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Confession: I used to be totally against easy cheese ball recipes. I would say, “What’s the big deal? They’re just balls of cheese.” Then I loosened up and realized…they’re balls of cheese! There’s so much to love about balls of cheese! Now, I happily put together at least one easy cheese ball for every party I host. Usually, I follow a simple formula: cream cheese + other cheeses + stuff (usually herbs, nuts and chopped fruits or veggies)—all of which comes together in less than five minutes. (I told you it was easy.)
From time to time, I even venture into the world of sweet cheeseballs, which are essentially no-bake cheesecakes that you can stud with equally incredible things like chocolate and peanut butter. They’re more dessert than appetizer, but no one’s going to complain if you put a chocolate cheese ball out on your pre-dinner spread. I mean, it’s a cheese ball—and a sweet one, at that. You pretty much can’t go wrong.
If you’re hosting a holiday party this year, I urge you to put pretension aside and add an easy cheese ball to your menu.
Where to start? Browse the 13 easy cheese ball recipes below—which, for the record, veer into savory and sweet territory—figure out which one best suits your needs. There are tons of crowd-pleasing mix-ins to choose from (nuts! no nuts!)—and no one will judge you if you choose to whip up more than one.
1. Jalapeño Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
This jalapeño bacon ranch cheese ball has just enough of a kick to keep everyone coming back for more.
2. Cranberry Orange Cheese Ball
Want to add a little bit of sweet flavor to your appetizer spread? This fruit-filled cranberry orange cheese ball is just what you need.
3. Snickers Cheese Ball
OK, so this Snickers cheese ball is a full-on dessert. No reason not to add it to your menu, though.
4. Holiday Cheese Ball
The Pioneer Woman knows a thing or two about delicious, stress-free entertaining. This almond-studded holiday cheese ball is impossibly cute, but still easy to throw together.
5. Antipasto Cheese Ball
You can’t get much more on-theme than with this briney, herb-studded antipasto cheese ball in the shape of a Christmas tree.
6. Pistachio and Goat Cheese Ball
If you’re looking for something a little classier, this goat cheese ball is tangy and studded with colorful pistachios.
7. French Onion Bacon Cheese Ball
The secret to this French onion bacon cheese ball? A box of crispy, savory fried onions.
8. Sun-Dried Tomato Cheese Ball
You get a dose of umami in this sun-dried tomato cheese ball. Pine nuts add a nice crunch, too.
9. Pomegranate Cheese Ball
Brighten your spread with this sweet-and-savory pomegranate cheese ball.
10. Dill Green Onion Cheese Ball
Sneak in some greens with this herby dill green onion cheese ball.
11. Mini Cheese Balls
If spreading your cheese ball onto a cracker is just too much (no judgement, the holidays are exhausting!), opt for these mini cheese balls instead, which come ready-to-go on pretzel sticks.
12. Pecan-Crusted Christmas Cheese Ball
Go nuts celebrating with this pecan-crusted cheese ball. (Get it?)
13. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheese Ball
Let’s end on a sweet note, shall we? This peanut butter cheese ball is perfect, and comes coated with Reese’s pieces.