Football Cheeseball – A zesty mix of cream cheese, ranch seasoning, and diced veggies are shaped into a football and covered with cheddar cheese. Perfect for serving at your next tailgate!
Today, I have another appetizer for you to serve during your football watching parties. This one is more on the nose, since it’s shaped like a football. I’ve actually made this dip many times before and shaped it like a basketball or a pumpkin, depending on the season. Everyone loves it so much that I have to make it for almost every get-together I have. And since it’s so easy to make, I don’t mind it at all!
This Football Cheeseball is a zesty mix of vegetables, ranch, and cream cheese. I’ve been asked if it was a pimento cheese dip, but, technically, it’s not since there is no mayo or paprika in the recipe. But it’s got a similar taste, just less pimento-tasting so it’s great for kids who may not love a traditional pimento cheese flavor.
Let’s take a closer look at this Football Cheeseball, huh?
No cooking required
One of the greatest things about this recipe is that there is no cooking or baking required. The cheeseball is served cold so you can also make ahead of time and just pull out of the fridge when ready to serve.
Making the cheeseball
The cheeseball is mostly cream cheese with a little bit of cheddar cheese mixed throughout. To add extra flavor, half of the cream cheese is a vegetable cream cheese. A little ranch seasoning is also added for extra zing.
Dicing the pepper
The most work you’ll do for this entire recipe is dicing the red pepper. But before you do, make sure to trace out some laces for the top of the football. I used a homemade stencil to help me out.
Once the pepper is diced, you must squeeze out extra water from it before placing in the dip. Use a paper towel to make this easier.
Assembling the dip
To start the assembly, the cream cheeses are combined in a stand mixer. Then, the rest of the ingredients are added, aside from 1 cup of the shredded cheddar. It will be used to cover the football.
After the dip is made, it’s formed into a football, covered in the remaining cheddar cheese, and chilled for at least 2 hours. This will give it time to firm up again.
Tips & Tricks
- It’s important to squeeze out extra water from the diced peppers so that the excess water doesn’t go into the cheeseball and cause it to lose it’s texture and shape.
- The cayenne adds a hint of flavor but not much heat. If you want more spice, double the cayenne.
- The cheese should be freshly shredded so that it blends better into the dip and makes a stronger outer shell. Bagged shredded cheese tends to hold it’s shape too firmly for this recipe.
- The flavors really develop together the longer they sit. So I actually recommend making this hours or even the day before needing it so that it tastes even better.
- 1 medium red pepper
- 1 8-ounce block cream cheese softened
- 1 7.5-ounce tub vegetable cream cheese
- 3 green onions chopped
- 2 tablespoons Hidden Valley ranch seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- crackers, carrots, celery for serving
- Cut pepper into quarters. Take one quarter and trace out laces for the top of the football. Cut and cover with paper towel. Place in fridge until time to serve the cheeseball. Dice the rest of the red pepper super fine. Place in paper towel and squeeze to drain out extra water from the pepper.
- Add both cream cheeses to a bowl fitted for a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, mix both cheeses together until combined. Add in diced pepper, diced green onions, ranch seasoning, cayenne, and 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese. Mix until combined.
- Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the remaining cheese in an oval in the center of the plastic wrap. Add cheese and form into a football shape. It doesn't have to be perfect – you'll be able to shape later. Cover with the rest of the shredded cheese. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tight. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until firm again.
- Serve cold with crackers and vegetables.