Appetizers | Recipes | Snacks

Bacon Cheese Ball and Other Easy Tailgate Foods

This bacon cheese ball is an easy tailgate food that’s perfect for a game day crowd! A classic cheese ball recipe with cream cheese is kicked up with chipotle peppers and spices, then covered crispy bacon pieces. The best cheese ball recipe for pre-game snacking!

spicy bacon cheese ball on a platter with buttery crackers

With a new football season underway (and my beloved Green Bay Packers in a great position of contention this year), I’m sharing my best cheese ball recipe with you.

Your party guests will go crazy for this spicy bacon cheese ball! AND, because it’s the first of the month, my blogging friends are sharing some of their favorite easy tailgate food with you. First, allow me answer a few common cheese ball questions.

How do I make a cheese ball?

A cheese ball is essentially created with soft varieties of cheese that are combined and packed together into a ball. You can use just about any soft cheeses you like. This bacon cheese ball recipe has:

  • cream cheese
  • cheddar cheese
  • Monterey Jack (or Colby Jack)
  • chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • chili powder, and
  • an exterior of crunchy bacon pieces.

With these simple ingredients and about 10 minutes to make, this bacon cheese ball should be at the top of your party food list. Because I live in Wisconsin, also know as The Dairyland State, cheese is a must and a necessity for me to use in my favorite game day recipes. Bacon is a necessity because… well, it’s my favorite food. I love bacon!

If loving salty, crispy bits of pork fat is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

a bacon cheese ball with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Colby cheese and chipotle peppers on a platter with crackers

Substitutes for Bacon

If you’re a vegetarian or you’d like to keep things a little bit healthier, feel free to swap out the bacon and roll the cheese ball in any of these ingredients instead:

  • chives
  • crushed nuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • chopped jalapeno peppers

You could even add some finely chopped baby spinach in with the cheese, or you can use all low-fat cheeses if you want. The idea is to make the cheese ball one that’ll disappear from the party platter faster than you can say touchdown!

If you love bacon and cheese but you prefer warm dip recipes, make a batch of my Warm and Creamy Bacon Cheddar Dip

Bacon Chipotle Cheddar Cheese Ball recipe - This is party food, game day, or appetizer at its best!

How long does a cheese ball last?

If for some strange reason, your bacon cheese ball isn’t devoured right away, cover it well with plastic wrap or store it in a tightly covered container. Refrigerated, it should keep well for a couple of weeks. Obviously, if you see green fuzzy stuff growing on your cheese ball, don’t eat it… toss it.

If you’re looking for some game day food that’s a bit healthier than this spicy bacon cheese ball recipe, you should check out my recipes for Spicy Parmesan Kale Chips or Ranch Roasted Nuts Snack Mix.  They’re both also quite yummi!

Spicy Parmesan Kale Chips from ItsYummi.com
Spicy Parmesan Kale Chips
Ranch Roasted Nuts Snack Mix - a nutritious mix of cashews, peanuts, puffed oats, and dried cranberries. Perfect for holiday parties!
Ranch Roasted Nuts Snack Mix

How to Make a Bacon Cheese Ball

After you check out the cheese ball recipe, be sure to scroll down for more easy tailgate food recipes from me and my food blogging friends!

bacon covered chipotle cheddar cheese ball surrounded by crackers

Spicy Bacon Cheese Ball

A classic cheese ball recipe is blended with a chipotle pepper and spices, then wrapped in a blanket of crisp bacon pieces. This is the best cheese ball recipe for a tailgating party! Low carb and gluten free!
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
chilling time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 184 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, sharp cheddar is best
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (about 1 cup of cooked bacon pieces)

Instructions
 

  • Place cheeses in the bowl of a food processor. (If you don't have a food processor, use a high speed blender.) Process until cheeses are combined.
  • Add all remaining ingredients except for bacon pieces and pulse to combine. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Remove plastic wrap and use clean hands to form cheese into a ball. Place bacon pieces on a plate and roll cheese ball in them before transferring to a serving platter.
  • Serve with crackers, chips, or raw veggies.

Nutrition

Serving: 3TablespoonsCalories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 7gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 264mgPotassium: 64mgVitamin A: 465IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 157mgIron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

More Easy Tailgate Food

Check these delicious game day recipes out and then leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear which one you think you’ll make first!

titled photo (and shown): bacon chipotle cheddar cheese ball

This post was originally published on January 7, 2015. The images were updated and the links to easy tailgate foods were added for this publishing.

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38 Comments

  1. Wow! This bacon cheese ball looks so appetizing. Thanks for the recipe. I also like the spicy parmesan kale chips and ranch roasted nuts snack mix.

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