Cheddar bacon ranch cheese ball is easy to make and so addictive you’ll be asked to bring it to every party you go to!
I’m so bad at parties. I’m a classic introvert; if you know my chatty side then you know me well or I am very comfortable around you for whatever reason. I do my best to avoid social interactions with people that I don’t know. Parties…parties are the seventh level of hell for me. I am incredibly awkward trying to make small talk with people I don’t know well. It’s ugly.
A few years back a friend that I worked with and I decided that we were going to go to our staff Christmas party and be social, come hell or high water (this was a few schools back; I’m actually comfortable interacting with all the people I work with now). It was basically my worst nightmare-thank God she was there with me or I might have hidden in the coat closet.
I don’t remember much about that party except that the teacher who hosted had a beautiful home and that one of the teachers brought an absolutely amazing cheese ball. It had cheddar cheese, Major Grey chutney, and bacon in it, and she brought it to every occasion and gave it as a gift every time she needed to thank someone for something. I used this opportunity as an excuse to stay near the cheese ball table and only interact with others who came near it. It worked. I need to get her recipe…searching the interwebs has yielded some similar cheese balls but nothing exact.
Cheese balls are such a retro party snack, and I’ve seen them written off as too kitschy for a modern food-lover’s table. Whatever. If you don’t like cheese balls then you just haven’t had the right one. I was dreaming of a delicious cheese ball with simple, easy to find ingredients when a cheddar bacon ranch cheese ball popped into my head. It was basically perfect.
For this cheddar bacon ranch cheese ball, I make my own ranch dressing mix (based on this ranch dressing mix recipe from Chef in Training) and will list the ingredients that I use in the recipe, but there is no shame in using a packet of ranch dressing mix. I’m just 1000% more likely to have all the dried herbs and spices I need than I am to have a dressing packet, and usually I have every single ingredient necessary to make this cheese ball at a moment’s notice.
This cheddar bacon ranch cheese ball is amazing served with pretty much any type of crackers, but we bought a variety pack of party crackers at Aldi and they were perfect!
10 minPrep Time:
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 8 strips bacon - cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions (4-6 green onions)
- 1 recipe homemade ranch dressing mix (recipe below) or 2 envelopes storebought ranch dressing mix
- 1 cup pecans - chopped
- 3 tablespoons dry parsley
- 1 tablespoon dry dill weed
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 tablespoon dried chives
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- If making your own ranch dressing mix, pulse all ingredients together in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, it's fine to just stir the ingredients together, but it will have a little more texture.
- Combine the first five ingredients until well mixed using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon.
- Form the mixture into a ball. Roll in the chopped pecans to thoroughly coat the outside.
- Place the cheese ball on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve with crackers or pita chips.
Prep time does not include time to cook bacon or make ranch dressing mix. If you would like to make a smaller cheese ball, just half the ingredients (the cheese ball pictured here is actually a half recipe).
Click here to print the recipe for cheddar bacon ranch cheese ball!