Zesty/Peppery/Sweet-Blue Cheese and Date Spread -- or Balls!

Total Time
2hrs 5mins
Prep 5 mins
Cook 2 hrs

Modified from an Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC.com) online What's For Dinner recipe, made famous by Ann Sprague of Smyrna, who got the recipe from neighbor Velinda Warda. ---- NOTE: Serve this zesty spread chilled or at room temperature, or make into balls. Great with apple slices, celery sticks, tortilla chips, and/or crackers. I really like this spread with tortilla chips -- you get zesty, peppery-sweet, and salty!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Measure 1 1/2 cups pecans (or double that amount if making cheese balls) into an large iron skillet, toasting over medium heat, stirring constantly ~ remove from heat and finely chop! (Or, preheat oven to 350 degrees ~ Spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast 5 minutes.).
  2. Set nuts aside; they will be added last!
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine (by hand or using an electric mixer), cream cheese, blue cheese cheddar cheese, salt, lemon zest, and freshly grated black pepper until fluffy!
  4. Stir in dates and 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans.
  5. For easier handling, chill for an hour to firm up, if making into cheese balls. Coat with additional toasted, chopped pecans.
  6. Serve this zesty spread (or balls) chilled, or at room temperature, with apple slices, celery sticks. tortilla chips, and/or crackers.
  7. NOTE: Cooking time is the chill time, although I thought the flavor greatly improved after chilling overnight! The recipe can easily be doubled to serve a larger number of people!
Most Helpful

This is awesome!!! Would also be good on plain bagels for breakfast. Made it for Super Bowl and was liked by everyone! Thanks for a great recipe!!!

Beansy February 12, 2012

This is really good! I only had 3 oz blue cheese so made a 3/4 recipe. Only used 3/4 cup pecans and had to use lime zest instead of lemon (I had it on hand). Otherwise followed the recipe, choosing not to roll into a ball(s). Thanks for sharing! [Made for Spring 2013 Pick A Chef]

flower7 April 27, 2013