Cheese balls are such a hit during the holidays, and this easy Holiday Bacon Ranch and Walnut Cheese ball is a classic holiday appetizer. The holiday cheese ball 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 recipe and it turned out delicious. It was a quick and suuuuper easy to make. And, you know what? Prepare to be greedy and not want to share it, 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.
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 pecans to this simple cheese ball recipe instead of walnuts, if you’d like.
Recipe and printable instructions at the bottom of the post.
Be sure to set your cream cheese out on the counter a couple of hours before you start the recipe. 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.
Add the two containers of cream cheese to a medium-sized bowl.
Mix the cream cheese to get it good and creamy.
Add the dry ranch packet and parsley flakes and blend them in well. (You can add some garlic salt here, if you’d like. That’s optional. It’s already fairly salty, but the garlic salt adds a more salty flavor).
Add the walnuts and blend them in.
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.
Add the shredded cheese and stir it in. While you’re stirring it in, scrape the sides, and start to create a ball.
Tear off a piece of Saran 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 Saran Wrap and roll it up around the cheeseball. 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.
Once you get the cheese ball all wrapped up and in the shape of a ball, put it into a clean piece of Saran Wrap and put it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
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.
Cheese ball recipe with bacon and walnuts
- 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.
Serving Size:1 tbsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 75 Total Fat: 6.9g Saturated Fat: 3.7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 19mg Sodium: 134mg Carbohydrates: 0.6g Fiber: 0.1g Sugar: 0.1g Protein: 2.8g