Olive Cheese Ball

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My family served the same kind of cheese ball every year that I can remember – port wine and cheddar with some sliced almonds on the outside – so imagine my surprise when I discovered that there’s a whole entire world of cheese ball possibilities out there. That isn’t to say that I don’t love that port wine one (I do!), but it’s good to branch out a bit here and there. And this Olive Cheese Ball definitely branches out! Full of green olives, fresh parsley, sharp white cheddar, and crunchy walnuts, it packs in a ton of flavor that you probably haven’t come across in a cheese ball before. It’s salty, savory, and sure to disappear quick.

A nice thing about cheese balls is that they look so impressive even though they’re incredibly simple to make and this one is no different. You start with a base of cream cheese and mix it with some grated sharp white cheddar, salt, pepper, and a touch of garlic powder.

Then you add in a heaping portion of chopped green olives and some fresh parsley.

Once you’ve incorporated the last two additions, you use some plastic wrap to roughly shape the mixture into a ball.

That ball heads into the fridge to chill until it’s somewhat firm and when you’re ready to serve it…

…you’ll roll it in a mixture of green olives that you’ve chopped finer than the rest, some chopped walnuts, and a bit more of that fresh parsley. It’s easier to get a nice spherical shape once the ball has chilled, so don’t fret if it’s a bit wonky in the first shaping step. In the end, you’ll end up with a lovely muted green globe.

Since this is such a salty and savory spread, I like to keep the accompanying crackers somewhat simple. A basic water cracker or sliced baguette works well, anything with a lot of nuts, seeds, or additional flavor tends to compete.

It’s a cheese ball that’s maybe a little more about the olives than it is the cheese but I don’t think you’ll hear any complaints about that!


  • 1 (9 oz) jar green olives, roughly chopped and divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped and divided
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 (8 oz) each packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Take 1/4 cup of the olives and chop a bit finer than the rest. Add to a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the parsley and the walnuts and stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  3. Add remaining olives and parsley and stir to combine.
  4. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap. Place cream cheese mixture in center and use plastic wrap to shape into a ball. Chill about 1 hour.
  5. Remove from refrigerator and roll in olive/walnut mixture. Re-wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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