When it's time for the big game, win big by serving this delicious Football Shaped Cheeseball with Pecans. Victory never tasted so good!
I originally shared this recipe in 2013. I've recently updated this post with additional information, including a recipe card complete with nutritional information, but the recipe itself and the photos have remained unchanged.
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making this football-shaped cheeseball with pecans is available at the end of this post. Or you can hit the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
The ingredient list:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
- softened cream cheese (2 - 8 ounce blocks)
- prepared horseradish sauce
- diced pimentos
- bacon bits
- salt and pepper
- smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
- sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- chopped, toasted, pecans
- mozzarella string cheese
- parsley (optional)
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- medium skillet
- stand mixer or hand mixer
- mixing bowls
- measuring cups and spoons
- chef's knife
- cutting board
- cheese grater
- paring knife
- chopstick or skewer
- serving platter
- plastic wrap (for storing in advance of serving)
How this recipe came to be:
I was invited to a Chicago Bear's football/housewarming party.
Actually, my husband and I were both invited, but because he already had tickets to attend the game, I went to the party myself. My friend, who was throwing the party, asked if I would mind bringing an appetizer.
Me? Mind? Surely you know me by now, right? LOL
What I wrote about this recipe in 2013:
It was super easy to make, requires no cooking (except to toast the pecans), and just a minimal amount of mixing. Just make sure that the cream cheese is softened to room temperature before you start mixing so then it comes together very quickly.
The Chicago Bear's win on overtime over the Baltimore Ravens 23 to 20! Sorry, all you Ravens fans out there, but I live with a bunch of bears in a bears den! Grrrrrr.
And, needless to say, my hubby came home as one happy camper that night! 🙂
Can this football cheeseball be made in advance?
Yes. If you like you can mix up the cheeseball ingredients and place it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
That said if you'd like to make the entire football cheeseball in advance (nuts and all), you can make it keep it wrapped well in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before serving.
What is the best temperature for serving this cheeseball?
I prefer it served at room temperature, but a little chilled is not a bad thing either.
Can other types of shredded cheese be used in this cheeseball?
Yes. Please feel free to use your favorites.
I happen to like smoked cheddar cheese, but a smoked gouda or even a shredded Swiss would work well.
Can the nuts be left out of this recipe?
That's a tough one, but the answer is yes...if needed.
I happen to love the crunch the toasted pecans give this football-shaped cheeseball, but beyond even that, the toasted pecans give the football its legendary brown color.
However, if you decide to make this cheeseball without the nuts, feel free to double (or even triple) the amount of bacon bits and use them (alone) to press on the outside of the football for that similar brownish football (pigskin LOL) color.
The step-by-step photo instructions for making a Football-Shaped Cheeseball:
- Toast the pecans in a dry skillet over medium/low until you start to smell them. Cool completely and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), blend the cream cheese, horseradish sauce, green onions, pimentos, 2 ounces of the bacon bits, salt, and pepper until combined.
- Stir in the shredded cheeses until they're well incorporated.
- Working with wet hands (so the cheese doesn't stick so much), shape the cheese mixture into a football shape on a chosen platter.
- Combine the remaining bacon bits and the toasted pecans in a bowl and generously press them onto the football, making sure to cover the entire shape.
- Brush the bacon and pecans that don't stick off the serving platter.
- Using a paring knife, cut small strips of the string cheese to form the football's laces.
- Using a chopstick or skewer, stick the ends of the string cheese into the cheese ball to "attach" and press with your fingers to cover any hole that you've just made with the skewer (this will also anchor the laces to the football).
Additional recipes for football parties and beyond:
*Peanut Butter and Jelly Chocolate Football Crackers (shown below and featured in the video)
These Peanut Butter and Jelly Chocolate Footballs are tasty little snackers that are super simple to make, and are sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any tailgating or big game party!
*Pepperoni Pizza Nachos (not shown)
Yep! You heard me correctly. Pizza Nachos. Make them in an air fryer, or traditional oven. Please. Thank you. You’re welcome! 😉
*French Onion Sloppy Joes (shown below)
When you want to frugally feed a crowd for game day, or a hungry family at dinner, it doesn’t get much tastier than French Onion Sloppy Joes!
*Bratwurst Appetizer Bites (not shown)
Easy Bratwurst Appetizer Bites are just the thing to serve during a party or for game day. They’re also super simple to make and everybody loves them! SCORE!!
*Football-Shaped Cheeseball with Pecans and Bacon (shown below) THIS IS THE PLACE!!
Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's fun football cheeseball party appetizer.
When you make this recipe, and I hope you do, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to leave a star rating on the recipe card and briefly comment on why you rated it as you did. FYI - Google appreciates recipe ratings and, in turn, will share my recipes with more people. Thank you so much!!
Printable Recipe Card
FOOTBALL SHAPED CHEESEBALL WITH PECANS AND BACON
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish sauce
- 6 green onions sliced (green and white parts)
- 1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimentos drained
- 2 packages (3 ounces each) bacon bits, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces smoked cheddar cheese shredded
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans toasted
- 1 each mozzarella string cheese cut into thin strips
- parsley for garnish, optional
- crackers for serving
- -Toast the pecans in a dry skillet over medium/low until you start to smell them. Cool completely and set aside.
- -In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), blend the cream cheese, horseradish sauce, green onions, pimentos, 2 ounces of the bacon bits, salt, and pepper until combined.
- -Stir in the shredded cheeses until they are well incorporated.
- -Working with wet hands (so the cheese doesn't stick so much), shape the cheese mixture into a football-shape on a chosen platter.
- -Combine the remaining bacon bits and the toasted pecans in a bowl and generously press them onto the football, making sure to cover the entire shape.
- -Use a paring knife, cut small strips of the string cheese to form the football's laces.
- -Use a chopstick or skewer to stick the ends of the string cheese into the cheese ball to "attach" and press with your fingers to cover any hole that you've just made with the skewer (this will also anchor the laces to the football).
- -Arrange parsley around the football as garnish (optional).
- -Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve with crackers.
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's fun food cheeseball appetizer recipe as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!
Kudos Kitchen by Renee – Bringing you easy, economical, and delicious dishes to feed the people you love!
Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!