This recipe for a Bacon Pesto Cheeseball is simple, with only 5 ingredients! White cheddar, crispy bacon, savory pesto, along with cream cheese and a secret ingredient.
This is one of the best cheeseball recipes ever. There. I said it. It's a little different, a little (lot) cheesy, and it's wonderful. Which, by the way, pairs wonderfully well with QSourdough Discard Crackers!
Bacon Pesto Cheeseball
This cream cheeseball recipe is a simple one, and it has a secret ingredient. This is a savory cheese ball with a bright basil pesto, crispy bacon, sharp white cheddar, cream cheese (of course) and the little extra something to make all of the flavors pop. Yellow mustard. YOU GUYS. It is simply beautiful. This recipe uses 8 oz cream cheese and bacon, so it is definitely a recipe to share with a crowd. Technically, I don't count salt and pepper on the ingredient list since they're optional but a little fresh ground pepper in this is MUAH. Chefs kiss.
Here's the basics for what we'll need for the cheeseball.
- Cream cheese - can use full fat, ⅓ fat, or fat free.
- Basil pesto sauce
- Sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded.
- Bacon, cooked and crumbled. About 6-8 slices for this recipe.
- Mustard, yellow preferred can substitute with different varieties.
Instructions for making Cheeseball:
Here are some SUPER simple directions for how to make the cheeseball.
- Cook and crumble bacon.
- Mix cream cheese until smooth, then add basil pesto, cooked and crumbled bacon, shredded white cheddar cheese, and mustard. Salt and pepper optional.
- Shape into a ball and roll in cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.
- Wrap and Chill until ready to serve.
- To Serve, top with fresh chopped basil and optionally drizzle with a few tablespoons of pesto sauce.
FAQ's and Tips
Can I leave out the mustard?
Sure, it isn't strictly necessary. It does add a little zing and brightens up the basil parmesan flavor from the pesto.
Can I prepare a cheeseball ahead?
Yes! This can be made a few days ahead of time and refrigerated. To freshen it up, I'd reserve some crumbled bacon and add it with a little shredded cheese and chopped fresh basil on top right before serving.
What do I serve with a cheeseball?
Some of the more popular choices are crackers, vegetables like carrots, celery, cucumbers, crostini bread, or pita bread. You could also use leftovers as a sandwich spread to make a grilled cheese or panini sandwich.
PRO TIP: Make your bacon in the oven for less mess! I like to bake it on a foil lined baking sheet at 400 F for about 15 minutes until crispy, then transfer directly to paper towels until cool enough to crumble or chop. Less mess and no little burns on my hands!
📝 Printable Recipe
Bacon Pesto Cheeseball
- 8 ounces cream cheese ,softened
- 2 Tablespoon basil pesto sauce
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- ½ cup bacon ,cooked and crumbled
- ½ cup white cheddar cheese ,shredded
- optional: fresh ground pepper
For outside coating:
- ½ cup bacon , cooked and crumbled
- ½ cup white cheddar cheese , shredded
- 1 Tablespoon basil, fresh chopped
- In a bowl, mix softened cream cheese until smooth. Add in the basil pesto and mustard. Fold in ½ cup crumbled bacon and ½ cup white cheddar cheese, fresh ground pepper optional. Shape into a soft ball.
- In a bowl, combine reserved bacon and white cheddar cheese for outside coating. Gently transfer cream cheese ball into cheese and bacon mixture and sprinkle over cheeseball until evenly coated. Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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