Cheddar Cheese Ball Appetizer {aka Cheddar Pub Spread}

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Cheddar Cheese Ball Appetizer (Or Cheddar Pub Spread)

At any party that my mom threw when I was growing up I remember a cheese and cracker tray being present. (Hmm, I guess it isn’t such a big surprise that as an adult I’m a cheese fiend, now is it, lol?) Between my sister and I, I was always the one who my mom delegated the job of arranging the cheese tray. And I didn’t mind at all.

So now, when I’m hosting or going to a party and in need of a dish to pass, my mind wanders for a bit and then settles on a cheese tray. This month’s 5 Star Makeover theme was Tailgate Party and of course this is what came to mind. Thanks to Natasha and Laz for hosting the event!

Cheddar Cheese Ball Appetizer (Or Cheddar Pub Spread) 2

To make things more interesting, I like to spice up my cheese trays…and a cheese ball is a fun way to (literally) add some spice. I usually do a mix of cream cheese and some kind of sharp hard cheese that’s been shredded, and the result is a soft, spreadable cheese. This cheese ball is slightly tangy and very flavorful with the spices used, but no one spice really overpowers another, and toasted pecans on the outside provide a fantastic crunch. In the end it reminds me of what I think of as pub cheese or pub spread.

There are so many different flavor variations that you can experiment with here. Crisped and crumbled turkey bacon and fresh minced scallion create a whole different experience. Or swap out cheddar for blue cheese, add minced fresh herbs instead of the Worcestershire and spices, and serve grapes along with the crackers. The possibilities are endless.

Cheddar Cheese Ball Appetizer (Or Cheddar Pub Spread) 3

Cheddar Cheese Ball Appetizer {aka Cheddar Pub Spread}
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 2 large cheese balls
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 oz farmers cheese (no salt added)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  1. Pulse together all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a smooth paste.
  2. Divide the mixture in half and roll each half into a ball. Put the cheese balls on a paper towel-lined plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours (or up to 3 days if you want to make it ahead).
  3. Before serving, roll each ball in pecans and them sit at room temperature for 45 minutes; serve with crackers.

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  1. says

    Turkey bacon on the outside of a cheese ball has got to be heavenly! Great photos, Faith! Saving this recipe for the holidays. Even though I’m not hosting, this would be simple to make and would travel well!

  2. says

    I made a cheese ball for one of the kid’s Halloween parties one year. I rolled it in poppy seeds and added pipe cleaner legs to make a spider! HAHA!

  3. says

    Oooooooh a cheese ball – I cannot think of anything more delicious! I am a cheese nut… nay, an addict, and I’d love to get my hands on one of these!

  4. says

    Oh! Your cheese ball spread looks delicious with all the spices in it…and so pretty how you presented.
    Hope you have a great week ahead Faith :-)

  5. says

    This is a really great idea! I’ve never made a cheese ball. My Mom has cheese and crackers at pretty much every party too! They’re always a hit

  6. says

    I love cheese too and have always enjoyed cheese balls but was concerned about what was actually in them. I will certainly make this cheese ball! Thanks Faith!

  7. says

    Cheeze balls (good ones) are some of my favorite appetizers during the holiday season. Thank you for sharing with me today. It is always a good day when I start with a visit to your blog. You know how to make me smile. Much love and many blessings from Austin.

  8. says

    I can imagine the Worcestershire sauce gave a unique touch to this appetizing cheese ball. Love that you splurged on some pecans as well. Delizioso…for sure ;o)

    Have a great day Faith.
    Flavourful wishes,

  9. says

    You made that? I’m so impressed! I’ve bought cheese balls before, but I’ve never tried to make one. Honestly, I’ve never even thought of making one! With the holidays right around the corner, I’m tucking this recipe away.

  10. says

    i never go for the cheese ball at a party (unless it’s chipped beef–that, i can’t resist). that said, i really like the idea of coating the ball in nuts (and i did NOT intend for that to sound as lewd as it does–sorry!).

  11. says

    What is a party without cheese???? ;)

    This is the most fabulous cheese ball I’ve ever seen! The colors and flavors! I must, must try this. I’m sure it would be a hit at any party. Fantastic job, Faith!

  12. says

    I grew up eating cheese balls as well. In fact my husband and I both love them. The first time I made one my kids were like, “what’s that” of course now they love them.

    This is right up my alley and I’m certain our friends would devour it as well. Thanks for sharing – we must be close in age!

  13. says

    What a fun way to serve cheese and crackers! Like I said in my other comment, genius! This one is definitely going into my bookmarks. The pecans add a nice contrast. Thank you for sharing this, Faith.

  14. says

    Oh Faith, you brought back so many memories. My mother always made her famous cheese balls for her bridge parties (does anyone do that any more?). I thought they were wonderful and often got to eat the leftovers on ritz crackers (you couldn’t touch them before the party, of course… they had to be smooth and perfect). Lovely recipe and personal take on a classic!

  15. Kelly says

    This recipe looks so perfect, I want to make it for thanksgiving, but have not had any luck finding farmers cheese. I even had one place tell me they have never heard of it! Help!

    • says

      Kelly, You could substitute ricotta for the farmers cheese, just be sure to drain the ricotta for a full day day in the fridge to remove any excess moisture. To drain it, line a colander with cheesecloth or paper coffee liners and spread the cheese in the colander; rest the colander on a bowl to catch the liquid that escapes. Cover the cheese with plastic wrap and place a heavy object on top to help press the liquid out. Let it sit like this in the fridge for 24 hours. (For step-by-step photos, you can see my post on making Greek-style yogurt, which is basically the same process.) Hope this helps! :)

    • says

      Carol, Farmers cheese is basically cottage cheese that has been pressed to remove the whey. The farmers cheese that I buy has a spreadable consistency, somewhere between ricotta and cream cheese. I like the Friendship brand of farmers cheese, and I buy it from my local grocery store (Wegmans). If you’re not able to find farmers cheese in your area, you could try using Queso Blanco (which can be found in Mexican markets or the ethnic area of larger grocery stores) or dry cottage cheese. You may have to reduce the amount of salt you add to this recipe if the cheese you use has salt (because the farmers cheese I use doesn’t have salt added). I hope this helps!

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