With a creamy mix of crumbled bacon, crunchy pecans, cheddar cheese, and tasty ranch seasoning, this retro bacon ranch cheese ball is ready for your next party!
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Table of Contents
- About Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
- What can you serve with a cheese ball?
- Can you use precooked bacon?
- Can you use homemade ranch dressing mix?
- How long can you leave out a cheese ball?
- Can you make a cheese ball in advance?
- Can you freeze a cheese ball?
- Should you grate your own cheese?
- Notes & tips for this simple cheese ball recipe
- More great tasty dips
- How to make a bacon ranch cheese ball
About Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
Okay, let’s be real: are there any flavor combinations more delicious than bacon and ranch?
I certainly don’t think there are, and this bacon ranch cheese ball just proves that point.
Plus, it’s also full of creamy cheeses and coated with crunchy pecans.
What’s not to love?
What can you serve with a cheese ball?
When it comes to cheese balls, there are so many fun options for dipping! I tend to think a good, firm cracker works best for cheese balls, but you could use a variety of firm veggies or baked bread as well.
Try any (or many) of the options below and see which you like best:
Can you use precooked bacon?
Yes, you can use precooked bacon (or bacon bits). However, this recipe works best when the bacon is crispy, and sometimes precooked bacon can be a little soft. Check the package for microwaving instructions, as this should help zap some crispiness back into the bacon.
Can you use homemade ranch dressing mix?
Yes! In fact, I make my own ranch dressing mix that I like to use in recipes like this.
It takes two tablespoons of ranch seasoning to equal one standard ranch dressing package.
How long can you leave out a cheese ball?
This is one of my least asked questions, but it’s also one of the things I see other party hosts not keeping a close enough eye on. Because whenever you serve a dip for your guests to enjoy, you should always keep track of how long it sits at room temperature.
For most foods, the general rule of thumb is that a perishable item should not be in the “danger zone” for more than two hours. And by “danger zone”, this is usually at or just above room temperature. This cheese ball will still be a little chilled when served, and this should give you an extra 30 minutes beyond the two-hour window, depending on the temperature of the room and how long ago the cheese ball left the refrigerator.
As the party goes on, you can return the cheese ball to the refrigerator once you get past the two-hour mark. If there’s still more cheese ball to enjoy, let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before bringing it back out again.
Can you make a cheese ball in advance?
Yes, you totally can make a cheese ball in advance! In fact, these fun appetizers are ideal for prepping ahead.
Just follow the recipe directions as written, but once the cheese ball is prepared, you can either wrap it again in plastic wrap (highly recommend, so the coating stays on) or you can store the cheese ball in a sealed container.
Once stored in the refrigerator, a cheese ball will remain good for two to three days.
Can you freeze a cheese ball?
Yes, you totally can!
To freeze, just wrap the prepared cheese ball in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. The cheese ball should remain good for one to two months.
When ready to eat, allow the cheese ball to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then serve.
Should you grate your own cheese?
We all know how convenient buying shredded cheese is, but that convenience comes with a cost: the cheese is coated in some preservatives (such as potato starch) that help keep it separated in the bag. And while this is great for grabbing a quick pinch of what you need, it’s also what causes melted cheese to appear lumpy or harden as it cools much faster than it should. It will also give the cheese a “firmer” feel.
So if you’re a cheese lover like me and what the softest, most flavorful cheese in your recipes, I highly recommend freshly grating a block of cheese. I know it’s more work, but the end result will more than make up for it.
Notes & tips for this simple cheese ball recipe
- For preparing and storing a cheese ball, make sure you have some plastic wrap on hand. It makes a huge difference!
More great tasty dips
How to make a bacon ranch cheese ball
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – In a small bowl, mix up the pecans, half of the bacon, and half of the green onion. Cover or seal the bowl and place it in the refrigerator until ready to use (likely anywhere from 2 hours or two days from now).
Step 2 – Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl) whip the cream cheese, sour cream, and ranch seasoning until soft and pliable. The softer and fluffier the mixture gets at this stage, the better.
Step 3 – Turn off the mixer and toss in the cheddar cheese plus the remaining bacon and green onion. Use a spatula to gently mix it all together.
Step 4 – Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap, then scoop the cheese ball mixture into the center. Lift up the sides of the plastic wrap to completely cover the mixture, forming it into a ball shape.
Step 5 – Transfer the cheese ball to the fridge to chill for a few hours.
Step 6 – On a clean work surface, spread out the pecan mixture. Unwrap the cheese ball and place it on top of the pecans, then use your hands to cover and press the pecan mixture into the outside of the cheese ball.
Step 7 – Serve with crackers and enjoy!
Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball
- In a small bowl, mix together pecans, half of the bacon, and 2 tablespoons of green onion. Cover and seal bowl. If making this cheese ball in advance, store this mixture in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Turn off mixer and cheddar cheese and the remaining bacon and green onion to bowl. Use a spatula to gently fold all the ingredients together until thoroughly mixed.
- Lay out a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface, then scoop the cheese ball mixture in the center. Pull up the sides of the plastic wrap to cover the cheese mixture, confining it to the middle. Once completely wrapped in plastic, use your hands to smooth the cheese into a ball shape. If needed, use a second piece of plastic wrap to secure the ends.
- Place wrapped cheese ball in the refrigerator until firm, at least 2 to 3 hours.
- When ready to serve, spread out the prepared pecan mixture on a flat surface. Roll the cheese ball in pecans, using your fingers to press and stick the pecans to the cheese.
- Serve bacon cheddar cheese ball immediately with crackers for dipping.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.