Easy Classic Cheese Ball Recipe

The BEST classic Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball Recipe. This homemade creamy Cheese Ball is so easy to make and will become a must-have appetizer for parties and around the Holidays. 

We have a shortlist of favorite party appetizers like Spinach Artichoke Dip, healthy Shrimp Cucumber Bites, and Stuffed Mushrooms. This cheeseball is sure to become a new favorite. It comes together fast and is packed with flavor.

Cheese ball coated with bacon, cheese and nuts on a serving plate.

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Hey, hey! Valentina with Valentina’s Corner sharing our Cheese Ball Recipe.

Cheese Ball Recipe:

I love a good cheese ball at parties, and who doesn’t? Packed with bacon bits, nuts, shredded cheese and seasonings, this is the ULTIMATE appetizer recipe.

Not only is the cheese ball loaded with so much flavor, but it also takes just minutes to prepare and is so stunning when served. 

Ingredients for classic cheese ball recipe from scratch.

How to Make a Cheese Ball:

Making a cheese ball is SO EASY! Once you make a homemade cheese ball, you’ll never purchase store-bought again. You just can’t beat a homemade cheeseball! 

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the cheese ingredients until well incorporated: cream cheese and sour cream, bacon bits, shredded cheese, green onion, walnuts, poppy seeds, and seasonings.
  2. Finely chop the cheese, walnuts, green onion for the coating (or you can leave it chunky if that’s your preference).
  3. Shape cheese ball and coat generously with the topping mixture and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Cooks TIP: For easier mixing, first, beat the cream cheese and sour cream with a mixer, then stir in remaining ingredients with a spatula or wooden spoon until well incorporated.

TIPS for the BEST Cheese Ball!

Though there’s not much that can go wrong when making a cheese ball, here are some added tips we found helpful: 

  • If you don’t have Ranch seasoning, you can substitute the sour cream and Ranch seasoning with your favorite Ranch dressing instead. It is a little easier to form the ball with sour cream though since it is thicker. 
  • The cream cheese MUST be at room temperature or you’ll have a really hard time mixing.
  • If you enjoy spicy food, add Hot Sauce or Sriracha to the mixture for a kick. 
  • When serving the cheese ball, serve at room temp for a softer mixture that’s easier to spread or dip.  
  • You can use your favorite cheese or a mixture of cheeses. Mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, four-cheese (Mexican), Colby Jack or Monterey Jack cheese are all great options. TIP: Purchase a block of cheese and shred it for better flavor without additives.

Holiday Cheese ball on a platter with crackers.

How to Make Cheese ball in Advance?

We love make-ahead appetizers that taste just as good or better when made in advance. There are two ways to prepare the cheese ball in advance and both work great!

  • Option 1: Prepare the mixture and refrigerate it in a bowl. Shape and coat before serving.
  • Option 2: Prepare and shape the mixture and cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate. Coat before serving.

Ideas How to Shape a Cheese Ball- 

You don’t have to limit yourself to only a classic cheese ball shape (as we have in this recipe). Here are some other creative ideas for shaping the cheese ball. The décor can vary, depending on the shape and event-

  • SPORTS- An oval football for football parties, or a basketball for finals, etc. 
  • FALL- A pumpkin for fall parties. 
  • CHRISTMAS- A reindeer, snowman, wreath or tree for Christmas.
  • THANKSGIVING- A turkey for around Thanksgiving theme.
  • LOG- You can also just shape the mixture into a log instead of a ball for any occasion. 

Crackers by cream cheese mixture on a plate.

What to Serve with a Cheese Ball:

Cheese balls are classically served with crackers of choice, but they can be served with so many different sides. Here are some other serving options for a cheese ball.

  • Vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes or celery)
  • Pretzels or Pretzel Crisps
  • Bagels if serving for brunch
  • Crostini
  • Pita chips
  • Salami or turkey 
  • Tortilla chips
  • Your favorite crackers
  • Olives or roasted peppers

Cheese ball surrounded with crackers and pita chips.

How Long Will Cheese Balls Last?

A cheese ball can last up to 5 days, if refrigerated. Be sure to keep it tightly wrapped. 

Try These Other Party Appetizers:

These are the appetizers that always disappear fast and get rave reviews. Just like this cheese ball recipe, most of these appetizers can be made ahead to make your party planning even easier!

Cheese Ball Recipe

5 from 2 votes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 18 minutes

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball Recipe with pita chips for serving

The easiest and absolute BEST cheese ball recipe. Cream cheese with Ranch, bacon bits, nuts, and cheese – so GOOD! Serve the cheese ball as an appetizer for potlucks and around the Holidays.

Author: Valentina Ablaev

Skill Level: Easy

Cost to Make: $10-$14

Keyword: cheese ball

Calories: 182 kcal

Servings: 16 servings

  • 8 oz bacon chopped, divided
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 16 oz cream cheese room temp
  • 1/2 cup Mexican cheese shredded (4 cheese blend)
  • 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese shredded and divided
  • 1/4 cup green onions chopped and divided
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped and divided
  • 3 Tbsp Ranch seasoning
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp poppyseeds divided
  1. Cut bacon into small pieces and sauté until cooked. Once cooled, set aside 1/4 of the bacon for the topping.

  2. In a bowl, add 3/4 of the bacon, 1/4 cup sour cream, 16 oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup four-cheese blend, 1 cup cheddar cheese, 3 Tbsp green onions, 1/4 cup walnuts, 3 Tbsp Ranch seasoning, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp poppy seeds. With a wooden spatula, mix all ingredients until well combined.

  3. Finely chop the remaining 1/4 of bacon, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1 Tbsp green onion, and 1/4 cup walnuts. Mix together with the 1/4 tsp poppy seed. Spread this mixture onto a cutting board.

  4. Form a ball out of the cheese mixture and roll the cheese ball over the toppings to fully coat and shape into an even ball as it’s coated. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition Facts

Cheese Ball Recipe

Amount Per Serving

Calories 182 Calories from Fat 135

% Daily Value*

Fat 15g23%

Saturated Fat 7g44%

Cholesterol 38mg13%

Sodium 667mg29%

Potassium 73mg2%

Carbohydrates 4g1%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 8g16%

Vitamin A 460IU9%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 100mg10%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen