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JALAPEÑO POPPER CHEESE BALL {Easy!}

This easy and delicious Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball is loaded with cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, fresh jalapeno peppers, pecans, and BACON! Perfect for a crowd and can be enjoyed with crackers or veggies!

jalapeno popper cheese ball on serving tray

If you’d rather skip my essential cooking tips and tricks and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

JALAPEÑO POPPER CHEESE BALL

Everyone needs a good cheese ball recipe in their back pocket for any type of tailgating party or gathering.

I have quite a few on the blog and a few that I make all the time just because they have flavors that everyone loves.

Jalapeño poppers are a favorite appetizer for a lot of people so I took all the flavors and made them easier to enjoy. Instead of all the wrapping and frying, just whip up a cheese ball!

Full of sharp cheddar, spicy peppers, and crispy smoky bacon, I just can’t resist!

WHY THIS RECIPE IS AWESOME

  • can be made days in advance
  • 10 minutes of hands on time!
  • make it as spicy or mild as you like
  • flavors everyone loves
  • did I mention BACON?
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labeled picture of cheese ball ingredients

JALAPENO POPPER CHEESE BALL INGREDIENTS

  • cream cheese
  • cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • jalapeno peppers
  • spices
  • bacon
  • green onions
  • pecans

Cream Cheese – Plain cream cheese, softened almost to room temperature. You can also use reduced fat versions of cream cheese.

Sour Cream – This is to loosen up the cheese ball. You can also use mayonnaise, plain yogurt, or a low fat version of sour cream.

Cheddar Cheese – It’s best to grate or shred the cheese at home but you can use a bag of shredded cheese.

Jalapeno Peppers – Use fresh jalapeno peppers. The pickled ones will bring too much moisture and won’t have the same flavor.

Spices – I just use garlic powder and onion powder in this recipe.

Bacon – You can use pre-cooked bacon for easier preparation. If not reserve some when you make a big batch for breakfast.

Green Onions – Two or three stalks of green onions, sliced thin.

Pecans – Using chopped toasted pecans add some texture to the cheese ball when added to the coating.

HOW TO MAKE JALAPENO POPPER CHEESE BALL

FIRST: Prep, chop, slice, grate all the ingredients ahead of time. Grab a large mixing bowl and some plastic wrap.

SECOND: In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the shredded cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, bacon, jalapeños, and green onion.

Mix until combined. Taste mixture and season with salt and black pepper if desired.

THIRD: Spoon the cream cheese mixture into plastic wrap and form into a ball shape. Wrap tightly and chill at least 1 hour or until firm.

While the cheese ball is firming up, make the coating by combining the reserved cheese, jalapeños, green onions, bacon, and pecans.

FOURTH: When ready to coat, unwrap the ball, place in bowl and press into coating mixture. Turning on all sides to make sure it is completely covered. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

For more insider tips & tricks, and a candid behind the scenes look follow me on social media! Check use out on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (yes, people still use Twitter, LOL!)

hand holding a cracker with cheese ball spread on it

CAN I MAKE THIS AHEAD OF TIME?

You can make this up to 4 days in advance. Be sure to keep coating separate and coat right before serving.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS CHEESE BALL

  • crackers
  • crostini
  • baguette slices
  • carrots
  • sliced cucumbers
  • bagel chips
  • pita chips

HOW TO STORE

LEFTOVERS: Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Be sure not to leave the cheese ball at room temperature for more than 3 hours.

MAKE AHEAD: This recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Be sure to coat just before serving.

FREEZE: You can make this cheese ball ahead of time and freeze. Wrap tightly with two layers of plastic wrap. Store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and coat just before serving.

close up of cheese ball with scoop missing

TAPAS TIPS & TRICKS

  • soften cream cheese for at least 30 minutes at room temperature for smoother mixing
  • grate your own cheese as the pre-shredded cheese has an anti-caking agent that keeps it from sticking to the cheese ball
  • place the cheese ball in the bowl of coating and then spoon the cheese mixture over the top and press in as you turn the ball. This is a less messy way of coating in my opinion.
  • make mini cheese balls for individual servings!
  • serve this with pork rinds for a low carb option
  • if you like savory cheese balls, check out all my sweet cheese balls!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

cheese ball with text "jalapeno popper cheese ball"

Need a party appetizer? In less than 15 minutes you can whip up this jalapeno popper cheese ball recipe and show up to the party like a boss!

MORE EASY APPETIZERS

close up of cheese ball with scoop missing

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This easy and delicious Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball is loaded with cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, jalapeno peppers, pecans, and BACON!

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese {roughly 2 cups} (shredded, divided 1-1/2 cups + 1/2 cup for coating)
  • 3 jalapeno peppers (ribbed, seeded, minced fine, divided 2 peppers + 1 pepper for coating)
  • 2 stalks green onions (sliced, divided)
  • 6 slices cooked bacon (chopped fine, divided 4 slices + 2 slices for coating)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (for coating)
  • assorted crackers for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy.
  2. Add 1.5 cups shredded cheese, 2 minced jalapenoes, 1 stalk of sliced green onions, spices, and 4 slices of chopped bacon)
  3. Mix to combine.
  4. Form into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and firm up.
  5. When ready to serve, make the coating by mixing the reserved cheese, jalapeno pepper, sliced green onion, chopped bacon, and chopped pecans.
  6. Unwrap the cheese ball and roll in the coating to completely cover.
  7. Set on serving platter and surround it with crackers for serving.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes

*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 341mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party. I can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

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It’s time to start planning our holiday parties we all need some delicious and festive recipes to serve! Check out all these amazing holiday appetizers as part of the #FavoritePartyFood blogging event hosted by Jennifer from Take Two Tapas

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@TakeTwoTapas.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Kathleen Pope

Monday 22nd of November 2021

We had some friends over for the game the other day and I made this, so delicious and fun with the right amount of heat!

Karen @karenskitchenstories

Friday 19th of November 2021

This was amazing, and I love that you brought out the old school crackers. I feel validated! Love me some Ritz.

Inger@Art of Natural Living

Friday 19th of November 2021

My daughter and I are serious popper lovers but they are too much work to make at home. This is the answer!

Kathryn

Thursday 18th of November 2021

This is the ultimate appetizer! We all love cheeseballs and this is both gorgeous and delicious. Love the spice from the jalapeño too! Will be making this again soon.

Lisa Kerhin

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

I have several folks that love a good spicy dip...this will be perfect

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