Posted by: cassymuronaka | January 11, 2010

The L.A. Times Cheeseball

Has everyone finished partying? I went to my last celebration yesterday. It was a potluck and I brought something I’ve made three times in the last two months, a cheeseball.

The recipe dates back to the 1960s, when my father was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. At practically every social event my parents attended that was hosted by a Times reporter and spouse, this cheeseball greeted them. I have no idea where the recipe originated or who created it. But I’ve always called it the L.A. Times Cheeseball, since it was probably a reporter or reporter’s spouse who gave the recipe to my mother when she got around to requesting it.

Eventually, the recipe stopped circulating, or maybe my parents just stopped circulating, but the cheeseball continues to surface in my family during the holiday season.

Not unlike the artichoke, mayonnaise and parmesan cheese hot dip of the 1980s, there’s a reason the cheeseball was so popular. It’s easy to make and it’s scrumptious. And like the artichoke dip, it is not even remotely low-calorie. I like it with plain water crackers, but if you love a saltier cracker, Ritz or Wheat Thins work, too.


1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
8 oz. package cream cheese
1 small can (4.25 oz.) chopped ripe black olives
1 1/4 oz. triangle (or equivalent) blue cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion or shallot
about 5 oz. chopped pecans

Pour pecans into a shallow bowl about 7 inches wide. Set aside.

Soften butter and cheeses and then mix well together.

Add the olives and onion to the butter-cheese mixture. Shape this into a ball or oval, and then roll it in the bowl of pecans, coating all sides. Wrap the cheeseball in plastic and refrigerate several hours or overnight to let the flavors marry. Serve with crackers.



  1. Reminds me of the greeting card: “As Walt dug into his (LA Times cheeseball), he could hear his arteries slamming shut, one by one.”

    That said, it sounds darn tasty!

  2. What’s not to like about a blue cheese cheeseball? Nuthin!

  3. I am now officially hungry for an LA Times cheeseball

  4. I was a happy consumer of this LA Times Cheeseball. Although as a Republitarian it pains me to say it…

    • I’ve partaken in the past. Mmmmmm-mmmmm.

      Every time I look at it, I get hungry

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