This easy three cheese ball is simply the best. Creamy, savory, and nutty flavors are all included in this delicious appetizer recipe that is so easy to make and perfect for your next party!
This is one of my favorite recipes for entertaining a crowd. Who doesn’t enjoy an easy cheese ball recipe?
Rich cream cheese and goat cheese are paired with freshly grated cheddar cheese for a snack your guests will want to dip their crackers in. And the Rotel (or salsa) adds a little kick.
Made with a handful of simple ingredients, this appetizer recipe takes less than 10 minutes to put together, doesn’t require any cooking, and you can make it in advance. (I love make-ahead recipes when I’m having people over!)
In fact, this one actually tastes better after it has been sitting for a few hours because the flavors have time to blend.
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Here is your shopping list.
- The cheeses – 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, 1 8-ounce package of goat cheese, a 1 pound block of cheddar cheese (enough for 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese). Do not use the store-bought pre-grated cheese as it is treated to keep the cheese from sticking together, so it can make your cheese ball not stick together, too.
- Salsa – (optional) 1 10-ounce can of Rotel (or other salsa), drained.
- Seasoning – ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Coating – (optional) 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
- Crackers, chips, vegetables, or toasted bread
- If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, you can replace it with an additional 8-ounce package of cream cheese
- If you don’t want the extra spiciness, leave out the Rotel or salsa.
- For nut allergies, you can replace the nuts on the outside of the cheese ball with 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese.
How to make this easy cheese ball recipe
Pull out the cream cheese a couple of hours ahead of time and allow it to soften before mixing.
With a hand grater or food processor, grate 1½ cups of cheddar cheese. If you are also going to use cheddar cheese to coat the cheese ball (instead of nuts), you’ll need to grate an additional 1 cup.
Drain the Rotel can of tomatoes.
Chop the nuts if you are using them.
Make the cheeseball
In a mixer, combine 1½ cups of grated cheddar cheese, eight ounces of cream cheese, and eight ounces of goat cheese.
Next, add the drained ten-ounce can of Rotel and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. Mix again until well combined
With your hands, form the mixed cheese into a ball on a serving plate.
Next, coat the ball of cheese with the chopped nuts (or grated cheese).
Some people like to form the cheese mixture into a ball with their hands and then roll it in the nuts to coat. I find this a little messy so I usually put the ball down on a plate. Then sprinkle the nuts on top and pat them down so they are stuck to the cheese mixture.
Finally, cover the ball with plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
The cheese ball does taste best if you let it sit for a few hours (at least overnight). That gives the flavors a chance to blend.
Take it out of the refrigerator about a half hour before serving time to let the cheese soften a bit. This makes it easier to spread.
Serve with crackers or bread slices.
Halloween bat cheese balls
You can use this same recipe to make bat cheese balls for Halloween.
Instead of creating one big cheese ball, roll multiple smaller ones.
Then break the corners off of tortilla chips. Use the broken bits as the ears and the rest of the chip as the wings.
Sliced black olives stuffed with cream cheese make the eyes.
While you can still roll the cheese balls ahead of time, don’t put the chips in until close to serving time. Otherwise, they will get soggy.
Rolling a cheese ball in nuts is the traditional approach. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you could roll it in pretzel or chip crumbs, bacon crumbles, or even different forms of cheeses.
If stored properly in the refrigerator, a cheese ball should last for up to a week or two.
Yes, you can freeze this recipe! When ready to eat, just allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
All kinds! Ritz crackers, water crackers, multi-grain crackers, gluten-free crackers, and so much more.
More dip recipes you will love
Easy Three Cheese Ball
- Chopping knife
- grater or food processor with grating attachment
- mixer with mixing bowl
- Serving plate
- plastic wrap
- 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese softened
- 1 8-ounce package goat cheese
- 1 10-ounce can Rotel, drained (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- In the mixer, combine the grated cheddar cheese with the cream cheese and goat cheese. Mix until well blended.
- Add the Rotel and pepper. Mix again.
- Form the cheese mixture into a ball on a serving plate.
- Coat the outside of the cheese ball with the chopped nuts.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Serve with various crackers or bread slices.
- Don’t use the store-bought pre-grated cheese. It is treated to keep the cheese from sticking together, so it can make your cheese ball not stick together, too.
- Adding Rotel (or salsa) gives the cheese ball a little bit of a kick (but you can also leave it out if you prefer).
- Substitute another 8-ounce package of cream cheese for the goat cheese if desired.
- The nuts on the outside of the cheese ball can be replaced with 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
- The cheese ball can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. It actually tastes better when it has been sitting for a few hours because the flavors have a chance to blend.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
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This post was originally published on June 14, 2021 but was updated with new content on December 17, 2023.