The Best Cheese Ball Recipe
The Christmas cheese ball appetizer is the perfect food to bring to any party. If I am short on time, I use pre-made real bacon to make it quick and get it ready to eat.
I have to admit, I get weirdly nervous about making a cheese ball recipe.
I see recipes that turn out beautifully, and then I give it a try, and it looks like I waded it up and pressed it all together, and no one wants to eat it.
But, this is the best cheese ball appetizer recipe and it turned out beautifully.
The Perfect Party Appetizer (And Snack)
This is a quick and suuuuper easy recipe to make. And, you know what? Prepare to be greedy and not want to share it at your holiday gatherings, cause it’s that good.
While I was making the cheese ball, my youngest son kept coming in to check out the progress, and to keep sticking his finger in the bowl to grab a swipe. He loved it and wanted it for a snack.
So, if you’re making this for a party, you might want to hide it in the back of the fridge until it’s time to go, or you might go to grab it and it will be half eaten, because it’s so yummy!
You can also add chopped pecans to this simple cheese ball recipe instead of walnuts, if you’d like.
What Ingredients Do I Need For The Cream Cheese Ball?
- Cream cheese
- Dry ranch dressing mix
- Fresh chives (chopped)
- Dried parsley
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Bacon bits
Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
How To Make Cheese Balls
Add the two containers of cream cheese to a medium-sized bowl.
Be sure to set your cream cheese out on the counter a couple of hours before you start the recipe to let it soften.
If you don’t, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s a lot easier to blend it all together if it’s room temperature, and soft.
Mix the cream cheese to get it good and creamy.
Add the dry ranch packet and parsley flakes and blend them in well.
Next, add the walnuts and blend them in.
You can add some garlic salt here, if you’d like, but that’s optional. It’s already fairly salty, but the garlic salt adds a more salty flavor.
I know it’s tough not to be able to stick your finger through the screen and get a bite. I’m sorry, I wish I could let you have a bite.
Add the chives. I used my scissors to cut up the chives and then mixed them in.
Next, add the shredded cheese and stir it in.
While you’re stirring it in, scrape the sides of the bowl, and start to create a ball.
Tear off a piece of plastic wrap and lay it out on the counter. Make sure you tear off enough to wrap it around the cheese ball.
Pour some walnuts on the Saran Wrap and spread them out. Next, pour the bacon on the Saran Wrap and spread it out.
Set the cheese ball in the middle of the walnuts and bacon. Roll it around until it’s completely covered.
It’s still going to be a little mushy, and messy, but that’s ok. We’re not going for perfection, just yumminess.
Take the plastic wrap and roll it up around the cheese ball.
Once it’s wrapped up, you’ll be able to make more of a ball shape. And, believe it or not, it’s not that difficult to achieve.
I was truly afraid mine would come out shaped like a lopsided hockey puck, but it turned out great.
Once you get the cheese ball all wrapped up and in the shape of a ball, put it into a clean piece of plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
TIP: You can also shape this into a cheese log, as well.
But, take it out at least an hour before you serve it, because it needs to soften a little bit, otherwise the crackers will break easily.
Other optional additions:
The great thing about this easy cheese ball recipe is that you can change it up a little and add some different ingredients. Here are a few you can try:
- Chopped green pepper
- Green onions
- Garlic powder
- Sharp white cheddar
- Onion powder
- Chopped red bell pepper
- Worcestershire Sauce
Walnut Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
I like to use butter crackers like Ritz, or Nabisco Entertaining Crackers and place the cheese ball in the middle of the serving plate.
The homemade cheese ball can also be served with Triscuits, Club crackers, or Town House crackers.
Delicious Holiday Appetizers:
- Twice baked potatoes
- Crock Pot meatballs
- Baked brie with puff pastry
- Deviled eggs
- Christmas tree cheese ball with pine nuts from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Other party recipes:
- Christmas puppy chow (for people – not dogs)
- Sour cream dip
- Cream cheese dip with sausage
- Turtle candy recipe
- Butter pecan cookies
- Easy stovetop candied pecans
How To Store The Classic Cheese Ball
You can store the cheeseball in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure to take it out at least an hour before serving to soften.
Walnut Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
Check out the cheese ball appetizer recipe card below, grab the simple ingredients, and start preparing for your next holiday party.
Then, share your comments below and share a picture of your cheese ball on the Pinterest Pin! If you made any changes or added something different, be sure to share it with us so we can try it, too!
We love to hear about how you tried a different ingredient, so let us know!
- 2 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
- 1/8 cup + 1/8 cup walnuts
- 1 - 1 oz. package dry ranch dressing mix
- 1/4 cup fresh chives (chopped)
- 2 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2.8 oz. pre-made real bacon bits
- Set the cream cheese out on the counter for at least 1 hour before mixing.
- Add the cream cheese to a bowl and mix until creamy.
- Add the dry ranch mix and parsley and blend together.
- Add 1/8 cup of the walnuts and blend in. (You can use pecans if you'd like)
- Cut up the chives with scissors into small pieces and blend in.
- Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir, while scraping the sides of the bowl, creating a ball.
- Place a sheet of Saran Wrap on the counter and sprinkle the remaining 1/8 cup of walnuts (or pecans) out on the sheet.
- Sprinkle the entire package of bacon bits on the sheet.
- Roll the cheese ball in the bacon bits and walnuts until it's completely covered.
- Wrap the cheeseball in the Saran Wrap and continue to shape into a round ball (the bottom will still be somewhat flat).
- Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Take out of the refrigerator when ready to eat - but, allow at least 1 hour to soften.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1 tbsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 66Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 140mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
Nutrition is approximate.