Bacon, cheddar and cream cheese perfectly compliment chopped jalapeños in this super flavorful Bacon Jalapeño Popper inspired Cheese Ball.
Jalapeño Cheese Ball Recipe
Think of a rich and creamy stuffed jalapeño popper wrapped in bacon that’s super easy to eat with a cracker. That’s how I like to describe this cheese ball. Add a little crunch from roasted pecans and this party appetizer or snack is the star of the show!
So many flavors mix together to make every bite memorable. The rich cheeses and bacon satisfy your umami craving and the green onions and jalapeños bring bright fresh flavors.
While Italian bread crumbs can be added to the cheese ball we like to make this without bread crumbs so that we can have a keto and low-carb snack.
I used to be afraid of jalapeños being spicy, but this cheeseball our Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa and Bacon Jalapeño Deviled Eggs are very enjoyable for mild palates. There is a little bit of heat, but I wouldn’t say this appetizer is spicy enough to have a big kick.
- Cream cheese is the base flavor that makes a cheese ball rich
- Small Jalapeños are tender and add a fresh crunch with distinctive flavor
- Bacon compliments all of the other flavors and makes everything better
- Cheddar Cheese and Pepper Jack Cheese add more dimension and a bit of color to the cream cheese
- Garlic powder and Cumin add spice and a tiny kick to this recipe
- Ranch Dressing and Sour Cream makes the mixture easier to stir and spread onto the crackers, pretzels or the dipping tool of your choice
- Green Onions also add fresh flavors and color to the dish
- Toasted Pecans bring a tiny crunch and earthy flavor to the outside layer
Tips & Tricks
- An air fryer toaster oven works great to toast pecans on the convection bake setting
- Softened cream cheese is a must for getting the best blend of flavors
- Pepper Jack cheese can be substituted for Monterey Jack cheese and cheddar can be switched out for Colby or Colby Jack.
- We prefer freshly fried and crumbled bacon, but precooked bacon bits work in a pinch
- Finely chopped pecans, jalapeños and bacon work best to maximize the blend of flavors
- Be sure to use young jalapeños that are smaller as opposed to larger ones that have gotten rank. Clean all of the seeds out and rinse before dicing. Be sure not to touch your face or eyes while handling the jalapeños.
How To Make a Jalapeño Cheese Ball
Using a hand held mixer (a stand mixer can also work) to beat softened cream cheese. Ensure there are no lumps before moving on to the next step.
Add crumbled bacon and shredded cheeses to the mixing bowl.
Stir seasonings into sour cream and mix into cream cheese mixture.
Mix it all together and keep mixing until the ingredients are spread evenly throughout the cheeseball.
Unroll plastic wrap on a flat, clean surface and place cream cheese mixture in the center.
Pull the sides up and work to shape into a ball. If the plastic wrap gets too sticky grab a new piece of plastic wrap.
Once the desired shape has been formed wrap tightly and place in the refrigerator to firm up. This takes a couple of hours. But this is a great make ahead party food.
Once the original ball is firm, unwrap the plastic and sprinkle toppings on the ball and plastic. Pull the sides up to cover the entire ball. Add one or two toppings at a time beginning with the softest like shredded cheese and bacon bits. End with the crunchier jalapenos, pecans and green onions.
Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
How To Form The Cheese Ball
Unroll a 12” to 18” piece of plastic wrap on a flat, clean surface. Turn the cheese ball mixture out onto the center of the plastic wrap and use a spatula to clean out the mixing bowl.
Gently pull up the sides of the plastic wrap up around the sides to form a ball or log or shape of your choice.
Once the ball is almost formed get a new piece of plastic wrap to finish shaping with a clean finish. Wrap up the desired shape and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two until firm.
To apply the shredded cheese to the outside of the cheese ball sprinkle cheese on another piece of plastic wrap. Place ball in the center and fold shredded cheese up and around each side of the ball. Press shredded cheese gently into the cream cheese mixture using the plastic wrap.
Repeat with bacon and then again with jalapeños and pecans. Start by layering the softest ingredients on first and then end with the vegetables and nuts.
More Easy & Delicious Appetizer Recipes:
Cold Crab Dip is an excellent appetizer with a layer of red chili sauce on the cream cheese filling.
Salami Roll-Ups wrap smoky salty salami around a layer of cream cheese for another delicious keto snack.
Linguine Salad makes a great appetizer or veggie and flavor packed side dish anytime of the year.
Stromboli from Frozen Bread Dough is perfect served warm or at room temperature and one of our favorite party snacks!
Bacon Jalapeño Cheese Ball
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
- 1/4 cup bacon finely chopped
- 2 small jalapeños finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/3 cup pecans toasted & finely chopped
- 1/4 cup bacon
- 1 small jalapeño
- 2 tablespoons pepper jack cheese
- 2 tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese
- In a medium sized mixing bowl beat softened cream cheese until smooth.
- Stir cumin and garlic powder into sour cream and ranch dressing.
- Stir sour cream mixture and shredded cheeses. Mix well.
- Stir in chopped jalapeños and crumbled bacon.
- Use plastic wrap to form into a ball. Cover tightly and refrigerate about an hour until firm.
- Roll cheese ball in additional shredded cheese. Then coat with bacon, chopped jalapeños and toasted pecans.
- Store in the refrigerator and serve slightly softened.
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