It’s that time of year, when the calendar is scary full looking. I already have lots of events scheduled that I am either hosting or will be a guest at. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but it can be a little stressful. Especially the “having to bring something” part. I love to cook, but even I feel the I-don’t-have-time-to-make-anything-pinch. I have a few recipes up my sleeve that 1.) Everyone loves 2.) Can be made ahead of time and 3.) Use ingredients that I probably already have in my pantry or fridge.
A cheese ball can come off as a little retro, but there is a reason why they have stood the test of time. The meet all of the above requirements. Delicious. Easy. Make ahead. Pantry staples. Sometimes, I don’t even bother to make it into a ball shape. I just put it in a ramekin and garnish the top to make it look prettier. I have even served this warm. Bake it in a 350° oven until it is hot and bubbly, maybe 20 minutes?
There are a million ways to make a cheese ball. Really, anything you want can go into one. But I happen to really like this combination. I love curry anything, and mango chutney is something that I always have in my pantry. I use it for a lot of things, over cheese, on chicken, in salad dressing. It is a good thing to have in your arsenal. The other nice thing is that you can make this 3-4 days ahead of time. Always a plus in my book.
Make sure you head to the bottom of this post to find out about Sargento’s Shredded Cheese Facebook contest. You guys, such a great prize. I wish that I could enter!
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup mango chutney (I like this one)
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 teaspoon curry powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 (7.5-ounce) package Sargento® Chef Blends™ 4 State Cheddar™ Cheese
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
Add the cream cheese, chutney, green onions, curry powder, salt and pepper to the bowl of an electric mixer.
Beat until everything is combined, scraping the bowl a few times to make sure everything is incorporated.
Fold in the cheddar cheese.
Taste the mixture on a cracker. Add more salt and pepper as needed. I added a little more curry powder, because I really like a strong curry flavor.
Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap. Add the cheese to center of the plastic wrap. Pull up the sides.
Wrap in a round shape.
Or if you want to skip the “cheese ball”, you can just add it to a ramekin. Chill for at least an hour, or a few days.
Roll the cheese ball in chopped pecans and serve with crackers. (I made this gluten-free by using Crunchmaster crackers, I always buy some GF crackers just in case I have gluten free guests, these are really good and even the non-GF eaters like them.)
Or, garnish the top of the ramekin with some more chutney, chopped pecans, and green onions. You could even bake this and serve it warm.
To enter, home cooks should submit an original recipe and photo of a dish featuring a Sargento Shredded Cheese variety, plus an explanation of why using real, fresh-tasting ingredients like Sargento Shredded Cheese matters to them. Go to Facebook.com/SargentoCheese to enter.
The contest opens Nov. 3 and the winner will be announced Dec. 8.
Cooks are encouraged to create flavorful dishes with unique Sargento blends, from Off The Block Traditional, Fine Cut Mozzarella or 4 Cheese Mexican to Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar and 6 Cheese Italian. Holiday favorites like Artisan Blends Shredded Parmesan and Whole Milk Mozzarella are also popular choices for savory original recipes.
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