Football Cheese Ball With Bacon

This football cheese ball with bacon is, well, exactly what the title proclaims. A cheese ball in the shape of a football. Made with both Cheddar and cream cheese as well as jalapeno and, yes, bacon. Perfect for Super Bowl.

A football cheese ball on a serving board with two glasses of beer and a knife beside it.

This football cheese ball is thrice infused with bacon—the jalapeño is cooked in bacon drippings, there’s bacon mixed into the cheese, and bacon covers the football. Pig out. [Editor’s Note: You may have noticed that the serving size for this football cheese ball is rather all over the place. Intentionally so. It all depends on just how piggish you care to be. And we don’t mean that in a bad way.]–Michelle Buffardi

Football Cheese Ball

  • Quick Glance
  • (3)
  • 25 M
  • 2 H, 40 M
  • Serves 12 to 20
5/5 - 3 reviews
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Rev up the oven to 400°F (204°C).

Place the bacon slices in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets lined with foil. Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Spoon 2 tablespoons bacon drippings into a skillet and reserve the rest of the drippings for another use. Once the bacon has cooled, coarsely chop it.

Heat the bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat. Add the jalapeño and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.

Using a stand mixer or a bowl and a spatula, mix together 1 cup chopped bacon, the sautéed jalapeño, the cream cheese, Cheddar, and the scallions until combined. Scrape the mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and, using the plastic wrap to keep your hands from getting messy, shape the mixture into a round ball. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Just before serving, with the cheese ball still wrapped in plastic, form it into an oblong football shape as best you can. Unwrap the cheese ball and roll it in the remaining chopped bacon to coat it completely. Strategically place a few strands of Cheddar cheese on the football to resemble laces. Serve with crackers and be ready for cheers. Originally published January 27, 2014.

Print RecipeBuy the Great Balls of Cheese cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Fair warning: This football cheese ball is disturbingly good. I would normally shy away from a cheese ball, but the lure of bacon, jalapeño, and cream cheese seemed to me far too good to let pass. (Forgive the pun.)

We tried this after it was in the refrigerator for 2 hours and it was wonderful. The next day? Simply the greatest cheese ball ever! It's very easy to make and an absolute touchdown. Make it the day before. Heck, make two. You won't be able to let it alone.

We don't even watch football, but we may have to start just to have an excuse to enjoy this cheese ball every weekend!

The only reason this recipe doesn't merit a "10" in my mind is because I believe it would benefit from the addition of another scallion and another jalapeño. I think if the cheese ball had been chilled overnight the flavors may have been more pronounced; we were only able to resist shaping and eating it for an hour. Perhaps adding a bit of toasted, chopped pecans to the outside would also be good.


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  1. I made this for our super bowl party! It was delicious. I added more jalapeños for our taste! Loved it.

    1. Thanks so much, Rochelle! Can’t wait to hear what you try next from the site.

  2. I made this last year for my friend’s annual Superbowl party and it’s the only thing I’ve been asked to bring this year!! Everyone loved it!! Thank you!! 🙂

  3. I made the cheeseball…but bumped it up by adding a packet of ranch dressing mix and a half of a can of beer. Hello tailgate!!! Delicious!

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