Sharp Cheddar Pork Sausage Balls
These holiday favorites benefit from a spicy, sage-heavy bulk pork sausage. Get the recipe for Sharp Cheddar and Sausage Balls ». Marcus Nilsson

In his 1994 track “Warning,” Notorious B.I.G. famously exclaimed, “touch my cheddar, feel my Beretta.” Was he talking about cheese? Probably not. But we are. And while it’s impossible to pinpoint when and how exactly cheddar became synonymous with cold, hard, cash, but if we had to venture a guess, it’d probably be because everyone loves it and everyone wants it—and it often comes in golden yellow bricks.

From its 12th-century origins in southwest England (King Henry II once purchased more than 10,000 pounds if cheddar in the year 1170), to its modern ubiquity in dairy cases the world over, the making of cheddar has remained much the same: Large curds are separated from the whey, after which they’re salted and pressed into molds to drain and dry. Brilliant orange annatto seeds are sometimes used to lend it a richer orange color, which some believe was done to more closely resemble the saturated hue of cheeses made from grass-fed cows.

RELATED: Our Complete Guide to All Things Cheesy

Whichever way the cheddar crumbles, it makes a great cooking cheese, melting easily into biscuits, shortbreads, and pasta, and always providing a sharp, recognizable cheese flavor. Here are are 13 recipes to help you get some cheddar of your own.


Cheddar and Sausage Balls

Sharp Cheddar and Pork Sausage Balls

American Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

When making these buttery little biscuits, opt for a true American cheese—fourth-generation Wisconsin cheesemaker Sid Cook, of Carr Valley Cheese, advised us to use a three-year-old extra-sharp cheddar. Get the recipe for American Cheddar Cheese Biscuits »

Tomato-Cheddar Tart

Tomato-Cheddar Tart

Cheddar Cheese Kulcha

Cheddar Cheese Kulcha

Virginia Ham and White Cheddar Croquettes

Crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside, potato croquettes filled with a combination of white cheddar and salty ham are the ultimate party snack. Get the recipe for Virginia Ham and White Cheddar Croquettes »

Pecan Cheese Wafers

Pecans lightly brushed with egg whites are baked into cheesy, buttery wafers with a touch of chile flakes. Get the recipe for Pecan Cheese Wafers »

Tuna Melt Canapes

Curry powder, raisins, and chutney pair nicely with cheddar cheese in this dressed-up tuna melt. Get the recipe for Tuna Melt Canapes »

Southern-Style Mac and Cheese

In this wonderful regional take on mac and cheese, grated onion and Worcestershire sauce are added to the mix.

Cheese Curds

Perfect for poutine

White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

Sun-dried tomatoes and chopped ham turn up the flavor in this baked pasta. Get the recipe for White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese »

Sharp Cheddar Sandwich

Dense rye bread is the perfect base for a generous smear of not-too-spicy whole-grain mustard topped with thin slices of a sharp cheddar. Get the recipe for Sharp Cheddar Sandwich »

Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli and cheddar are a classic pair; their mellow flavors marry in this creamy casserole, a weeknight staple from former Saveur editor Kellie Evans’ mother, Patricia. Get the recipe for Broccoli Casserole »