Who doesn’t love a cream cheese ball loaded with bacon, cheddar, ranch seasoning, and green onion? Serve with crackers for a perfect holiday appetizer!
Growing up, our family would eat holiday dinners around 3 p.m. To hold us over until dinnertime, we would put out appetizers to snack on. My mom’s favorite appetizer was always a green onion cheese ball from our local grocery store.
One fateful year, the grocery store was all sold out of the green onion cheese ball. Christmas was all but ruined! To save the day, I was sure I could make it at home. Plus, I was sure I could make it just as well if not better than the store-bought one. Not to brag, but that’s just what I did.
Over the years, this recipe for the Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball has become a family favorite. It’s great for entertaining or parties. Even better, it only requires 6 ingredients and only takes 10 minutes to make. I warn you though, it is addicting!
This cheese ball is one of those recipes that’s so easy it doesn’t really need a recipe. But that doesn’t stop my family from asking for it every year. So, Fam, this one is for you!
Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball Ingredients
As mentioned earlier, you only need six ingredients to make this cheese ball:
- Cream Cheese
- Cheddar Cheese
- Green Onion
- Ranch Dressing Mix
- Worcestershire Sauce.
Additionally, you’ll need crackers, veggies, or deli meats and cheeses to serve this with. We like serving it with honey ham, roast beef, and turkey slices. We also like serving it with sliced Gouda, Colby Jack, and Swiss cheeses.
This cheese ball recipe contains no nuts. But, if you like them, try rolling the cheese ball in sliced pecans for extra crunch. Or you could add them to the cream cheese mixture.
Cream Cheese Cheese Ball
The base of any good cheese ball starts with softened cream cheese. On average, it takes about 30 minutes for cream cheese to soften and come to room temperature.
TIP: To soften cream cheese faster, cut it into 1″ (or smaller) cubes. If you are in a rush, you can also remove the cream cheese from the foil wrapper, and microwave the cream cheese for 15 seconds to soften it even faster. Although, try to avoid microwaving the cream cheese if you can.
If you read my post for Homemade Alfredo Sauce, you know my family keeps large 3-lb blocks of cream cheese in our fridge. We love Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and we buy the big blocks from Costco. Although, if you don’t hoard the cream cheese like we do, feel free to use any 8 oz of cream cheese you like.
In my opinion, sharp cheddar cheese is the best for this recipe. I love the contrast of the sharp cheese with all the other ingredients. But, feel free to use a mild cheddar cheese for more balanced flavors.
For the best flavor, grate your own cheese rather than buying pre-shredded cheese. Prepacked cheeses are coated with starches and other products to prevent the cheese from clumping. The flavor of these anti-clumping agents really detracts from the overall flavor.
If I haven’t convinced you to grate your own cheese yet, just know, it’s often less expensive to grate your own too. So, take a few extra minutes and grate your own cheese!
Flavor Bomb Ingredients
To add a lot of flavor without a lot of ingredients, you’ll need dry ranch dressing mix and worcestershire sauce. Both of these ingredients are flavor bombs! They both add a lot of flavor to the cheese ball. Don’t skip them!
Additionally, we’ll be adding freshly chopped green onion. The white parts of the green onion will have a stronger onion flavor. So, if you don’t want a strong onion flavor, only use the green parts of the onion. Although, I will usually use both the white and green parts.
Finally, you’ll need bacon! To keep preparation simple, I like to use Real Bacon Bits. Although, you can also use about 6 slices of cooked diced bacon too. I won’t judge you if you add more bacon than the recipe calls for.
Crackers and Other Toppings
Our family loves serving this cheese ball with Keebler Toasteds Buttercrisp Crackers. They are buttery, crisp, and slightly salty. So yummy! While we’ve tried other Toasted flavors, we prefer the Buttercrisp flavor.
When the Toasteds are not available, our second choice are Ritz Original Crackers. They have a slightly crumblier texture, and they can tend to be more salty. But they are a great substitute.
For a different flavored cracker, we also like to serve the cheese ball with Keebler Club Crackers. They taste more like a saltine cracker (but better), and they are bigger so they can hold more toppings.
Is this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball Low-Carb?
Good news, friends! This Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball is low-carb! So, you don’t have to feel left out when enjoying the holiday appetizers. To keep the appetizer low-carb, just be sure to serve it with low-carb crackers or low-carb vegetables.
Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball Prep Tips
For this recipe, I recommend the following equipment:
You can definitely mix all the ingredients by hand, but I prefer to use the hand mixer. It makes the job so much easier.
After all the ingredients are well combined, I use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and form a ball shape with the ingredients. Additionally, use plastic wrap to help form ball and stick cheddar cheese on the cream cheese. The cheese ball does not have to be perfectly shaped, and the outer layer of cheese will hide any imperfections.
Store leftover cheese ball in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.
Finally, you can always customize the flavors of this cheese ball! Feel free to adjust any of the quantities if you want more of that flavor. It’s really hard to mess this one up! Although, I will caution you not to use too much Worcestershire sauce as it can overpower the other ingredients.
Love the Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball?
That’s it, my friends! I hope you give this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball recipe a try. Our family loves it, and I know yours will too!
If you love this recipe, you should also check these out too:
- Cottage Cheese and Crackers (great 5-minute snack)
- Jonny’s 7-Layer Bean Dip (the best bean dip)
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse (awesome make-ahead dessert)
- Cherries Jubilee with Vanilla Ice Cream (impressive entertaining dessert)
Or feel free to check out all of my appetizer recipes, here!
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Bacon Cheddar Ranch Cheese Ball
- 8 oz Cream Cheese Softened
- 1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded Divided
- 4 bunches Green Onion
- 1/3 cup Real Bacon Bits*
- 3 tbsp Ranch Dressing Mix 1 Packet
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- Add softened cream cheese to a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip cream cheese until light and airy.
- Using a sharp knife and cutting board, dice the green onion very small. (Use only the green parts for a mild onion flavor, or the white and green parts for more bold flavor.)
- Reserving 1/2 cup of cheddar, add remaining ingredients, including green onion, to the bowl and continue mixing until combined.
- Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, shape the ball into a rounded ball. (It's ok to leave the bottom of the ball flat.)
- Press the remaining cheddar onto all sides of the cheese ball. Using plastic wrap, press the cheddar into the cheese ball. Cover the cheese ball with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow ball to set.
- Serve with crackers, vegetables, cheese slices, or deli meats.