This Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball that's loaded with savory flavor from crumbled bacon, zesty ranch seasoning, and nutty cheddar cheese, all in a cream cheese base, is a party and holiday favorite that will always be a hit with both kids and grown-ups alike.
Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
This Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball is an easy, crowd-pleasing appetizer. It's a cool spread loaded with ranch, bacon, and cheddar flavor in a creamy cream cheese base.
A bacon ranch cheese ball is super easy to whip up for parties and holidays, and can be made ahead of time or even frozen! Plus, it's an instant hit with both kids and adults.
How to Serve a Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
With a spoon, please! Just kidding... kind of.
I typically serve my bacon ranch cheeseball with an assortment of crackers such as wheat crackers, butter crackers, and pretzels or pretzel thins.
Some more options include bagel chips, pita chips, or toasted baguette slices (crostini) would work nicely. You can also use celery, carrots, and bell peppers for a fresh, healthy alternative.
Also of note for serving a cheese ball, it's best to let it set out at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before serving or the ball will be very hard and difficult to dip or spread.
Can You Freeze Cheese Balls?
Yes, this cheese ball can be frozen. Before adding the outer coating (bacon, parsley, and pecans, if desired), wrap tightly in saran wrap, followed by foil. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then roll in the remaining outer coating before serving.
Can You Make Cheese Ball Bites with This Recipe?
Yes, you can use this recipe to make mini cheese ball bites too. Sometimes these are served kind of like cake pops on a little pretzel stick. Also be aware that you may need more bacon, parsley, and pecans for the outer coating since there will be more balls making it this way.
Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball Variations
The simplicity of this recipe is what makes it such a hit. But sometimes we need a little variety or we just don't have the ingredients on hand. Here are some suggestions for variations.
- Bacon bits - Instead of cooking up some fresh bacon to crumble, you can use bacon bits. I suggest the real bacon kind. You will need about ¾ cup.
- Pecans - The pecans in the outer coating are optional. I often don't add them because they're not my kids favorite. Alternately, you can also use other nuts finely chopped nuts, such as walnuts or almond slivers.
- Cheese - I listed cheddar in the recipe because I feel like cheddar goes with bacon and ranch like three peas in a cheese ball pod. But lots of other cheeses will work here, so choose your favorite! Pepper Jack, smoked gouda, Monterey Jack, or Colby Jack are all great options.
- Pimentos - Add some drained pimentos into the cheese ball mixture for a little extra pepper flavor.
- Skip the coating - This recipe will actually work as a spread in a bowl if you don't want to deal with the mess of rolling it into a ball. Or you can make it into a ball without the outside coating and serve it that way, and you won't be missing much flavor (The outside is mostly for looks!)
- Seeds - Seeds make an excellent simple coating for the outside of the bacon ranch cheese ball. Try rolling it in poppy seeds or white or black sesame seeds.
More Dip Recipes You'll Love
- BLT Dip - all the flavors of a BLT including savory crumbled bacon, fresh juicy tomatoes, and crisp lettuce in a creamy cool dip.
- Jalapeno Popper Dip - Creamy, cheesy cream cheese based dip loaded with fresh jalapenos and a bit of crumbled bacon.
- Easy Layered Taco Dip - the best taco dip layered with beans, salsa, and a creamy seasoned filling, topped with all of the best taco toppings.
- Avocado Cilantro White Bean Dip - a creamy and super healthy dip made from white beans and ripe avocado with tons of flavor from fresh garlic, lime, and cilantro.
- Texas Trash Dip - one of the easiest dips to make and so gooey and delicious too. This one is always a hit at parties, and you can make an extra large batch easily.
Bacon Ranch Cheeseball Video
Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
- 16 ounces cream cheese (2 packages) softened
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 packet (1 ounce) ranch seasoning (about 3 tablespoons)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 10 slices bacon cooked, crumbled, and divided
- 1½ cups shredded cheddar
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
- ½ cup pecans optional
Prepare the Cheese Ball
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.
- Add ranch seasoning, garlic powder, half of the crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar, and green onions. Mix to incorporate.
- Lay out a large sheet of plastic wrap and drop cream cheese mixture onto the center. Cover tightly on all sides, and shape into a ball.
- Refrigerate at least 3 to 4 hours or overnight, until firm.
Add the Outer Topping
- Add remaining bacon, parsley, and pecans if using, into a small mixing bowl. Stir together.
- Unwrap cheese ball and roll into bacon mixture.
- Remove cheese ball to a serving plate. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (Allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving for best results.)
- Make Ahead: This cheeseball can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (if everything is fresh). Allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving for best results.
- Freezer Directions: Before adding the outer coating (bacon, parsley, and pecans, if desired), wrap tightly in saran wrap, followed by foil. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then roll in the remaining outer coating before serving.
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