This CHEESE BALL is a perfect appetizer to serve especially this holiday season. A creamy dip loaded with various types of cheeses, bacon, and rolled in crunchy nuts and bacon bits! It may look complicated, but it’s so easy and fun to make.
A real holiday classic, isn’t it? Every year, this cheese ball is what my son, nephews, and nieces are waiting for.
While we adults are preparing for the other dishes, the children (and some of the adults, too!) enjoys spreading their favorite crackers, veggies, bread, and fruits with this ballin’ goodness.
That’s why I make sure to prepare it right before they arrive. The best part, you can make it in less than 30 minutes! A fantastic and festive ball dip to ring in the New Year!
What is a Cheese Ball?
Cheese Ball is basically a cheese dip shaped into a ball. This cheese ball dip is packed with great flavors!
It is made with cream cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, and green onion, to name a few, all combined together and rolled in finely chopped pecans and bacon bits to make the best and easy dip for any occasion!
Cheese Ball Ingredients and Variations
Making this cheese ball dip is easy and not boring at all. You can play with flavors and ingredients that you think will complement the cheese.
You can even use several types of cheeses, just make sure they’ll taste good together. However, my family liked our traditional cheese ball made with these basic ingredients:
- Cream Cheese
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- Green Onion
- Worcestershire sauce
- Hot Pepper Sauce
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Dried Oregano Leaves
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Although I make this with hot sauce, it doesn’t taste that spicy. It just adds a nice tingle in your mouth. So, before you omit it, (unless you have dietary restrictions) try it first to see the difference it makes to this dish!
Pecans can also be substituted with any nuts you prefer. You can try almonds instead or roll it purely on crispy bacon bits!
How Long Can it Stand Out?
Once this cheese ball is served out to your guests, their safety is your number one concern. Microorganisms, especially harmful ones, multiply when food is at room temperature.
Since this is a dairy product, the risk from harmful microorganisms doubles.
My tip is to discard any cheese dip left 2 hours after serving to avoid any risk. Also, don’t make a HUGE cheese ball. It’s better to divide it into 2 small balls or much smaller balls. And just bring them out once the table needs to be refilled.
Make sure to use clean utensils when touching the dip to prevent food contamination.
Storing and Making Ahead Instructions
You can make the cheese ball in advance! However, skip the part where you’ll coat it with nuts.
Wrap it in a plastic wrap or cling wrap, then store it in an airtight container or bag and put it in the refrigerator. Just an hour before serving, coat it with nuts or any coating of your choice.
When storing the cheese ball in the refrigerator, as long as it’s wrapped in plastic wrap and in an airtight container, it will stay fresh for several days or up to 2 weeks depending on the freshness of the ingredients you’ll use.
Check the expiration date of your ingredients first and make sure to use recently purchased ingredients to make it last for two long weeks in the fridge!
Can You Freeze a Cheese Ball?
Freezing is also a good way to make it last longer.
Without coating it with nuts, wrap the cheese ball in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe container or in a Ziploc bag. This will make it last for up to 1 month.
The night before serving it, place the frozen cheese ball in the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. Roll on nuts once completely thawed and serve!
What to Serve with it?
- Pear and Apple Slices
- Mini bagels
- Pita Bread
- Roasted Potato Wedges
- Tortilla Chips
PRO TIP: Always serve with a cheese knife. Dipping treats into the ball will most likely cause it to fall apart easily. 😉
More Easy and Yummy Appetizers to Try
How To Make a Cheese Ball
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat then add chopped bacon. Brown Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
In a small bowl, combine half of the bacon, pecans, and 2 tablespoons parsley; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, and remaining bacon and parsley on medium-high until well combined and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Shape the mixture into a ball and roll in the prepared bacon-pecan mixture
Watch How To Make It
Cheese Ball Recipe
- 3-4 bacon
- 1 cup pecans finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley fresh chopped
- 2 green onions , chopped
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano leave
- dash freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat then add chopped bacon. Brown Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- In a small bowl, combine half of the bacon, pecans, parsley, and green onions; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, onion powder, garlic powder, remaining browned bacon, oregano, black pepper, hot pepper sauce, remaining green onion, and Worcestershire sauce on a medium-high until well combined and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Shape the mixture into a ball and roll in the prepared bacon-pecan mixture. Serve with crackers, crudite, or chips.
Tips & Notes:
- Pecans can also be substituted with any nuts you prefer. You can try almonds instead or roll it purely on crispy bacon bits!
- Discard any cheese dip left 2 hours after serving to avoid any risk.
- Don't make a huge cheese ball especially when serving to a few people. It’s better to divide it into 2 small balls or much smaller balls. And just bring them out once the table needs to be refilled.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.