This bacon ranch reindeer cheeseball is so cute and festive for the holidays! It’s easy to make ahead, and such a crowd pleasing appetizer.

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 plate with a reindeer head cheeseball on it.
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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 cheeseball 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!

Equally cute are these little Cheese Ball Bites… perfect for individual hors d’oeuvres at parties!

A plate with a reindeer head cheeseball.

Reindeer Cheeseball

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.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Perfect for Kids and Adults – There’s not much better than an appetizer that will thrill the kids and adults alike!
  • Make Ahead – I love party food that can be made ahead, which makes my life so much easier, whether we’re hosting or just bringing something to a party.
  • Low Carb – 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.

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.

A reindeer cheeseball on a plate.

Ingredients and Substitutions

See printable recipe card for complete ingredients and instructions.

  • 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 seasoning, fiesta ranch seasoning 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. Learn about garlic conversions here.
  • 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!
  • 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.
A plate with a reindeer head on it, holding a reindeer cheeseball.

How to Make

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 white plate with a bowl of carrot dip topped with a reindeer cheeseball.
  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. A white plate with a piece of chicken.
  4. Roll into a ball and coat with bacon bits. Add eyes, nose and antlers just before serving. A delicious piece of fried chicken on a white plate.

Tips

  • The octagonal platter I have is no longer available, but this one is so similar and it comes in two great sizes!
  • 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.
  • Use strips of cooked bacon or even pretzel sticks to form the antlers!
  • 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.
A plate with a bacon covered reindeer cheeseball on it.

Serving Suggestions

  • 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.
A reindeer cheeseball sitting on a marble surface.

Still pretty delicious looking, even though it’s not a reindeer, right?

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – You can leave this reindeer cheeseball sitting out at room temperature for up to two hours while serving.
  • Refrigerate – Make it up to 48 hours in advance, and store tightly wrapped in the fridge. This cheese ball can be stored for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Looking to store it for longer? Read our guide Can you Freeze Cream Cheese? to learn all about what works.

A reindeer cheesecake with a knife next to it.

Looking for more amazing bacon recipes? Head over to some of these recipes to satisfy your cravings and don’t skip my round-up of 20 Bacon Appetizers!

More Appetizers

A plate with a reindeer head cheeseball on it.
5 from 4 votes

Reindeer Cheese ball

This is a bacon ranch cheddar reindeer 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!
Prep: 20 minutes
Refrigerate: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 16
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Ingredients  

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 ounce Ranch dressing packet Fiesta or regular
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon minced onion dried
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • cup cheddar cheese fresh grated
  • 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 

  • To a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese, sour cream, fiesta ranch mix, garlic powder, minced onion, salt and pepper.
  • Fold in cheese and green onions. Stir until mixed.
  • 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.
  • Roll into a ball and coat with bacon bits. Add eyes, nose and antlers just before serving.

Julie’s Tips

  • Shred your cheddar fresh for best results. 
  • 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! 
Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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