 oz. block. I recommend using the full-fat kind, as it provides the most flavor. Set it out 45 minutes before you plan to make the cheese ball so that it is soft and easy to mix with.
  • Cheddar cheese — I used white sharp cheddar cheese, and it was a delight! You could also use a yellow or orange cheddar if that is your favorite. Shred your own.
  • Mozzarella cheese — I used a finely shredded mozzarella, but you can use regular mozzarella, too.
  • White onion — this is going to add a little oniony punch being overwhelming. It needs to be finely chopped. Do not use a red onion or a yellow onion. We want it close in color to the cheese, which is all white.
  • Green onion — also known as a scallion. I used the white, as well as the green part of it and chopped it very finely. You’ll also need some of these for the coating.
  • Spices — we’re using a combination of sweet paprika, black pepper and garlic powder. Make sure yours are fresh.
  • Worcestershire sauce — this adds a punch of umami flavor to the cheese ball! A little goes a long way.
  • Lemon juice — squeeze your own for the maximum lemony goodness.
  • Hot sauce — Jennifer’s recipe instructs to use Tabasco, which I did, but you could use your favorite hot sauce if you don’t have Tabasco.
  • Bacon — this is part of the coating that we roll the final cheeseball in. You can bake it in the oven or fry it in a pan. You can also use bacon bits.
  • Dippers — use whatever makes you happy! We had a combination of buttery crackers, like Ritz crackers, as well as vegetables to serve alongside this classic cheese ball recipe. Pita chips or bagel chips would also be excellent.

How to make a Cheese Ball

Savory cheese balls like this one are SO easy to make! Let me show you the simple steps to making it:

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

This includes the room temperature cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded mozzarella, onion, green onion, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and hot sauce.

Mix to combine. You may use a rubber spatula or a hand mixer, if desired.


Transfer the mixture to a long strip of plastic wrap.

Bring the sides up and twist to form the mixture into a ball. This helps give the cheeseball its classic ball shape.

Chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

A cheeseball in a bowl of green onions and bacon crumbles
Roll the cheese ball in the coating

Make the coating. Cook the bacon and crumble, then chop the green onions for the coating. Toss them together in a large bowl or plate.

Roll the cheese ball in the coating with clean hands. When ready to serve, remove the ball from the plastic and roll it in the coating.

Serve with your favorite dippers on a serving tray.

How to store a cheeseball

Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper, then place in an airtight container. It will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge without the coatings.

If you have leftover cheese ball that IS coated, you can store it in the fridge for about a week. However, the bacon will soften.

A cheeseball coated in green onion and bacon in a bowl before serving

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

This tasty cheese ball is a delicious appetizer for any type of occasion, including a holiday party or holiday gatherings.

Excellent for special occasions, a cheeseball is one of the easiest appetizers around.

Here’s how I’d make and share it for my next party:

  • Make it early. This is a delicious recipe to make in advance. Throw the cheeseball together and store in the fridge wrapped in the plastic wrap. When you’re ready to serve, adding the bacon-green onion coating.
  • Use a small square of parchment paper beneath the cheeseball for easier cleanup. This will keep your board clean.
  • Offer different dippers. Raw vegetables are favorites, as well as crackers.
  • Food safety is important! Don’t let this sit out for more than 4 hours.
Close up of a cheeseball coated in green onions and crisp bacon

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there other toppings for a savory cheeseball like this one?

This one does not have nuts, but if you can eat nuts and enjoy them, you could roll the ball in nuts like chopped pecans or slivered almonds.

Can I freeze a cheese ball?

Yes! If you wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, you can freeze it for up to a month.

What should I serve with this?

Crackers are a classic pairing, but you can also serve a cheese ball with carrot slices, cucumbers, celery sticks and more veggies, if desired.

A cheeseball coated in green onions and bacon in the middle of a wooden board with crackers and raw vegetables

Quick tips and tricks to making the best cheese ball

  • Soften the cream cheese. It’ll be a lot easier to mix if the cream cheese is soft. Take it out of the fridge 45-50 minutes before.
  • Shred your cheeses. Pre-shredded cheeses have preservatives, which prevent them from clumping but affect the texture. Shredding your own cheese will yield a creamier homemade cheese ball.
  • Add the coating at the last minute. The bacon will become soggy if you roll the cheeseball in the coating and then put it in the fridge. Save this step until you’re ready to serve.

More easy appetizer recipes to make and share…

Close up of a cheeseball coated in green onions and crisp bacon
Yield: 8 servings

Savory Cheese Ball without Nuts

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Want to make the BEST and most colorful cheese ball for a gathering? This Easy Cheese Ball recipe without nuts is perfect for all occasions—and it’s perfectly balanced! Roll it in a combination of green onions and crispy bacon and then serve it with crackers, your favorite veggies and more to have the easiest starter around.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella (2 oz.)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped white onion (40g)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion (22g)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)

Coating

  • 5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (~50g)
  • 4-5 green onions, finely diced (85g or about ¾ cup)

Serve with…

  • Crackers
  • Sliced veggies, like carrots, celery and cucumbers

Instructions

  1. Combine the cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded mozzarella, onion, green onion, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and hot sauce in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix to combine. You may use a rubber spatula or a hand mixer, if desired.
  3. Transfer the cheese ball mixture to a strip of plastic wrap.
  4. Bring the sides up and twist to gently form into a ball.
  5. Chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
  6. Cook the bacon and crumble, then chop the green onions for the coating. Toss them together in a bowl.
  7. When ready to serve, remove the cheeseball from the plastic and roll in the coating.
  8. Place on a serving tray (with a piece of parchment beneath for easy cleanup) and add crackers, raw veggies and more.

Notes

This recipe originally appeared on Take Two Tapas and is appearing here as a part of the Freaky Friday Recipe Collaboration.

How to store: Store wrapped in plastic wrap for up to a week. If you’ve got leftovers, this can be stored in an airtight food storage container. The bacon will become softer as it sits in the fridge.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 369mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 10g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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10 Comments

  1. This cheeseball looks fabulous – the perfect appetizer! I’m adding to my list of things I want to make, pronto!

  2. Erin, thank you for all the kind words! I am so happy we met and continue to be friends to this day:) I am so glad you like the cheeseball, it’s one of my faves too!

  3. I loved this cheese ball! Made it for a party this week. The bacon crust? To die for. Sooo much better than pecans!

  4. This cheese ball was amazing! We had friends over and while I usually only do cheese balls during the holidays it just sounded so good! There wasn’t a bit left over!

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