Joanna Gaines Reveals Beloved ‘Staple’ Cheese Appetizer Recipe That’s So Easy to Make

Fixer Upper fans fell in love with Joanna Gaines for so many reasons, but overall it was because she was so down-to-earth and relatable.

The HGTV renovation queen lived on a gorgeous Texas farm with her seemingly perfect family. Still, she never acted better than anyone else and seemed happy to put her flaws on display.

And now she’s at it again with her new cooking show, Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines. Once again the media maven is surrounded by beauty. But instead of playing up her Pinterest-perfect life, Gaines is all too happy to make mistakes, make a mess, and throw together simple appetizers like cheese balls.

Some critics find ‘Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines’ too casual

Joanna Gaines
Joanna Gaines | Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Cooking shows have come a long way in the past decade. Now, they’re more about realism than aspiration, making recipes more accessible for the masses. In general Food Network shows are a lot less fussy than they were in the heyday of Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart.

Magnolia Table takes this trend toward relaxed and runs with it. Gaines prepares the meals in a stunning renovated kitchen situated in an old gristmill, naturally. But her upscale surroundings don’t extend to her cooking skills. Gaines makes a mess, cuts incorrectly (“If you’re looking to learn how to cut things, this is not the show for you,” she said in the Magnolia Table trailer), and focuses on easy recipes.

Some fans are calling the whole thing a “hot mess.” Others find the laid-back approach refreshing.

Joanna Gaines shared a family favorite appetizer recipe

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The Magnolia Table host has little time for haters. Instead, she’s hard at work sharing her treasured recipes with fans who need something quick and easy that makes a big impact. And in this case, it’s cheese balls to the rescue.

The 42-year-old mom of five knows time is a precious commodity. And that’s probably why she loves putting together a delicious, easy starter course rather than spending hours in the kitchen. Gaines shared a teaser for the latest episode of Magnolia Table with People and in it, admitted that cheese balls are a popular choice at her house.

“Cheese is a staple in the Gaines household,” the Fixer Upper alum explained. “And even Chip’s parents, anytime we go over there for a holiday there’s always cheese balls out so I feel like it’s just something I had to learn quick.”

The ‘Magnolia Table’ style cheese balls take minutes to make

Putting together Gaines’ favorite appetizer couldn’t be easier. To create the cheese balls, she mixes cream cheese, cheddar, gouda, and sun-dried tomatoes, then forms the balls with an ice cream scoop. Next, she rolls the individual balls in chopped parsley, cracked ground pepper, and chopped walnuts (her personal favorite).

“It’s a little messy, but I think if your kitchen is not messy, you’re not having fun,” Gaines says of the “simple” recipe. For holidays, special occasions, or even random weeknights, these cheese balls perfectly capture the essence of why everyone loves Gaines so much.