Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball Recipe

The only cheese ball recipe you'll ever need

The cheese ball is a throwback to cocktail parties from the days of yore, where it was the star of many a Midwestern snack table. With any good trend (we're looking at you, neon), the cheese ball is in the middle of a resurgence into the culinary mainstream. Like sheet pan dinners, you know something is back when there's an entire cookbook dedicated to it. In addition to being the life of any party, the cheese ball is the perfect make-ahead appetizer—there's little to no cooking depending on the recipe, and the ingredients can be mixed well ahead of time (just make sure to refrigerate until ready to serve).

Most cheese balls usually start with a base of cream cheese to glue everything together, but from there, the options are endless. (You can substitute Neufchâtel cheese for a slightly healthier version.) This recipe combines some of our favorite ingredients: cheddar, bacon and ranch dressing. We also throw in chopped chives for freshness and hot sauce to cut through the richness. Form the mixture into any shape you wish, such as a football, depending on the occasion. Serve with vegetables, chips or crackers.

Check out some of our other easy appetizer recipes.

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
4.9 from 62 ratings
This cheese ball recipe is the perfect party appetizer and combines some of our all-time favorite ingredients: cheddar, bacon and ranch dressing. What else is there?
Prep Time
Cook Time
to 8 servings
Total time: 20 minutes
  • 12 slices thick-cut bacon
  • Two 8-ounce packages room-temperature cream cheese
  • 8 ounces finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup chives, minced
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • One 1-ounce package ranch dressing seasoning mix
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Crackers or crudités, for serving
  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool completely. Once cool, roughly chop the bacon and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix half of the chopped bacon with the rest of the ingredients (except the crackers/crudités). Form the cheese mixture into a ball and cover with the remaining bacon. Serve with crackers and crudités.
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