Without a doubt, this is what you want to serve at your next party. This Bacon Ranch Beer Cheeseball will blow any other appetizer you’ve ever had out of the water. It’s just that good.
Last week I had the most amazing opportunity to attend a foodie walking tour in San Francisco hosted by Negra Modelo and Chef Rick Bayless. Yeah, this was one event I simply could not turn down. I had my two Amy’s with me (Amy’s Healthy Baking and Very Culinary) so we loaded up in my minivan and headed to SF. We met up with a ton of other food bloggers and hit the ground running.
We hit three insanely tasty Mexican shops in the Mission district where we sampled huaraches, ribs, and a plethora of baked goods on which I blame the last two pounds. #soworthit
The bakery was our last stop and you guys, Negra Modelo had hired a trolley car – a TROLLEY – to come pick us up and take us to dinner. And that’s when I wished my boys were there with me :)
After a quick refreshing ride in the open-air trolley, we ended up a super nice Mexican restuarant where we enjoyed Mexican cuisine, Negra Modelo, and the expertise of Rick Bayless as he schooled us on avocados, peppers, onions and of course, beer!
I learned a ton. Negra Modelo has been brewed since 1925. That’s just slightly older than me. It’s a Munich Dunkel style lager by slow roasting caramel malts, a technique that makes the brewing process last twice as long as other beers. Negra Modelo is the perfect complement to great food and Chef Rick Bayless has partnered with Negra Modelo to develop a number of recipes so make sure to check them out as well.
Let’s get on to the cheeseball, shall we?
So here I was eating amazing food, drinking beer, and thinking…what in the world am I going to make with beer? I started thinking of all things that go with beer: cheese, bacon, pretzels…and this cheeseball was born.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the following – this was the BEST thing I have eaten all year. I’m not even kidding. I could have polished the entire cheeseball off by myself.
So the true stroke of genius was covering the entire cheeseball in a coating of pretzel crumbs. The superb saltiness and crunchiness of the pretzels is the perfect complement to the richness of the cheeseball. I didn’t stop at bacon, ranch and cheese though. I added some green onions for a little brightness and I’m a sucker for pimientos and cheese so in they went as well.
Heavenly. I can tell you this, this cheeseball will become a staple in our house. Whether we’re talking the super bowl or a birthday party, I can’t think of a party without this. It’s just THAT good.
So here is a few things to keep in mind:
- Use full-fat, regular cream cheese. It’s a little stiffer/thicker than the light cream cheese and you need that because of the moisture the beer adds.
- The pimientos need to be drained, well. Again, it’s a moisture thing.
- This cheeseball needs to be made 24 hours in advance. You could get by with less, but for maximum flavor and awesomeness, make it a day ahead.
- Use finely shredded cheese. It blends in better and you don’t have large chunks of cheese stringing off your pretzel.
- Oh yes, speaking of pretzels, serve this cheeseball with pretzels. Not chips. Maybe crudites for the ladies ;)
- 2 8 oz packages cream cheese
- 2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican cheese blend)
- 1 1 oz package ranch dip mix (I used Hidden Valley, of course)
- ⅓ cup beer (Negra Modelo)
- 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 Tbls pimiento peppers, drained
- 3 green onions, sliced
- ½ cup pretzel crumbs
- Beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
- Beat in shredded cheese and dip mix until thoroughly combined.
- Slowly pour in beer and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
- Stir in bacon, peppers, and green onions.
- Line a small bowl with plastic wrap. Spoon cheese mixture into bowl. Press mixture into bowl so that it takes on the shape of the bowl. Use the ends of the plastic wrap to wrap up the cheeseball firmly. Place bowl in refrigerator and let set up for 24 hours.
- Remove cheeseball and press pretzel crumbs into the sides of the cheeseball.
- Serve with additional pretzels.
More of our favorite party foods:
For all dinner recipes, go HERE.
For all chicken recipes, go HERE.
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Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Negro Modelo. All opinions are, as always, 100% my own.