Cheese Ball Recipe

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This Cheese Ball Recipe is our go-to choice for entertaining and serving throughout the holiday season! Cheese Balls are very simple to make and only require five ingredients.

A gorgeous cheese ball with crackers on the side, and a bite scooped out of it, ready to be enjoyed as both a delicious and visually appealing snack.

Classic Cheese Ball Recipe

Somehow, I’ve managed to share two dessert cream cheese ball recipes on this site, but I haven’t shared a savory one yet. Today, I’m rectifying that with the best savory Cheese Ball I’ve ever tasted.

The two dessert cheese ball recipes I’ve shared here — the Brownie Batter Cheeseball and this Pumpkin Spice Cheeseball — have become some of the most popular recipes for entertaining on this site. I’m excited for this savory version to become part of the collection.

This recipe only requires five ingredients, making it a breeze to quickly gather everything you need from the store. It’s also extremely easy to put together — you’ll be surprised at how effortless it is to make!

The ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix used in the recipe.

Ingredients In Cheese Ball Recipe

  • Cream Cheese: Use full-fat for better shape retention. Philadelphia Cream Cheese® is preferred (not sponsored).
  • Ranch Seasoning Mix: Adds significant flavor; Hidden Valley® ranch seasoning mix is recommended (not sponsored).
  • Bacon: Use pre-cooked bacon or bake in the oven for convenience.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar, with Tillamook ® as the favored brand (not sponsored).
  • Chives: Optional, but they add a fresh contrast to the rich flavors.
  • Pecans: Used as the final coating for the chilled Cheese Ball recipe, adding crunch and cohesion. Toasting them beforehand enhances flavor.

Mixing cream cheese and ranch seasoning together, adding bacon, cheese, and chives, mixing them together, forming the mixture into a ball, and wrapping it in plastic to chill, one of the final steps in the cheese ball recipe.

How To Make A Cheese Ball

  1. Soften Cream Cheese: Allow full-fat cream cheese to reach room temperature.
  2. Mix Ingredients: Beat cream cheese with ranch seasoning, shredded cheddar, and diced bacon. Add chives if desired.
  3. Form and Chill: Shape the mixture into a ball using plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 1-3 hours until firm.
  4. Add Pecans: Roll the chilled ball in chopped pecans for coating.
  5. Serve: Serve with crackers and store any leftovers in the fridge.

QUICK TIP

This cheese ball recipe is simple and quick to prepare, but requires advance planning. Room-temperature cream cheese is essential and takes time to soften. Additionally, chilling the cheese ball before coating it in pecans is crucial. Therefore, plan ahead as the process is spread out.

Rolling the cheese ball in chopped pecans to make the already delicious snack even more beautiful.

Tips For Success

  • Cream Cheese: Ensure it’s at room temperature to avoid chunks and ensure smooth mixing. Quickly bring to room temperature if needed.
  • Freshly Grated Cheese: Preferable for better flavor and texture over pre-shredded cheese, which may have a powdery coating.
  • Finely Chopped Pecans: Smaller pieces stick better to the cheese ball recipe and improve eating experience.
  • Chill Thoroughly: Allow the mixed cheese ball to chill and harden before rolling in pecans for a firm shape and intensified flavors.

A bite of the savory finished snack scooped up on a cracker, ready to be enjoyed.

STORAGE

Storage and Freezing Instructions:

  • Refrigeration: Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, tightly covered. The Cheese Ball Recipe should be kept chilled to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage.
  • Freezing: While freezing is possible, it may affect the texture. If you choose to freeze it, wrap it tightly and consume within a month for best quality. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Serve The Cheese Ball With

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Cheese Balls

5 from 2 votes
This Cheese Ball Recipe is our go-to choice for entertaining and serving throughout the holiday season! Cheese Balls are very simple to make and only require five ingredients.
A gorgeous cheese ball with crackers on the side, and a bite scooped out of it, ready to be enjoyed as both a delicious and visually appealing snack.
Print Recipe

Cheese Balls

A gorgeous cheese ball with crackers on the side, and a bite scooped out of it, ready to be enjoyed as both a delicious and visually appealing snack.
5 from 2 votes
This Cheese Ball Recipe is our go-to choice for entertaining and serving throughout the holiday season! Cheese Balls are very simple to make and only require five ingredients.
Course Appetizer, Snack, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword Cheese Ball Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8 -10 as a side
Chelsea Lords
Calories 348kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (8 oz. (226g) EACH) full-fat (brick-style) cream cheese
  • 1 package (1 oz.; 28g) Hidden Valley Ranch Salad and Seasoning mix
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (200g) freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (51g) finely diced bacon (~8 slices)
  • Optional: 1/3 cup diced fresh chives
  • 2/3 cup pecans, finely chopped (See Note 1)
  • Serve with: crackers

Instructions

  • PREP: About an hour before starting, set out the cream cheese to get it to room temperature. It's important it's softened a bit so you don't end up with unpleasant chunks in the cheese ball. (To bring to room temp quicker: cut cream cheese into small cubes and spread out on a plate. Let sit in a warm place about 15-20 minutes.)
  • CHEESE BALL: In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and ranch seasoning mix until smooth. Add in the shredded cheese and finely diced bacon; beat until just combined. Add in optional chives.
  • CHILL: Using a silicone spatula, scoop the mixture onto the plastic wrap and using the wrap, form it into a ball. Tightly wrap and place in the fridge for 1-3 hours or until firm.
  • PECANS: See Note 1. Finely dice the pecans and place on a large tray with sides. Remove the ball from the fridge and from the plastic wrap and roll in the chopped pecans. Gently press the pecans into the side as needed.
  • SERVE: Place Cheese Ball on a large plate and serve with your favorite crackers. Make sure to have a table knife by the side, since crackers often break when pressed into the cheeseball, and it's much easier to scoop from the ball with a knife.
  • STORAGE: Store any leftovers, tightly covered, for up to 1 week in the fridge. Cheese Ball shouldn't stand at room temperature for more than 2 hours because of all the dairy in it.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Pecans: I love the flavor of toasted pecans on this cheese ball, plus toasting keeps the pecans from going soft as quickly. I recommend either purchasing roasted pecans or toasting yourself them before starting.
  • To toast: Pour the (un-chopped) pecan halves into an even layer in a small, dry  skillet over medium-heat(no need to add oil or anything); stir them around a bit until they are fragrant and toasted to your liking. Watch the pecans carefully; they can go from perfectly cooked to burnt in an instant! I like to remove them as soon as they begin to smell fragrant. Allow to cool completely before chopping. The smaller the pecan pieces, the easier they adhere to the cheese ball and the more enjoyable the appetizer is to eat.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1010 as a side | Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.6g | Protein: 11.2g | Fat: 32.4g | Cholesterol: 79.5mg | Sodium: 367.4mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 2.2g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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