This heavenly Cheese Ball has a southern flair with Pimento Cheese and pecans. It can be rolled in a variety of ingredients, giving each one a unique look and taste.
Our Cheese Ball recipe has the perfect blend of cheddar, cream cheese and pimento cheese as the base. This was my Daddy’s recipe. Beyond the base ingredients, he listed everything else “to taste”.
Nonetheless, we did come up with measurements for those cooks that like a precise amount for everything, but it can be made in accordance with your own personal preferences.
Daddy made his recipe into two larger cheese balls (it does make a lot), but for variety I made three smaller ones that I could roll in different herbs, spices, etc.
If you love family recipes like we do, you should check out some of our favorites from our family cookbook! Aunt Mildred’s Foolproof Brownies are a sweet, chocolate favorite of ours.
Aunt Carol’s Blueberry Orange Nut Bread makes a delicious breakfast bread. And, my Best Apple Pie You Have Ever Tasted lives up to its name. Or, at least, we think it does.
Let’s get back to those cheese balls.
Daddy liked to roll his cheese ball in just paprika, but I decided to try some different ideas. This one is a combination of bacon bits and pecans, and that turned out to be a perfect pairing.
Another recipe featuring that to-die-for combination of pimento cheese and bacon are these little appetizers in mini phyllo cups.
For this one I used cracked black pepper and parsley. I had parsley because some goes in the cheese ball mixture, but you could roll it in any herb you like. Or, use a combination of whatever you have on hand.
Tips for Making the Best Cheese Ball Ever
- Chill the mixture before you make the balls. It will be much easier to handle
- Make it a day ahead to give the flavors time to blend
- Finely grate the cheddar cheese (use the small side of your grater or a shredding disc for your food processor with small holes)
- Use fresh herbs if you have them, but if you don’t, dry is fine – just cut back on the amount
By the way, before we go any further you should know this. Homemade pimento cheese is always best, and our Spicy and Smoky Pimento Cheese works great for these cheese balls. If you have to use premade make sure it’s good quality, like Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese, made right here in Georgia. Have you seen our Burger Sliders stuffed with Pimento Cheese? Perfect for any cookout!
Back to those cheeseballs…
I made one more combination for rolling the third cheese ball. That one did give a nod to the original way Daddy liked to do it. I used chopped pecans and then sprinkled some paprika and chili powder on a paper plate and rolled it in that.
More Ideas for Finishing Your Cheeseball
We’ve got a few suggestions, either on their own or combined with each other. The sky is the limit, really. The key here is to get creative and have fun.
- diced peppers (you could use all one color or combine green, red and/or yellow
- green onions
- other nuts besides pecans
- seeds such as sesame, sunflower, poppy or whatever you like and have on hand
- panko or your favorite breadcrumbs
- consider making one of your cheese balls “nut-free” for those that are allergic, or don’t like them
Southern Food Then and Now is all about traditions, regions and the origins of our favorite cuisine!
Pimento Cheese Ball
- 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
- 12 ounces Pimento Cheese Preferably Palmetto Cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce optional
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- Combine three cheeses until creamy.
- Add additional ingredients adjusting for personal taste. Mix well.
- Chill for 1-2 hours.
- Divide into 2 or 3 portions and roll into balls.
- Roll each ball in your choice of ingredients. Suggestions are below and in recipe post.
- Bacon bits and chopped pecans,
- chopped fresh herbs and cracked black pepper,
- paprika/chili powder/pecans.
- Other suggestions in recipe post.
Elaine @ Dishes Delish says
Yummy! That looks so incredibly delicious and easy! I love cheeseballs and am always looking for a new fun appetizer! Pinning to make for the holidays!
Great, Elaine! Hope you enjoy.
That pecan topping sounds delish! Cheese balls remind me of my childhood – seems there was always one at every family gathering. I love food that brings up good memories!
Us, too, Jenn. Funny, but I saw a pin on Pinterest that said “cheese balls are cool again”. I never knew they weren’t:)
Traci @ The Kitchen Girl says
Timeless appetizer…that I would devour and embarrass myself at the holiday party LOL. Serious weakness for this! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Yeah, me, too, Traci.
I love that dip as it is. wow you brought it to a new level.
I have always wanted to make a cheese ball for one of our parties. Looks wonderful.
Thank you, Sandi!
Agness of Run Agness Run says
Wow. These cheese balls are so delightful and simply mouth-watering. Is it possible to prepare them without the hot sauce?
Absolutely, Agness! In fact, I meant to say the hot sauce was optional, so thanks for pointing that out. I’ll go right now and fix that.
CORINNE BABBITT says
I think they look just great but I live in Canada and I wonder what pimento cheese would be here. of course we would never have access to palmetto, d0 you have a suggestion
Gosh, I’m not sure about that Corinne. It is definitely a southern “thing”. I know it would be more trouble, but you could google a homemade pimento cheese recipe if you can’t find a good quality one in your area.
As I was reading this recipe my hubby was at the grocery & I had asked him to get some pimento cheese (been sick for a week & the “comfort” of it just sounded good.) He brought this very brand! Might be good to let your readers know that even the regular flavor of it is spicy (which I love), so the jalapeño shown in the picture would be even more so. Thanks for the recipe which I plan to take for our family get together next Friday!
Thanks so much Sandy! I’m sure everyone will love it!
I want to make this looks delicious! Since it makes a large amount maybe get 3 cheese balls can they be frozen for later?
Absolutely. In fact, we just ate the third one we made for the photos a few weeks ago. It had been frozen since then, and you couldn’t tell it wasn’t freshly made. In fact, it may have been even better.
Kenneth Worthington says
Thank you ladies for the fabulous idea. I spiced the pimento cheese with chili powder and paprika then rolled in crushed pretzels.
Keep’em coming. Love your blog.
What a great idea, Ken! Thanks for being a faithful member of the B&B family.
OMG, you are killing me. This dish has my mouth watering, because it looks so yummy. I love the different toppings. Thank you!
Aw, thanks so much, Ivory!