Learn how you can easily make the best cream cheese ball ever. This simple & delicious family favorite cheese ball recipe is made with cream cheese, mild or medium cheddar cheese, a ranch dressing mix packet, olives, onion, garlic, and is rolled in chopped pecan pieces. It’s sure to become your “go-to” cheeseball recipe (with a classic cheeseball recipe)for every holiday, Christmas, or gathering.
What is a cheese ball?
If you are new to flavored balls of cheese, I recommend reading up a bit on the history of Cheese Balls. I was actually a bit surprised by some of the stuff I read when I was gearing up to share this recipe with you all.
Here is a good resource to read about cheeseballs if you find yourself curious about their origins too.
About this particular cheeseball recipe:
I’m a bit picky when it comes to liking any cheese ball recipe with cream cheese. I prefer a savory cheese ball, and am not a fan of anything in them that tastes funky, like pineapple…the sweetness just makes me want to gag!
Luckily, my mom makes her famous, super yummy cheeseball, that has just the right blend of ranch, garlic, onion, and olives and it always leaves me craving for more.
In fact, back during my “fluffy” days…I could easily polish off half of one of these cheeseballs myself in one sitting because they are just THAT good!
So, you have been forewarned…lol.
Why does this recipe make Three Cheeseballs?
Long story short, my family is BIG and we are also big on not wasting leftover ingredients… my mom made this recipe to make three cheese balls because during the holidays she always needed to make enough to take one to her side of the family, one to my dad’s side of the family, and then we also liked to have one for our house to enjoy after all of the holiday/Christmas parties were over.
It is easy to break the recipe down into a single ball if you would like to only make one cheeseball, just look in the notes of the recipe card for a bit of direction if doing so.
First I will show you a basic photo tutorial of the easy process, followed by a free printable recipe card.
Here are the still images, and directions, of the process of making these easy & yummy cheeseballs, there is also a video within the recipe card to show you how to make this recipe.
I find it incredibly helpful, before I even read a recipe card, to take a look at a picture of all of the ingredients that are in a particular recipe to decide if it is even something that I’m going to want to eat in the first place (it saves me a lot of money and waste in not making things that are most likely going to be gross).
So, like any cream cheese cheeseball, you start out with a base of Cream Cheese. This particular recipe also includes a ranch dressing mix packet, cheddar cheese, chopped onion, olives, garlic, and then is rolled in chopped pecans.
I also find it helpful to see the picture of the ingredients to know exactly what to buy as well, but keep in mind that you definitely can use generic products to save yourself some money on making these as well.
Almost any cheeseball recipe that is made with cream cheese can follow the same simple steps to make one.
Always make sure that your cream cheese is at room temperature to start (it makes it easier to blend and mix). Then you just add all of the ingredients to a large bowl.
Then mix them together, until well incorporated. I suggest using an old-school style potato masher for this task because it makes the process a breeze without over mixing anything, but you can use a stand-mixer if needed.
Next, you either roll the mixture into one big ball with your hands (grease your hands with cooking spray first)…or you divide the mixture into the number of balls that you need (my original recipe makes three cheese balls).
Then roll it in a dish of chopped nuts, I prefer pecans but walnuts or almonds would work too.
For best results, wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours before serving (so the flavors have plenty of time to blend) and serve.
I like to serve mine with Ritz crackers, but you can also use chips, bread, celery, or anything else that would taste better with some yummy cheeseball smeared on top…lol.
**Remember that if you like this recipe, you’re going to want to check out my entire Appetizers section.**
It’s the best recipe for cheeseballs ever!
Here we are, finally, the recipe for this yummy classic cheeseball.
- 3 (8 oz) Packages of Cream Cheese (room temp)
- 1 & ½ Cups Grated Cheddar Cheese (medium or mild)
- 1 (1.5 oz) Packet of Ranch Dressing Mix (dry)
- 1 (5.7 oz) Can Chopped Olives (drained)
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Grated Garlic (½ Tablespoon if you sub. with powdered garlic)
- ½ Medium Onion (finely chopped)
- 2 cups Pecans (chopped, it takes about 2/3 cups per ball)
- Combine all ingredients, minus the nuts, in a large bowl. Mix well, I like to use a Potato Masher to mix this together, and it does a great job to simplify the process.
- Separate mixture into three balls using your hands (spray hands with cooking spray beforehand).
- Roll in chopped nuts, I use pecans.
- Cover in plastic wrap.
- I like to serve with ritz crackers on a fancy serving platter, but it’s good with many different kinds!
- Keep covered and refrigerate!
This recipe makes three cheeseballs, but could easily be broken down to 1/3rd if you would like to make only one cheeseball. If only making one cheeseball you should only need about 2/3rd cups of chopped pecans).
**I think that it tastes best a few hours after preparation as the flavors have had time to blend.**
Nutrition InformationYield 72 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 26Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 1mgSodium 38mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 1g
These caloric amounts are automatically estimated by a plugin on my site and should be treated as an estimate only. They are estimated at each cheeseball being 24 servings.
I use full fat cream cheese when I’m making this for the holidays or a party…but if I’m just going to make some at home just for my family to munch on, I use the Neufchatel (1/3 fat) cheese just to save on a few calories.
If you would like to make the high protein version of this recipe, you can actually replace the cream cheese with greek yogurt if you follow my old “How To Turn Greek Yogurt Into Cream Cheese” Tutorial… it will make it low-fat too.
This is by far the best appetizer on this website, at least that is my personal opinion. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and supporting my endeavors to make people’s lives a little easier/better/more affordable. If you liked this recipe post, or found it helpful in any way, please make sure to share it with your family, friends, and co-workers via social media…or you could even send them the direct link via email. Whichever way you choose to spread the love, I super appreciate it! ~Sarah
Here are links to several of my other recipe posts that you may also like:
For those of you that would also like another option for a “pinnable” image on Pinterest, here you go…thanks again so much for the support!
*Update: Please note that this recipe was originally posted to this website on 11/10/2011, but it was in great need of a refresh so it now is more user friendly/shareable and has a free printable recipe card.