These cilantro-coated spheres could also be called "Everything That's Great About a Burrito in Cheese-Ball Form."
Serves 12 to 15


  • 2 cups shredded, extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. minced red onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Crackers or pita chips, for serving


Using a stand mixer or a bowl and a spatula, mix together the cheddar, beans, cream cheese, onion, 2 tablespoons cilantro (reserve the rest for coating the cheese ball), cumin, salt and cayenne, if using, until combined. Form the mixture into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Before serving, coat the cheese ball in the remaining cilantro.

Serve with crackers or pita chips.

Excerpted from Great Balls of Cheese, © 2013 Michelle Buffardi. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


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