This Buffalo Ranch Cheese Ball is a tasty, easy, make-ahead appetizer. Add more or less hot sauce to make it as spicy as you’d like.
I recently read a Food & Wine article called “Give Cheese Balls a Chance.” In it, the author talks about how cheese balls are viewed as being dated and pretty much straight out of the 1970s.
To be honest, I didn’t realize that they had garnered this reputation. My lack of awareness of the kitschy nature of cheese balls (coupled with my unabashed love of making and eating them) probably speaks to how uncool I am.
In spite of all this, she also talks about the various positive qualities of the cheese ball.
For starters, they’re delicious! They’re also endlessly versatile. You can use whatever mixture of cheeses you’re into, plus whatever mix-ins you’d like. And then there’s the coating. For this buffalo ranch cheese ball, I used nuts and chives, but don’t forget about bacon or even something like everything bagel seasoning. You can also spread a cheese ball on crackers, vegetables, you name it.
What I’m saying is, in light of all of its merits, let’s bring the cheese ball back. Let’s make it cool again.
- 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 oz ranch seasoning, 1 packet
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tbs fresh chives, minced and divided
- 2-4 tbs hot sauce
- 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Add the ranch seasoning, shredded cheddar, 1 tbs of fresh chives, and 2 tbs of hot sauce. Mix until well combined.
Taste and add additional hot sauce if desired.
Dollop the cheese mixture onto a length of plastic wrap. Shape it into a ball, wrap it in the plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Spread the chopped pecans and remaining 1 tbs chives onto a plate. Roll the cheese ball it around on the chopped pecans and chives until the entire ball is covered.
Wrap the cheese ball in the plastic wrap and refrigerate again for at least an hour before eating.
Serve with crackers and or vegetables.