Reindeer Bacon Cheddar Cheeseball

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  • This Bacon Ranch Cheddar Cheeseball is so cute and festive for the holidays! Shaped into a charming reindeer, this Christmas cheese ball will be the hit of your parties this year – a bacon cheese ball has never looked so cute! 

    A Christmas cheese ball in the shape of a reindeer on a white platter, edge of a lit Christmas tree on the edge of the image.

    A Bacon Ranch Cheddar Cheeseball

    I love coming up with festive new appetizers that you can not only trust, but that you can actually accomplish with very little effort. While I love looking at gorgeous, complicated recipes as much as the next girl, my efforts are always more focused on food that is simple, charming to serve, and easy enough for anyone to make! 

    This sweet little reindeer cheddar cheese ball is exactly that. It’s a bacon ranch cheeseball that will be a surefire success for several reasons.

    One – people love cute food at parties. And two – these are flavors that almost everyone loves! Bacon? Check. Ranch? Check. Cheese? I think you get the picture! 

    White platter with a cheddar cheeseball in the shape of a reindeer.

    I like to give a lot of detail in my recipe posts to guide readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, feel free to click “jump to recipe” under the title of this post and you’ll head straight there! 

    Reindeer Christmas Cheese Ball Appetizer

    If I tell you this is easy to make, you’ll believe me, right? And it turned out so cute that I honestly couldn’t wait to share. There’s not much better than an appetizer that will thrill the kids and adults alike! 

    My girls were so charmed by this festive reindeer cheese ball, they are now convinced that I can turn every appetizer and meal into the shape of something cute.

    Maybe that’s not possible, but this bacon cheese ball is one of the easiest little creatures you’ll ever create! Let’s get started.

    White platter with a cheddar cheese ball in the shape of a reindeer.

    Quick tip: I receive a lot of questions about my octagonal serving platter that I use for so many of my appetizer recipes! The one I have is no longer available, but this one is so similar and it comes in two great sizes! 

    Bacon Ranch Cheeseball Ingredients

    Are you ready? Here’s the grocery and pantry item list of all the items you’ll need for this cheddar cheeseball recipe! 

    • cream cheese, softened- Learn the easiest methods for how to soften cream cheese – it’s easy once you know how! 
    • sour cream- Sour cream adds a little creamy texture and tangy moisture to this cheddar cheese ball.
    • fiesta ranch mix (optional)- You can use regular ranch mix, fiesta ranch mix for a little spice, or even none at all if your family doesn’t like anything ranch flavored! There’s plenty of seasoning otherwise, I promise.
    • garlic powder- Not too much but garlic is the perfect foil to the bacon and cheddar in this cheeseball recipe.
    • dried minced onion- You’ll definitely need dried minced onion here. I found onion powder to be too strong in combination with the ranch flavor, so minced onion is a perfect choice! 

    White platter with a cute bacon ranch cheeseball in the shape of a reindeer, greenery to the side.

    • black pepper- Just a little extra spice! 
    • cheddar cheese, shredded- I know I talk about this all the time, but please use freshly shredded cheese in your recipes. I love a good shortcut as much as everyone else, but crumbly, dry pre-shredded cheese is not the right shortcut here. You won’t regret this extra step! Sharp cheddar works well here but you can use whatever you’d like. 
    • chopped green onions- A little fresh green tangy flavor that adds so much zest!
    • Real bacon bits- You can use your own freshly cooked bacon chopped into tiny pieces, or buy a good-quality pre-packaged bag of bacon bits. Costco sells a great brand if you’re looking for a shortcut! 
    • 1 olive- Only one! For the eyes of your sweet little reindeer.
    • 1 cherry tomato- Of course this reindeer has a red nose. Rudolph or not, he’s a Christmas cheese ball the kids will love! 
    • For antlers- bacon or pretzel sticks- I used bacon for the antlers, but pretzel sticks would also work really well.

    White platter with a cheddar cheeseball in the shape of a reindeer.

    He always knew he was a little different, but he let his light shine regardless of what others said. Everyone should be more like Rudolph.

    How to Make This Festive Bacon Cheese Ball

    It’s so easy, even the kids can help you with this one! They’ll be thrilled to add the eyes, nose and antlers to your bacon cheese ball. 

    1. To a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese, sour cream, fiesta ranch mix, garlic powder, minced onion, salt and pepper.
    2. Fold in cheese and green onions. Stir until mixed.A bacon ranch cheeseball being formed on a white plate.
    3. Lay out a large sheet of plastic wrap and drop cream cheese mixture onto it.  Cover tightly on all sides, and shape into a ball shape.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, until firm.
    4. Roll into a ball and coat with bacon bits. Add eyes, nose and antlers just before serving.A bacon ranch cheeseball being formed on a white platter, covered in bacon.

    Tips For Creating The Best Cheddar Cheese Ball

    It’s your party, and you absolutely CAN make the best Christmas cheese ball ever! Or wait, maybe it’s someone else’s party and you’re just bringing a cute appetizer.

    Either way, here’s a few tips to make sure you’re prepared! 

    • As I mentioned before, please please shred your own cheddar. This is a non-negotiable step, friends! 
    • Fresh bacon is always best, but I think it’s okay to use a pre-made bag of bacon bits here. (Not the traditional little jar of bacon bits though – never those!)
    • Speaking of bacon, save that final step where it’s rolled in chopped bacon for after refrigeration. You’ll want your cheese shape to stay very firm before rolling.
    • Be sure to cover your cheddar cheese ball tightly. This not only helps it keep its shape when you refrigerate, but it prevents air from getting inside and drying your bacon cheese ball out before it’s ready to serve.
    • Use strips of cooked bacon or even pretzel sticks to form the antlers- cute either way! 
    • This is delicious at room temperature but it can certainly be served cold right out of the fridge. Great either way, which is why it’s such a perfect make-ahead party food!

    White platter with a cheddar cheese ball in the shape of a reindeer.

    What to Serve With A Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball

    This is what I love about serving a cheese ball appetizer! It can accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions, but especially your friends and family that are living that low carb or keto lifestyle.

    Providing a few options for your guests with special dietary needs is an easy way to make them feel welcome – and when it’s this delicious, who can argue with that? Serve this Christmas cheese ball with the following: 

    • Carrots and celery are the perfect low-carb alternative to serve with a cheddar cheese ball.
    • Crostini – it’s my favorite pairing! Crunchy crostini is the ultimate way to enjoy a cheese spread, especially when drizzled in olive oil.
    • Salty pretzels are so perfect with a festive Christmas cheese ball.
    • Buttery crackers are always a kid favorite when served with any kind of cheeseball.

    White platter with a cute bacon ranch cheeseball in the shape of a reindeer, greenery to the side.

    More Must-Make Cheese Ball Recipes and Cheese Spreads

    I just love cheese in all the ways – especially when it’s as adorable as this Christmas cheese ball. For more amazing cheese balls and cheese spreads, visit my favorite easy recipes below!

    White platter with a bacon cheese ball in the shape of a reindeer.

    Well, what do you think? Are you ready for all the delicious holiday food coming your way for the next two months? 

    I have joined up with a bunch of blogger friends for a Virtual Potluck! Be sure to check the recipes below out for wonderful recipe and craft ideas!

    Appetizers
    Baked Brie with Honey & Walnuts from Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks
    Reindeer Bacon Cheddar Cheese Ball from Julie of Julie Blanner

    Salads
    Sauteed Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts from Shashi of Savory Spin
    Creamy Brussels Sprouts Salad from Faith of An Edible Mosaic

    Main Dishes
    Savory Vegetable Crisp from Bree of Baked Bree
    Rosemary Lamb Steaks from Danyelle of The Cubicle Chick
    Turkey Pot Pie from Kelly of Eat Picks

    Side Dishes
    Fried Brussels Sprouts from Erin of The Almond Eater
    Cheesy Horseradish Mashed Potato Casserole from Renee of Kudos Kitchen by Renee
    Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip from April of April Golightly
    Sauteed Garlic-Butter Mushrooms from Linda of Simply Healthyish Recipes
    Easy Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole Recipe from Mel of Adventures of Mel
    Cornbread Stuffing with Chorizo from Isabel of Isabel Eats
    Bacon Brussels Sprouts from Kara of Kara J. Miller
    Crockpot Sweet Potato Casserole from Jennifer of Show Me the Yummy
    Amazing Gluten Free Thanksgiving Stuffing from Sommer of A Spicy Perspective
    Pumpkin Caramelized Onion Gratin from Denise of Chez Us
    Crockpot Mac & Cheese from Leanette Fernandez of Funtastic Life
    Cheesy Brussels Sprouts au Gratin from Rachel Gurk of Rachel Cooks

    Drinks
    Spiced Pumpkin Margarita from Sharon of Cupcakes and Cutlery

    Breads
    Sourdough Pull Apart Rolls from Erica of Buttered Side Up
    How to Make Homemade Butterhorn Rolls from Mel of Flour on My Fingers
    Sweet Dinner Rolls from Jocelyn of Grandbaby Cakes
    Parker House Rolls from Irvin of Eat the Love

    Desserts
    Sugar Pie from Julie of The Little Kitchen
    Oatmeal Apple Crisp from Julie of Peanut Butter Fingers
    Pumpkin Pie Milkshake from Eden of Sugar and Charm
    Strudel Pastry from Justine of The Typical Mom
    Tahini Hawaij Pumpkin Pie from Amy of What Jew Wanna Eat
    Turkey Cookies from Meaghan of The Decorated Cookie
    Mini Apple Pie Bites from Lynsey of MoscatoMom
    Kabocha squash pie from Hilah of hilahcooking
    Pecan Pie Cupcakes from Courtney of Pizzazzerie
    Coconut Cream Pie from Schnelle of Brooklyn Active Mama
    Chocolate chip cheesecake from Jeannette of Hispana Global
    Chocolate Pecan Pie from Kate of I Heart Eating
    Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes from Chelsea of Someday I’ll Learn
    Turkey Donut Race Cars For Thanksgiving Treats from Theresa of Chewable Structures

    Crafts and Centerpieces
    Cinnamon Stick Holiday Candle Place Setting from Alli of Made with HAPPY
    Metallic Pumpkin Luminaries from Amy of As The Bunny Hops
    Easy centerpiece that will stun + party favor from Noelle of Oh Happy Play

    If you try this cheddar cheeseball recipe, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too! For more easy recipes and simple living ideas, subscribe to my newsletter!

    Reindeer Bacon Cheddar Cheeseball

    This is a bacon ranch cheddar cheese ball that is not only delicious and easy to make, but adorable to serve for Christmas and beyond. Shape it into a reindeer or serve it as a traditional cheeseball shape!

    Course Appetizer
    Cuisine American
    Keyword appetizer, bacon, cheese appetizer recipe, cheese ball, cheeseball, easy appetizer, easy appetizer recipe
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Servings 16
    Calories 206 kcal

    Ingredients

    • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
    • 3 tablespoons sour cream
    • 1 ounce Ranch dressing packet Fiesta or regular
    • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon minced onion dried
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 3/4 cup cheddar cheese fresh grated
    • 1/3 cup green onion chopped
    • 1 cup real bacon pieces chopped into bits

    eyes, nose and antlers

    • 1 cherry tomato for nose
    • 1 black olive for eyes
    • 4 slices bacon for antlers

    Instructions

    1. To a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese, sour cream, fiesta ranch mix, garlic powder, minced onion, salt and pepper.

    2. Fold in cheese and green onions. Stir until mixed.

    3. Lay out a large sheet of plastic wrap and drop cream cheese mixture onto it.  Cover tightly on all sides, and shape into a ball shape.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, until firm.

    4. Roll into a ball and coat with bacon bits. Add eyes, nose and antlers just before serving.

    Recipe Notes

    • As I mentioned before, please please shred your own cheddar. 
    • Fresh bacon is always best, but I think it's okay to use a pre-made bag of bacon bits here. (Not the traditional little jar of bacon bits though - never those!)
    • Speaking of bacon, save that step for after refrigeration. You'll want your cheese shape to stay very firm before rolling.
    • Be sure to cover your cheddar cheese ball tightly. This not only helps it keep its shape when you refrigerate, but it prevents air from getting inside and drying your bacon cheese ball out.
    • Use strips of cooked bacon or even pretzel sticks to form the antlers- cute either way! 
    Nutrition Facts
    Reindeer Bacon Cheddar Cheeseball
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 206 Calories from Fat 162
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 18g28%
    Saturated Fat 10g50%
    Cholesterol 59mg20%
    Sodium 591mg25%
    Potassium 73mg2%
    Carbohydrates 3g1%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 1g1%
    Protein 9g18%
    Vitamin A 545IU11%
    Vitamin C 1mg1%
    Calcium 121mg12%
    Iron 1mg6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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