This pickle-infused cheese spread was inspired by the old-fashioned cheese ball — and more specifically, this dill pickle cheese ball from Delish. I’ve modified the recipe slightly to serve in a casserole dish — because while cheese balls are retro cool, Pyrex is prettier.
The recipe makes enough for a party; for a smaller group, a half batch will do. Note: I made the bacon optional because while it’s visually appealing, I don’t think it adds that much to the flavor of the spread. The bacon loses its crunch pretty quickly in the refrigerator, so if you’re making the dish ahead of time, it may be better to omit.
2 8-oz blocks cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped fine
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup dill pickles, chopped fine (about 3 whole baby dills)
1 tbsp pickle juice
6-8 slices cooked bacon, chopped fine (optional)
Set cream cheese out to bring to room temperature. If desired, chop the cheddar and mozzarella into finer pieces.
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the cheddar with the mozzarella, garlic powder, paprika and 1 tbsp of the dill, and stir until mixed. Stir in the pickles and pickle juice. Add the cream cheese and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon the mixture into a small casserole dish and spread around in an even layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
For the topping, combine the bacon with 1/4-1/2 cup cheddar and 1-2 tbsp dill (amount depends on the diameter of your casserole dish — if it’s large like a pie plate, use more; if it’s small like a ramekin, use less). Sprinkle the topping over the spread and serve.
Pictured: Pyrex Spring Blossom 472 Cinderella Round Casserole, Pyrex Spring Blossom 503 Refrigerator Dish, Pyrex Spring Blossom 443 Cinderella Mixing Bowl, Pyrex Spring Blossom 401 Round Mixing Bowl, Corning Ware P-185-B Snack-It Plate