Christmas Bacon Cheese Ball Wreath is a holiday table showstopper! Full of crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, chives, onions and herbs!
Our Antipasto Christmas Tree Cheese Ball has been so popular, we’ve been asked time and time again to come up with another dip idea…and here it is! A savoury Cheese Ball Wreath takes your favourite bacon, cheese and onion dip and transforms it into a holiday masterpiece.
Serve with crackers, pretzels, vegetable sticks, cold meats, ANYTHING!
Normally, a Christmas wreath is used to decorate your front door or interior walls over the holiday season, along with your tree and other ornaments.
However, for this particular hungry situation, we’re making an edible cheese ball wreath to decorate your holiday table, impressing everyone you serve it to. Your guests will be amazed by the visual impact while LOVING the inside, going for seconds and thirds.
A dip that not only looks amazing on the outside, but tastes INCREDIBLE on the inside!
WHICH CHEESE IS USED FOR CHEESE BALLS?
Normally, a cheese ball consists of a combination of cream cheese, sour cream, ricotta cheese and hard cheeses, like cheddar or parmesan.
Cheese balls need to stay compact once moulded into shape, and for this reason, there is no sour cream or runny textured creams added to this cheese ball wreath recipe. Packaged cream cheese provides a firm foundation to hold the wreath in shape, guaranteeing your cheese ball will last while being devoured.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN A CHEESE BALL?
For a cheese ball wreath, you’re going to start by creating the dip with a handful of ingredients.
- Cream cheese — use packaged cream cheese in a block, not spreadable.
- Cheddar cheese — Gouda, Provolone, Monterey Jack or Swiss also work well.
- Bell peppers — we use red to create holiday colours in the dip and provide flavour.
- Green onions — you could also use sautéed white, yellow or red onion if you prefer. The optional choices may be too strong to be added in raw in this dip, so I suggest sautéing before adding them in. Raw green onions provide the best balance.
- Chives — you can leave them out if you don’t like chives. Just replace with a couple tablespoons extra of green onions.
- Fresh parsley — you could also use cilantro, basil, or your preferred herb of choice..
To make this recipe completely your own, start adding ingredients in small amounts, taste test and build up from there. Make it how YOU love it!
HOW DO YOU MAKE A CHEESE BALL WREATH?
A cheese ball wreath may look intimidating, but I promise you it is so easy to make with minimal steps involved.
FRY diced bacon and drain the fat.
DRY with paper towel.
MIX all of your ingredients together in a large bowl.
We found moulding the cheese ball wreath in a 10-cup capacity bundt pan the easiest method. You can also use an 8-cup bundt pan.
If using a bundt pan, you’re going to scoop the cream cheese mixture into a pan lined with plastic wrap (see image below for visuals or watch the video just above the recipe card)! Spread the cream cheese mixture into an even layer while pressing down to ensure the mixture smooths into the bottom of the pan.
1: Roll the cream cheese mixture between 2 sheets of plastic wrap (one for the bottom and one covering the top) into a log shape. Join the ends to create a ring. Refrigerate, then once chilled, remove the plastic wrap. Transfer to a serving platter and smooth the cheese ball wreath with a spatula.
2: Place a small glass cup or bowl in the middle of a serving platter. Drop cream cheese mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls around the cup to create your ring shape. Remove bowl and smooth the cream cheese mixture with a spatula, forming a wreath.
To replicate the leaves of a traditional wreath, we decorate the cheese ball wreath with a combination of finely chopped chives, green onions and herbs (we use parsley). Don’t like parsley? You’re free to replace it with your favourite herbs.
To avoid herbs spilling into the middle of the wreath, place a rolled up piece of parchment paper in the centre (again, see video), and sprinkle the herbs over the wreath. The parchment paper will act like a barrier.
If too many herbs have spilled into the centre the wreath, you can easily remove them using a teaspoon.
Finish it off with olive halves, red bell peppers and small rosemary sprigs. You can also use chopped tomatoes (cherry or grape), chopped fire roasted peppers or miniature pickles (cornichons).
HOW LONG DO CHEESE BALLS LAST?
The main ingredient is cream cheese, which usually lasts for a week or two in the refrigerator once it’s opened. Since we’re using fresh herbs and bacon in this cheese ball, it will last fresh for up to 24 hours.
Looking for more dips? Try these!
HOW TO MAKE A CHEESE BALL WREATH: VIDEO!
Bacon Cheese Ball Christmas Wreath
For The Dip:
- 4 cups cream cheese softened (32 oz | 1 kg)
- 1 1/2 cups diced bacon, fried
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 3/4 of a large red bell pepper (or capsicum ), seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup green onions finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped (or cilantro)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- Salt, to taste (if desired)
For The Decorations:
- 1/4 cup parsley (or herbs of choice) finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chives finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon green onions, finely chopped
- 12 pitted mixed olives halved lengthwise
- remaining red bell pepper (or capsicum ), finely chopped
- Rosemary leaves/sprigs to decorate
- Ritz, water crackers or pretzels for serving
- Line the inside of a 10-cup capacity Bundt pan with plastic wrap (you may need two sheets to completely cover the walls of the pan). Set aside.
- Combine dip ingredients in a large bowl; mix well.
- Scoop the cream cheese mixture into prepared pan. Spread into an even layer while adding light pressure to ensure the mixture smooths into the base of the pan.
- Cover and refrigerate until chilled, (about 1 hour or up to 1 day).
- Once chilled, uncover and invert the wreath onto a serving platter. Use a spatula to smooth the edges.
- To decorate, sprinkle with the parsley, chives and green onions. Press each olive half around the top of the wreath. Garnish with bell peppers between the olives. Insert rosemary sprigs around the wreath. Brush with a little olive oil (optional for shine).
- Serve with crackers of your choice.
- If you find your cream cheese has softened too much and won't hold its shape, refrigerate it until it thickens again (about 20 minutes).