Happy National Cheese Ball Day!

April 17 is National Cheese Ball Day; celebrate with a savory cheese ball in the shape of a chick, turkey, pumpkin, tree or the traditional sphere shape.
By: Michelle Buffardi

Of all the food holidays, National Cheese Ball Day is my favorite. Cheese balls are the most festive and versatile of foods in the cheese category; they're customizable, like a grilled cheese sandwich or cheesy dip, but also malleable. Can you turn your sandwich into a feathery bird that will stand up on tiny feet? No, you cannot.

To make a cheese ball, you don't really need any special equipment nor any fancy cooking skills. You can use a stand mixer to blend everything together, but you can also mash it all up in a bowl using a spatula.

Here are a few of my favorite cheese ball creations:

Spring Chick Cheese Ball: This base for this cheese ball is made from the classic blend of cream cheese, cheddar, shallots, mustard and Worcestershire. It's shaped into a stout baby chick and rolled in shredded cheese "feathers."

Beer-Pretzel Cheese Ball: It you love cheese, pretzels and beer, you'll love them even more all together. Spike a three-cheese blend with ale and roll it all in pretzels for the ultimate game day, Father's Day or "I Want Some Cheese Right Now" snack.

Nacho Jack o' Lantern Cheese Ball: It's a Jack o' Lantern but it tastes like nachos. You won't ever get that much pleasure from an ordinary carved pumpkin.

Garlic-Herb Turkey Cheese Ball : This savory little gobbler is sure to steal all the glory from that other bird. Made from cream cheese, garlic and chopped fresh herbs, complete with pretzel stick tail feathers and a red pepper waddle, this turkey is also vegetarian.

Christmas Tree Cheese Ball: This tree is about a million times more fun to decorate than the one that sits in your living room, plus it won't drop needles all over the place. To form the edible tree, wrap your cheese ball in parchment paper and roll it into a tree-shaped cone. Chopped parsley stands in for the needles and the "ornaments" are chopped peppers and pomegranate seeds.

Want more cheese ball recipes?

Our friends at Food.com are celebrating the cheese ball all week long with 25 savory and sweet ball-shaped eats.

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