Bacon ranch cheese ball with crackers

A cheese ball is a magnificent, old-school way to feed a fair few peckish guests. This American-inspired recipe is full of salty bacon bits, creamy ranch seasoning and crunchy roasted pecans. Photography by Jani Shephered/Gatherum Collectif

By Fiona Hugues
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 5 mins cooking
  • 1 hr marinating
  • Serves 10
  • Print
This recipe was first published in Taste magazine.
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  • 300 gram bacon
  • 750 gram cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cup pecans, lightly roasted
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced spring onion
  • 2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • thinly sliced Braeburn apples, to serve
  • gluten-free crackers (this recipe used Larder Project), to serve


  • 1
    Fry bacon until crispy then chop or crumble into small pieces. Set aside to cool.
  • 2
    Use a wooden spoon or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to mix together the cream cheese, onion and garlic powders and season with salt and pepper. Mix until smooth.
  • 3
    Finely chop 2/3 cup of the roasted pecans and add to the cream cheese mixture. Add the parmesan, spring onion, half the parsley and half the bacon.
  • 4
    Mix to combine, cover bowl in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm up.
  • 5
    Mix together the remaining bacon, pecans and parsley.
  • 6
    Remove cheese from fridge and shape into a ball. Roll ball in the bacon-nut mixture to coat the outside, pressing the nuts in as you go. Refrigerate until needed.
  • 7
    Serve cheese ball on a platter with fresh apple slices and crackers. Store any leftover cheese airtight in the refrigerator.


  • Make in advance and forget about it until the party starts. - Try serving with slices of crisp apple and gluten-free crackers.

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