Do you love the flavors of pepperoni pizza? Our Pepperoni Pizza Cheese Ball is just a few ingredients, makes a delicious any-time appetizer, and is super easy to make. Just add your favorite crackers and serve! #pepperoni #pizza #appetizer #cheeseball #parties
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Break out this Pepperoni Pizza Cheese Ball at your next gathering- you’ll be so glad you did! It’s a definite crowd pleaser for any occasion and so easy to whip up ahead of time. We think it’s like eating pepperoni pizza spread on a cracker!
How to Make a Pepperoni Pizza Cheese Ball
Cream Cheese. Soften your cream cheese by placing it on the counter at room temperature for at least an hour before mixing up this cheese ball. If you forget to do this ahead of time, you can also place the cream cheese into a bowl and soften it in the microwave for 60 seconds at 30% power. You can use any type of cream cheese for this recipe – full fat, one-third less fat, and non-fat cream cheese – each one works just great.
Parsley flakes and Italian seasoning. You are welcome to substitute fresh parsley in this recipe. You’ll need about one tablespoon of minced parsley. If you don’t have Italian seasoning on hand, substitute 1/2 tsp. basil and 1/2 tsp. oregano.
Mozzarella cheese. Gouda cheese. I love the combination of the mild mozzarella cheese with the smoky Gouda – they really compliment the pepperoni well in this cheese ball, but feel free to substitute other cheeses, too. There’s no right or wrong here -use what you like!
Red bell pepper, green bell pepper, scallions. These are the aromatics in the cheese ball. Again, feel free to substitute other veggies in this recipe – pimentos, roasted red peppers, onion, red onion….even the addition of olives would be wonderful. Experiment!
Mini pepperoni. I am crazy for mini pepperoni! They are slightly thicker than regular pepperoni and work great as the outer covering for this cheese ball. Yes, regular pepperoni will work in a pinch on this cheese ball, but it won’t look quite as awesome.
Crackers. We prefer butter crackers with this cheese ball , such as Ritz crackers, but go with your personal preference. You could also spread this cheese ball onto toasted baguette slices – yummy.
Easy Recipe Tips for Making Cheese Ball Appetizers for Your Next Party
- Are cheese balls only for holiday parties, like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Super Bowl? Heck no. I’ve found that my guests love cheese balls ANY TIME of year. We make cheese balls in the summer months, too, including Memorial Day, July 4th, and for all kinds of pool parties, as well. I love how easy cheese balls are to serve – just add crackers and you’re ready!
- Can I customize this recipe by adding different ingredients to my cheese ball? Absolutely, and I hope you will! To me, that’s one of the best things about cooking – customizing a recipe to put your own personal stamp on it. You can combine just about anything with cream cheese and shredded cheese to make a cheese ball – there’s no WRONG combination.
- I think I’ve seen where people shape cheese balls into a football shape for Super Bowl parties. Can I do that with this recipe? Yep, and it’s as cute as can be. Just double this recipe to have enough cheese ball mixture to make a nice size football for your platter, then press on the mini pepperoni.
- It seems like cheese balls are making a comeback. Why is that? I agree and I think it’s a retro kinda deal. Lots of the 70’s and 80’s foods are popular again – casseroles, punch, jello salads. Just look at Pinterest and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
- What can I serve alongside my cheese ball as other appetizer options? Cheese balls pair well with so many kinds of things we like to serve – wings, dips, crostini, bsuschetta, and vegetable trays….just to name a few.
- Are all cheese balls savory? Hardly! There are all kinds of dessert cheese balls that are absolutely delicious. You can serve them with crispy cookies as dippers, and with fruit on the side, such as strawberries and grapes.
Here are a few of my favorite cheese ball recipes:
Spicy-Sweet Hawaiian Cheese Ball with Ginger Snaps – Crushed Pineapple and Red Bell Pepper set this cheese ball apart when you serve it with ginger snaps.
Tom Turkey Pumpkin Cheese Ball – Perfect for a Thanksgiving Buffet and your guests will get a kick out of Tom Turkey!
Five-Ingredient Carrot Cheese Ball for Easter – Your little bunnies will love this nibble.
Printable Recipe for Pepperoni Pizza Cheese Ball
Pepperoni Pizza Cheese Ball
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened, I use Highland Dairy cream cheese
- 2 tsp. parsley flakes
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 8 oz. Hiland Dairy shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 smoked gouda cheese, shredded
- 1/2 green bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, finely diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, finely diced
- 4 scallions, finely minced
- 10 oz. mini pepperoni, divided use
- Crackers, for serving
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, parsley, and Italian seasoning, using an electric mixer. Using a spatula, stir in the shredded cheeses, then the bell peppers, scallions, and half of the mini pepperoni.
- Place the prepared cheeseball mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap, pulling the plastic wrap up around it, forming it into a rounded ball; place into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to chill.
- To serve, unwrap the cheese ball and cover with the remaining mini pepperoni, gently pressing each one into the exterior of the cheeseball a bit.
- Serve with your favorite crackers.
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