My Leader Yummy – Nacho-Tamale Dip, Honey-Ham Ranch Cheese Ball

Leader food columnist Kathleen Brotherton says this dip and cheese ball are sure to be hits at your Super Bowl gatherings.

The long-awaited Super Bowl game is just a day away, and while most of us won’t be gathering at large parties this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll still want to celebrate the occasion, even if just from the comfort of our own family rooms. And, of course, you can’t watch a major sporting event like the Super Bowl without some tasty snacks.

If you want something more than your typical pretzels and potato chips and dips, you might want to try the following recipes for Nacho-Tamale Dip and Honey-Ham Cheese Ball. The dip uses chopped up tamales and chili (with or without beans), and the cheese ball is chock-full of ham and two kinds of cheese.

Both recipes make a generous amount so there will be plenty to last until the end of the game!


1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tamales, drained

1 (15-ounce)can chili (with or without beans)

2 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 cup green chilies, drained

1 cup salsa (your favorite brand)

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 tablespoon green onions, sliced for topping

Remove and discard paper wrappers from tamales. In a medium-size mixing bowl, chop tamales up into small pieces with a fork. Add chili, Monterey Jack cheese, chopped onion, green chilies, salsa and hot pepper sauce (if used).

Turn mixture into a greased oven-proof baking dish. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove and top with 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese and return to oven for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and sliced green onions. Serve warm with Nacho chips or corn chips.

Note: You can substitute chopped deli-style mild, banana pepper rings for the green chilies.


2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

2 cups Colby-Jack cheese, shredded

1 (9-ounce) package Deli-Fresh honey ham, finely chopped

1 (1-ounce) package dry Ranch salad dressing mix

1 cup chopped English walnuts

1/4 cup real bacon bits

Cream both packages of cream cheese until smooth. Add shredded Colby-Jack to cream cheese and mix until well combined.

Fold in chopped ham with package of dry Ranch salad dressing mix. Mix until cheese, ham and salad dressing mix are thoroughly combined. Place in refrigerator, covered, for an hour so it’s easier to form into a ball.

Combine walnuts and bacon bits together in single layer in a circle on a large piece of waxed paper. Remove cheese ball from refrigerator and place in center of nuts and bacon bits. Pull up sides of waxed paper so nuts and bacon bits cover the sides of the cheese ball and all is used. Serve with your favorite crackers.

Note: I use a small electric food chopper to chop thin ham slices. Works perfectly!

Brotherton offers website readers one stellar recipe a week in the “My Leader Yummy” feature.

Looking for a recipe you can’t find? Email me at and I’ll see if I have it.