Olive Pecan Cheese Ball Plus More Appetizer Recipes for Fall

October 20, 2023

Olive Pecan Cheese Ball

Whether you are having a fall gathering with family and friends or just want to sit down to a snack, look no further for delicious fall appetizer recipes. This Olive Pecan Cheese Ball is quick and easy to prepare and makes a beautiful presentation for the season.



COOK + BAKE   |   Updated October 15, 2023



Olive Pecan Cheese Log









Cheese balls are possibly one of the best appetizers to make.


Take a block of cream cheese, whip it together with a few more ingredients of your choosing, and roll it into a ball. Appetizer done. It couldn't be much easier!


There are countless options when it comes to creating a cheese ball because you can virtually combine any of your favorite flavors for a mouthwatering spread for crackers, pretzels, breadsticks, or whatever else comes to mind.


The combo I return to again and again? Bacon and ranch. So good.






Wanting a new fall appetizer recipe to prepare, my mind immediately went to olives....which is funny because I don't even like olives. But sometimes when you are having guests it is fun to experiment with recipes they will enjoy, even if it isn't one of your favorites.


And can we keep this just between you and me? I actually liked this Olive Pecan Cheese Ball recipe. I guess it is all in how a particular food is prepared.


After ripening through the summer, olives are typically harvested from September through November making them a fall ingredient many of us don't consider using as much as we probably could.


I think this particular cheese ball made with Spanish olives and onion powder and rolled in toasted pecans and chives is the perfect autumnal appetizer when served with different types of crackers (I loved it most on the Sea Salt & Olive Oil Flatbread), olives, and even some fresh grapes.









Fall Appetizer
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But Aren't Cheese Balls Old-Fashioned



Many people consider cheese balls to be a bit retro and old-fashioned. And if you'd look at an old magazine article featuring a cheese ball recipe, you'd probably agree. But today's modern cheeseballs are not those appetizers of the past.


There is a reason why this simple appetizer has withstood the test of time. Not only are they delicious and can be made using a variety of pantry staples, but they are easy to prepare and can be made days in advance, making them perfect for serving at a party.


The secret to keep them from looking old-fashioned? What you choose to coat the cheese ball with and how you present it to guests. More about that below.






What You'll Need


To make this Olive Pecan Cheese Ball, you'll need a few key ingredients.

  • cream cheese - softened to room temperature

  • Spanish olives with pimentos - finely chopped

  • mayonnaise

  • onion powder

  • pecans

  • fresh chives - chopped





Olive Pecan Cheese Ball




How to Make This Fall Cheese Ball



Now that have all the ingredients ready, it is time to put these together. There is a full ingredient list and detailed instructions in the printable recipe card below.


STEP 1: In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy with an electric mixer. Add in the mayonnaise and onion powder and beat until combined. Fod in the finely chopped olives using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.


STEP 2: Scoop the mixture out of the bowl and onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form it into your desired shape. I like to do this by wrapping the sides of the plastic wrap around the mixture because it can be quite sticky. Chill the cheese ball in the refrigerator for at least and hour until the cream cheese is firm.






STEP 3: Meanwhile, place the chopped pecans in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the nuts at 350°F for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted, tossing them occasionally to ensure they don't burn. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the pecans to cool for 30 minutes.


STEP 4: When you are ready to finish preparing your cheeseball, mix the toasted pecans and chopped chives together on a shallow plate and roll the cream cheese ball in the mixture until completely coated. You may want to press the coating into the ball gently with the palm of your hand. Keep the ball chilled until you are ready to serve it. Allow it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes so that it is easier to spread.






Tips for Making Cheese Balls



There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing any cheese ball.


SKIP THE PRE-SHREDDED CHEESE


Although this particular recipe does not include additional cheese, you're welcome to add it into the mixture if you'd like. Parmesan or mozzarella would accompany the olives well.

It is always best to shred your own cheese from a block regardless of the variety when mixing it into a cheese ball. It has better texture and flavor when fresh.


USED SOFTENED CREAM CHEESE


Just like when creaming butter, you want your cream cheese to be at or close to room temperature when making a cheeseball. It needs to be soft so that it can be thoroughly combined with the other ingredients and shaped.


WHIP THE CREAM CHEESE


I find that whipping the cream cheese with an electric mixer before adding the other ingredients gives the cheese ball a very creamy and spreadable texture. While you can certainly just stir the softened cream cheese in with the onion powder and olives if you don't have a hand-held mixer, it is worth the additional step.






DON'T FORGET TO CHILL


Cheese balls require refrigeration twice - once after mixing the ingredients together so that the cream cheese can firm up again for the coating to be added to the outside. And ideally a second time after adding the coating to allow all the flavors to come together and intensify.


ADD A COATING


The coating is where you can really overcome the "old-fashioned" look. You could certainly add the chives and toasted pecans into the cheese ball mixture (and oftentimes I will do both), it makes a nice presentation to encrust the firm ball with a topping rather than standing bare and exposed.

The coating actually provides an opportunity to add some nice texture to your appetizer while giving your guests a glimpse of what they may be eating inside. It can be an individual ingredient or a mixture like I've done here.

Some other ideas for coatings that you could use on a cheese ball are:
  • fresh parsley, chives, or green onions
  • red pepper flakes or paprika
  • Everything But the Bagel seasoning
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • crushed Doritos
  • pretzels
  • nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds, pecans)
  • bacon
  • dried cranberries

.




Crackers




Do Cheese Balls Have To Be Round



Cheese balls are typically rolled into a ball, obviously, but keeping in mind that I wanted to serve the appetizer on a long cutting board, I decided to roll my cheese ball into a log shape.


I actually love the idea of forming a cheese ball into a log when serving it to other people because it is easy for everyone to cut off a slice getting a nice amount of the cream cheese mixture along with whatever the coating is on the outside.


The log is neater when entertaining, as well. I always feel like after the first couple people have gotten a little bit to spread on their crackers that it looses its nice presentation when it is in a ball shape.


In addition to shaping the mixture into a log, you could also make smaller sized balls so that each guest could have their own miniature sized cheeseball to put on their plate.


And if you'd like to take the fall theme here a little further, check out this idea from Inspired By Charm transforming your spread into a pumpkin.





Olive Pecan Cheeseball




OLIVE PECAN CHEESE BALL


This cheese ball filled with olives and onion powder and coated in toasted pecans and chives is quick and easy to prepare making a beautiful presentation for the fall season.


Makes 6-8 servings

PRINT RECIPE





INGREDIENTS

  • 1 - 8 ounce block of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Spanish olives with pimentos, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped


INSTRUCTIONS


STEP 1: In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy with an electric mixer. Add in the mayonnaise and onion powder and beat until combined. Fold in the finely chopped olives.

STEP 2: Scoop out the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and form it into your desired shape. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour until the cream cheese is firm.

STEP 3: Meanwhile, place the chopped pecans in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the nuts at 350°F for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted, tossing occasionally to ensure they don't burn. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the pecans to cool for 30 minutes.

STEP 4: When ready to prepare your cheese ball, mix the toasted pecans and chopped chives together on a shallow plate and roll the cream cheese ball in the mixture until completely coated. Keep it chilled until ready to serve.







Frequently Asked Questions



WHAT DO YOU SERVE WITH CHEESE BALLS


There are so many things you can spread the cream cheese mixture on. Search for something solid that will enhance the flavor .

Some ideas are crackers (choose something plain or a flavor that will pair well with the ingredients used in your cheese ball), bagel chips, pretzels, breadsticks, crostini, or vegetables. You may even enjoy it spread on bread.

I served this Olive Pecan cheese ball displayed on a long cutting board with bowls of different crackers and fresh grapes for a simple snack.


CAN THIS BE MADE IN ADVANCE


Cheese balls taste best when prepared ahead of time. I always like to prepare mine the evening before I'll need it so that there is time for the flavors to intensify.

They typically last at least one week in the refrigerator, so if you are trying to get your party preparations done early, this is an appetizer that can be made well in advance.






HOW LONG WILL IT KEEP


Cheese balls are best eating within seven days, but if you've used fresh ingredients (like the cream cheese), you may be able to enjoy it for up to two weeks. Store the leftovers in an airtight container.


CAN IT BE FROZEN


I have never tried freezing a cheese ball, and although I've heard other people say they freeze well, I don't recommend it. The texture of cream cheese changes when it has been frozen, and I'd be afraid that the cheese ball just wouldn't be the same after having been in the freezer.






Crackers and Cheese ball




No matter what shape you choose, this Olive Pecan Cheese Ball will satisfy your taste buds this fall season and makes a perfect treat to share with others.






Looking For More Appetizer Recipes?



NOT-SO-SPICY BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP - Sharing the secret to chicken dip with all the flavor, but less heat.

CROCK POT GRAPE JELLY COCKTAIL HOT DOGS - An interesting combination of ingredients combined to flavor one of my favorite appetizers.

BACON RANCH CHEESE BALL

CRISPY BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS - A mild buffalo sauce for those who love wings.















MORE DELICIOUS APPETIZER RECIPES FOR FALL



This post is part of the Tastes of the Season series hosted by Kristen of Ella Clair & Co. If you are looking for more appetizers inspired by the fall season, have a look at the links listed below.


Click here to see all of my previous Tastes of the Season posts.






Fall appetizers

Spinach Artichoke + Green Chile Dip by Ella Claire   |   Baked Garlic Knots by Sweet C's   |   Savory Pumpkin Hummus by Zevy Joy   |   Spiced Warm Brie by Boxwood Avenue   |   Sea Salt Dinner Rolls and Herb Butter by House 214 Design




Holiday appetizers

Roasted Stuffed Figs by Town and Country Living   |   Cranberry Sweet Potato Rounds by Tidy Mom   |   Gluten Free Baked Brie by Taryn Whiteaker   |   Healthy Pumpkin Dip by Tidbits   |   Fig Prosciutto Sweet Potato Bites by The Chronicles of Home







Fall appetizers

Beet Bruschetta with Goat Cheese and Basil by My Sweet Savannah   |   Cheddar Bacon Beer Dip by Inspired by Charm   |   Pumpkin Sheet Pan Nachos by Farmhouse of Boone   |   Everything but the Bagel Bubble Bread by Nest of Posies   |   Garlic Smashed Potatoes by Julie Blanner




Fall appetizer recipes

Olive Pecan Cheese Log by anderson + grant   |   Stuffed Peppers by Nesting with Grace   |   Chicken Cranberry Meatballs by Shabby Fu Fu   |   Chicken Pot Pie Bites by Nina Hendrick   |   Cranberry Almond Mini Cheese Ball Bites by Summer Adams




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