Cheese Log

This old fashioned Cheese Log recipe is the perfect party appetizer. It’s studded with pecans and rolled in chili powder for a little bit of spice!

cheese roll on a marble board with crackers and almonds.

I love serving a cheese tray as an appetizer. It’s an easy way to ensure that your guests are happy, because who doesn’t love cheese?

This easy Cheese Log is a lovely addition to an appetizer spread or cheese tray.

The recipe is from a church cookbook from the 1970s. The original recipe calls for Longhorn cheese, which I replace with Colby Jack (which is easier to find). I kept the rest of the recipe the same, and it is a winner!

This recipe one of the reasons that old church cookbooks are a treasure trove of recipes—it is truly delicious.

I have a feeling that Marilyn, the contributor of this recipe, was proud of this one. And for good reason! It got rave reviews from my husband and our neighbors, and I hope you’ll love it, too.

cheese log coated in chili powder next to almonds and crackers.

Need more appetizer inspiration? Don’t miss my 20 lil smokies recipes or my Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs.

Jump to:

Cheese log, cheese roll, cheese ball—which is it?

So why a cheese log, and not a cheese roll? It’s really just a matter of what you prefer to call it. You can use cheese roll and cheese log interchangeably—they are the same thing.

A cheese ball, however, is completely round. Legend has it that the first cheese ball weighed 1,235 pounds, and was created by a Massachusetts farmer for President Thomas Jefferson in 1801. You can read more about the cheese ball’s history on The Splendid Table, if you’re curious.

Whatever the shape, this old fashioned appetizer is a combination of shredded cheese, cream cheese, and seasonings. Many recipes include finely chopped nuts, too.


cheese, pecans, onion, and other ingredients.
  • A mixture of Colby Jack cheese and cream cheese are the base of this recipe.
  • Pecans add a nice crunch!
  • Chopped onion, garlic, and worcestershire sauce provide the flavorings.
  • The cheese roll gets rolled in chili powder for a pop of color and flavor. You could substitute paprika if you prefer.

How to make a cheese log

Start by letting the cream cheese come to room temperature. If you’re in a hurry, follow these instructions for softening cream cheese.

Then, shred the Colby Jack cheese.

shredded colby jack cheese next to a box grater.

You’ll want to start with cheese blocks and shred them yourself. Pre-shredded cheese won’t incorporate as well into the cheese log, and it’ll be dry.

So, start with blocks/bricks of cheese, and use a box grater.

Then, finely chop the pecans. You want very small pieces here so they can be spread onto a cracker. Get them as finely chopped as you can.

chopped pecans on a cutting board.

Place the shredded cheese, cream cheese, pecans, worcestershire sauce, chopped onion, and minced garlic in a large bowl. Mix to combine.

I find that using my hands is the easiest way to mix everything together.

cream cheese mixture in a glass bowl.

The mixture may seem dry at first, but as the cream cheese gets dispersed throughout, it’ll come together.

Form the mixture into a 12 inch log. It’ll be roughly 2–3 inches in diameter.

Sprinkle chili powder onto a cutting board, and roll the log into it. You may need to use your fingers to sprinkle the chili powder and pat it into the roll in order to get it completely covered.

cheese log being rolled in chili powder.

Your Cheese Log is ready to serve!

Cheese Log: Frequently Asked Questions

What type of cheese is best for a Cheese Log?

Cream cheese is essential for holding the cheese roll together. The shredded cheese, however, can be varied. You can use colby jack, monterey jack, cheddar, longhorn, or Swiss in a cheese roll.

Can I use garlic powder instead of the garlic clove?

You can substitute ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder in place of the minced garlic.

What can I substitute for worcestershire sauce?

You can use an equal amount of soy sauce in place of worcestershire sauce.

Can I omit the pecans?

You can omit the pecans from this recipe, or substitute finely chopped walnuts instead.

Can I make this into a cheese ball instead?

Yes! Form the cheese mixture into a ball with your hands, and then roll in chili powder. You can also form it into 1-inch balls for single-serve portions.

cheese log next to crackers and almonds on a white platter.

Make it ahead

This Cheese Log recipe can be made up to 2 days ahead. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve it.

Let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours before serving, in order to soften it slightly for spreading.


Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze leftovers, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a resealable freezer bag.

Serving suggestions

The Cheese Log is a great addition to a large cheese board, or just served on its own with crackers.

I like serving it with a butter knife or cheese spreader next to it, so that guests can cut off slices themselves.

Take care when placing this on any marble serving trays, as the chili powder can stain the marble. I recommend putting it on something washable or wooden if possible.

cross section of a cheese roll with crackers and almonds.

More cheesy appetizers

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

cheese roll on a marble board with crackers and almonds.

Cheese Log

Published by Kate
This old fashioned Cheese Log with chili powder and pecans is a fun and flavorful addition to a cheese tray.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 242 kcal


  • 1 lb Colby Jack cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • To serve: crackers


  • Grate the Colby Jack on a box grater or with the shredding disk of a food processor.
  • Very finely chop the pecans.
  • Place the grated cheese, cream cheese, chopped pecans, onion, worcestershire sauce, and garlic in a large bowl. Mix with a spoon or your hands to combine.
  • Pat the cheese mixture into a 12-inch long log. It will be 2–3 inches in diameter.
  • Sprinkle the chili powder on a cutting board, and roll the cheese log in the chili powder to coat. Use your fingers to sprinkle or pat the chili powder onto the roll as necessary.
  • Serve the cheese roll by slicing it into thin slices and spreading on crackers.


Make sure you use a block of cheese, and NOT pre-shredded cheese. The roll won’t stick together if you use pre-shredded cheese. You can substitute Monterey Jack, Cheddar, or Swiss for the Colby Jack cheese, if you’d like. 
You can substitute an equal amount of soy sauce for the worcestershire sauce. You can also substitute one-quarter teaspoon of garlic powder for the minced garlic, and also substitute walnuts for the pecans.
Avoid placing the cheese roll on anything that will stain (such as a marble platter). Instead, place it on a wooden board or another easily washable platter. 


Calories: 242kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 10gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 284mgPotassium: 120mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 706IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 278mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cheese log
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a star rating and comment below!


  1. 5 stars
    You’ll be pleased to know this recipe predates the 1970’s! My mother was making it in the 1950’s, and she got the recipe from my grandmother! They both used sharp cheddar. Mama used one of those aluminum meat grinders that attached to the kitchen counter to mix the cheeses. She always made two smaller logs out of the recipe, so that my dad would have one of his own 😉 She, too, used her hands to get things fully incorporated after the initial “grinding”. I have been thinking about making one for years, but had forgotten the ratios of cheeses, and the flavoring other than chili powder, so I was thrilled to frun across this recipe! Out of nostalgia, I did this batch with cheddar; next time I will try Colby, or a mix of the two. Seriously, I don’t think you can go wrong with this! Also, I added smoked paprika to my chili powder coating – the combination is definitely a keeper. I may try rolling one small log in all smoked paprika and the other in all chili powder next time to compare and contrast. Thank you for posting! (PS I so agree about church cookbooks being treasures! I have quite a collection.)

    1. Hi Maggie-beth, I love everything about this! Thank you so much for sharing—this really makes my heart happy to know that it jogged a particular memory for you (and LOL on your dad getting his own!). I love the smoked paprika idea, and thank you for the info on when it dates back to!

5 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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