This Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball is an easy to make appetizer and delicious showstopper at holiday parties, game day, or any family gathering. It's creamy, cheesy, and nutty, and loaded with bacon, cheddar cheese, green onions, and pecans on the inside and coated on the outside for so much flavor. With the best texture, this cheese ball is creamy inside and crunchy outside. The best part? It's made with just a handful of simple ingredients and minimal prep time.
Why You’ll Love Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball
- A no-bake cheesy appetizer. One of the best parts about this appetizer is that you don’t need to bake anything — unless you’re cooking the bacon from scratch. Making appetizers is notoriously tedious and time-consuming, with lots of batches coming in and out of the oven. Not this time! This cheese ball requires minimal prep.
- Delicious and loaded with flavor. Who doesn’t want to bite into a cheese ball packed with bacon, cheddar, pecans, and green onions? It's the perfect combination of flavors and textures. Creamy, cheesy, and nutty.
- Easy to make ahead. Whether you’re serving this cheese ball for game day or as a holiday appetizer, it's a go-to appy to make because you can prepare it ahead of time and simply take them out of the fridge when you’re ready to eat them.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this easy bacon cheddar cheese ball, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in the recipe card below):
- cream cheese
- sour cream
- garlic powder
- black pepper
- cheddar cheese - feel free to use any type or combination of shredded cheese. I used a Tex Mex shredded cheese blend.
- green onions
- pecans - feel free to substitute with chopped walnuts if you prefer.
- poppy seeds
Plus, this appy is totally customizable and you can add in your favorite toppings. Some common ingredients to include are ranch dressing, diced bell peppers, or hot sauce.
How to Make the Best Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball
- Combine ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, and black pepper with a hand mixer until smooth and well combined. Stir in half of the cheddar cheese, green onions, bacon, and pecans. Set the other half aside on a plate. Mix with a spatula until evenly distributed.
- Shape. Add the cheese mixture onto a clean cutting board and use your hands to shape it into a ball. To prevent the cheese from sticking too much, apply some oil to your hands or wear disposable gloves.
- Refrigerate. Cover the cheese ball with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, allowing it to firm up a bit if needed. I placed the cheese ball wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for 15 minutes to save time.
- Add topping. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining half of the cheddar cheese, green onion, bacon, pecans and poppy seeds until evenly mixed. Roll the chilled cheese ball in the mixture until all sides are coated. Gently press it into the cheese ball to stick if needed.
- Serve. Serve immediately with crackers or store (wrapped in plastic wrap) in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- How to serve: I recommend serving this cheese ball with crackers or veggies, on a larger cheese board, or alongside a charcuterie board. It also tastes great with crostini, salami, and apple slices!
- How to store: Wrap the bacon cheddar cheese ball tightly with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for up to one week. Keep in mind that they bacon will lose its crispiness and become softer the longer it sits in the fridge.
- How to freeze: You can freeze it before rolling them in the outer coating mixture. Instead of chilling in the refrigerator, just freeze the tightly wrapped cheese ball, and place into a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to serve, allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, coat, and serve.
- Change the size: I made a traditional large cheese ball as a shareable dip. You could totally switch things up and make a mini bite-sized cheese balls, as big or as small as you wish. If you’re feeling creative, you can even try to form them into different shapes. For a bite-sized option, I recommend making them ½ to 1 inch in diameter—the perfect size to pop in your mouth with a cracker.
More Cheese Appetizers
- Marinated Mozzarella Balls
- Whipped Feta
- Baked Spinach Dip
- Fried Mac and Cheese Balls
- Queso Mexican Cheese Dip
- Whipped Ricotta Dip
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.