No holiday cheese board is complete without the exquisitely delicious cheese ball! This fabulous must-have holiday appetizer is the perfect starter for any feast. A mouthwatering trio of cheeses – cheddar, mozzarella, and cream cheese – make up our savory cheese ball.

Easy and festive, our bacon-studded cheese ball is bursting with flavor. Pair your cheese ball with an assortment of crackers and serve with an array of your favorite holiday appetizers.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 8 ounces full fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • assortment of crackers, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a deep-sided baking sheet with tin foil. Align the pieces of uncooked bacon on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Carefully transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate allowing excess grease to drain away. Set aside.

  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic salt, and Worcestershire sauce until completely smooth.

  3. Using a silicone spatula, scrape down the sides of the stand mixer's bowl. Gather the mixed cheese with your hands, and form a ball.

  4. Wrap the cheese ball in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 4 hours.

  5. After the cheese ball has chilled, crumble the bacon, and place it on a large plate. Roll the cheese ball's surface in the crumbled bacon until it is completely covered.

  6. Allow the cheese ball to sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before serving so it can soften. Serve with an assortment of crackers.

Supplies

  • deep-sided baking sheet
  • tin foil
  • paper-towel-lined plate
  • stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
  • large plate
  • silicone spatula
  • plastic wrap

Recipe Notes

Learn how to cook bacon in your oven.

Feel free to skip the use of uncooked bacon in the recipe and use pre-cooked bacon bits, such as Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon Bits, for convenience.

Remember to coat your cheese ball after the cheese has chilled to prevent the bacon from becoming soggy in the refrigerator. Follow this tip for all toppings.

The cheese ball should not be left out in room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Homemade Cheese Ball Mix-Ins

walnuts

Covered in salty bacon, it's hard to turn down our merry cheese ball. But, if you prefer, you can customize your homemade cheese ball and live life to your tastes. Try the following add-ins and toppings in your cheese ball, for a delicious twist;

Toppings

  • chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
  • pomegranate seeds
  • dried cranberries
  • various herbs (parsley, chives, dill)
  • green onion
  • crushed pretzels

Add-Ins

  • ranch dressing mix
  • feta cheese
  • goat cheese
  • minces veggies (red bell peppers, cucumbers, chives)
  • hot sauce
  • mustard

Your homemade cheese ball will be an extraordinary centerpiece amongst delicious appetizers this holiday season.

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