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Easy Cheese Ball Recipe With 7 Tasty Variations

Susan enjoys sharing her "optional" recipes because you can tweak them in many delicious ways to match your taste. Enjoy!

Make a cheeseball for a special occasion!

Make a cheeseball for a special occasion!

Why Should I Make a Cheese Ball?

People often ask me to make my "optional" cheese ball for a holiday or special gathering. It's a tasty appetizer that I've noticed is usually the first dish to disappear. Adults start munching away at it before the meal begins, and even the kids sneak in to get a bite of this “optional" cheese ball. It costs little to make and brings much joy to guests. Pair it with crackers and meats for a fun way to let people dig in!

You may wonder why I describe my cheese ball as "optional." Well, this recipe is a great foundation you can tweak to fit your taste preferences and the occasion at hand. I would be surprised if there were a single bite left after your gathering has ended. You know it'll be a smashing success, so make sure to try making this cheese ball!

Ingredients

  • 2 packages cream cheese
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp Accent flavor enhancer
the-optional-cheeseball

Instructions

  1. First, create your base by combining all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. It's easiest if you let the cream cheese sit at room temperature for 20–30 minutes to let it soften. If you don't have the extra time, stick it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, but watch to make sure it doesn't become a liquid.
  2. Use a fork and press it into the cream cheese to soften it up. Add a little Accent at a time and continue mixing it in until it's completely incorporated. Use this method to blend in each ingredient and form the base.
  3. Begin adding your “optional” ingredients. My favorite additions are sliced black olives and thin-sliced ham or beef. First, add the onions a little bit at a time. Then, go on and do the same thing with the olives and sliced meat. then the olives, then the sliced meat. Fold each ingredient into the cream cheese by sliding a fork down the side of the bowl and folding the cream cheese toward the middle and into the ingredients to ensure they're evenly blended.
  4. Take your fork and move it along the side of the bowl to keep it from sticking. Face the serving plate you're going to use for the event down on top of the bowl, hold the two plates together, and then turn the bowl upside down to let the cheese ball drop on top of the plate. Use your fork to shape the cheese ball.
  5. For an optional garnish, I suggest using either pecans or English walnuts and cover the cheeseball with them. They add a nice flavor and are quite decorative, but make sure to check that no one has a nut allergy first.
  6. Note: I like to prepare my cheeseball the morning or night before the party so the ingredients have time to “marinate” in the cream cheese.
A cheese ball ready for you to take to that special gathering.

A cheese ball ready for you to take to that special gathering.

Optional Cheeseball Ingredients

I've used several combinations of the ingredients below to add variety to my cheese ball. For instance, if I know someone dislikes olives, I use a package of dried ranch dressing instead. If I know someone is vegetarian, I leave out the meat. Sometimes, I increase or decrease the amount of cream cheese depending on the number of attendees. Guests love the cheese ball so much that I usually stick with at least two packages.

Try inventing your own cheese ball creation with the ingredients below:

  • Sliced black olives
  • Thin sliced ham or beef
  • Sliced green olives or black olives
  • Drained can of green chilies
  • A package of ranch dressing mix
  • A package of dried onion or vegetable soup
  • Shredded cheese (your choice—I like the Colby-cheddar blend)

Feel free to personalize the cheese ball with your favorite ingredients. Don't forget to serve it with your favorite crackers and enjoy!

© 2011 Susan Holland

Comments

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on January 31, 2014:

My Super Bowl gang loves it. I don't dare show up without it! Come on over and join us!! :-)

Dianna Mendez on January 31, 2014:

I can see why this is a favorite. I do love the taste if cream cheese mixed with nuts and sliced ham. I'm coming over!!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on December 25, 2012:

Thanks, Vicki!! I always have great luck with it.

I hope you have had a blessed Merry Christmas and will have a very Happy New Year!!

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on December 25, 2012:

HL, it is easy and always a big hit! I've made four for Christmas get-togethers already.

Thank you, it has been a blessed Christmas!! I hope yours has been blessed,too, and that you have a very Happy New Year!!

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on December 24, 2012:

Love this hub! So many options!They look so tasty!

HLPhoenix on December 24, 2012:

Very timely... just found out I have to bring an h'd for New Years Eve... sounds delish and easy. Thanks so much and have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on December 08, 2012:

Hi Teresa, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I have been told not to show up without the cheeseball. LOL

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on December 08, 2012:

Making this one for sure. It has been a while since I've made one. Your recipe sounds so good. It will be part of my Christmas celebrating for sure.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on May 01, 2012:

I'm voting for the meat and onions in the cheese ball. Voting this Up and Useful.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 05, 2012:

Thanks, Susan!! ENJOY!! :-)

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on April 05, 2012:

I was looking for something to make for this weekend and I think I'll try this recipe. Thanks!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on February 29, 2012:

Cclitgirl, ENJOY! There are so many different ways to make it, so you can please everyone! :-)

So glad you came over to check it out!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on February 29, 2012:

Mmm, now see, it was worth it to come over and check this out. I'm going to have to bookmark for future reference - so I can make this stuff! :D

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on February 28, 2012:

Thanks, Vicki! I hope you enjoy it. It is a treat! :-)

Thanks for dropping by and the votes!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on February 28, 2012:

Looks like great ingredients! Bookmarking for future parties. Voted up and useful! thanks, Susan!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on February 18, 2012:

Oh Bobbie, I hope you try it before the holiday seasons. You can cut the recipe in half. It is such a wonderful snack/appetizer/meal(lol)...

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on February 18, 2012:

Sholland10,

Thanks for this recipe hub--it sounds delicious. And I will surely try it. With six nephews at Christmas and Thanksgiving it will be a treat to give them something new.

Thanks,

Bobbi

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on February 06, 2012:

Thanks, Tammy! I hope you like it. We LOVE IT!! :-)

Thanks for dropping by!

Tammy from North Carolina on February 06, 2012:

This is one of my favorite party foods. I like to try all the receipies I can. Excellent!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on February 03, 2012:

Chopped green onions are WONDERFUL in this cheese ball!! I will have to try the corned beef!! It is the "Optional Cheese Ball" after all. YUM!! Have fun Sunday! :-)

Thanks for dropping by!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on February 03, 2012:

Heyyyy! I am going to use your ideas for this Sunday! Don't have to tell you what that is all about:) lol I do a similar kind - I use the pressed meat in corned beef flavor and chopped green onions. I want to try adding the nuts and another using your great idea for nuts and olives! Thanks SO much - this is A+++! Sharing everywhere:)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on September 15, 2011:

Oh, that sounds delicious!! Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on September 15, 2011:

Sounds great - I might use thinly sliced roast beef and a dash of Worcestershire Sauce! :) Voted up!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on September 15, 2011:

Thanks, TrueWickless! It's a big hit at all my get-togethers. Thanks for following me and for dropping by my hub. :-)

TrueWickless from Houston, TX on September 15, 2011:

Sounds like a delightful recipe. I will have to try it out this Thanksgiving. Thank you for following me on the http://TrueWickless.com articles page:)!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on July 03, 2011:

Hey Charlu! It is delicious! I hope you try it. Thanks for commenting!! :-)

Charlu from Florida on July 03, 2011:

This sounds so good especially with black olives and ham Yummmm Thanks for sharing

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on July 03, 2011:

Hey Cmk! The choice is yours too!! Experiment and Enjoy!! Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

Cmkrakora from Milwaukee, WI on July 03, 2011:

This sounds amazing! I love cheese :)

Lori on July 02, 2011:

Mmm.Cheezilicious!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on July 02, 2011:

Thanks, Manthy! I hope you give it a try. You will love it!! :-)

Mark from Alabama,USA on July 02, 2011:

Voted up & useful

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