The College Housewife » Recipes » appetizers » Jalapeno Cheese Ball

Jalapeno Cheese Ball

This Jalapeno Cheese Ball is a crowd-pleasing version of jalapeno poppers, bursting with spicy green chili, fresh scallions, cheddar cheese, and smokey bacon. Serve it as a showstopping appetizer among laughter and cheer – perfect for game day and the holiday season!

hand dipped in large cheddar cheese ball with crackers

 

Why you’ll love this jalapeno popper cheese ball

The ultimate crowd-pleaser! I made this for a small gathering with my girlfriends and we devoured it. That just goes to show how much power this cheese ball recipe has over a crowd. It’s just the right amount of creamy, spicy, savory, cheesy and smokey. Honestly, we couldn’t get enough and I know your friends will love it too.

Perfect for game day and the holidays! It’s colorful, cheerful and will be the talk of the party at all your Sunday fun-days and holiday get-togethers. Serve it with a boatload of crackers, pretzels, chips, bread and freshly cut vegetables. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, make them mini-size (keep reading to learn how!).

An easy, make-ahead recipe! Since this is one of those recipes that needs some time to chill in the fridge, this is a great make-ahead recipe. I recommend chilling the ball for at least 15-20 minutes in the coldest part of your fridge, but it will hold up if made up to five days in advance. That being said, I would not roll the ball in the toppings until the day you are going to serve. Store the extra prepped toppings in a plastic storage bag in the fridge until ready to roll.

hand holding platter with cheese ball and crackers

Ingredients for bacon cheese ball

  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Jalapenos
  • Green onions
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Bacon

cream cheese, shredded cheddar, sour cream, scallions, seasonings, bacon, jalapenos

How to make a cheese ball

  1. Mix the ingredients: In a medium bowl mix together cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, kosher salt, jalapenos, green onions, cheddar cheese and bacon. 
  2. Shape into a ball: Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap onto a flat surface and transfer the cheese mixture to the center. Wrap the cream cheese and form into a ball.
  3. Chill: Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or until the ball is semi-firm.
  4. Mix toppings together: Add remaining 2 tbsp jalapenos, 1 tbsp green onions, ½ cup cheddar cheese, and ¼ cup of bacon to a baking sheet. Mix together until evenly dispersed.
  5. Roll in toppings: Remove the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and onto the baking sheet. Roll the ball into toppings until evenly coated.
  6. Serve: Transfer to a serving platter and serve with a variety of crackers, pretzels, chips and veggies.

four step grid making cheese ball recipe

How to store a cheese ball

Store the cheese ball, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days in the coolest part of your fridge, without the toppings. Store the extra toppings in a small ziplock bag right alongside.

Once party day comes along, remove the cheese ball from the fridge 20 minutes prior to serving, spread the toppings out on a baking sheet, remove the plastic wrap and roll in the toppings. Set on a large serving platter, with an array of snacks alongside.

jalapeno cheese ball on yellow platter with butter crackers

Serving suggestions

The best snacks to go with the cheese ball include crackers, pretzels, pita chips, bread, and fresh-cut vegetables like celery, carrots, bell peppers and cucumbers.

Looking for individual, poppable jalapeno cheese balls? Make the mix as instructed, then roll into golf-ball-size balls and place in a mini muffin tin lined with mini muffin liners. Wrap the muffin tin in plastic wrap and chill. About 20 minutes before party-time, roll each ball in the toppings and stick a pretzel stick in the center.

hand scooping cheese ball with cracker

Tips for the best cheese ball recipe:

  • Use room temperature cream cheese. Softened cream cheese is much easier to work with versus cream cheese right out of the fridge. Set the cream cheese out on the kitchen counter while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  • Shred the cheese at home. I like to buy a whole block of sharp cheddar cheese and grate it on the large holes of a box grater as soon as I get home. The taste and quality are well worth the extra effort. Plus, the pre-shredded cheese doesn’t stick as well.
  • Use an electric stand mixer or handheld mixer if you’re feeling lazy. I made this cheese ball by hand, but an electric mixer is your next best option. Beat the cream cheese, sour cream and seasonings on medium speed until combined, then reduce the speed to low and mix in the remaining ingredients. Shape and chill as instructed.
  • Crisscross the plastic wrap. The best way to form the ball is with a criss-cross pattern of plastic wrap. Wrap the sides around it and seal. Roll it on the countertop, then use your hands to form it into a ball.
  • Half the recipe. This is quite a big cheese ball. The recipe could easily be cut in half for a smaller portion/gathering.

Looking for more appetizer recipes? Check these out!

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knife dipped in large cheddar cheese ball with crackers

Jalapeno Cheese Ball

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes chilling
  • Total Time: 48 minute
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Fridge
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Jalapeno Cheese Ball is a crowd-pleasing version of jalapeno poppers, bursting with spicy green chili, fresh scallions, cheddar cheese, and smokey bacon. Serve it as a showstopping appetizer among laughter and cheer – perfect for the holiday season, too!


Ingredients

Scale

2 packages of 8 oz cream cheese, at room temp

2 tbsp sour cream

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp black pepper

Heavy pinch of kosher salt, or to taste

3 jalapenos, minced (reserve 2 tbsp for topping)

3 tbsp green onions, finely diced (reserve 1 tbsp for topping)

1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reserve ½ cup for topping)

68 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled, about ¾ cup (reserve ¼ cup for topping)


Instructions

  1. Mix the ingredients: In a medium bowl mix together cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, kosher salt, jalapenos, green onions, cheddar cheese and bacon. 
  2. Shape into a ball: Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap onto a flat surface and transfer the cheese mixture to the center. Wrap the cream cheese and form into a ball.
  3. Chill: Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes or until the ball is semi-firm.
  4. Mix toppings together: Add remaining 2 tbsp jalapenos, 1 tbsp green onions, ½ cup cheddar cheese, and ¼ cup of bacon to a baking sheet. Mix together until evenly dispersed.
  5. Roll in toppings: Remove the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and onto the baking sheet. Roll the ball into toppings until evenly coated.
  6. Serve: Transfer to a serving platter and serve with a variety of crackers, pretzels, chips and veggies.

Notes

Electric stand or hand mixer: Beat the cream cheese, sour cream and seasonings on medium speed until combined, then reduce the speed to low and mix in the remaining ingredients. Shape and chill as instructed.

Nutrition info is based on cheese ball only, snacks not included.

Keywords: party, spicy, crackers

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