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, 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 salty, crispy bits of pork fat are 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 a well 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

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 myself and my food blogging friends!

5 from 4 votes
a bacon cheese ball with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Colby cheese and chipotle peppers on a platter with crackers
Spicy Bacon Cheese Ball
Prep Time
10 mins
chilling time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins

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!

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bacon cheese ball, classic cheese ball recipe
Servings: 12
Calories: 184 kcal
  • 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)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve with crackers, chips, or raw veggies.
Nutrition Facts
Spicy Bacon Cheese Ball
Amount Per Serving (3 Tablespoons)
Calories 184 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 264mg 11%
Potassium 64mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 9.3%
Vitamin C 0.3%
Calcium 15.7%
Iron 1.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.



31 Replies to "Bacon Cheese Ball and Other Easy Tailgate Foods"

  • Erin September 19, 2018 (8:11 am)

    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.

  • Deb @ Cooking on the Front Burner September 15, 2018 (8:09 am)

    You had me at bacon! Looks perfect for day game!

  • Barbara Schieving September 6, 2018 (1:00 pm)

    You can’t go wrong with adding bacon to a cheeseball!

  • Rocky Mountain Woman September 5, 2018 (1:13 pm)

    Always happy to see a cheese ball on a buffet table!

    • Becca September 5, 2018 (4:38 pm)

      You can never go wrong with cheese! 🙂

  • Becky Tarala September 4, 2018 (9:46 am)

    I can’t get enough chipotle lately. And that bacon puts it over the top! Love it!

  • Gina Kleinworth September 4, 2018 (8:23 am)

    You absolutely can’t go wrong with bacon!

  • Tara September 3, 2018 (10:00 am)

    Anytime anyone brings a cheese-ball to a party I eat so much of it!! This combo looks amazing, thanks for sharing!!

  • Theresa January 22, 2015 (11:00 pm)

    Oh, this looks and sounds so delicious! Thanks for sharing at the party! Hope to see you at this week’s party. Pinned

  • Helen January 18, 2015 (5:11 pm)

    Being in UK I’ve never seen this before but think I will give it a try! Thanks for linking up #frugalfamilylinky

  • Beth McIntire January 18, 2015 (2:54 pm)

    This looks so tasty! I’m saving this recipe for the next potluck lunch at work.

  • Evelyne January 16, 2015 (8:44 pm)

    I love a good (NEW!) cheese ball recipe! Thanks for linking up at the Frugal Family Linky! Evelyne

  • Chris January 14, 2015 (2:09 pm)

    Ooooo bacon again?! I feel like I’ve won the lottery with the last 2 recipes I’ve seen on your site! Pinning this bad boy. Looks amazing!!!

  • Chelsey January 14, 2015 (7:35 am)

    I love cheeseballs and this one sounds fantastic! Pinning and stumbling!

    Found you on The Life of Jennifer Dawn. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hot Spinach Dip with Bacon Recipe {Lower Fat, Low Carb} January 12, 2015 (4:46 am)

    […] I do remember that I posted a recipe last week that has cheese and bacon in it. But HELLO, it’s cheese… and bacon! Is it wrong that I love it so […]

  • Joy January 11, 2015 (10:16 am)

    Wow, looks and sound delicious! Love the idea of rolling a cheese ball in bacon, yum. Visiting from Foodie Friday’s 🙂

  • David January 8, 2015 (6:57 am)

    Do I see some bacon on that ball? You nailed it, Becca! This cheese balls sounds delicious. Great post…but sorry to say that I’ll be pulling for the Cowboys on Sunday. (Don’t worry…my team didn’t even make the playoffs this year. I think eating this cheese ball will help me forgot the woes of this past season.)

  • Linda (Meal Planning Maven) January 7, 2015 (7:53 pm)

    Great Super Bowl party food!

    • Chef Becca January 8, 2015 (8:32 am)

      I think so too, Linda! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Barbara January 7, 2015 (5:39 pm)

    You can’t go wrong with cheese and bacon on a cracker!

    • Chef Becca January 8, 2015 (8:32 am)

      You are SO right about that, Barbara!

  • Amanda January 7, 2015 (4:05 pm)

    Oh my word, this looks SO good! LOVE!

    • Chef Becca January 8, 2015 (8:32 am)

      Come over and let’s eat cheese and be happy together, Amanda! 🙂

  • Melanie | Melanie Makes January 7, 2015 (12:13 pm)

    Bacon + chipotle + cheese? WIN! I’d make this as a single serving appetizer for myself!

    • Chef Becca January 8, 2015 (8:33 am)

      You and I are like twins, Melanie! 😀

  • Arlene January 7, 2015 (11:02 am)

    My husband would love this cheese ball recipe!

    • Chef Becca January 7, 2015 (12:03 pm)

      It’s definitely a “guy” kind of dip, Arlene. Brian ate half of this one by himself! LOL

  • Janette January 7, 2015 (10:35 am)

    I’ll bet this is a popular game day snack. Wow, looks amazing.

    • Chef Becca January 7, 2015 (11:59 am)

      Thanks, Janette! It’s a big ball of cheese and bacon. What’s not to love, right? 🙂

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