Today I have a recipe for a homemade cheese ball made with blue cheese, cream cheese, cheddar, horseradish and bacon for a home-made classic holiday appetizer or party.

side view of cheeseball on a platter with crackers and grapes

I originally published this recipe as a guest post from Carrie Burril on december 5th, 2014. I have updated the content to share it with you again today.

If you’ve never made a homemade cheese ball before then your world is about to change. There is simply no comparison to dry and chalky store-bought cheese balls. This is just out of this world. The horseradish and honey mustard add a kick to the cheddar cheese filling. 

 

Ingredients For Bacon Horseradish Cheese Ball

Cream Cheese

For the correct texture you’ll need full fat cream cheese. Light versions will not set up correctly and they will be too sticky. Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature. If you are in a rush you can warm it in 10 second bursts in the microwave. 

Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Find the sharpest available cheddar cheese for the best flavor. 

Blue Cheese Crumbles

I used gorgonzola because they are so creamy. If you like blue cheese, you’ll love the flavor it adds to this cheeseball. If you are not a fan, omit it and add 2 extra ounces of shredded cheddar. 

Scallion 

I added this to Carrie’s original recipe. In her original she used onion, but I like the color the scallions adds. I also added some scallion to the outside coating because I thought it would be pretty. 

Horseradish and Honey Mustard

Bacon, blue cheese and horseradish are such a great combination. I used them in this potato salad too! Carrie also added a little dab of honey mustard to the mix.

Coating: Bacon and Pecans with Scallions

  • The exterior coating is made from chopped pecans. (If you have time, toast them for more nutty flavor. Just make sure to cool them completly before coating the cheese ball with them.) 
  • Add to that two strips of crisp crumbled bacon and scallions (for color.)

overhead of platter with cheese ball in the center

How To Make a Homemade Cheese Ball

  1. Start by beating the cream cheese until it is creamy. This will make it so the cheeses blend evenly. 
  2. Add the rest of ingredients and beat to combine. 
  3. Transfer the bowl to the fridge to chill for two hours. This will help it harden up a bit so you can shape it more easily.

Shaping the Cheese Ball

  • Next, you’ll want to use a silicone or rubber spatula to scrape the cream cheese mixture into a rough ball shape in the bowl. 
  • Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on your work surface and turn the cheese mixture out onto the plastic.
  • Lift up the plastic and wrap the cheese into a ball. 
  • Pick it up with your hands and shape to round it.

Pecan and Bacon Coating

  • Combine the coating ingredients (bacon, pecans and scallion) on a sheet of parchment. 
  • Unwrap the cheeseball, and drop it onto the coating mixture. 
  • Lift up the sides of the parchment to coat the bottom sides of the ball. 
  • Trying to keep your hands from touching the cream cheese mixture, hold onto the coated areas to turn the cheese ball over in the mixture. 
  • Keep rolling and pressing the coating into the cheese until it won’t take any more. Discard any leftover topping (or add it to a salad!)

a serving removed to show interior texture

What To Serve With A Cheese Ball

  • Crostini are a classic compliment. I explained how to make them in this post for How To Make a Vegan Charcuterie Board. Now that I mention it, you could swap out the vegan paté, in that set-up and you’d have a pretty amazing grazing board! Or you could make the vegan paté and both cheese lovers and plant-based folks will be happy! 
  • Make a batch of Pickled Onions. The sweet and tangy onions go great with cheese! 
  • The crispy coating on the outside of these Sweet and Spicy Spiced Nuts would be another nosh to pair with this appetizer. 
  • Buttery and crisp crackers like Ritz crackers go well with a cheese ball. I love the ones made by Back To Nature (their Classic Round variety.) They are non-GMO and don’t have hydrogenated oils. 
  • Fresh and dried fruit make a pleasant palate cleanser. Today I used grapes, but apples and pears would be really nice with the blue cheese and bacon flavors in this recipe.
  • I also like to serve celery sticks with it because it is so rich. It is nice to have a healthier option. And celery works well because it is sturdy and you can dig it right into the cheese without the celery breaking. 

close-up of the cheese ball

More Appetizer Recipes To Try

More Horseradish Recipes To Try

Thanks for reading. If you make this recipe, please me know by leaving a star rating and review. It is so helpful!

Happy Cooking!

~Katie

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close up of cheese ball with a knife in it

Bacon Horseradish Cheese Ball

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 15 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Bacon horseradish and cheddar come together in a twist on the classic holiday cheese ball. Crusted in pecans and flavored with smoky bacon it is a sure crowd-pleaser. Recipe courtesy of Carrie Burril.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 oz package Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup finely chopped scallion plus 2 tablespoons for coating
  • 2 tbs prepared horseradish
  • 1 tsp honey mustard
  • 2 slices applewood smoked bacon
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Beat cream cheese in the bowl of your electric mixer with the paddle attachment until creamy. Add in cheddar, blue cheese, 1/4 c scallions, horseradish, and mustard and mix until combined.
  2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours to firm up.
  3. Remove from refrigerator and using a spatula, scrape the mixture into a rough ball shape. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap and shape into a ball.
  4. Finely crumble bacon and combine with pecans and the remaining 2 tablespoons scallions on a sheet of parchment paper. Turn the ball out of the plastic wrap onto the pecan mixture. Roll in the pecan mixture to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

To make this recipe vegetarian, skip the bacon and add three more tablespoons of the pecans to the topping.

If you do not like blue cheese, omit it and add 2 ounces more cheddar cheese.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3 tablespoons
  • Calories: 163
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 300 mg
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Saturated Fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 6 g

side view of cheese ball with text

Bacon Horseradish Cheese Ball