How many calories in a cheeseball?

Quick Answer

The number of calories in a cheeseball can vary greatly depending on the size of the cheeseball and the ingredients used. However, a typical 2 inch diameter cheeseball contains around 150 calories.

How Are Cheeseballs Made?

Cheeseballs are a popular appetizer made from cream cheese or other soft cheeses mixed with various ingredients to create a firm, mouldable mixture. Typical ingredients include:

– Cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
– Shredded cheddar, Swiss, blue, or other cheese
– Butter or cream
– Herbs, spices, nuts, dried fruit, olives etc.

To make a cheeseball, the ingredients are mixed together until fully combined and chilled. The mixture is then formed into a ball and rolled in chopped nuts, herbs, bacon, or other coatings before serving.

Cheeseballs can vary in texture from dense and sliceable versions that hold a shape when cut to softer, spreadable cheeses mixed with just enough flour or nuts to allow forming a ball. Recipes range from classic ham and cheddar versions to creative options with artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, jalapeños, or other mix-ins.

Calories in Different Cheeseball Recipes

The total calories per cheeseball depends largely on the size and specific ingredients used. Some typical nutrition information for different cheeseball recipes is:

– Basic cheddar cheeseball (2 inch diameter): 150 calories
– Bacon cheddar cheeseball (2 inch diameter): 180 calories
– Blue cheese and walnut cheeseball (2 inch diameter): 200 calories
– Strawberry cream cheeseball (2 inch diameter): 140 calories
– Jalapeño popper cheeseball (2 inch diameter): 170 calories

As you can see, calories range from 140-200 for a 2 inch cheeseball depending on the specific cheeses and mix-ins used. More calorie-dense ingredients like cream, full-fat cheese, nuts or bacon can increase the calories. Lighter versions made with Neufchatel and flavored with fruit or veggies tend to be lower in calories.

Calories Based on Cheeseball Size

The bigger the cheeseball, the more calories it will contain. Approximate calorie amounts based on diameter size are:

Cheeseball Diameter Total Calories*
1 inch 60 calories
2 inch 150 calories
3 inch 250 calories
4 inch 350 calories
5 inch 500 calories

*Based on a classic cheddar cheeseball recipe

As shown, a cheeseball can range from just 60 calories for a 1 inch diameter mini cheeseball up to 500 calories for a very large 5 inch cheeseball. A standard 2-3 inch cheeseball serves 8-12 people and contains about 150-250 calories total.

Calories Per Serving

To determine the calories per serving, you’ll need to divide the total cheeseball calories by the number of servings. A typical serving size of cheeseball is around 1-2 ounces.

Based on a 2 inch cheeseball with 150 calories total, the calories per serving would be:

– If serving 8 people with 2 oz servings, 150 calories ÷ 8 = ~19 calories per serving

– If serving 12 people with 1 oz servings, 150 calories ÷ 12 = 12.5 calories per serving

As you can see, the calories per serving can also vary based on the serving size and number of portions the cheeseball is divided into. A small 1-2 bite serving may provide just 10-20 calories, while a larger 2-3 ounce portion could be 50-100 calories.

High and Low Calorie Cheeseball Options

While traditional cream cheese or cheddar based cheeseballs tend to range between 150-250 calories for a 2 inch ball, there are also higher and lower calorie options.

Some higher calorie cheeseball recipes include:

– Bacon cheeseballs: Up to 200 calories (2 inch ball)
– Jalapeño popper cheeseballs with bacon: Around 200 calories
– Cheeseballs with excess cream and butter: Can exceed 300 calories

Some lower calorie options include:

– Using reduced fat Neufchatel cheese: Saves about 20% calories
– Mini 1 inch cheeseballs: Start at just 60 calories
– Vegetarian recipes with veggies: Around 100-150 calories
– Light versions with less cheese and cream: Can be under 100 calories

By choosing low-fat ingredients and smaller portions, you can enjoy cheeseballs as a lighter appetizer option.

Tips to Reduce Calories

Here are some tips for lightening up cheeseballs to reduce the calories per serving:

– Use reduced-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel, or low-fat ricotta cheese in place of full-fat varieties.

– Limit higher calorie mix-ins like bacon, cream, oil, nuts, and seeds.

– Increase low-calorie vegetables like onions, bell peppers, spinach or artichokes.

– Use lighter coatings like chopped parsley or paprika instead of nuts.

– Portion into mini 1-2 ounce cheeseballs rather than large 3-4 ounce servings.

– Skewer cheeseballs onto toothpicks so guests take just one or two bites rather than a full serving.

– Offer a veggie tray or other lighter foods to balance out the cheeseball.

With some simple substitutions and smaller portions, you can enjoy cheeseballs as part of a healthy diet without going overboard on calories.

Healthiest Cheeseball Ingredients

While cheeseballs aren’t necessarily a diet food, you can make healthier versions by choosing more nutritious ingredients:

– **Cheeses:** Go for reduced-fat varieties like goat cheese, feta, mozzarella or Swiss. Smaller amounts of full-fat cheese can also work.

– **Fruits and Veggies:** Add flavor and nutrients with peppers, scallions, spinach, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, or dried fruits like cranberries which are high in antioxidants.

– **Nuts and Seeds:** Sprinkle lightly for healthy fats and crunch. Opt for unsalted nuts to cut sodium.

– **Herbs and Spices:** Boost flavor with fresh or dried oregano, basil, parsley, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, etc.

– **Whole Grains:** Try rolled oats or whole wheat crackers as a lower-calorie coating.

– **Lean Proteins:** Sprinkle with a small amount of crumbled bacon or prosciutto for a protein boost.

Overall, enjoy cheeseballs in moderation as part of a balanced diet, and focus on varieties made with mostly wholesome, nutrient-dense ingredients.


Cheeseballs can make a tasty party appetizer but also pack a lot of calories, fat, and sodium if you aren’t careful with portions. A typical 2 inch cheeseball contains around 150 calories total. Mini 1-2 inch cheeseballs are a great option at only 60-100 calories. To lighten them up, use reduced-fat cheeses, load up on veggies, and coat with herbs instead of fatty nuts. Aim for 1-2 ounce servings to keep calories reasonable. And be sure to balance out the cheeseball with fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and other wholesome options the rest of the day. Made with nourishing ingredients and enjoyed in moderation, cheeseballs can be part of a healthy diet.

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