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Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball (Pinecone Cheeseball Shape)

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This Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball is a real crowd pleaser! It’s one of my favorite appetizer recipes because it’s full of flavorful ingredients like crisp bacon, creamy cheeses, fresh herbs and ranch dressing mix.

Overhead view of bacon ranch cheeseball shaped like a pinecone.

This Bacon Ranch Cheeseball is the ultimate cheese ball recipe to make for your next party. It’s always a huge hit thanks to perfect flavor combinations. Make it the first time and it will become one of your favorite cheese ball recipes too.

Besides being such an easy appetizer recipe to make, people are always stunned with how beautiful this simple cheese ball is. If you don’t want to make a pine cone cheese ball shape, see the tips below to customize the easy recipe.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese – grated
  • 4 slices cooked bacon – chopped (I like to use Air Fryer Bacon)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh green onions – finely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon garlic – minced (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ranch seasoning – (I use my homemade ranch seasoning)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup whole almonds – see below for alternative outer coatings
  • 1 box gluten free crackers – or veggies for dipping

Equipment

  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Serving platter
  • Fork

By the Numbers: How to Make a Bacon Ranch Cheeseball

Learn how to make one of the best tasting and easiest cheese ball appetizers. With just a little time and a little bit of effort, you’ll be astonished at the end result.

Step 1: Measure Out Ingredients.

Add your ingredients to a in a medium bowl so you can create the amazing flavors you’re after: 8 ounces of cream cheese, 3 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 4 slices of cooked and chopped bacon, 2 tablespoons of fresh sliced green onions, 1 teaspoon of fresh minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of Ranch Seasoning and ½ teaspoon of sea salt.

Ingredients to make bacon ranch cheddar cheeseball in white mixing bowl.

Step 2: Mix Cream Cheese with Fillings.

Using a fork, mix until all of the ingredients are well combined. You can also use a hand mixer or food processor to combine the cheesy herb and bacon mixture if you prefer.

Bacon ranch cheese ball ingredients being mixing with fork in bowl.

Step 3: Shape Your Fun Cheeseball.

Shape the cream cheese mixture into the shape of a pinecone (oval shape) using your hands, then place on a serving plate or platter.

Bacon ranch cheeseball shaped like a teardrop on a serving plate.

Step 4: Press Almonds into Cheeseball.

Carefully press almonds into the cheeseball with the tip of the almonds going at a slight angle the same direction as the pointy end of the pine cone shape.

Almonds pressed into the side of bacon ranch cheeseball so it looks like a pinecone.

Step 5: Garnish and Serve Cheese Ball.

Arrange your favorite crackers on the serving platter around your delicious bacon ranch cheese ball and sprinkle chopped green onions on the plate for garnish.

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball in pinecone shape on plate with crackers.

You can also arrange fresh rosemary sprigs on the plate to look like pine needles coming from the pine cone. It makes a really fun appetizer for holiday parties.

Questions About Making a Bacon Ranch Cheeseball

Answers to all of your questions about making this classic cheese ball recipe to serve as the perfect appetizer for any occasion.

1. When to serve a cheeseball?

Any time is the perfect time to make and eat a cheeseball. Here are some great times to make this easy cheese ball recipe.

  1. It’s great for game day because the pinecone shape is similar to the shape of a football! Just make two points on your cheeseball and choose an alternative coating.
  2. Cheeseballs are the perfect holiday appetizer for your Thanksgiving dinner menu, any holiday party or Christmas party.
  3. Finger foods are the perfect party food for a cocktail party. People love appetizers when they’re celebrating.
  4. Cheese balls also make a great addition to any charcuterie board, and the flavors of this bacon cheddar ranch cheeseball are no exception.

2. What to serve with your cheddar bacon cheese ball?

I like sticking my cheeseballs on the cheese board along with other yummy things like more cheeses, salami, nuts and fruit. And of course plenty of fun dipping foods like pretzel sticks, celery sticks, bagel chips, pita chips, gluten free crackers and raw vegetables.

3. Alternative outer coating ideas?

If you don’t want to use whole almonds, there are numerous variations on outer coatings you can try. After step 3, instead of pressing the almonds into the cheeseball, you’ll want to roll the cheese ball in one of these mixtures:

  • Chopped jalapeno, toasted pecans and crunchy bacon.
  • Sliced almonds, fresh herbs and crisp bacon.
  • Crushed chips, nuts of your choice and bell peppers (instead of hot peppers).

Another option is to shape the cheeseball into a big ball shape rather than a pinecone shape so it looks like a normal cheese ball!

4. How to make mini cheese ball bites?

You can also use this recipe to make mini cheese balls instead of a large ball. Use a small ice cream scoop to form smaller cheese balls, then roll them in your outer coating of choice. Insert a pretzel stick or mini skewer before serving on a platter.

5. Substitution ideas to know about.

Cheeseballs are a super versatile appetizer recipe, and you can really mix things up to get new flavor combinations. Here are some swaps to consider:

  • For a quick fix, use real bacon bits instead of cooked crisp bacon like the recipe calls for.
  • Instead of plain cream cheese, swap it for vegetable cream cheese and skip the fresh herbs and seasonings.
  • Use pepperjack or Monterey jack cheese instead of cheddar.
  • While I typically use my homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix in this recipe, you can also use store-bought ranch packets.

6. How to store leftovers?

The best way to store leftovers is to wrap your cheeseball in a large piece of plastic wrap, then place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You’ll find that the flavors really pop when they sit overnight, making it the perfect snack the next day.

You can also use the leftovers (discard any whole almonds first) to make flavorful stuffed chicken breasts like my Jalapeno Popper Chicken Breast Recipe.

7. Can you freeze cheese balls?

If you’re looking for a make-ahead recipe, you can make a cheese ball and freeze it ahead of time if you don’t add the outer coating first. Carefully place your cheeseball in a freezer bag, doing your best to remove any excess air, then freeze for up to one month.

When you’re ready to serve your cheeseball, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend thawing it on the counter.

Pinecone shaped cheeseball with bacon ranch filling and almond coating.

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball Recipe (Pine Cone Shape)

Learn how to make the prettiest Pine Cone Cheeseball with bacon, ranch seasoning and fresh herbs in this amazing cheese ball recipe.
5 from 4 votes
Print Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Recipe Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese - room temperature
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese - grated
  • 4 slices cooked bacon - chopped (I like to use Air Fryer Bacon)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh green onions - finely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - minced (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ranch seasoning - (I use my homemade ranch seasoning)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup whole almonds - see below for alternative outer coatings
  • 1 box gluten free crackers - or veggies for dipping

Equipment

  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Serving platter
  • Fork

Instructions

  • Add the softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chopped bacon, green onions, minced garlic, ranch mix and sea salt to a medium mixing bowl.
    Ingredients to make bacon ranch cheddar cheeseball in white mixing bowl.
  • Using a fork, mix until all of the ingredients are well combined. You can also use a hand mixer or food processor if you prefer.
    Bacon ranch cheese ball ingredients being mixing with fork in bowl.
  • Shape the cream cheese mixture into the shape of a pinecone (teardrop shape) using your hands, then place on a serving plate or platter.
    Bacon ranch cheeseball shaped like a teardrop on a serving plate.
  • Carefully place almonds into the cheeseball with the tip of the almonds going at a slight angle the same direction as the narrow end of the pine cone cheese ball shape.
    Almonds pressed into the side of bacon ranch cheeseball so it looks like a pinecone.
  • Arrange crackers on the serving platter around your delicious bacon ranch cheese ball and sprinkle chopped green onions on the plate for garnish. Add a few sprigs of rosemary at the top of the pinecone to look like pine needles, if desired.
    Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball in pinecone shape on plate with crackers.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 590mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 539IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 1mg

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