For those of us who are blindly flailing our way through life (yes, I’m including myself here), it’s nice to have a couple of life pro tips in our back pockets. This is especially true when it comes to party planning. After all, one of the worst times to crash and burn is when you have a house full of people to witness it all.
Cringe with me if you’ve been there.
That being said, since the Super Bowl is just around the corner, I’d like to share a few hosting hacks that I’ve picked up over the years.
First things first: starting a week before the party, try to prepare for 20 minutes a day. This could involve cleaning, decorating, or pre-making appetizers. When all’s said and done, that’s over 2 hours of work that you’ll have tackled ahead of time! The day of, you won’t have to stress or rush at all.
While you’re at it, make use of tip number two: move your furniture. Make sure all of the couches and chairs are pushed to the edges of the room. This will prevent people from being cut off from conversation, allow your guests to move around more freely, and create floor space in front of the TV. For watching events like award ceremonies and the big game, it’s a must.
In those cases, you also might want to consider moving a small TV into the kitchen or dining dining room. This way, the people who spend their time huddled around the snack table (AKA me) can also watch the game, while the die-hard fans stick to the big screen in the main area.
Lastly, you want to make sure that the food will be both eaten and enjoyed. If you’re ever questioning what to make, simply look to the trifecta of party-food perfection. This appetizer-ingredient trinity will always– and I do mean always— ensure that a recipe is devoured. What is it, you ask? It’s bacon, beer, and lots of cheese. Include those ingredients in a dish and you will be heralded for years to come as the emperor of entertaining. That’s what they call me.
Okay, it’s not. But just imagine if they did.
And since we’re on the subject of imagination, can you imagine a better way to use those three shining star snack ingredients than this Bacon Beer Cheese Bread Bowl? If this doesn’t scream “MAKE ME FOR YOUR SUPER BOWL PARTY” to you, then we’re clearly speaking different languages here.
This is one of those never-fail snacks that you can make for get-togethers year-round. The effort to compliment ratio is awesome– that is to say that it’ll take you just a tiny bit of work for an appetizer that your guests are going to gush over. And why wouldn’t they? The Bacon Beer Cheese Bread Bowl is made up of a fondue-like beer cheese with a bubbly, browned layer on top, tucked inside of toasted bread and served with crispy, garlic and herb topped bread slices for dipping. Not to mention, when those bread slices run out, guests can pull apart the bread bowl and eat it, too.
Yummy and useful, I like it.
To make this Bacon Beer Cheese Bread Bowl, we clearly need a loaf of bread. I use a large Italian loaf because it’s both the perfect size for fitting all of the filling and it’s easy to find, but feel free to substitute in sourdough or pumpernickel. Really any sturdy, large bread will do. Just cut the top off, hollow out the inside, and you’re good to go. Save the top of the bread for later, though. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Now it might seem like we’re just filling the bread with any old cheese dip mixture, but what’s important about this beer cheese is that it has a good balance of liquid and solid ingredients. This allows it to melt into an even, fondue-like texture without soaking through the bread. To get that perfect consistency, I whisk together beer and cream cheese, fold in shredded cheeses, and mix in a bit of cornstarch slurry as well. The cornstarch slurry ensures that when those cheeses melt and release their oils, the dip won’t separate into a gloppy, curdled mess.
I also stir in whole grain mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and bacon for a little somethin’ extra. We all know that your typical cheese dip is delicious, but a cheese dip with flavor-packed mix-ins is even better, right?
No doubt about it.
Before baking the Bacon Beer Cheese Bread Bowl, slice up the top of the bread, which you set aside earlier. Brush it with fresh herbs, minced garlic, and olive oil, and place it on the pan along with the dip-stuffed bread. Put the whole thing in the oven and bake it until browned, and then… then…. well, that’s it. Those are all of the steps. Hollow the bread, stir together the dip ingredients, stuff, slice, brush, bake, and enjoy.
Seriously, it’s that simple. But if you still don’t believe me (or you just want to see me in action) check out this video for the whole run-through:
You can also keep up with me on Youtube by pressing the subscribe button on the Host the Toast Youtube Channel page, and follow along while I do my best to figure out this whole videography thing. Hey, slowly but surely, I think I’m getting there.
Or maybe it’s just because, as I said earlier, you can’t go wrong with bacon, beer, and loads of cheese. Probably. Well, at least my hosting hack was right.
Either way, I’m going to be making more videos in the weeks to come, and I’m hoping that you’ll be making this Bacon Beer Cheese Bread Bowl. When you do, don’t forget to take a picture and tag it with #hostthetoast on Instagram.Print
Bacon Beer Cheese Bread Bowl
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- 1 large Italian loaf
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 8 ounces (1 cup) lager or beer of choice, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 8 ounces swiss cheese, shredded
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs (such as chives, parsley, and dill)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Chopped chives, to top
- Broccoli and pretzels to serve, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Slice off the top of the bread. Hollow out the inside of the bread to create a bowl. Save the top of the bread for later.
- In a large bowl, combine whisk together the softened cream cheese and 1 cup of the beer, until well-combined. Combine the remaining tablespoon of beer with 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Add the cornstarch slurry, the whole grain mustard, and the Worcestershire sauce to the cream cheese mixture and whisk again to combine. Fold in the shredded cheeses, then fold in the bacon. Fill the bread bowl with the cheese mixture. Transfer the bread bowl to a rimmed baking sheet.
- Slice the top of the bread that was cut off earlier into thin pieces, and place them on the baking sheet, crust-side up.
- In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, herbs, and olive oil. Spoon or brush the herb mixture onto the tops of the bread slices.
- Bake the bread for 5 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted, stir, and continue to bake until the cheese begins to brown on top, about 30 minutes. If you notice that the bread slices begin to brown too much, cover them with foil as the beer cheese finishes cooking.
- Top the dip with chopped chives and serve warm with the bread slices, broccoli, and pretzels.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
Natalie @Bake-No-Fake says
Wow, this looks insane! I think I’ve never tried stuffed bread, maybe it’s time? 😉
Thanks, Natalie! Yeah, it’s time =) Haha
Is there an alternative to beer???
Try it with evaporated milk instead, and maybe use a dash of hot sauce or some garlic for extra flavor since you’re omitting the beer flavor.
Alternative to Swiss cheese? My wife hates Swiss lol
Double the cheddar would be fine! Or gouda! =)
Philip T says
Oh my god all the people asking g for substitutes. Geesh, just findon’t another recipe. However I’m going to answer all of those questions at once.
this is being used as a binder and emulsifier in the dish, so that you don’t get a ton of separation of oil from cheese. You can use egg or some other thickener such as arrowroot or flour
is added as a liquid and carbonation you can literally use anything carbonated and it would work seamlessly, things like seltzer, champagne, soda, or even non alcoholic beer. I wouldn’t add the evaporated milk as it is going to throw off the fat balance.
Literally this is just a clever serving method, there is nothing about the bread that will alter the dish except for the possible soaking up of risidual oils. I’ve baked many dishes like this in pie pans and they work great. The cockpit would work as well but you are not going to get that crusty cheese on top.
Any non-hard cheese can be substituted, I wouldn’t use Asiago, Parm, or any really aged cheddar
Hope this helps
Great info! Thanks for sharing.
Ayesha Mohsin says
lol take a chill pill .
Thanks for the info though
Marlene Graham says
Good job Philip
Could I make dip ahead of time and refrigerate until I get to the party, then put in bread and bake??
Morgan, it was delicious! Made it for Super Bowl and we loved it… but we had to almost double the cooking time to fully melt the cheeses. It tastes amazing, and I am going to steal the cornstarch slurry for my other cheesy soupy dips.So flavorful! Thanks!
Drool. Drool everywhere. This is absolutely, without a doubt one of the most beautiful cheese and bread creations I’ve ever seen. Cannot wait to see the look on our friends’ faces when I pull this thing out on game day!
Nancey Spaith says
Is there a substitute for the beer ?
I’ve never tried it, but I would assume you could probably use ginger ale or any soda that is carbonated. I make a beer bread that ginger ale can be replaced for beer. I never tried it though
You can use wine, or if you don’t want to use alcohol, evaporated milk would provide a creamy cheese dip!
If we were to use the evaporated milk would we use the same amount as what is called for the beer in the recipie
Looks devine! cant wait to try it!!
Helene w. says
Do you actually taste beer? Sometimes alcohol in cooking, cooks off without leaving an aftertaste. I love the recipe but am not a beer/wine fan. I saw you can use evaporate.milk but how does that alter the taste?
Hi Helene! You do taste the beer here. If you don’t like the flavor of beer or wine, I’d recommend trying it with evaporated milk instead like you mentioned. It will taste mostly the same, but wind up just slightly thicker and creamier, and without the beer flavor =)
David Walker says
Yes and in our opinion it does not improve the taste. Won’t be making this again, though it is beautiful, etc.
I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t like it David. Thank you for the feedback.
Nicole Joosten says
I made it tonight and didn’t taste the beer at all. I’m sure it depends on the type of beer that you use. It was a BIG hit!
What type of beer did you use?
Assuming it would be ok to cook the cheese part in a bowl with the bread on the side to accommodate my gluten-free friends?
Yes that would be fine, Michelle =)
Thanks for the recipe. It looks fabulous and I think it will be a big hit at a super bowl party I’m attending.
Thank you Nancy! I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did =) Please let me know how it goes!
It was yummy yummy !
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Margaret! =)
Christi stone says
How about if you are cooking pre game and traveling can you make ahead and bring and cook. Our cook immediately and tree heart???
Can u make the dip part a day ahead?
Yes that would be fine, Kim =)
Made this last night..absolutely delicious……and for those asking you can’t taste the beer..will make again for sure..thanks
Looks awesome.cant wait to try it. I’m a big cheese and beer lover. Thanks
Maria Schmidt says
Can you substitute yogurt for the cream cheese? If not whay could I use.
Just FYI – The ingredients list doesn’t include the Italian Loaf 🙂
Thanks Ami! Fixed it =)
Can you substitute anything for the cornstarch?
Is there any substitute for the beer this really looks good but don’t like the taste of beer. Thanks
Sandi frantz says
Could you put this in a crock pot instead of a bread bowl after its cooked so it stays warm?
Hello am planning on trying this recipe out on Saturday and wanted to know what kind of beer you recommend? Dark, pils, bitter like an ale? I live in Germany and it is important to know since taste varies!
I used an amber lager but you are welcome to change it up if you prefer a certain beer. Of course it would have to be one that would compliment bacon and cheese, so nothing desserty, but otherwise you’re free to experiment!
Mine is in the oven now…. Super excited!! Thanks for the amazing and easy tips!
I hope you love it!
Jeffra Naze says
I’ve just finished putting this recipe together and will be baking it off tonight. Does the cheese mixture “sink” at all in cooking? I had to mound mine to get it all in the bread bowl and wonder if it should only be filled enough to be level with the top of the bread bowl. Thank you.
It does sink a tiny bit, but if it’s piled above the bread don’t try to fit in all of the dip to be safe. We probably just have different sized loaves and I’d hate for yours to spill over and make a mess!
Diane Donnelly says
I am going to a family recipe cook off in a few weeks and would love more feedback on how this is. We can’t make the recipe ahead of time to try it – it is supposed to be a new recipe from FB – we post on our family wall all these recipes and now we are going to try some… but I am big for feedback!!!
With this work in the crockpot?
Luanne Lombardo says
I am so making this for the superbowl, i just bought everything to make it yum !!!
I plan to make this for the Superbowl. I bought the ingredients to make it 2x, so I could practice. When I tried to make it last night, I never got the top to brown like the pictures. I even baked it an extra 15 min. Is there a step I’m missing? Should I sprinkle a little extra cheese on top next time, or up the oven temp?
Perhaps place your oven rack a bit closer to the top of the oven. Or you can just broil it at the end for about one minute.
What do u do with the extra bread you take out
You can bake it separately to dip in the bread bowl if you’d like!
Is your broccoli raw? Looks cooked but how?
It’s raw. Just served the way you’d do for a veggie platter. =)
This was amazing! Everyone loved it.
I’m so happy to hear it!! =)
I just made this for the first time. Awesome! I see so many potential ideas for individual bread bowls for smaller groups. The only thing I would do different is that I would wait to add the bread until the last 15-20 minutes or so. Our bread wasn’t burned, but it was overdone. (We can’t stop eating it anyway) Great recipe!!
Katelyn Ragland says
Out of the countless cheese dips at my Super Bowl party, this one reigned supreme–no competition! Thanks for the awesome recipe!!
I tried the recipe the original way with a lager – Yuengling – and did not like it at all. So I made it again with Ultra and it was much better. It is a lot of beer and when you mix the mustard, swiss and strong tasting beer, it overpowers the dip. The dip went well, so I am glad that I tried it with the lighter beer before serving it the other way.
We tried it, replaced the beer with evaporated milk and the bacon with ground, seasoned pork sausage. It was super great and a hit of the party.
Celie Flynn says
Tried it, replacing beer with evaporated milk an bacon with ground, seasoned pork sausage. It was great; everybody wanted the recipe.
Sue CLARK says
I love this recipe and have shared it with many others
carol crichton says
Can I make this recipe of ingredtiants ahead of time before putting in the bread
I’ve made this a few times now and it’s always a favorite. I’ve even made it with the bacon on the side for the Lenten observers and it was still great. I was wondering if anyone has made it with a stout and how that turned out.