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This Bruschetta Cheese Ball is so easy to make and is a gorgeous appetizer for any party or holiday gathering. Loaded with the same flavors of traditional bruschetta in a creamy cheese form then coated with a crispy panko parmesan basil coating!
Bruschetta Cheese Ball
One of my favorite appetizers to indulge in is bruschetta and cheese balls. We’ve combined the two to create this tomato bursting cheeseball that’s made with fresh ingredients and is full of delicious flavors. We use both fresh tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes to add even more flavor and texture.
The outer part of the bruschetta ball is coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs that are seasoned with parmesan cheese, and basil. The inside of the ball is filled with creamy goodness and is perfect for spreading on your favorite crackers, baguette slices, and crostini. Both kids and adults will be hooked on this fun and pretty appetizer.
I love serving this especially during Christmas because of the red and green colors that are studded all throughout the cheese ball. It’s so perfect and festive for Christmas parties and the recipe could easily be doubled if you wanted to feed a crowd. Be sure to also try my Candy Cane Caprese that’s also crowd pleasing!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Cream cheese: Make sure the cream cheese is softened and at room temperature to ensure an extra creamy dip. You can use either full-fat or low-fat.
- Sour cream: Adds the perfect amount of tanginess to this dip. You can use low-fat or fat-free sour cream as an alternative.
- Fresh tomatoes: Roma tomatoes work best since they have lots of flesh and are not too moist, be sure to remove the seeds and I always keep the skin on.
- Fresh basil: Fresh is best and it adds so much flavor.
- Balsamic vinegar: One of the key ingredients to giving the cheese call the ultimate “bruschetta” flavor.
- Mozzarella cheese: Be sure not to use fresh mozzarella cheese (the kind you use for caprese) as it will be too soft. Low-moisture mozzarella cheese is what we use and I always love shredding my own cheese for more flavor.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Be sure to pat out as much oil as you can with a paper towel, if any.
- Breadcrumbs: I love using the combination of both panko breadcrumbs and Italian seasoned breadcrumbs for the best flavor and texture. You could use just one instead of both if you wanted.
how to make a Bruschetta Cheese Ball
Mix cheese ball ingredients: In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or with a fork, mix all of the cheese ball ingredients together. The mixture will be soft.
Form into ball and chill: Drop mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball shape. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 1-2 hours to overnight.
Toast breadcrumbs: Once the cheese ball is chilled, melt butter or olive oil on medium heat in a small or medium skillet or frying pan. Add breadcrumbs and cook until they are lightly golden brown color.
Add cheese and basil: Remove the breadcrumb coating from heat and add parmesan cheese and basil. Mix together until combined. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
Assemble: Place breadcrumb cheese mixture onto a plate or you can place the cheese ball directly into the pan if it’s cool enough. Coat the cheese ball until it’s completely covered and place on a serving platter or plate. Garnish the top of the ball with fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, and fresh parsley (optional). Serve with your favorite crackers, crostini, or toasted baguette slices.
tips & variations
- Softened cream cheese: This is key for an extra creamy dip! For best results, let the cream cheese sit out on the counter for a few hours before making the dip. It should be soft enough that you could blend the dip with a fork.
- Shred your own cheese: I always recommend shredding your own cheese for any recipe. It just tastes better than the packaged stuff and is softer.
- Eye catching dip: Make this dip extra pretty by garnishing the top with diced tomatoes, fresh basil, and grated parmesan cheese.
- Healthier alternative: You can make this a healthier version by using low-fat cream cheese, plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
- Add spice: Add a little heat by adding a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce or red pepper.
- Add it to: Sandwiches by swapping the mayo and smearing this dip on instead. Spread it on tortilla roll ups, toast, bagels, and pita bread.
- Serve with fresh veggies: Make this a low-carb snack by serving it with cucumber slices, carrot sticks, sliced bell peppers celery sticks, or endive.
leftovers & storage
Store any leftovers in an airtight container or cover bowl with plastic wrap for up to 4-5 days. You can leave it shaped in a ball or smash it together to create a dip. Once you are ready to serve it again, make sure to give it a good stir with a spoon.
I do not recommend freezing this dip as it will change the texture completely.
Other delicious appetizers
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Bruschetta Cheese Ball
- 1 brick (8 ounces) cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 Roma tomatoes seeds removed and chopped
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salted butter or olive oil
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated or shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or with a fork, mix together all of the cheese ball ingredients together. The mixture will be soft.
- Drop mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 1-2 hours to overnight.
- Once the cheese ball is chilled, melt butter or olive oil in a small or medium frying pan. Add breadcrumbs and cook until they are lightly golden brown color.
- Remove the breadcrumb coating from heat and add parmesan cheese and basil. Mix together until combined. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
- Assemble: Place breadcrumb cheese mixture onto a plate or you can place the cheese ball directly into the pan if it’s cool enough. Coat the cheese ball until it’s completely covered and place on a serving platter or plate. Garnish the top of the ball with fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, and fresh parsley (optional). Serve with your favorite crackers, crostini, or toasted baguette slices.