A March Madness Inspired Basketball Cheese Ball
In the world of appetizers, cheese balls are up there with the elite. They're portable, quick, simple, no-bake, and so deliciously yummy. To check out a few of our favorites, take a gander and this cheddar cheese ball, a smoky bacon cheese ball, or these mini bite-size versions. However, today we're showcasing a simple cheese ball recipe that has been a classic staple in my family's kitchen for a long time. I'm also going to be giving it a fun decorative twist in the spirit of March Madness.
The base of this cheese ball is cream cheese. You can opt for plain cream cheese or use the chive and onion cream cheese to cut out a step. I like the flavor and freshness of freshly chopped green onions and chives though, so I chose plain cream cheese as the base.
The first step is grinding your almonds. Use a food processor to grind down sliced, slivered, or whole almonds, depending on what you have on hand. You want the almonds to still be a little coarse, so be sure not to over process them into a powder. Dump the ground almonds on a large plate. Then, mix the cheese ball ingredients together into one bowl. When all four of your ingredients come together (yes, only four), it's then time for a really fun step, which is forming the mixture into a ball by using clean hands. Remember playing with Play Dough as a kid? This step is kind of like that. Be sure to tightly pack the cheese ball and smooth down any lumps or bumps. Then, simply roll your cheese ball around in the almond mixture until it is completely covered.
To polish this off, use chopped pecans to form the shape of a basketball on the cheese ball, and serve on a dish with your favorite crackers.
CLASSIC CHEESE BALL
- 2 8oz. packages of plain cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 1 1/2 cups of almonds (sliced, slivered, or whole)
- 1 handful of chopped pecans
- assorted crackers
1.) Use a food processor to grind almonds down into a coarse grind. Place the ground almonds on a plate.
1.) Mix the first four ingredients in a large bowl. When thoroughly mixed, use clean hands to form the mixture into a ball.
3.) Roll the cheese ball in the ground almond mixture until completely coated. Press in chopped pecans to form a basketball design (or design of your choice) on the front of your cheese ball. Serve immediately or place in the fridge.
If you're in the mood for even more appetizers and snacks to help you cheer on your favorite teams in your March Madness bracket, you're in luck, because we've got wings, amazing dips, and some of the best finger foods ever that are perfect for grab-and-go eating. Getting hungry yet? Also, be sure to check out our fun No-Bake Basketball Cake Pops to help you cheer on your favorite teams this year as well as some incredible baked potato dip!