Best Cheese Ball Recipe (Pecan Crusted)

Six simple ingredients are all you need to make the best cheese ball recipe! Even better, it takes just minutes to make.

Pecan crusted cheese ball surrounded in crackers.

Why You’ll Love This

  • They are always a hit at a party!
  • Great make-ahead holiday appetizer!
  • Super easy to make with very few ingredients.
  • Who doesn’t love a classic cheese ball appetizer?

It’s the perfect make-ahead appetizer. It’s a staple at holiday gatherings, parties, game day events, etc!

This homemade cheese ball recipe has been around for years! Everyone loves it, and it never lasts long, so you might want to make two.

Who doesn’t love an appetizer that is quick and easy to prepare? We also love this jalapeno popper cheese ball, artichoke dip, and candied bacon jalapeno poppers!

Cheese ball ingredients mixed in a clear bowl.

How to Make The Best Cheese Ball Recipe

So simple to make you can do it with your eyes closed. Ok, maybe just squinted.

Finely dice the green onions and pastrami.

Place the room-temperature cream cheese in a mixing bowl and stir or use an electric mixer (stand mixer) until smooth and creamy. I personally use a hand mixer, it’s just much faster and easier.

Add the pastrami, finely chopped green onions, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and sea salt. Mix well with a spatula.

You don’t want to use the mixer for this part, it might break down the meat and onions too much.

Cheese ball formed and placed on chopped pecans on plastic wrap.

Use the spatula to shape the mixture into a ball as best as you can.

Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface, place the chopped pecans in the middle, and gently move the cheese ball onto the pecans.

Gently use the plastic wrap to press the pecans into the cheese ball and help form a more rounded ball shape. Wrap the cheese ball tightly.

Once it’s wrapped, roll the cheese ball around on the counter to achieve a more round shape again, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Cheese ball formed and rolled in pecans wrapped tightly with plastic wrap.

The longer you allow this cheese ball to sit and let the flavors come together, the better it tastes.

Best pecan crusted cheese ball on black platter surrounded by wheat crackers.

Serve With Any of The Following

  • Favorite crackers
  • Pita chips
  • Pretzel crisps
  • Bagel chips
Closeup of the pecan crusted cheese ball on black platter surrounded by wheat crackers.

Perfect make-ahead and absolutely delicious classic cheese ball for your holiday party appetizer table!

Variations

  • Don’t like nuts? Roll it in shredded cheddar cheese (sharp cheddar or mild), green onions, and diced meat.
  • Swap the pastrami for diced ham. You can even omit the meat if you need a vegetarian version.
  • You can use chives instead of green onions.
  • Like it spicy? Add some hot sauce.
  • You can even make individual cheese balls and stick a pretzel stick in each one as a handle for a one-bite version.

FAQ

Can you make this ahead?

Yes. Make the cheese ball without rolling in the pecans. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. About one hour before serving, roll it in the chopped pecans, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

What crackers are best with a cheese ball?

You can serve with Ritz, Wheat Thins, Triscuits, or multigrain crackers. I personally think a firm, not delicate, cracker is best.

Storing

This should last wrapped tightly in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. This depends on the freshness of your ingredients. If you just purchased them, it should be ok. Check the expiration dates.

Freezing

Wrap it without nuts tightly with several layers of plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer-safe bag, and freeze for up to one month for the best quality. Thaw in the fridge overnight. Roll in the nuts about one hour before serving.

More Appetizer Recipes

Pecan crusted cheese ball surrounded in crackers.

Best Cheese Ball Recipe (Pecan Crusted)

Six simple ingredients are all you need to make the best cheese ball crusted in pecans! Even better, it takes just minutes to make. It's the perfect make-ahead appetizer. Holiday gatherings, parties, game day events, etc!
4.80 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best, cheese ball, classic, keto, low carb
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10
Calories: 168kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

  • 16 oz cream cheese , softened
  • 4 oz pastrami , thin sliced
  • 3 green onions , finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup pecans diced small

Instructions

  • Place the softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl and stir or beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. 
  • Add the diced pastrami, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and sea salt. Mix well with a spatula. (You don’t want to use the mixer for this part, it might break down the meat and onions too much.)
  • Use the spatula to form the mixture into a ball in the bowl as best as you can. Lay out a large sheet of plastic wrap, place the chopped pecans in the middle and gently move the cheese ball onto the pecans.
  • Gently use the plastic wrap to press the pecans into the cheese ball and help form a more rounded ball shape. Wrap the cheese ball tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Serve with your favorite crackers, pita chips, or pretzel crisps.

Notes

Storing – The cheese ball should last wrapped tightly in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. (Although the pecans will soften.) This depends on the freshness of your ingredients. If you just purchased them it should be ok. Check the expiration dates.
To Make Ahead – Make the cheese ball without rolling in the pecans. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. About one hour before serving, roll it in the chopped pecans, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Freeze – Wrap tightly without nuts, and place in a resealable freezer bag. Remove it from the freezer the morning or the night before you want to serve, and place it in the refrigerator to thaw.

Nutrition

Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 107mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 645IU | Vitamin C: 4.8mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 0.6mg

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