Today: Get My No Fail, Easy Cookbook Series for 60% OFF
Buy Now

Cheese Ball Recipe

close up shot of cheese ball recipe with ritz crackers
Quick and easy, cheese balls are a classic party appetizer. Serve it alongside your favorite crackers or veggies.
Jump to Recipe
Table of Contents
  1. CHEESE BALL RECIPE INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS CHEESE BALL RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This homemade cheese ball recipe is always a hit! It’s the ultimate classic party appetizer with bacon and cheese and plenty of creamy flavor; I guarantee you will be hooked.

Want more ideas for easy appetizers for your holiday parties? Try these traditional hanky panky appetizers or cucumber bites are both yummy.

CHEESE BALL RECIPE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

  • 2 (8-ounce) cream cheese blocks, room-temperature
  • 3 tablespoons bottled ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley Ranch original)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives, divided
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 12-ounce package center-cut bacon, cooked & crumbled, divide (this will yield about ¾ cup bacon crumbles)
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • Serve with butter crackers like RITZ brand

PRO TIP:

Do not use thick-sliced bacon for this recipe. Center cut works best because it is less fatty and not too thick to mix with the cream cheese. I like to pre-chop my raw bacon into thin slices before cooking it. I find it cooks a little faster and also yields more evenly sized bacon crumbles.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

BACON: Another great option is the Ready-Cook bacon. Just cook it according to package directions, in the microwave, and make sure that you have ¾ total bacon bits. This is a great option if you do not like to make a mess in the kitchen cooking your bacon on the stovetop.

CHEESE: I like using the bagged, pre-shredded cheese for this good cheese ball recipe because you can buy the very finely shredded kinds and it tends to mix into the cream cheese better and not clump up. However, if you prefer to shred your own cheese I suggest you place your block of cheese into the freezer about 20 minutes prior to shredding it. It helps the cheese shred better on the fine side of your box grater.

RANCH: For the bottle of Ranch dressing feel free to use your favorite brand. My suggestion is to use a thicker and creamier one. Another option is to mix 3 tablespoons of sour cream with 2 tablespoons of dry ranch dressing mix. You will add that to your cream cheese in lieu of the bottled ranch dressing.

WALNUTS: You can also use chopped pecans for the outer coating instead of chopped walnuts if you prefer for this easy party appetizer.

SPICE: Add a bit of spice to this easy cheese ball with a dash of cayenne pepper.

kitchen tools you actually need

HOW TO MAKE THIS CHEESE BALL RECIPE

STEP ONE: In a large skillet, on medium-low heat, cook your bacon until crisp (this can take anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes). Once cooked, drain your bacon on a paper towel-lined plate. Once cooled, chop your bacon then set it aside.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, with a rubber spatula, combine the softened cream cheese, ranch dressing, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper and 2 tablespoons chopped chives. Cream together until smooth and all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.  

PRO TIP:

Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so that you don’t have any lumps in your cheese ball mixture.

STEP THREE: Add the finely shredded cheddar cheese and ½ cup of the bacon crumbles. Gently fold them into the cream cheese mixture until all the ingredients are completely combined.

STEP FOUR: On a large plate add the remaining ¼ cup bacon crumbles, 1 tablespoon chopped chives and the finely chopped walnuts. Gently mix them all together then spread them out in an even layer on your plate. This will make it easier to roll and coat your cheese ball.

STEP FIVE: While your cream cheese mixture is still in the mixing bowl, take your rubber spatula and gently form it into a large ball shape.  

STEP SIX: Very carefully place your cheese ball onto your plate with your walnut mixture. Using your hands gently press the walnut coating all over the outside of your cheese ball. You can roll your cheese ball around on your plate to make sure that all sides are evenly coated.

PRO TIP:

If you prefer, you can lightly toast your walnuts prior to chopping them. This adds a great elevated flavor but is not necessary. Also, if you prefer the taste of pecans more than walnuts then they make a great alternative for this cheese ball.

STEP SEVEN: Wrap your cheese ball in plastic wrap and place it on a plate, in the refrigerator, to chill for 4 hours prior to serving.  

HOW TO SERVE

Serve this bacon ranch cheese ball with all of your favorite crackers or pita chips for easy snacking this holiday season. A Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years or any other holiday party are all fantastic occasions to whip up this party spread recipe.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: This delicious cheese ball recipe can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and can be stored, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days in total.

This classic cheese ball recipe has tons of flavor and a creamy texture. Bacon, cheese and Ranch are always a winning combination, making this the perfect party appetizer.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make this cheese ball ahead of time?

This is the perfect appetizer to make the day before. Wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving.

Can I mix in other ingredients with the cheese and bacon?

The cheese ball ingredients are entirely customizable. If you would like to add other ingredients such as other spices, herbs or cheese, you should give it a try.

Can I add other types of cheese to the cheese ball?

Any cheese blend or type of shredded cheese can be used in this recipe.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

Get Recipes on Pinterest

Get a Free Cookbook
Subscribe now to receive our FREE Sweet & Treats digital cookbook with 15 amazing desserts inside!
close up shot of cheese ball recipe with ritz crackers

Cheese Ball Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Quick and easy, cheese balls are a classic party appetizer. Serve it alongside your favorite crackers or veggies.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons bottled Ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley Ranch original)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives divided
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese finely shredded
  • 12 ounces center-cut bacon cooked and crumbled, divided
  • 1 cup walnuts finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet, on medium-low heat, cook your bacon until crisp (this can take anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes). Once cooked, drain your bacon on a paper towel lined plate. Once cooled, chop your bacon then set aside.
  • In a large bowl, with a rubber spatula, combine the cream cheese, ranch dressing, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper and 2 tablespoons chopped chives. Cream together until smooth and all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. 
  • Add the finely shredded cheddar cheese and ½ cup of the bacon crumbles. Gently fold them into the cream cheese mixture until all the ingredients are completely combined.
  • On a large plate add the remaining ¼ cup bacon crumbles, 1 tablespoon chopped chives and the finely chopped walnuts. Gently mix them all together then spread them out in an even layer on your plate. This will make it easier to roll and coat your cheese ball.
  • While your cream cheese mixture is still in the bowl, take your rubber spatula and gently form it into a large ball.
  • Very carefully place your cheese ball onto your plate with your walnut mixture. Using your hands gently press the walnut coating all over the outside of your cheese ball. You can roll your cheese ball around on your plate to make sure that all sides are evenly coated.
  • Wrap your cheese ball in plastic wrap and place on a plate, in the refrigerator, to chill for 4 hours prior to serving.

Video

Notes

TIP: Do not use thick sliced bacon for this recipe. Center cut works best because it is less fatty and not too thick to mix with the cream cheese. I like to pre-chop my raw bacon into thin slices before cooking it. I find it cooks a little faster and also yields more evenly sized bacon crumbles.
TIP: Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so that you don’t have any lumps in your cheese ball mixture.
TIP: If you prefer, you can lightly toast your walnuts prior to chopping them. This adds a great elevated flavor but is not necessary. Also, if you prefer the taste of pecans more than walnuts then they make a great alternative for this cheese ball.

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 178IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 1mg
Have You Tried This Recipe?Follow me on Pinterest @spaceshipslb

Get Recipes on Facebook

Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Comment

    Recipe Rating




    Comments

  1. Sandy says

    5 stars
    My granddaughter and I made this for Thanksgiving! So we have to wait if we can, but what we tasted was GOOD!! Easy to make

16108

Free Membership!

Get all our new recipes straight to

your inbox plus a BONUS

download in your first email! ❤