By Debra Worth, Contributing Writer
Growing up, one of my favorite dishes around the holidays was cheeseballs. I remember my mom making them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and if we could convince her, New Years. I have so many fantastic memories surrounding them. When my mom first taught me how to make them, it was so sad… I found out my beloved cheeseballs had GARLIC in them. Now, I hardly make anything without garlic so I can appreciate the garlic, but it was a crushing discovery at the time.
I now make them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and it is a go to recipe for parties. They always get rave reviews and I am often asked for the recipe. They taste and look much more complicated then they actually are, in fact they are SUPER simple. All you need is a creamy cheese (cottage cheese which has been blended until smooth, ricotta, or cream cheese) a shredded cheese, flavorings (natural, not artificial!), and something to roll it in.
Make it with raw, grass-fed cheeses, for a healthy party dish that is not chock-full of sugar. If you cannot have crackers, I think it would taste fantastic with apple slices. I cannot wait to try that!
- 8 oz cheddar cheese
- 8 oz cream cheese (or cottage cheese that has blended until smooth, but that is not Mom’s way.)
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 t horseradish
- paprika, nuts, old bay spice mix, or whatever your little heart desires to roll the cheeseball in.
Shred the cheddar and mix it with the cream cheese. Mix in garlic and horseradish. Add more horseradish and garlic if you want it strong.
Roll the cheese mixture into a ball and roll into something tasty (like crispy nuts).
Yield: 3 balls about the size of a large orange
Simple right? This is the cheeseball I grew up with, but sometimes I mix it up a bit, like this Parsley Cheeseball I recently made for a friend’s bridal shower (spread pictured above).
- 16 oz white cheddar
- 1 cup cottage cheese (or cream cheese)
- 2 handfuls of fresh parsley
- 4 cloves of garlic
Blend the cottage cheese and parsley together until the cottage cheese is smooth. Shred the cheddar and mix in.
Sundried Tomato Cheeseball
I do not make this often as it is a bit more costly than the rest, but it is quite tasty and makes a nice special treat.
- 4 oz sun dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 8 oz mozzarella
- chopped olives (optional)
- salt to taste
- shredded parmesan cheese
Put the basil and tomatoes in a food processor and blend until smooth. You might need to add ricotta cheese to help with this. Shred the mozzarella. Mix everything together, taste and add salt if desired. Make into a ball and roll in parmesan cheese, or just mound on a platter and sprinkle with parmesan.