Easy Smoky Cheese Ball Recipe

It’s not a party without a cheese ball! This classic cheese ball recipe with smoked gouda rolled in toasted pecans is always a crowd-pleaser and the perfect addition to any party or charcuterie board.  Serve it with your favorite crackers or fresh veggies for an appetizer that is sure to impress your guests! 

If you’ve already tried Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip, Creamy Whipped Feta and Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log and you want something that everyone will love for your next get together, this is a great, easy cheese ball recipe to try.

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easy cheese ball on plate with crackers

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Easy Smoky Cheese Ball

Through most of the ’50s through the ’70s, you could never go to any party without seeing at least one cheese ball in the mix of the food spread. It’s one of those classic recipes that every good hostess should know how to make. 

So, if you need a good fall appetizer to make this year, you’ll want this Smoky Cheese Ball recipe that is always a hit! With ingredients like gouda, cream cheese, and toasted pecans, what’s not to love? 

I have a special obsession for this cheese ball because it’s so delicious, only requires only a handful of ingredients, and you can make it ahead of time. It really is the total package and the perfect party food for the holidays or any time of the year!

easy cheese ball on charcuterie board

While it seems like it was just the middle of summer yesterday, somehow the holiday season is already quickly approaching, which means it’s already time to prepping all of the thanksgiving and holiday party food spreads. So, to make sure you never run out of any recipe ideas this season, I’m teaming up with some incredibly talented blogger friends for another part of the Tastes of the Season Holiday Recipe series. Each month through the end of the year, there will be seasonally inspired recipes you won’t want to miss!

This month is all about Fall Appetizers!  I’ll be linking up all 16 delicious recipes at the end of this post. Be sure to visit each one for even more fall-inspired appetizer recipes.

step by step photos of how to make a cheese ball recipe

How To Make A Cheese Ball Recipe

The cheese ball is a quick and easy mixture that you can make in no time when you need a quick and delicious appetizer for your next party.

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

To make this recipe, just combine the gouda, cream cheese, butter, milk, steak sauce, and garlic powder in a mixing bowl, and beat mixture until well combined and fluffy. Once mixed, transfer the mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap, lift up the sides of the plastic wrap and wrap and cover the mixture, forming it into a ball.

Chill in the refrigerator several hours or overnight. Lastly, place the toasted pecans on a piece of waxed paper; gently roll cheese ball over the nuts to coat. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette bread slices. Enjoy!

Classic Cheese Ball Recipe Variations

If you want to talk about variations – you could add:

  • for more of a holiday flavor add 1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped and 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • use sharp cheddar cheese instead of gouda
  • roll in walnuts instead of pecans
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • add 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives and 1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • roll into 2 logs instead of a ball

easy cheese ball on plate with crackers and spreading knife

How To Serve A Smoky Cheese Ball Recipe

Serving your cheese ball is almost easier than making the recipe! It’s one of those appetizers that’s so appetizing it pretty much serves itself. 

When it comes to cheese spreads, you can’t go wrong with what to serve with it! Typically a good firm cracker works best for this cheese ball recipe, but you could use a variety of firm veggies too.

Some of my favorites to serve with it are celery, tortilla chips, Ritz crackers, pretzels, saltine crackers, or wheat thins. 

easy cheese ball on crackers

What Goes With An Easy Cheese Ball Recipe?

When it comes to serving food at a party the hardest part is figuring out that perfect food combo that everyone will go crazy over. That’s why when I make this easy cheese ball recipe, I love to serve it as part of an epic fall charcuterie board. 

Just grab some of your favorite meats, cheeses, and other charcuterie board staples, and people will be flocking to the appetizer table in no time. 

smoky cheese ball on charcuterie board

How Long Does A Cheese Ball Recipe Keep?

A cheese ball is something that is going to be best served the day after it’s prepared, but it will also keep for about 2-3 days after that when kept in the refrigerator.

As for how long it will stay fresh when serving the cheese ball, you’ll want to make sure it’s never kept sitting at room temperature for longer than about 2 hours. If you plan to serve it for longer than that, try to return it to the refrigerator, and then take it back out if your guests still want more.

Can I Freeze This Cheese Ball Recipe?

Absolutely!  To freeze the cheese ball, just wrap the prepared ball in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer for up to two months. Once you’re ready to eat it, remove the cheese ball from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Like This Smoky Cheese Ball Recipe? Pin It! pinterest-image

easy cheese ball photo collage

Tools used to make this cheese ball recipe

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Round Cheese Board

This is the perfect wood serving board to hold your cheeses, cured meats, olives, dried fruits, nuts, and crackers and really make everything stand out!

Cling Wrap

Always make sure you have some cling wrap on hand before you make a cheese ball, or forming the ball is going to be a lot harder. 

Cheese Spreader

I love this set of cheese spreaders that make serving the cheese ball so much easier. So, whether you’re slicing some butter or spreading some cheese, this knife does it all.


If you’re looking for even more inspiration check out the fun little group I created on Facebook, I’d love for you to join in! It’s a place where you can share YOUR favorite recipes, home tips, creative ideas and ask questions and see what’s new with TidyMom! If you’d like to check it out, you can request to join HERE.

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classic cheese ball on a plate with crackers

Smoky Cheese Ball

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Minimum Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes


  • 2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese, room temperature
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons steak sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup toasted finely chopped pecans
  • crackers for serving


  1. In a mixer bowl, combine gouda, cream cheese, butter, milk, steak sauce, and garlic powder. Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat mixture until well combined and fluffy.
  2. Transfer mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap, lift up the sides of the plastic wrap and wrap and cover the mixture, forming it into a ball. Chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight.
  3. Place nuts on a piece of waxed paper; gently roll cheese ball over the nuts to coat. Place on a platter and serve with crackers or toasted baguette bread slices.


cheese ball can be stored covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Making this recipe? Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #TidyMom so we can see what you're creating in the kitchen!

Taste of The Season Fall Appetizers collage 1

Delicious Warm Cheddar Cheese Dip by Ella Claire & Co. | Baked Brie & Walnut Puffs by On Sutton Place | Baked Delicata Rings by Inspired by Charm | Baked Brie with Figs and Honey

Taste of The Season Fall Appetizers collage 1

Fall Charcuterie Platter by Craftberry Bush | Truffle, Almond, & Apple Flatbread by The Chronicles of Home | Lady Mary’s Crab Canapes by Town and Country Living | Roasted Grapes on Baguette by Tidbits

Taste of The Season Fall Appetizers collage 1

Zucchini Tart with Goat Cheese by My Sweet Savannah | Mini Pumpkin Pies by Shabby FuFu | Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers by Farmhouse on Boone | Fall Charcuterie by Happy Happy Nester

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Roasted Garlic Hummus by Home Made Lovely | Smoky Cheese Ball by Tidy Mom | Easy Skillet Brie by French Country Cottage | Gluten + Dairy Free Herbed Boursin with Cranberry Almond Crackers by Zevy Joy

Taste of The Season Fall Appetizers collage 5

Baked Cheese, Pear and Prosciutto Cresent Roll by Julie Blanner | Rosemary Cashews by Rooms for Rent