A Tale of Two Cheeseballs: 2 Great Appetizer Recipes

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Actually, if you have a cheeseball, it’s probably leaning more towards the best of times.   Cheeseballs are most likely found as an appetizer at group gatherings that I am happy to be attending.  If you are preparing for such an event, then you probably don’t have time to read a novel either, so I will keep the story part to a minimum.

Cheeseballs are a mixture of cream cheese and some other ingredients that are mixed together and rolled up into a ball, then covered with some sort of topping.  You put it in the center of the plate, surround it with crackers, and you have a very nice looking and tasty appetizer.   People come by, slice off a bit and put it on a cracker.  It is one of my favorite appetizers because they are quick to make, can be made ahead of time, look nice, taste great, and if it’s not all eaten and you are sick of it, then it can be frozen.  (Instead of just “Let it Go….” Pun intended.)

The reason that there are TWO cheeseball recipes in this post is that there are two main types of cheeseballs that grace our family holiday gatherings from time to time and they taste completely different.  One comes from my husbands’ grandmother and the other one comes from my grandmother.  There are fancy plates that these can be displayed on, but a regular plate works just fine if you don’t have one that looks fancy.

To store your cheeseball, wrap in plastic wrap, put it in a bowl and store it in the fridge.  If you freeze it, then I recommend wrapping it in foil or putting it in a freezer bag.  Just defrost it in the fridge when you are ready for it again.  It also makes a great after-school snack for the kiddos.  Now, to the recipes! (Since that’s why you clicked on the post in the first place.)

Cheeseball 1: Cheddar Velveeta with Garlic, Paprika,

and Chili Powder


½ a block of Velveeta cheese  (about a pound)

1 package cream cheese at room temperature

1 tsp garlic powder

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Black pepper, to taste


Chili Powder

Crackers of your choice for serving


Cut the Velveeta and the cream cheese into small squares and place in a mixing bowl.  Add the garlic powder, the cheddar cheese, and the pepper. It does not take much pepper. I used about 2 cranks from the pepper grinder.  Mix together with an electric mixer.  When well blended, form into a ball.  Sprinkle paprika and chili powder over the ball until it is covered, patting it into place until the whole cheeseball is covered with paprika and chili powder.  Serve with crackers. Store in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

Here are pictures that show what it should look like in the various stages. I am only posting pictures for the first one because the second one looks about the same.

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl.

Mix using an electric hand mixer.

Form into a ball.

Sprinkle with chili powder and paprika.

Cheeseball 2: Cream Cheese with Ham and Nuts 

2 blocks (8 oz each) cream cheese, room temperature

1 small can Hormel ham

½ a small onion, finely diced

1 small can of chopped olives

½ to 1 cup of finely crushed pecans

Crackers of your choice for serving


Cut the cream cheese into small squares and place in a mixing bowl with the ham, onion, and olives.  Mix with a handheld mixer (or your hands if you don’t mind getting them dirty).  Form into a ball and cover in crushed pecans.  Serve with crackers.  Store in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.


Still looking for more party ideas? Check out my other recipes!

Heart-warming Hot Chocolate

2 Ingredient White Chocolate Puffs


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