This Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball recipe has all the flavors you love from jalapeno poppers, including smoky bacon, spicy jalapeno, rich cheddar, and smooth cream cheese. This is a perfect appetizer for the holidays and it's packed with lots of flavor!
If you're loving these spicy flavors, you'll definitely want to try our Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Wontons, Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole, and Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers too. Each recipe offers a unique twist on the classic jalapeno popper taste, combining ease of preparation with delicious results. Give them a try for more cheesy, spicy goodness that's sure to be a hit!
Jalapeno Bacon Cheese Ball
Cheese balls are always popular at parties because they're creamy, easy to dip, and taste great! We love jalapeno poppers, so we had to make a cheese ball version. It's really good! Even if you don't like spicy food much, you might still enjoy this. The jalapenos add just enough spice, and the cream cheese makes it less hot.
✅ Ingredients For Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball Recipe
For the Cheese Ball:
- Crispy Cooked Bacon: Adds a smoky, savory flavor. Substitutions: For a vegetarian option, you can use vegetarian bacon or skip it altogether. Smoked almonds can also add a similar smoky flavor.
- Softened Cream Cheese: Should be at room temperature for easier mixing.
- Sour Cream: Adds creaminess and a slight tang. Substitutions: Greek yogurt can be used for a healthier alternative with similar results.
- Monterey Jack Cheese: Shredded for easy mixing. Substitutions: Use mozzarella or white cheddar.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Adds a sharp, tangy flavor. Pre-shredded or freshly shredded both work.
- Jalapenos: Finely chopped; remove seeds for less heat. Substitutions: Green chilies for a milder option or serrano peppers for more heat.
- Green Onions: Chopped for a mild onion flavor. Substitutions: Chives or red onion for a sharper taste.
- Ranch Seasoning: Adds a herby and slightly tangy flavor.
- Cumin Powder: Adds warmth and depth.
- Garlic Powder: For a mild, consistent garlic flavor. Substitutions: Fresh minced garlic for a more potent flavor.
- Black Pepper: Ground, for a subtle spice.
For the Coating:
- Roasted Pecans or Pretzels: Give a nutty flavor; pretzels add saltiness and crunch.
- Flat Leaf Parsley: Adds a bright, herby taste.
- Additional Bacon and Cheddar Cheese
- Sliced Jalapenos (Optional)
🔪How To Make Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball
For the cheese ball: In a big bowl, mix together crumbled bacon, room temperature cream cheese, sour cream, Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, finely chopped jalapenos, chopped green onions, ranch seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper.
For the coating: In another bowl, mix together chopped roasted pecans, chopped parsley, crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese, and sliced jalapenos.
To make the cheese ball: Take the cheese mixture and form it into a ball shape. Then roll this ball in the toppings mixture until it's completely covered and nicely shaped.
Wrap the cheese ball in plastic and place it in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This will make the flavors blend together better and the cheese ball will become firmer.
Serve with crackers, vegetable sticks, or any other dippers you like.
❗Tip: To form a cheese ball with less mess, place the cream cheese mixture on a piece of plastic wrap. Lift and twist the corners of the wrap to shape it into a ball. You can roll it on the counter to get a better shape and then use your hands to finish it. To take the cheese ball out, either cut the wrap at the bottom of the twist or just untwist and put it on a serving dish.
👨🍳 Pro Tips
- Use Room Temperature Ingredients: For easier mixing and a smoother cheese ball, ensure your cream cheese and other cheeses are at room temperature before you start.
- Get Creative with Mix-Ins: Don't hesitate to experiment with different ingredients.
- Avoid Overmixing: Mix the ingredients just enough to combine them well. Overmixing can make the cheese ball too soft and difficult to shape.
- Chill Before Shaping: If the mixture is too soft to form into a ball, refrigerate it for about 30 minutes to firm up. This makes it easier to handle.
- Use Plastic Wrap for Shaping: Place the cheese mixture on a piece of plastic wrap, gather the edges, and twist to form a neat ball. This method helps in getting a uniform shape with minimal mess.
- Let It Rest: After shaping, refrigerate for at least an hour. This helps the flavors meld together and the ball to firm up.
If you manage to have any jalapeno bacon cheese ball leftovers (which is rare in our house as it gets eaten up so quickly!), keep them in the fridge either in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. It will stay fresh for 3-4 days. Remember to let it sit out until it reaches room temperature before serving again, so it’s nice and soft!
How to Serve
- Assorted Crackers: Offer a variety of crackers, such as wheat, butter, or multigrain, for different textures and flavors.
- Vegetable Sticks: Serve with fresh veggies like carrot sticks, celery, cucumber slices, and bell pepper strips for a healthy crunch.
- Baguette Slices: Toasted or fresh baguette slices make a great pairing.
- Pretzels: Both hard and soft pretzels provide a nice salty contrast to the spicy and creamy cheese ball.
- Tortilla Chips: Serve with plain or flavored tortilla chips for a bit of a Southwestern twist.
- Apple or Pear Slices: Fresh apple or pear slices can add a sweet and crisp element.
- Meats: Thinly sliced salami or prosciutto can add a savory and rich dimension to your serving platter.
A cheese ball should not sit out at room temperature for more than two hours. Beyond this time, there's an increased risk of bacterial growth, which can lead to foodborne illness.
Yes, it's best to serve your cheese ball at room temperature. Allowing it to sit out for about 15-20 minutes before serving softens it slightly, making it easier to spread and more flavorful.
If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment or give this recipe a rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐! I will be happy to hear from you!Print
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