Party could be swapped in for parsley here, FOR SURE.
So, this summer, when I was on my blog break, my sister got married! To Ben. Ben hadn't been around for suuuuper long, but he wears black plastic glasses and has a short beard and bald head like my husband, so we went with it. It's rather uncanny.
But really! My sister and Ben had been together for about a year and are both teachers, so I think they had a moment where they looked at each other, shrugged, and planned a wedding and a house sale and a move in 6 weeks. Quick and dirty was exactly what my sister wanted (I'm the same, the extended engagements aren't our thing), so they got married and now we have a new brother in law and a new niece, who happens to be a killer baker.
Ben's a great cook and experiments with new recipes a lot, which I appreciate at family events especially because I tend to make the same things for every holiday and feel annoyed at myself for not changing it up. A version of this classic cheese ball was present at Thanksgiving and I IMMEDIATELY knew that it needed to make an appearance on this blog for your Christmas spread. It's a super easy recipe, but the contrast of the rich cheese and tons of parsley is just insanely delicious to me. See also: raw onion really finely diced that adds huge flavor to the ball after it sits in the fridge for a few hours. Not oniony, just flavorful. Promise.
This is a 2 step process: mix the cheese ball ingredients together, form the ball, and chill it for several hours. Then you chop a tonnnnn of fresh parsley, roll the (now firm) cheese ball in it, serve right away or after that step. So first! Cheese ball ingredients: crumbled feta, grated sharp cheddar, cream cheese, super finely diced onion, and Worcestershire sauce. That's it! So simple but really flavorful.
The cream cheese should be slightly soft, so let everything sit at room temperature for an hour or so, then dump it into a bowl.
Mix the cheese mixture together until it's smooth. You can also do this with an electric mixer, but I like the texture that is left by combining it by hand.
When the cheese mixture is combined, dump all of it on a large piece of plastic wrap.
Cover the cheese completely, then use your hands to form the plastic-wrapped cheese into an even ball. Chill it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. When the cheese is firm, chop a mountain of parsley for the coating. ½ cup or more once it's chopped.
Unwrap the cheese ball, and roll it around in the parsley until it's totally coated.
The end! You can serve this right away or stick it back in the fridge until you're ready for it. I like to serve it after it's been out of the fridge for 20 minutes or so so that it isn't super hard, and we've eaten it with crackers, bread, pretzels...it all works.
The contrast of the sharp parsley and the creamy cheese is SO good here, and I love that this is made of simple flavors. You could certainly change up the herbs or cheese to make this cheese ball recipe a little different, but I love the simple freshness of it without anything too fancy-feeling.
May or may not be making this for Beck's birthday party on Saturday, and for every party this month and next. You should too!
Parsley Feta Cheeseball
- 16 ounces 2 blocks cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces crumbled feta
- 4 ounces grated sharp cheddar
- ¼ onion finely chopped (about ¼ cup chopped)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
- Combine all of the ingredients except the parsley in a large bowl. Using a spatula, mix together until combined, then dump the cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap.
- Cover the cheese mixture with the wrap, and press the cheese into a round shape. Place the wrapped cheeseball in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
- When the cheese ball is very firm, remove the plastic and roll it in the parsley until completely coated. Serve after about 20 minutes (or keep in the fridge until you're ready to use) with crackers, bread, or pretzels.