This creamy, flavorful Havarti cheese ball is simple to make. It is made with very few ingredients and coated in diced bell peppers for a surprising but delicious appetizer.
This super creamy and flavorful cheeseball is loaded with havarti and feta. It is then rolled in colored sweet peppers for an unexpected finish. It is perfect spread on crackers and has been a hit with every crowd who has encountered it.
This recipe was originally shared in 2015. I was introduced to this cheese ball by our good friend Rochelle.
She made it for a New Year’s Eve party and I was instantly hooked. Since then it has made an appearance at several of our parties.
We love it coated with a variety of bell pepper colors, it makes for a fun presentation. But we have also been known to do one color and shape the cheese ball into a shape other than a sphere.
My mother in law made this recipe and shaped it into a heart covered with red pepper bits for her wedding open house. I’ve done orange peppers and shaped it like a carrot for Easter and a pumpkin in the fall.
This most recent iteration was the first time we haven’t shaped it into a strange shape in a while. It was quickly gobbled up by all my siblings and grandparents at a family dinner.
Tips for making the cheese ball and simple substitutions:
Food processors are a perfect vehicle for making a cheese ball. You can start with blocks of cheese instead of shredded, so there is no filler.
Plus it will do the work of mixing all the good stuff into the cream cheese for you. I am choosy about when I go through the effort of going to the basement to get my food processor and clean it afterwards, but for cheese balls I always grab it!
Bringing your cream cheese to room temperature before mixing in the other ingredients will help the food processor (or your arm!) Cheese balls are a great make ahead appetizer.
Mix the actual cheese ball up to a couple of days ahead of time and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill until just before the event.
Save the outer coating until the day of serving. Take the cheese ball out of the fridge and roll it in the nuts, bread crumbs, cheese, bacon, herbs or in this case peppers.
Use this time to reshape the cheese ball as it likely has a flat spot from sitting in the fridge.
Cheese balls are actually best served at room temperature. So roll the cheese ball in the coating and then allow it to sit at room temperature for a bit before setting it out for your guests.
Be sure to have plenty of crackers on hand! Other great accompaniments include thin slices of baguette, carrots and celery sticks, cucumber slices and more.
The recipe calls for half Havarti and half feta cheese. I have actually gone with a full 4 ounce piece of feta before and omitted the feta and it was excellent that way as well.
Feel free to play with the herbs. We really like the oregano and green onion version, but I could see a combination of thyme, chives and/or parsley working wonderfully as well.
What is Havarti anyway?
Havarti is a super creamy semi-soft Danish cheese. It is really smooth and sometimes has small little holes in the cheese reminiscent of, but not nearly as large or plentiful, those in Swiss cheese.
The flavor of fresh Havarti is really mild and buttery, so it can blend well with any number of other flavors. It melts well and in a case like this, incorporates easily into the cream cheese mixture to make a silky smooth texture.
Aged Havarti can have a slightly stronger flavor, but would still work well in a cheese ball like this. Do yourself a favor and get to know Havarti cheese!
- 8 oz package cream cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Havarti cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 2 green onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped bell pepper*
- Beat cheese, milk, oregano and green onions in bowl with electric mixer on low until blended
- Beat on medium speed until fluffy, scraping bowl frequently
- Shape cheese mixture into a ball (or carrot!) and roll in bell pepper
- Serve with crackers
*Ro says the peppers can get watery, so she normally chops them the night before and lets them drain on a paper towel in the refrigerator. This helps them stick the the cheese ball better.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.