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Aged-Cheddar and Port Cheese Balls

Cheese balls aren't usually described as sophisticated, but this aged-cheddar version -- which reveals swirls of port inside -- is refined enough to fit right in at cocktail hour.

  • prep: 15 mins
    total time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • servings: 10




  • 1/4 cup ruby port
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces aged cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely ground

Cook's Note

Coated cheese balls can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.


  1. Step 1

    Bring port to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until reduced by about half, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.

  2. Step 2

    Pulse 3/4 cup cream cheese and the cheddar in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream cheese with reduced port in food processor until smooth. Gently stir port mixture into cheddar mixture using a wooden spoon until just swirled together. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

  3. Step 3

    Transfer almonds to a plate. Shape cheese mixture into 3 balls of various sizes; roll each in almonds to coat. Let cheese balls come to room temperature before serving.