Cheese balls have a bad reputation, probably because they often look (and taste) like they belong in the pages of a faded food magazine from the 1970s. But with the right ingredients and some updated styling, these make-ahead party appetizers can be a modern twist on the usual cheese plate.
These five recipes dress up cheese with nuts, herbs, olives and even fruit, mixing in or layering the additions for a pretty effect. Most break out of the usual cheese ball shape, molding the cheese into loaf-shaped terrines or one-bite balls. Although they need time in the refrigerator to set, cheese balls can often be assembled several days before the party, definitely a plus as the busy holiday entertaining season approaches.
• Pesto, Olive & Roasted Pepper Goat Cheese Torta at Gourmet (pictured)
• Bacon-Jalapeño Cheese Ball at Homesick Texan
• Smoked Gorgonzola Rosemary Mini Cheese Balls at Knead to Cook
• Farmhouse Cheddar & Stilton Terrine at Bon Appetit
• Gorgonzola & Walnut Terrine at Food & Wine
Check out our own recipes below, too — we've definitely embraced the modern cheese ball!
More Cheese Balls on The Kitchn
• Party Hors D'oeuvres: A Trio Of Cheese Balls
• Bacon Pops! Goat Cheese Pops with Herbs, Pecans, & Bacon
• Thanksgiving Nibble: Pumpkin-Shaped Cheese Ball
• Recipe: Blue Cheese and Rosemary Cheese Ball
Do you have a favorite cheese ball recipe?
Related: Easy Party Appetizer: Grapes Wrapped in Goat Cheese
(Image: Romulo Yanes/Gourmet)