Get ready to spice up your next gathering with this Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball! This creamy, zesty, and slightly spicy creation is the perfect blend of flavors that’ll have your guests coming back for seconds—or thirds. It’s the appetizer that effortlessly marries the heat of jalapeños with the smoothness of cream cheese, all wrapped up in a crunchy almond coating. Trust us, this is one cheese ball that’s sure to pop at any party!
This recipe was heavily inspired by my traditional cheese ball recipe. If you haven’t given that one a try, add it to your must-make list!
Why You’ll Love This Easy Appetizer
- Crowd-Pleaser Alert: This cheese ball is the ultimate party snack that appeals to both spice lovers and cheese aficionados.
- Easy-Peasy Prep: With simple ingredients and minimal steps, this recipe is a breeze even for kitchen newbies. Plus, it’s make-ahead friendly, giving you more time to actually enjoy the party.
- Versatile Vibes: Serve it with crackers, veggies, or even spread it on a sandwich. The Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball is not just a one-trick pony; it’s a multi-talented showstopper that fits various dining scenarios.
Meet the appetizer recipe that had my dad halt in his tracks and immediately demand to know where it was purchased from. News flash, I made it. No store could even come close to the glory of this recipe. It has it all.
Imagine the creaminess of cream cheese melding with the zesty kick of jalapeños. Add to that a hint of garlic and onion for depth, and a sprinkle of cheddar for that extra cheesy goodness. The outer layer features more crunchy bacon and a mix of cheddar with green onion which offers a textural contrast and freshness that complements the smooth interior. It’s like a jalapeño popper and a classic cheese ball had a delicious baby. In short, it’s creamy, spicy, cheesy, and oh-so-addictive!
Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball Ingredients
So I’ve talked you into trying this insanely delicious appetizer, now what? Let’s dive into the list of ingredients you’ll need:
- Cheese: There are a couple different cheese types you’ll need for this recipe. Specifically, cream cheese and cheddar cheese. I recommend opting for your favorite brand.
- Sour Cream: Adds creaminess, a little tang, and some moisture that lightens up the density of all that cheese. It’s also the social glue that helps mix other ingredients more evenly.
- Ranch Seasoning: Not ranch dressing. You want the dry seasoning packet.
- Bacon: Cooked and crumbled. I tested this with the bacon crumbles from Costco and those worked too, but the fresh cooked bacon was best.
- Jalapenos: Fresh jalapenos not pickled. Trust me on this one.
- Green Onion: Not much, just a few for the outer coating.
Easy Cheese Ball Recipe
This recipe could not be easier, but I suggest planning ahead. If you let this sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours you’ll see the flavors blend together in the most amazing way! Here’s how to make this recipe:
- PREP: Remove the seed and membrane from the jalapeno peppers and finely dice.
- MIX: Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, ranch seasoning, 1 cup bacon crumbles, and diced jalapeno into a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until everything has combined well.
- SHAPE: Lay a large piece of plastic wrap onto a clean work surface. Scrape the contents of the mixing bowl directly onto the center of the plastic. Wrap carefully and shape into a ball.
- CHILL: Place the cheese ball into the refrigerator for 4 hours, or up to overnight.
- ROLL: Place the remaining bacon, shredded cheese, and green onion onto a plate. Unwrap the cheese ball and roll into the toppings until covered completely.
- ENJOY: Serve with your favorite crackers!
- Rubber Spatula (affiliate): This tool ensures that not a smidgen of your delicious cheese mixture goes to waste. Get every last bit out of the bowl!
- Plastic Wrap (affiliate): Plastic wrap is essential for shaping your cheese ball and storing it in the fridge. Plus, it makes for easy cleanup.
- Serving Platter with Lids (affiliate): A lidded serving platter keeps your cheese ball fresh until it’s showtime. Plus, it adds a touch of elegance to your spread.
Really, the spice level will be up to you! You can go from mild to wild with just a few extra jalapenos. For a big kick leave the jalapeno seed and membrane intact when chopping.
Oh, Yeah! Make it up to 2 days in advance and store it in the fridge. In fact, I suggest making it at least one day in advance to help the flavors meld together.
Not Long! (Because it’s that good.) But technically, up to a week in the fridge.
Not Recommended. Freezing will affect the texture, making it less creamy upon thawing.
Sky’s the Limit! Think crackers, sliced baguette, or even an array of fresh veggies like bell peppers and cucumbers.
Of course! While this already has a hefty dose of bacon, you can add shredded chicken for even more protein. Just remember, added chicken will reduce its freshness to 2 to 3 days.
Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball Recipe
- 16 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1½ cups sharp cheddar shredded
- 1 (1 oz packet) ranch seasoning
- 1 cup bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1-2 large jalapenos seeds and membrane removed and diced
- 2 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar finely shredded
- Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, ranch seasoning, 1 cup bacon crumbles, and diced jalapeno into a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until everything has combined well.
- Lay a large piece of plastic wrap onto a clean work surface. Scrape the contents of the mixing bowl directly onto the center of the plastic. Wrap carefully and shape into a ball.
- Place the cheese ball into the refrigerator for 4 hours, or up to overnight.
- Place the remaining bacon, shredded cheese, and green onion onto a plate. Unwrap the cheese ball and roll into the toppings until covered completely.
- Serve with your favorite crackers!