This cheese ball is easy to make and a fun appetizer for game-day parties and tailgating. I used pepperoni and cheese inspired by my favorite pizza toppings and shaped the ball into a football shape. Plus, it’s an easy appetizer that you can make ahead so all you have to do is add your favorite crackers or chips and it’s ready to serve.
I’m all about low-stress appetizers for parties, especially game-day parties. When we have friends over to watch a game, I like to have a few different appetizers to serve but I hate being stuck in the kitchen cooking while everyone is having fun. So, I love make-ahead appetizers, like this cheese ball, so I can do all of the work before my guests arrive. When it’s time to watch the game, all I have to do is add some chips and it’s ready to serve.
I love pizza-inspired appetizers and so this cheese ball is flavored with parmesan cheese, Italian herbs, and pepperoni. It’s a fun appetizer for game-day.
- Cream cheese
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Shredded parmesan cheese
- Italian seasoning
- Chopped parsley
- Mini pepperoni
- 1 slice mozzarella cheese
How to Make a Cheeseball
- The easiest way to combine the ingredients is with a food processor. Just place the cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, Italian seasoning and parsley in the food processor fitted with the chopping blade.
- Process the ingredients until they are well combined and the cream cheese is light and fluffy. Add half of the pepperoni and pulse a few times to chop it up and mix it into the cheese mixture.
- Transfer the cheese mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap. Cover it with another sheet of plastic wrap and press it into a tight ball. This will help eliminate any air pockets. Shape the ball into a football-shape and refrigerate it for several hours. For best results, refrigerate it overnight.
How to Decorate the Cheeseball
- Cover the cheeseball with the rest of the mini pepperoni. You should have enough to cover the whole cheese ball.
- To make it look even more like a football, take your slice of mozzarella cheese and cut it into strips. Place one long strip on the top of the cheeseball. Place several small strips across the long one to create laces.
- Once you’ve decorated the cheese ball, you can keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it.
What can I serve with a cheese ball?
I like to serve my pizza cheeseball with tortilla chips, but you can also serve it with…
- Crackers like Wheat Thins or Ritz crackers
- Sliced pitas or pita chips
- Carrot or celery sticks
I love how this pepperoni pizza cheese ball turned out. It was so flavorful and easy to make I’ll definitely be making it again soon.
Pepperoni Pizza Cheese Ball
- 16 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 5 oz mini pepperoni
- 1 slice of mozzarella cheese
- In a food processor, add cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, Italian seasoning, and parsley. Blend until cream cheese is light and fluffy.
- Add in half of the mini pepperoni. Blend until pepperoni is evenly incorporated and broken into smaller pieces.
- Gather up cheese and place onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Cover cheese with plastic wrap and squeeze cheese into a tight ball, trying your best to keep it compact and eliminate any air pockets. Shape ball into a football.
- Refrigerate ball for several hours to firm up. For best results, refrigerate overnight.
- When cheese ball has firmed up, cover with remaining mini pepperoni. You should have enough to cover the surface of the cheese ball.
- Cut mozzarella cheese slice into thin strips to make the laces for the football. You'll need one long strip and several shorter ones. Place laces on top of the pepperoni. Keep cheese ball refrigerated until ready for serving. Serve with chips, pretzels, crackers or vegetables.
- I found that half a 5 oz bag of mini pepperoni was just enough to cover the entire surface of the football (I did not place any at the bottom). If you add other ingredients to your football which results in it being bigger, you may need more pepperoni.
- Recipe adapted from Mom on Time Out
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.