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.
Football Cheese Ball
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 2 H, 40 M
- Serves 12 to 20
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.
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.