An easy, super delicious appetizer that will bring wows! This make-ahead Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Ball is party-perfect!
You wouldn't think I'd have much trouble giving this recipe a name. It's just a cheeseball with roasted red peppers and goat cheese as the star ingredients. Maybe I overthink things, but I really did struggle a bit. Should it be called Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Cheeseball? Hmmm, that sounds a little strange. What about Cheeseball with Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese? No, I'm certain Mr. Google wouldn't like that one. He frowns on extra words like "with" and "and" in a title. Okay, I'm calling it Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Ball even though cheeseball should be one word, not two. But if I used it as one word, you might have thought there was goat meat in my cheeseball. See what I mean? Tricky.
Whew! Now that we're done with semantics, I can tell you all about this easy, super delicious Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Ball! You might laugh when you hear the inspiration for it...
The dangers of shopping on Amazon!
I was just finishing up some Christmas shopping on Amazon when I noticed this awesome looking, bamboo cheese board with a built-in drawer to store serving utensils in the "Customers also shopped for" section. It was so pretty and I couldn't resist buying an early Christmas present for myself. I added it to my cart thinking how useful and pretty it would be for holiday entertaining.
This item is on Amazon Prime, so two days later there was a box on my front porch. It didn't take me long at all to open it up (Scott says I open boxes like "a wild animal") and even less time to start dreaming of a recipe to show it off. I ran to the store and picked up roasted red peppers, goat cheese, and pecans. I had everything else I needed.
I used my food processor (I love this one) to whip up the creamy filling in minutes, then popped it in the fridge to chill. All that was left was to toast the pecans and chop some fresh rosemary. I served the Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Ball on my pretty new board as an appetizer before dinner that night. A delicious little nibble with a glass of wine!
The recipe makes one large cheeseball, but you can easily divide it to make two or even three smaller balls. Hold off on the pecan/rosemary coating and store the extra cheese portions in the fridge (for up to a week) or in the freezer, for longer storage. When guests are on the way, just toast the pecans, chop some rosemary, and roll the balls in the crunchy, pretty coating! If dividing the recipe into more smaller cheeseballs, you may need to increase the amount of chopped pecans/rosemary.
I'm getting in the mood to plan a party, how about you?!
Café Tips for making this Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Ball
- It's very helpful to have a food processor to make this Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Ball. If you don't have one, however, you can still make it. It will be delicious, just not as creamy. You'll have to chop the roasted red peppers as fine as possible and use finely shredded cheddar cheese. Make sure your cream cheese and goat cheese are at room temp and then stir the filling together in a bowl.
- This might be ridiculous to say (since this isn't a low-fat appetizer by any stretch of the imagination), but you can use either regular cream cheese or the lower fat version, Neufchâtel. You won't notice any difference in flavor or texture.
- When choosing the roasted red peppers, look for jars with a deep red hue for a richer flavor.
- Don't try to shape the cheeseball until after it's been chilled. Don't worry about getting a perfect round shape right away. After it's been rolled in the nuts/rosemary mixture the finishing shaping can be done much easier.
- Feel free to divide this recipe into smaller cheeseballs for serving smaller groups. If making more than two cheeseballs from this recipe, increase the amount of pecan coating to cover the balls.
- I like to serve this Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Ball with crackers as well as celery sticks for those who like to eat a little lighter.
- A little time saver: look for "pecan chips" in the baking section at the grocery store. They're the perfect size for coating this Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Ball.
- This fun cheese board would make a wonderful gift for anyone who loves to entertain!
A couple of other delicious and crowd-pleasing cheese appetizers:
A quick, easy, super delicious appetizer that will bring wows! This make-ahead Roasted Red Pepper Goat Cheese Ball is party-perfect!
- 4 ounces cream cheese regular or lower fat, not fat-free)
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1 ½ cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 ounce jar roasted red peppers
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces fairly finely chopped pecans or pecan chips
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
Drain roasted red pepper well and then roll in several thicknesses of paper toweling to remove any excess liquid.
Combine cream cheese, goat cheese, cheddar cheese, roasted red peppers, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and crushed red pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Line a medium-size bowl with plastic wrap then add the cheese mixture and pull plastic wrap over the top of the cheese. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or place in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
While the cheeseball is chilling, prepare the pecan coating by melting butter in a small non-sticking sauté pan until bubbly and beginning to brown a bit. It will have a nutty aroma. Add olive oil and pecans and stir to coat pecans. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4-6 minutes until pecans turn golden. Remove from heat and set aside to cool then add the 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary and stir to combine.
Pull the cheese out of the bowl with the plastic wrap and use the wrap to help you shape the cheese mixture into a ball. Roll the ball in the pecan mixture and shape again by gently pushing the sides to form a rounded ball. Place on a serving tray and sprinkle with a bit more chopped fresh rosemary, for garnish, if desired. Serve with crackers and/or celery.
See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions and tips.
I divided my recipe in half for the photos above. The pictures show a cheeseball with half of the recipe. I froze the other half to use for a get together coming up in a few weeks.