Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball and Easy Taco Soup for Supper

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball is Prepared and Ready for Thanksgiving.
Delicious Taco Soup.
When I saw this recipe for Taco Soup I thought it sounded just as good and easier than the one I have always made.  Plus it sounded just right for the run up days before Thanksgiving.  So, yesterday I checked my ingredients and committed to throwing it together today.  I have adapted this recipe from    The name of the blog convinces me it has to be good!

I also want to try this cheese ball as I am certain in a household of Ranch Dressing lovers who also LOVE bacon it will surely be a hit!  I adapted this recipe from one bouncing around Pinterest right now.  It only took a bit of tweaking from me.

Ingredients for Easy Taco Soup:

1 can drained pinto beans
1 can drained kidney beans
1 can drained black beans
2 cans drained yellow corn
1 large can tomatoes broken up with your fork
2 C. beef stock
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
4 T. Taco Seasoning
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 C. water
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Crumble the ground beef into a dutch oven or large heavy bottom kettle and brown over medium high heat.  Meanwhile between stirs dice the onion and garlic and add to the pot and cook along with the beef.

Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat at least 15 minutes or longer watching and adding water it it becomes too thick.  Or transfer everything into a slow cooker and simmer over lowest heat setting to meld the flavors.

Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, diced avocado, or sour cream.   Yield 10 servings.

Ingredients for Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball:

2-8 ounce bars of Philadelphia Cream Cheese at room temperature
1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 C. crisp cooked crumbled bacon
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix

Place the soft cream cheese in a medium mixer bowl and beat until soft and creamy.  Add the Ranch Mix, lemon juice, Cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup of the bacon and mix thoroughly.

Using you hands form into a ball.  Roll in the remaining bacon crumbles.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving with assorted crackers or crisp celery sticks.  Yield 1 cheese ball.  

This is wonderful to make ahead and cover in the refrigerator for a few days for the flavors to meld.  It is nice to have things like this tucked away during the holiday season and ready to pull our as needed,  I serve with assorted crackers, pretzels. or crisp vegetables .

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