Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
Several years ago, my sister brought a homemade cheese ball to Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. Ever since, cheese balls have been in regular rotation at all our holidays and parties. For Christmas, I have a Snowman Cheese Ball and a Rudolph Cheese Ball, and for Halloween or Thanksgiving I have a Pumpkin Cheese Ball. They are always so flavorful and a huge hit at every party. Plus, they are easy to shape into something festive depending on the season. Scroll to the bottom for easy instructions on making this recipe into a football cheese ball. It’s super easy and perfect for the Big Game.
Ingredients for Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
- Cream Cheese – reduced fat is ok to use, make sure it is at room temperature so it’s easy to mix.
- Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese – buy a block so you can shred the cheese for the inside of the ball finely, and the cheese for the outside of the ball with regular size shreds.
- Ranch Seasoning – 1 package of ranch seasoning or ranch dip mix, either will work.
- Cayenne Pepper and Black Pepper – for extra kick. You can skip if you don’t want any spice.
- Fresh Chives – I like to add these for fresh color and flavor.
- Bacon – I prefer to use center cut so there is less visible bacon fat, but any kind will work. I like to chop it, then cook the bacon over medium low heat to render as much of the fat as possible. Then transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Once the bacon is cooked and crispy, I chop it again to make the bacon pieces even smaller.
How to Make a Cheese Ball
- Start by letting cream cheese and cheddar cheese come to room temperature so they can easily mix together.
- Combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chives, and seasoning.
- Use plastic wrap or parchment paper to form into a ball.
- Tightly wrap cheese ball and refrigerate for at least two hours, but ideally overnight for best flavor.
- Unwrap and coat in additional cheese, chives, and bacon.
Can I make a Cheese Ball ahead?
Yes! It’s a great time saver and it gives the flavors a chance to blend. Make it up to three days ahead, and keep it wrapped tightly in the refrigerator.
Football Cheese Ball
Here is a fun idea for any football party! Instead of shaping a ball, shape it into a football shape, then refrigerate just like the instructions above and add toppings. Cut a white cheese slice into one longer strip and three smaller strips to create the laces. I used a provolone cheese slice. Place the cheese laces on top of the football cheese ball.
More Big Game Recipes
- Crispy Buffalo Drumsticks
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- M&M Cookie Bars
- Pigs in a Blanket
- Oven Roasted Buffalo Wings
Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball - crispy bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, fresh chives & classic ranch make a flavor-packed cheese ball!
- 2 8 oz blocks cream cheese at room temperature
- 3 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded fine and at room temperature
- 1 oz package ranch seasoning
- 2 tablespoons chives diced and divided
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- freshly ground pepper
- 6 oz bacon cooked crisp and chopped fine
- 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded and at room temperature
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, 3 cups of finely shredded cheddar cheese, ranch seasoning, 1 tablespoon fresh chives, cayenne pepper, and several turns of freshly ground black pepper. Transfer mixture to plastic wrap or parchment paper and shape into a ball. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least two hours, ideally overnight. Can be made up to three days ahead.
Before serving, combine remaining cup of shredded cheese, bacon, and remaining chives on a piece of parchment paper. Unwrap cheese ball and roll and press toppings into cheese ball. You can wrap the cheese ball into the parchment paper and use to smooth toppings. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables.
5 Easy Dinner Ideas for Busy Weeknights
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- Quick to make
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- and...most important...absolutely DELICIOUS