Giant Cheese Ball Recipe

Five different cheese combinations are layered into an impressive cheese dome perfect for your next festive gathering.
September 10, 2021, 11:00am
giant-cheese-ball-recipe
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Makes: a lot
Prep time: 2 hours
Total time: 3 hours

INGREDIENTS:

for the everything bagel cheese:
1 pound|454 grams cream cheese, softened 
¼ cup|40 grams capers, chopped
¼ cup|35 grams black sesame seeds
¼ cup|40 grams dried garlic
¼ cup|30 grams dried onion
¼ cup|40 grams poppy seeds
¼ cup|35 grams white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

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for the crab dip cheese:
1 pound|454 grams cream cheese softened
8 ounces|225 grams crab meat (claw meat or lump work great!)
½ cup|15 grams finely chopped cilantro
½ cup|145 grams sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 bird’s eye chili, sliced thin
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated

for the pimento cheese:
2 pounds|900 grams shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 ⅓ cups|325 grams jarred pimento or other roasted red peppers, finely diced
1 ½ cups|300 grams mayonnaise
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

for the spinach, artichoke, feta, and olive cheese:
12 ounces|350 grams cream cheese, softened
6 ounces|180 grams feta, crumbled
½ cup|75 grams castelvetrano olives, chopped
½ cup|16 grams finely chopped parsley
½ cup|70 grams cooked spinach, finely chopped
½ cup|50 grams freshly grated Parmesan
½ cup|100 grams finely chopped artichoke hearts
½ cup|50 grams shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup|15 grams torn basil leaves
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
zest and juice of 1 lemon
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 for the Buffalo bacon ranch cheese:
2 pounds|900 grams shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound|454 grams bacon, diced
8 ounces|225 grams blue cheese, crumbled
2 cups|430 grams mayonnaise
¼ cup|60 ml buffalo style hot sauce, preferably Frank’s
2 (1-ounce|28 gram) packs ranch dressing powder  

to serve:
8 ounces|225 grams toasted and finely chopped hazelnuts
crackers
chips
pretzels
veggies

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the inside of a one quart bowl by fitting a piece of plastic wrap to the sides and bottom with as few creases as possible. Spraying a bit of cooking spray directly on the bowl aids in this process.
  2. Make the everything bagel cheese: The day before, mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined and freeze in the prepared bowl overnight.
  3. Make the crab dip cheese: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Invert the everything bagel cheese onto a large serving platter. Spread the crab dip cheese around the dome in an even layer and freeze for 1 hour. 
  4. Make the pimento cheese: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined and spread the pimento cheese evenly over and around the crab dip cheese. Freeze again for an additional hour. 
  5. Make the spinach, artichoke, feta, and olive cheese: Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Spread evenly over and around the pimento cheese. Freeze again for an additional hour. 
  6. Make the Buffalo bacon ranch cheese: Heat a large skillet over medium. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Save the rest for another use. 
  7. Mix the cooled bacon and the reserved bacon fat with the remaining ingredients. Spread the Buffalo bacon ranch cheese evenly over and around the dome. 
  8. Cover the outside of the dome with the hazelnuts and refrigerate the dome for at least one hour before serving with your favorite crackers, chips, pretzels, and vegetables. 

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This is part of a special series, Indulgence, which explores extravagant living in a time of restraint. It’s also in the September 2021 VICE magazine issue. Subscribe here.